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3 Hurtigruten Nordlys Cruise Reviews

As a ferry Hurtigruten does an excellent job making on scheduled stops to ports up and down the Norway coast. However, as a cruise ship it disappoints. I booked an 11-day CRUISE on Hurtigruten Nordlys in April. However, it is not a ... Read More
As a ferry Hurtigruten does an excellent job making on scheduled stops to ports up and down the Norway coast. However, as a cruise ship it disappoints. I booked an 11-day CRUISE on Hurtigruten Nordlys in April. However, it is not a cruise ship, it is a FERRY that transports cargo, people (Norwegians) and their cars up and down the coast of Norway. Due to poor infrastructure road travel is not a choice, but airplane travel is lately becoming the preferred choice, both for people and cargo, necessitating Hurtigruten to fill its ships with cruise travelers. However, it is a ferry and operates as a ferry, stopping in many ports per day for anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes each (commercial) port. There were four days where we never stopped long enough to get out, and only five ports total with stops of longer than three and a half hours. So, most of the time was spent on the ship gazing at the lovely island and seascape that after a while became the monotonous seascape. My fellow cruisers were mostly from Sweden, Denmark and Germany and while we were all upbeat, I could see the disappointment on their faces. A cruise ship would take a more scenic route and stop at charming ports for several hours. While on board, it would offer many activities and entertainment, as well as be an actual charming cruise ship and not a passenger/cargo vessel. While the price of a ferry ride and a cruise may be comparable (some less), the drink and offshore tours are exorbitant. A single shot of scotch served on the rocks is 99K ($11.32), glass of prosecco 109K ($12.47). A 2-1/2 hour bus tour to see the Norway/Russian border at Kirkenes 1170K ($133.81). Ferry boat prices!!! These prices are far less on a cruise ship. Food was good, freshest and tastiest fish you could ever eat, buffet for breakfast and lunch and dinner was a set meal, although we were given local food with history and information to go with it, a pleasant experience. The crew was friendly and professional, the ship was clean, but that did not stop a norovirus outbreak on day six. I am glad had the ferry experience, however, 11 days was overkill. Four days would have sufficed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
So the ship is a working ferry and it desperately needs a refurbishment. Scuffed carpet, stuffing coming out of chairs in the lounge etc. Coffee machines that don't work. The ship made roughly 20+ stops but most of them are for only ... Read More
So the ship is a working ferry and it desperately needs a refurbishment. Scuffed carpet, stuffing coming out of chairs in the lounge etc. Coffee machines that don't work. The ship made roughly 20+ stops but most of them are for only 15 minutes so you cannot get off. I was able to get off in Alesund (gorgeous), Bodo (gorgeous), Trondheim (gorgeous) and Tromso (gorgeous) and Honningsvag (gorgeous). Very disappointed that we stopped in the Lofoten Islands in the middle of the night. We disembarked in Kirkenes. Cabin was an outside but it is incredibly cramped and I was the only person in it. Heaven help 2 people in the cabin. I opted for no cleaning service during the 6 days. The bed was uncomfortable but the bathroom floor was heated which was nice and the shower had excellent pressure and hot. Our tour group (from Australia) had full board but were still charged for coffee/tea outside of meal times which was just money grabbing by Hurtigruten. I'm a vegan and my food choices were very easy at breakfast and lunch because it was a buffet but dinner was a different matter. The first night I was given a chickpea curry which was extremely good and I had such high hopes however dinner for the rest of the cruise was hideous. A vegetable patty EVERY night. I cannot even look at a veggie patty now. The chef didn't even try to come up with something different or interesting for me. There was absolutely nothing to do except sit in the lounge and look at the scenery, which was beautiful, but after a while got very boring. There was one large jigsaw puzzle and a library. I also found that people hogged the chairs in the lounge all day, every day. Each night there was a talk by the Expedition team but it was really just to spruik the ship tours which were all very expensive. A lot of our group chose the NordKapp (North Cape) tour. When I confirmed my booking, I was told that the price I was looking at was the old price and the staff hadn't had time to change the pricing sheet. Our tour leader was ropable and quickly sorted it out so that we paid the advertised price, not the "new" price. The Expedition staff were not particularly helpful. The NordKapp excursion was wonderful and the bus follows a snow plough all the way to the Cape. My tip is to go and see the film first and then go down to the globe. If you do it that way, you are likely to get less people in your globe photo. I have the globe with no people in it (yay!). There is plenty to see there and the scenery is fantastic in winter. Recommendation: if you want to see the Northern Lights, don't do it by ship. Go to places like Tromso and Kirkenes and do trips out each night to hunt them. Stay in Kirkenes at the Snowhotel and take a dog sled ride, snowmobile ride, meet the reindeers. Stay in either a Gamme cabin (fabulous) or in the Snowhotel igloo itself. The one night in Kirkenes was a better experience for me than the entire 6 day cruise. Thank heavens I didn't have to do the return cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Nothing more far from the propragrand published by Hurtigruten company ".. Through our enlightening and eventful adventures the true diversity of our landscape, history and culture bacomes aparent..."In 6 days from Bergen to ... Read More
Nothing more far from the propragrand published by Hurtigruten company ".. Through our enlightening and eventful adventures the true diversity of our landscape, history and culture bacomes aparent..."In 6 days from Bergen to Kirkenes you will visit 37 diferent harbours, many of them during 15 to 30 minutes, near ten during the first hours of early morning. Each arrival will wake you up beacuse the noise ony the approximation, docked and departure of the ship. Named the "express of the coast" the cruiser leave and pick up any kind of merchandise, something thet company forgets to explain when you buy the tickets. All the cruiser is focus on the Hurtigruten convenience never focus on the costumer The meals, excurssions, cities visits and the scarce events planned during the trip are designed to maintain the express of the coast time schedule. So, it was one day necessary to take breakfast between 8-10 o'clock and get the lunch between 10,30 and 12!!!!. Interesting villages like Standsund or Svolvaer must be visited in 28 and 42 minutes, because we had docked 6 other harbours in the same day. The worst event in the trip was the cancellation of the whale watch principal excursion based on the dangerous broadcast announcing a windy day and tidal waves. They lied because internet broadcast didn't confirm their expectations and the day passeed by no wind nor brave waves. The truth was that they had no enough costumers interested in that excurssion and because that decided cancelled. I'll never accept a lie about one event that I have flieght more than 4.000 km. just to enjoy the sea wildlife. Hurtigruten .... never... never more. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Nordlys Ratings
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