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Sail Date: March 2019
We had always wanted to travel on the Hurtigruten, and so we booked with the Richard With because it had recently undergone a re-fit. Getting to the ship was so simple. We left from Cardiff airport to Bergen where the coaches we ... Read More
We had always wanted to travel on the Hurtigruten, and so we booked with the Richard With because it had recently undergone a re-fit. Getting to the ship was so simple. We left from Cardiff airport to Bergen where the coaches we waiting to take us to the ship. Unfortunately there were only two people on reception when we arrived at check-in and so we had a long time standing in queue before we could board. The cabins on the Richard With are compact to say the least and can be very noisy during the night as the ship calls at lots of ports during the nights. When it comes to dining, both breakfast and lunch are buffet style with plenty of choice, and dinner is served to you on most nights. Be prepared, if you don't like fish you may find you have little choice. If you usually travel on a larger cruise ship you may be disappointed because there is no entertainment, with just the expedition team giving a daily talk on the weather and what to expect tomorrow. There are many varied excursions on offer which, although quite expensive, take you to many places that you wouldn't visit on a 'normal' cruise. We had pre-booked our excursions which meant everything was paid for before the trip. However, one of our excursions was cancelled due to bad weather and so the ship gave us a letter to take to our travel agent to receive a refund for this trip. There were three of us on the trip, each paying £149 for this particular excursion. It is now over three weeks since we returned from holiday and, despite chasing our agent for the refund, they keep telling us that they are waiting for the ship to refund them before they can refund us. Has anyone else had this problem? What do we do to get our money back? Overall we enjoyed our holiday on the Hurtigruten, but trying to get our money back has left a bad taste in the mouth. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have recently returned from the Hurtigruten Norwegian Classic round trip, on board MS Richard With, 21st February – 4th March, including flights from UK (Manchester). To summarise – this was a fantastic trip, the experience of a ... Read More
We have recently returned from the Hurtigruten Norwegian Classic round trip, on board MS Richard With, 21st February – 4th March, including flights from UK (Manchester). To summarise – this was a fantastic trip, the experience of a lifetime. However it was not perfect – but the few negatives were massively outweighed by the positives. The charter flights (from Manchester) and the transfer to the port, all worked well and seamlessly. I’ve seen some comments about transfer issues – we had none. Checking in took some time (but we arrived together with a plane load of people!) but after that getting to the cabin, and getting luggage delivered, was all great. The cabin, number 568 (P2D, Arctic Superior: Outside cabin. Double bed. Situated on deck 5) was small but very comfortable. Reasonable storage and good shower. We had a window, and people were able to walk past (and look in?), but that was never a major issue. Cabin included tea / coffee and WiFi. Meals were overall very good. Breakfast and lunch were buffet format, with plenty of choice. On a couple of occasions we had to queue waiting for a table, but never too long. For evening meals, which were table service at a set time, we were placed on a table for six. We probably would have preferred a table on our own, but as it turned out, we were sat with two other couples, who were really decent, friendly people. So no worries there. If you wanted to change your evening dining time, the restaurant team would try to accommodate you. We saw a long queue of people wanting to change, and I guess some people did not get the changes they wanted, but it worked fine for us. The evening meal was a set 3 course menu. I really would have liked some choice, but I understand the reasons they keep it relatively simple. The evening meal daily reflected the region we were in, and was – generally – very good. Portions were not over generous, but ample for most. And if you had an intolerance or specific requirement – they do try to accommodate this. The ship – Richard With – was refurbished last year. It is certainly smaller than the mega ships operated by Royal Caribbean etc. but overall – the ship was great. There were a few rough periods at sea, and the ship movement reflected this. So it got a bit uncomfortable (for me) at times. We were impacted by the weather – we were in the port of Bodø for 15 hours, which disrupted the sailing schedule and excursions. On another occasion – it was too rough to dock in Mehamn, and again we missed one of our “highlight” excursions (Snowmobile Trip Into The Polar Night) which was massively disappointing. And we were only told after we had all dressed and were ready to disembark at 0045 in the morning. I guess you have to accept there may be (will be?) weather disruption in the Norwegian Sea during February, so be prepared. But possibly they could have told us sooner about our cancelled Polar Night excursion. We did experience a lot of weather. From the gale force winds mentioned above, to blizzards, to bright sunshine, to calm smooth seas – we had everything. Kept the voyage and scenery interesting. One item to note – the two hot tubs on deck 6 – we made use of these. There is something exhilarating about being in a hut tub when it is snowing! Bit chilly when you get out though!. As most reviewers note – drinks are expensive. Beer starts at about £11 for 600 ml (just over a pint) and wine starts about £48 per bottle. Drinks packages were available – and quite a number of people bought these – but they were expensive and did not seem justified to us. So we drank sparingly (and slowly) which I guess may not be a totally bad thing! As I noted, our excursion plans were disrupted significantly by the weather, in that the two we pre booked were both cancelled. But the excursion team tried hard to re book alternatives. Excursions were very expensive. We eventually did the Husky Sledge Adventure and A Taste of Vesterålen. The Husky sledge adventure included a quick trip to the Kirkenes Snow Hotel, which was a bonus. And the dog sledding was a fantastic trip – a great memory. We booked the Taste of Vesterålen at the last minute, and really enjoyed it. Despite the heavy snow (hence limited visibility) it was an interesting and informative trip. The church at Trondenes is beautiful and interesting, as is the museum close to the church. And driving over the bridge in Sortland as the Richard With is sailing along the sound below was a really memorable moment. We did see the northern lights on two nights (but we were told they were actually visible on three). I guess the displays we saw were not the most spectacular on record – but we did see them. Some people managed to get some good photos (and to be honest – some the photos looked better than the lights in the sky). But it is magical to see the Aurora Borealis. Regarding taking pictures, I only go to grips with setting up my (basic) DSLR on the last night of the lights, when I did get some reasonable pictures. So trying to work out camera settings on a windy, freezing cold, moving deck in the dark is definitely not the best approach. I tried it – not effective. Sort it out ahead of time, and use the settings and tips sheet the excursion team provides. The excursion team were great. Always enthusiastic, knowledgeable and helpful, they were around to help and advise, often with good humour. And in three languages if required! We did not attend all the meetings and presentations, and frankly some did drag on a bit. But certainly the three man team added a lot to the experience of the voyage. The scenery is a massive highlight. They do sell this as the most beautiful cruise on the world – quite a claim. But the scenery is stunning. Because it is a coastal cruise, you are sailing along the coast, and in and out of islands, sometimes through narrow channels, for a lot of the voyage. So the scenery changes constantly. As does the weather. Which gives an incredibly beautiful, ever changing view from the ship. Really incredible. And we did manage to see sea eagles, porpoises, reindeer, cormorants, many sea birds. So – in conclusion – this Hurtigruten round trip is a great experience – so long as you accept that it is not a gin palace luxury cruise on a mega ship. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We went on recommendation from a friend. The cruise is designed for the older person and not really suited for families, certainly not for teenagers. The ship is smaller than a traditional cruise ship but this leads to a more ... Read More
We went on recommendation from a friend. The cruise is designed for the older person and not really suited for families, certainly not for teenagers. The ship is smaller than a traditional cruise ship but this leads to a more personal and friendly atmosphere aboard the ship. There is no traditional entertainment, however the lectures and gatherings are brilliant, entertaining and informative. The ship is also a working ship calling at 34 ports, sometimes at night which can lead to some noise as cargo, cars and passengers may be embarked/ disembarked. Our cabin was on deck 5 on the starboard (right hand) side, which was ideal as all loading/ unloading was on the port (left) side so any noise did not disturb us. The ship had a well fitted exercise room, which we used, male and female saunas, and outdoor hot tubs. The restaurant was superb, with excellent choice of breakfast and lunch buffet and set, mainly traditional meals for dinner. Breakfast and lunch are sit anywhere whilst dinner is set times and tables. There were 6 sittings for dinner ranging from 6pm to 8.30pm, I would advise that you request early or late dinning when making a booking. However we were allocated an 8pm sitting which was far too late for my digestion but when asked for a change we were reallocated a 6.30pm slot sharing a table of 6 with charming company. We did get to see the northern lights on 3 nights although this is obviously dependant on climatic conditions. The excursions off ship that we did were great and well worth what on the face of it looks to be a lot of money. The pick was getting off the ship in the dark early evening and snowmobiling over the mountains, stopping to possibly seeing the northern lights and then continuing to pick up the ship in the next port. Alcoholic drinks on board are very expensive, however at most ports where you could get off the ship for a few hours there were bars or supermarkets where alcoholic drinks could be obtained. Although supposedly not permitted we had no problems taking some on board. In Norway you are allowed 1 litre of spirits and 3 litres of wine duty free, and as you pass through the duty free shops at the airport on the way in you can pick up some supplies to get you started. Overall a brilliant trip which was more an adventure than a holiday, with lots of downtime to relax and chill out and admire the passing scenery from the observation lounge. We are going back in the summer to see how it all looks in the midnight sun Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We aren't cruise holidaymakers and this wasn't a traditional cruise as the ship is more like a ferry than a cruise ship, which was fine for us. We wanted to have a voyage along the Norwegian coast and get the best chance to see ... Read More
We aren't cruise holidaymakers and this wasn't a traditional cruise as the ship is more like a ferry than a cruise ship, which was fine for us. We wanted to have a voyage along the Norwegian coast and get the best chance to see the Northern Lights. The ship travels via 34 different small ports and acts as a means of transport for locals and freight as well as holidaymakers which added to our interest. The stopovers are quite short compared to large cruise holidays. The ship was refurbished last year and was clean, comfortable and well equipped. For a smaller type of ship it was amazingly quiet although some may have found the bow thrusters noisy when pulling up alongside during the night. Our cabin was small but had plenty of storage space and was clean, quiet, and comfortable. Larger passengers would struggle in the shower compartment, though! 'Cheaper' cabins don't have drinks making facilities which is a bit of a disappointment for Brits who expect this everywhere. TV in the cabin was a bonus especially the webcam showing the ship's progress. Larger cabins on Deck 5 had the disadvantage of deck 5 being the promenade deck, so people could walk past the cabin windows day and night. Food was excellent. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style with a selection to suit all tastes, but each day the hot dishes were different so it was never boring. Dinner was a fixed three course menu and based on local Norwegian recipes and produce with an emphasis on fish. Reindeer and local beef and lamb also featured. When I say that my only complaint was the orange juice at breakfast it says a lot! Service from everyone was friendly, very competent and professional. Drinks are extortionate (£15 for a glass of house wine, £11 for a 33cl bottle of beer), but as another passenger said 'that's done my liver some good as I've only had one drink every night'. As it's not a cruise ship there was no entertainment - thank goodness - but the Expedition Team hold talks and information sessions throughout the day which are well worth going to. The onboard shop is very expensive but has some interesting items for sale. Shore excursions are once again very expensive to UK passengers and are variable in standard. They are also quite short because of the short time in port. Dog sledding was fun, but took place in the dark so we couldn't see the scenery, and was quite short. My skimobile trip was cancelled because of the weather but others who took part at other times enjoyed their trips. The 'hikes' were quite short and so expensive for what was offered but worth doing as we wouldn't have had time to research our own walks. Service in all respects was excellent. We had some difficulties contacting Hurtigruten by phone during the booking process, but everything ended up OK. Our big disappointment was not actually seeing the Northern Lights - the main reason for our trip - but this was weather related and can't be put down to Hurtigruten. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to see the northern lights, and visit unknown parts of \Norway, I could not fault the ship or the staff and intinery. My only criticism is the cost of the drinks compared to the UK and the size of the cabin and shower as I am not ... Read More
We wanted to see the northern lights, and visit unknown parts of \Norway, I could not fault the ship or the staff and intinery. My only criticism is the cost of the drinks compared to the UK and the size of the cabin and shower as I am not a big chap but could just about fit in the shower without the curtain cascading water into the bathroom floor. How some of the larger passenger's on board got on I don't know. The food was excellent with a good choice of menu, but at dinner it was a set menu and you got what you were given. The expedition staff were very good and knowledgeable about all the ports we visited. The excursions were very expensive for what you got. And finally the northern fights did not appear, but this was a minor issue as we enjoyed the cruise so much. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
An enjoyable experience overall. Staff polite and friendly. Food good but after a few days became much of the same. But healthy and lots of choice Excursions expensive. Take care with Bodo and Saltistrumen one unless you know the ... Read More
An enjoyable experience overall. Staff polite and friendly. Food good but after a few days became much of the same. But healthy and lots of choice Excursions expensive. Take care with Bodo and Saltistrumen one unless you know the tides will allow you to see the advertised and talked about Maelstrom. We got there and water calm as provervial millpond A rush to get excursions in as stops are mainly very short . Shore time can be shortened as if ship docks later than advertised you still.leave on time. Beds are cabin size and width and not especially comfortable Lots of rough seas . Alcohol prices are extortionate as are souvenirs. So didn't buy much and came back sober. Didn't see lights. So disappointed but will explore the supposed guarantee of a free cruise . The guarantee only offers inside cabin. On dates they offer. Half board and no flights so will check.out price of flights before going ahead. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
To see auroras. We saw auroras in 5 nights with changing colours n it was intense. Dog sledding was fun. Polar excursion was not fun for me. But rest was excellent. Restaurant staff was awesome. They were funny , witty, ... Read More
To see auroras. We saw auroras in 5 nights with changing colours n it was intense. Dog sledding was fun. Polar excursion was not fun for me. But rest was excellent. Restaurant staff was awesome. They were funny , witty, friendly, approachable. We made some good friends n met new people, they were good. We went to see the northern lights and yes we did see them. It was uthe hirusin, dazzling, dancing. It is something to watch n watch again. You gotta be lucky to see it more than once and we were lucky. Announcement is there so you cant miss it. One thing for those who want to book cabins that sometimes it's not a bad idea not go for rich cabins because you will be out a lot but it's personal preference. If i was not working and I had lot of money I would go with their ship various destinations. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise as it was an excellent way to see much of the Norwegian coast in winter. It does not have the usual entertainment of other cruise ships as the Hurtigruten ships are working ships and we found it fascinating to stop at ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was an excellent way to see much of the Norwegian coast in winter. It does not have the usual entertainment of other cruise ships as the Hurtigruten ships are working ships and we found it fascinating to stop at 34 ports in each direction at all times of day and night. The ship was refitted in late 2018 and has a modern airy feel. It could be seen as a little plain compared to some of other ships in the fleet with more opulent décor. WIFI was excellent on board. See below for my cabin review. Breakfast and lunch were both very ample buffets with plenty for all tastes. Dinner was served at a set time with 6 different sittings and your own allocated table. This was an excellent opportunity to try all types of Norwegian cuisine and it was possible to change to a vegetarian option if you preferred. It was not possible to ask for a simpler meal. Few people seemed to be drinking wine at dinner, with the cheapest bottle at almost £50! The waiting-on staff were fantastic, many being trilingual Scandinavians in their 20s. There was no need to dress up for dinner and in fact on the occasions when the Northern Lights were likely to appear, we even wore our warm clothing to the restaurant! The Expedition team were great! They organised talks and demonstrations on-board with plenty of variety to suit most people. The excursions, however, were extremely expensive for the time and content included. We did not join any and preferred to explore the ports we visited with the help of a map and our own research. Had they been cheaper, we would have joined in with some of them. In short...GO if you want scenery and informative talks, peace and a relaxed pace. DON'T GO if you want exciting shows and entertainment, lots to drink and nightlife! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Something different from the Meditteranean. Did some Google research and felt this could be an interesting alternative to meditteranean cruises. Overall very good but there are critiscisms. Ship, staff, cabins, service all excellent. ... Read More
Something different from the Meditteranean. Did some Google research and felt this could be an interesting alternative to meditteranean cruises. Overall very good but there are critiscisms. Ship, staff, cabins, service all excellent. Dining more than excellent with buffets for Breakfast and Lunch, but the single item fixed menu at Dinner would benefit from maybe one additional choice. There is an emphasis on fish particularly cod and salmon with many preperations which would not appear even on a 5 star menu in the UK. Wait staff are very attentive but maybe a little too quick in serving each course if you want a leisurely dinner. There is an "A La Carte" menu in a small seperate dining room but my impression was that you need to be a group to enjoy as any atmosphere was lacking. These critiscims are meant to be positive, I can honestly say I have not had better dining in many a UK restaurant. Entertainment on board is minimal, remember this is a "working ship" and not intended to be a cruise liner with all the bells and jingles of modern cruising. The shore excursions are well organised but a large number are orientated to the "young professionals" and can be quite strenuos not really for the 70+ retirees who might require more comfort. In conversations with other guests the biggest reason for going on this cruise was to see the "Northern Lights" Aurora Borealis. This was also the biggest dissapointment as weather etc. seems to make January a bad month for this activity. In fact weather on this cruise played havoc with several of the shore excursions. I would take this trip again but again the consensus amongst several new found friends was that a tour with shorter periods on Hurtigruten and some Hotel stays at key towns would provide a more interesting itinery. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
It is important to point out that this is not a cruise, but a working ferry that runs Daily from Bergen to Kirkenes, visiting some port in the early hours. If you are a light sleeper, you may find you awake several times in the night, ... Read More
It is important to point out that this is not a cruise, but a working ferry that runs Daily from Bergen to Kirkenes, visiting some port in the early hours. If you are a light sleeper, you may find you awake several times in the night, especially when the side thrusters vibrate going into each dock. This ship had just been refurbished, so the decor was great with a lot of new technology, but had not been finished on time, so we had workman on board through to Christmas Eve, The outside cabins are small, so although expensive, we were so pleased we upgraded to a suite, which are fantastic, with large windows, TV, settee, chairs, fridge & blinds. No safe in the rooms, but you can borrow a hair drier from the reception. The first suite we were given had problems with the lights and after the 4th blackout, we insisted we were moved. I must emphasis that the staff on board this ship could not have been more obliging & helpful, despite suffering huge problems on a daily basis. Although a wine drinker, I must admit I went 12 days without a drop, because I refused to pay £50 for a bottle of wine. Excursions are also expensive, but well organised and easy to book on board. Some of the excursions have to be planned around sailing times, so you may start at one port but taken back on the ship a another port further down. The food on board was excellent and plenty of choice when served as a buffet. Some of the evening meals were served as a fixed menu, where you sat at a specific table with no choice of alternatives. I was a vegetarian, but knew that with such an abundance of fish . meat, my choices would be limited. I made sure I filled up during the breakfast & lunch periods. One evening, my meal was a bit of salad with a tomato. followed by a bowl of soup as my main course and a small bowl of ice cream for desert. If I had to highlight what was best, I would say the "Expedition Team of 3". They worked so hard, in such a friendly way to make sure we were informed, knew what was available & shared with us so much knowledge about Norway, Food, Culture & much much more. They spoke fluently in English, German & Norwegion. They were fun and it was like a big happy family event. I could moan about some issues, but all the staff did their best to make you happy. The country is beautiful, even with the limited light hours. I was amazed that if you came up to a road, the local drivers would always stop & let you cross. Shops were not crowded, you never saw any drunks (even at Christmas), no traffic jams, no homeless and Oh - no Northern Lights. Despite information about this ship, they did have two hot tubs at the back of the ship (deck 4). There is no evening entertainment, but they did bring on a pianist on board and although she could play the piano, her singing switched octaves on a regular basis and although she asked us to sing along with her, the words shoe sand was different to everyone else. They have a fitness room on board, but walking is limited ashore, especially on the southern journey back. You can walk around the ship (deck 5), but when you are on the open sea, it is very difficult to walk around the bow end, for fear of being blown along the deck. Read Less
Richard With Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 1.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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