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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
• Background Information We are a retired couple who have travelled a great deal; however, we’d never done a cruise being put off by the thought of thousands of people on the same vessel. A fellow traveller recommended Hurtigruten ... Read More
• Background Information We are a retired couple who have travelled a great deal; however, we’d never done a cruise being put off by the thought of thousands of people on the same vessel. A fellow traveller recommended Hurtigruten after doing one on MS Lofoten. We liked the idea of a smaller ship without the nonsense of casinos, bars, and stage shows. • Travel To Port of Embarkation Icelandair YEG – KEF – OSL. This is our preferred airline for travel to Europe. The service is excellent; it breaks up a long flight into tolerable pieces; it avoids the very large airports with their chaos and noise. On the return, we stayed a few days in Reykjavik, one of our favourite destinations. OSL – BGO was SAS, a good flight. • Hotel Info (if any) Outbound: Radisson Blu, Bergen. Nice hotel, great central location. Return: The Thief (aptly named) Oslo where we hoped to see a bit of the city, but by the we factored in the long train ride there an back, there was no time for any significant touring and the hotel was very, very, very expensive. It would be nice to figure out a way to avoid Oslo altogether. • Stateroom Very comfortable, much better than we expected. The HVAC worked perfectly as did the WC and shower. All better than many hotels. We are both pretty good sailors, but still appreciated a centre cabin, low in the ship. • Ship Info Very seaworthy and comfortable. Able to handle 3m seas with little wallowing or corkscrewing. The seamanship of the crew was astounding. We were able to moor and depart without the slightest bump or clank. We needed to look outside to tell whether we were underway or not. • Dining Excellent quality and variety. Sampling some of the local specialities with table service was an unexpected treat. More salads would be appreciated, though understandably this is a bit tricky at sea. • Activities We enjoyed watching the islands and fiords pass by along with exploring the many ports of call along the way. That’s what we came for and we were not disappointed. • Children's Clubs N/A • Service Table service was generally excellent. We particularly liked Zarah, Jorgen, Kristin, & Marte who all seem perpetually in a good mood. I was only snarled at once by a server who shall remain ever nameless. Housekeeping was variable. At the start, our cabin was made up by early morning; later, it seemed to take much longer. We were happy to participate in the programme to skip days for environmental reasons, though later we had to abandon this as having the room serviced was the only way to get the tiny waste basket emptied. We would have done this ourselves except that dustbins are rare on this ship. • Entertainment There were a number of lectures and films about folklore, history, nature, geography. These were all excellent, both content and presentation. An educational dimension is very appealing and one of the reasons to go on a cruise such as this. I have a special interest in both the energy business and the environment so the talk on North Sea O & G was particularly à propos. Something that needs attention is the canned music that filled the lounges and bars at times. This was really bad, screechy R & R and popular music, at times so loud that we had to leave. No one seemed able or willing to turn it off or down. On a relaxing, nature-themed cruise, maybe Grieg or Sibelius or some of the other fine European composers? • Port & Shore Excursions We enjoyed visiting the various ports on our own. We did not participate in the organised excursions seeing them as both expensive and rushed. Besides, we are from a Northern country where snowmobiles, X country skis, snowshoes are not a novelty. • Disembarkation Very efficient. The ship was cleared in 20m. Nothing was lost or broken. The buses were all waiting. No improvement needed • Summary This was a very enjoyable and relaxing cruise. We would not hesitate to use Hurtigruten again; the quality is first class. A little more information on some of the peripheral details would be nice: transportation options to-from airports, location of the Hurtigruten mooring, tips on packing, &c. Most of this we had to figure out ourselves and our travel agent did not do a very good job of finding this out. Still, we’ll know what to do next time. Finally, French language services would be appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it advertised exactly what we were looking for and wanted something special to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. It surpassed all of this. Embarkation and disembarkation was a very smooth event. Staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it advertised exactly what we were looking for and wanted something special to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. It surpassed all of this. Embarkation and disembarkation was a very smooth event. Staff were helpful and friendly at all times during the voyage, The expedition team were fabulous, keeping us constantly informed with points of interests and gatherings. Nothing was too much trouble. Food was more than excellent and great to be offered Norwegian food with all the information and history that went with it. The cafe was open for 24 hours so with our package we could have tea and coffee any time of the day. We certainly needed a hot drink after being on deck to see the Northern Lights three nights running. Considering the ship is going in for refurbishment very soon it was still spotlessly clean which was very noticeable. I really hope it doesn't end up like an 'Ikea' ship. We didn't like the decor and furniture on the Kong Harold that we were able to visit. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I only had time for the 'half cruise' but enjoyed every minute. Nordlys is showing her age a little with some frayed carpets and furnishings in public areas but is shiny, clean and comfortable. She will be refitted later this ... Read More
I only had time for the 'half cruise' but enjoyed every minute. Nordlys is showing her age a little with some frayed carpets and furnishings in public areas but is shiny, clean and comfortable. She will be refitted later this year. Embarkation in Kirkenes, northern turnaround port, took three minutes as my taxi took me directly to the gangplank. Buses from the airport and local hotels are also available. Kirkenes deserves a day before you embark. Go to the Russian border, see the Snowhotel, fish for King Crabs or try snow activities. My cabin (353) was one of the cheapest with a port hole and fine for one or two, although not luxurious. Cabins on the port side, like mine, are closer to the cargo bay where goods are unloaded and loaded during the many stops day and night. I was fine with this but it meant a little extra noise which may annoy others. Pick starboard and you'll be fine. Whichever you choose, it's stunning scenery from beginning to end. Breakfast and lunch are buffets, always plenty of choice with lots of fish. Evening meals are usually three course sit-down affairs. Excellent food always with local produce in sensible quantities and swiftly-served. It's a Norwegian ship in Norwegian waters so alcohol is expensive but there's a good selection (don't miss beer from the northernmost brewery Mack brewed in Tromso) There were only 360 passengers on my cruise but sometimes it was a challenge to find a seat/table in the public areas. No entertainment as such but fascinating daily talks by the cheerful Expedition team, and a small library. Brilliant staff all round, well-led by Captain Johannes. There's a varied range of excursions and hikes to suit all levels of fitness. Again not cheap but high quality and good value. I enjoyed the bus/ferry tour A Taste of Vesteralen, well-organised with plenty of interesting stops, and a magical midnight concert in the Arctic Cathedral, Tromso. I also sampled a short twilight hike in Bronnoysund, crunching through the snow. Disembarkation in Bergen was fine and speedy. Again, there were buses (extra charge) to the airport, rail station and local hotels but I happily towed my little suitcase into the town for an extra night after a very enjoyable short break in Norway. Thanks Hurtigruten! I am now planning to visit Svalbard in 2020 but would be delighted to take this trip again - maybe north-south next time? Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
I choosed it because it is the easiest way from bergen to the lofoten. I heard about hurtigruten in german TV and liked it. But it was much better than i ever expected. I will absolutely do it again and take all the tour north and back ... Read More
I choosed it because it is the easiest way from bergen to the lofoten. I heard about hurtigruten in german TV and liked it. But it was much better than i ever expected. I will absolutely do it again and take all the tour north and back south. I really appreciated the work of the expedition team. They do a great job and i can absolutely recommend vitising every workshop, excusion and presentation we had on board. please check it out. you will never forget it. You can't get this point of view when you are traveling alone in norway like i do. It is expensive, yes. But i am on my own in norway, traveling alone and on the ship it felt like going on a trip with my classmates. At first i was alone, but with every excursion we had and with every meal i met more and more people and when i was leaving the ship some people huged me and stand outside on the ship and waved me. it feld so nice and it was so easy to get in contact with new people. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise specifically because it gives you the greatest chance of seeing the Northern lights. We followed the advice from Hurtigruten about what camera lens to buy and to take a tripod but what they don't tell you is that ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically because it gives you the greatest chance of seeing the Northern lights. We followed the advice from Hurtigruten about what camera lens to buy and to take a tripod but what they don't tell you is that there is also a 99p app from I-phone which will enable you to take pictures of the Northern Lights when they are weak, as was the case with our cruise. We only found out about this app by chance, on talking to a fellow passenger who had got some spectacular photos with her phone the previous day. So, I would advise anyone who wants to get photos of the Northern Lights to do both, take the equipment advised by Hurtigruten but also get the app! You will also need a good hat, coat, gloves and winterlined trousers if you plan to be on deck at night to get the photos as the windchill factor is high! The My Aurora forecast is also useful, although they do give a Northern Light forecast at the Gatherings. On the plus side, the boat was clean and well equipped, the food was very good - they were happy to provide me with vegetarian and gluten-free food without complaint - a very refreshing change! My favourite was the rice porridge at breakfast and the dessert of rice pudding and berry sauce in the evening. The restaurant staff were helpful, particularly Margarethe and Anna. The cabin we had on the 3rd deck was small but adequate and well equipped - the heated shower floor is a godsend as you go further north. There is a small library with English books accessed through the a-la-carte restaurant, which also provides seating if other areas are busy. We spent most of our time in the panoramic lounge on deck 7, which gives spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. I can also recommend going ashore at Urke on the north-bound voyage - you don't have to pay for this but do need a ticket (something we were not aware of) - if you don't get a ticket, wait until the other tenders have left and they provided another tender for those passengers left who wanted to go. It's a very pretty area in spectacular scenery and worth seeing. The excursion to the North Cape was very good, made better by our guide "Bob" who provided a very funny commentary to our trip there and back. The excursion to Hammerfest was also interesting, if not as funny! Sailing through the Trollfjord area was also a highlight with snow-covered mountains. The main thing we enjoyed was sailing along with a book, looking at all the different landscapes. It's also good to stretch your legs when the boat is in port for an hour or so. We enjoyed the Gatherings held by the Expedition Team in the evenings - very informative and also got to see the photos taken by various passengers during the day. It was worthwhile having the package including free coffee, although the bar and coffee machine on deck 7 was only open from 4 pm - the café on deck 4 was open 24 hours. Tap water is OK to drink from the cabins and also free in the restaurants. There is a list of the days activities available from the Expedition Team area every evening, also next day's menu at the front of the restaurant. We asked for a table for 2 from the restaurant manager for the evening meal and this was provided without any trouble - otherwise you sit on a table with other passengers and keep that table for the whole cruise. On the minus side, the trips are very expensive, as are the beer and wine packages. It was difficult to get a seat when there were no trips and everyone was on the boat. It was also very busy in the restaurant at such times for breakfast and lunch. The big complaint I have is that we waited over an hour to check-in to our Titan Airway flight in Bergen on the way home. This is really unacceptable and should be addressed. Otherwise, check-in and check-out on the boat was very well organised. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We went on our first cruise with friends and didn’t want a cruise where we had to dress up for dinner. The brochure made this sound perfect and we thought we’d give it a go. We had high expectations and they were exceeded. Ship ... Read More
We went on our first cruise with friends and didn’t want a cruise where we had to dress up for dinner. The brochure made this sound perfect and we thought we’d give it a go. We had high expectations and they were exceeded. Ship marvellous, outstanding and very hard working staff and wonderful excursions. Food excellent and so many choices. We loved every minute even in changing weather, rain and cold climate. The Expedition Team are fabulous - they brought enthusiasm to all they did and were happy to help. We hope to be back to Hurtigruten for a cruise in the future. Would thoroughly recommend. It thoroughly exceeded our high expectations. We saw so many wonderful places and the excursions were amazing - Sami culture, an amazing marble mine, a Lofoten fishing village and so many more choices. Visiting the North Cape was wonderful but cold! I can not recommend highly enough. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We had a fantastic time on the MS Nordlys. Even though this is one of the Hurtigruten ships that has not yet been renovated, the facilities were still very comfortable and appealing. We were amazed how creatively the cabin was designed to ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on the MS Nordlys. Even though this is one of the Hurtigruten ships that has not yet been renovated, the facilities were still very comfortable and appealing. We were amazed how creatively the cabin was designed to create the maximum amount of space. The embarkation and disembarkation went very, very smoothly. The same was true for the dining room and other facilities. The ship operated very efficiently and effectively. The dinner menu featured fresh fish with an outstanding and creative use of local ingredients. The crew and staff were absolutely topnotch, friendly, courteous, professional, and fluent in a number of languages, especially English and German. Because it is a ferry ship as well as a postal ship, a Hurtigruten ship like MS Nordlys has a number of responsibilities as it makes its way up and down the Norwegian coast. That is not typical for a cruise ship. But for passengers, it means that you get to see how a working ship operates, including a test of the lifeboats. If you are interested in a cruise with pools, organized games, and live entertainment on board, then this is not the cruise for you. If you are interested in seeing the beauty of the natural world every single day, then you should definitely consider it. The Expedition Team added an educational element to the cruise with periodic evening lectures and short talks on "Points of Interest." I attended more of these than most passengers, because I appreciated the additional information about the geology, ecology, and Norwegian culture. Our Hurtigruten cruise was definitely the highlight of our entire time in Norway. I would absolutely book again. It's not entirely clear from their booking website, but you can embark and disembark at different points, not just at the main terminals of Bergen and Kirkenes. This makes is possible to design your own trip. We found, however, that the northbound trip from Bergen to Kirkenes provided a good amount of time. Anything shorter would have felt too rushed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Always wanted to do the Norwegian coastal voyage *NOTE* NOT 'Norwegian fjords' -the only option listed on this supposedly comprehensive site!! Bought as inside no-single-supplement, but upgraded to outside with portholes on ... Read More
Always wanted to do the Norwegian coastal voyage *NOTE* NOT 'Norwegian fjords' -the only option listed on this supposedly comprehensive site!! Bought as inside no-single-supplement, but upgraded to outside with portholes on deck 2. Embarking/ disembarking both very efficient and well organised. Cruise card for on board expenses. Ship is mid 90s and mid sized for hurtigruten - easy to get around, cosy, not too big. Due for refurb next spring. No problems getting seats in any lounges. Other passengers mainly older, on full round trip, with younger doing local trips, along with native norwegians. No problems with being a single passenger, felt comfortable at all times - plenty of others travelling alone. Cabin more than adequate, portholes a boon. Some would not like low deck (some ship noise - but hey if you don't like waves slapping against the hull, don't come on a ship! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
To see the fjords north of Norway and all the small ports of call onboard a "coast cruiseliner" during wintertime. It is the company's 150 years aniversery Embarcation and disembarcation vent smoothly Ports and ... Read More
To see the fjords north of Norway and all the small ports of call onboard a "coast cruiseliner" during wintertime. It is the company's 150 years aniversery Embarcation and disembarcation vent smoothly Ports and Shore excursions were well organised but far too expensive. A cruise of adventures which you need to do once in your lifetime In the lounges it was calm and relaxing and from time to time breath taking scenery ,mountains covered with snow and ice,and near sea level small assembling of houses. The weather shifted between snowfalls, snowstorm and sun,and during the nights we expected to see "aurora-the nothernlights" but it did not show up ( overcasted). The food was excellent for breakfast as well as luch, so was dinner too. The excursion team had in the afternoon a lession for the days events and an information for the following day. Also lessions of the "Hurtigrutens " beginning with its history up to day was given. You cannot miss this unique opportunity to be so close to the nature and at the same time so safe onboard this lovely ship Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Embarkation was in Bergen and I took a early flight to explore Bergen. I was happy I could get rid of my luggage at 13hrs to go into town. It’s a nice town. We disembarked on a Saturday and the weather was lovely and Bergen was vibrant ... Read More
Embarkation was in Bergen and I took a early flight to explore Bergen. I was happy I could get rid of my luggage at 13hrs to go into town. It’s a nice town. We disembarked on a Saturday and the weather was lovely and Bergen was vibrant than. A lot of people, full terraces: great! The voyage itself was awesome! The itinerary was unbelievable beautiful. Maybe because it was in the spring but we had a lot of snow but also were able to sit in the sun on deck. One of my best trips ever! The staff are overall are very kind and helpful. And they make the difference in my opinion. Catherina at the bar, the expedition team. People you remember. Also I like the fact that this Hurtigruten trip is of use to the people of Norway..Not just one of the too large cruise ships who look ugly in the landscape. There is to much fresh food 3 times a day :) Just visit the fjords of Norway. Just so amazing beautiful. Read Less
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