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Sail Date: August 2019
We wished to see the Norweigan coast. Even though the price was high, it is a ferry. People without sleeping accommodations sleeping all over seating areas. Food quite diverse but very good. The buffet breakfast and lunch are like fish ... Read More
We wished to see the Norweigan coast. Even though the price was high, it is a ferry. People without sleeping accommodations sleeping all over seating areas. Food quite diverse but very good. The buffet breakfast and lunch are like fish feeding frenzies . Ran out of popular items. Other than for two servers the meal service was horrible. Very short staffed. Also bad timing for one of the lunches, which was not buffet. Sit down meal and an hour later we’re not served and because we booked a tour we basically finished eating after 3 and were supposed to have diner at 5:30. Couldn’t get wine and water, or even order wine. Expedition team outstanding. However, tours are quite costly. Glad we went on the trip but did not receive value for what we paid. Would not recommend if you wish quality service. Beautiful scenery along the way. I would recommend a shorter trip as there are repeat stops returning to Bergen. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose Cruise as norther lights guaranteed viewing at this time of year. Whispy clouds was our view of the lights, a lot of 100% cloud cover nights, obviously nature and not fault of Hurtigruten. The ship it self is outdated and going in ... Read More
Chose Cruise as norther lights guaranteed viewing at this time of year. Whispy clouds was our view of the lights, a lot of 100% cloud cover nights, obviously nature and not fault of Hurtigruten. The ship it self is outdated and going in for a make over, it needs it. But the public areas were clean and plenty of seating. THe coastline of Norway is spectacular at this time of year and somewhat made up for the poor showing of the aurora. Cabin as expected (superior arctic), heated bathroom floor was appreciated. Cabin not vacuumed or sheets changed the entire 11 nights of cruise. EVERYTHING is expensive, "expedition" team were moody and sometimes rude apart from Sven who was a delight and always helfpul and full of information and answered any question. The food was as most people have mentioned, Generally food was cold and boring after 11 days of the same type of menu. No choices for the evening meal, take it or leave it. Excursions were expensive but you pay it because you may not get the opportunity again to experience some things. There are not too many private options either as most port times are very short. We went on bus trips, snowmobiled, sledding and viking visit. All were good fun, expensive but worth the $$ for the unique experience in most cases. Overall we enjoyed the trip, the scenery breathtaking. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose Hurtigruten because we wanted to see Norway's coast & spectacular scenery in detail as one part of our Norwegian holiday. We chose the Nordlys because it fit with our schedule but also because it was an ... Read More
We chose Hurtigruten because we wanted to see Norway's coast & spectacular scenery in detail as one part of our Norwegian holiday. We chose the Nordlys because it fit with our schedule but also because it was an "expedition" ship with more active-oriented excursions available. The scenery itself was 4-5 stars while the ship and onboard experience was 2-3. The best part of the journey was traveling through fjords large and small as well as the number of sea days where you could simply relax while looking out a window or sitting on the rear deck as the ship worked its way along the coast while making numerous stops at small towns. We also thoroughly enjoyed the variety of excursions, especially the hiking and bicycling activities that we took part in. For those who like lots of activities and options when traveling, the Nordlys does not fit the bill. While there were 1-2 informational sessions or narratives of the scenery each day, there was no entertainment, no music (live or recorded) in the bar or lounge, no bingo or games organized by a cruise director, no pool, no sauna (it was out of order, and also 1/3 of the gym equipment was non-functional), etc. If you like reading, playing cards or table games with friends/family, or a cruise with lots of sea days to do nothing, then Nordlys may be a good option. There is one main dining room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is a separate a la carte that functions much like a specialty restaurant and is extra. Breakfast and lunch buffets were always crowded each day and we always had to wait for a table unless arriving very early or coming at the end when the food was picked over and not being replenished. Because of the crowded dining room, we often had to sit with non-talkative strangers or they would be placed at our table by the staff. There is one seating for dinner at which you are assigned a table and the meal is one option only (mostly fish). Dinner was a rushed affair and served like being at a sit-down banquet with courses coming quickly after each other. There is a cafeteria/snack bar option, which wasn't cheap but wasn't terrible considering how expensive Norway is in general. We didn't get the wine package but I was told by another passenger it was a good value and you got one bottle each day to drink. Wines by the glass ranged from $10-20+ and beer was $8. The water package was cheaper compared to buying it at $5/bottle but not really a generous package because you only get one bottle of water for lunch and a second bottle for dinner. The most disappointing thing for us was the lack of true hospitality on board. The crew typically did not say hello or greet you when passing in the ship - even the officers ignored us without even a smile - and the service staff seemed so rushed all the time. No one asked us about the food, the stay, the journey, etc. And the staff was minimally helpful when called upon for assistance. When we had trouble logging on to the wifi and asked at the front desk about it, we were pointed to instructions taped to the counter instead of the agent offering to help or at least say, "I'd be glad to show you how; here's some information..." I disagree with others who say not to compare Hurtigruten to mainstream cruise lines. Both types offer sea-based options to visit Norway; services like a cruise card to make purchases on board; off-ship excursions; beverage packages; and active marketing for passengers to take future cruises (two nights in a row there was a continuous loop video about their new ship serving Antarctica). It is true that Hurtigruten is unique, different, and sometimes charming. However, it's still a cruise and the company is actively pursuing cruisers who want to visit Norway. The difference is that Hurtigruten's ships are built for servicing coastal towns, delivering cars, cargo, mail, and day travelers. In other words, they were designed with a different purpose in mind and for a different era of travel. As a value, I think Hurtigruten offers much less compared to traditional cruises, particularly because of the limited food & beverage, lack of premium-ness, or above & beyond service that cruise lines typically provide. While I wouldn't rule out a future Hurtigruten cruise or completely not recommend it to a friend, I would research other options available, too. Read Less
Nordlys Ratings
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