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660 Hurtigruten Cruise Reviews

We hoped to see the Aurora and experience the stunning arctic scenery. We chose the 7-day Northbound cruise with flights back to the UK from Kirkenes. The prices for the excursions were very high, nevertheless we chose the dog-sledding ... Read More
We hoped to see the Aurora and experience the stunning arctic scenery. We chose the 7-day Northbound cruise with flights back to the UK from Kirkenes. The prices for the excursions were very high, nevertheless we chose the dog-sledding as an experience of a lifetime. It lived up to expectations. The 'Cathedral tour' at one town though, was priced at over £100pp - we decided to walk the half mile from the boat instead and paid the £12 entry fee. It was the same with several other expensive 'walking tours' of small towns/villages - we simply explored ourselves. Other activities billed as lasting 2.5hours failed to mention 1 hour coach transfers etc. On board the breakfasts and buffet-style lunches were quite good, but repetitive each day. There was no* choice on the dinner menu - a set 3 courses each day; and the quality was unremarkable given the eloquence of the written description of the dishes on the menu. (*If you really didn't want what was on offer for a given evening, it was possible to ask for 'the alternative' by prior arrangement by lunchtime that day) A £100+ 'drinks package' bought just 3 bottles of wine - and individually a pint of beer varied between £10 - £12.25 (on shore, even in the more remote villages the price was only £7.50) The bar on board was only available after 3.00pm and was the only place to get free coffee during the day outside meal times) All in all, most things were overpriced and struggled to live up to to their descriptions in the brochure. HOWEVER - the scenery was stunning throughout, and the 'Expedition Team' were knowledgeable, lively and positive, and keen to help guests get the most out of their voyage. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Cruise to see Northern Lights and Norwegian coastline This was a Christmas present for my wife who had to cancel due to her sisters bereavement 2 weeks prior to departure. Hurtigruten were most unsympathetic and inflexible, they ... Read More
Cruise to see Northern Lights and Norwegian coastline This was a Christmas present for my wife who had to cancel due to her sisters bereavement 2 weeks prior to departure. Hurtigruten were most unsympathetic and inflexible, they would not refund the cost, or change names on tickets to allow use by someone else, or defer the dates. In the end to avoid losing all the money I travelled alone and have been trying to claim my wife's costs back from the insurance company. However I need a letter from Hurtigruten confirming cancellation and that my wife did not travel to do this, and despite asking 3 times on board and emailing them I did not get the courtesy of a reply until after I arrived home, they obviously find administration too onerous and are not interested in customer service once they have been paid. I would not recommend anyone using this cruise line because of this, which is a shame because the venues are interesting and staff helpful apart from in "customer service" The food is good and well presented and cooked but there is no choice at dinner, so if you do not like fish it is a problem. The breakfast and lunch buffets are very good with a lot more choice. If you like a beer or wine you need a large budget or bring your own ! Many of the ports of call are just 15 minute stops to deliver / collect mail and goods so there is no option to disembark here, however the main ports like Trondheim and Tromso offer more time to explore. The excursion team are the best thing about Hurtigruten, they are knowledgeable and entertaining, however the excursions are overpriced. Unlike traditional cruise lines there is no evening entertainment on board. To sum up, a poor and inflexible booking policy, decent food and staff , the ship is a cross between ferry and cruise ship Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Even though we saw them on 3 nights, be aware - Northern lights are NOT coloured to the naked eye. If your cabin is on the gangway side you get woken in the middle of the night with all the stops. Not enough to do on board except sit ... Read More
Even though we saw them on 3 nights, be aware - Northern lights are NOT coloured to the naked eye. If your cabin is on the gangway side you get woken in the middle of the night with all the stops. Not enough to do on board except sit in the lounge area, some good talks and films. Board games available. The gangway area and walk path to coaches were not treated, so snow and ice v. slippery. Not yet a 'cruise' line as it advertises itself. No medical facilities Twin/single cabins have a large metal handle on the side of bed making getting in and out difficult. Buffet meals were good, but if lunch was a buffet, dinner was a fixed (no choice) menu served slowly and lukewarm. Excursions over-priced. Small poorly equipped gym MS Nordlys is the most recently refitted Hurtigruten ship but Hurtigruten can't seem to decide if they are still a Post ship with lots of short stops, or a Cruise line Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Visits to wildlife in Falklands, South Georgia, South Orkneys, South Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula. Also history of these places. Tremendous experiences of penguins, seals, whales, birds and some flora. Magnificent geographical scenery ... Read More
Visits to wildlife in Falklands, South Georgia, South Orkneys, South Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula. Also history of these places. Tremendous experiences of penguins, seals, whales, birds and some flora. Magnificent geographical scenery with mountains, glaciers and all the features one would expect of cold climates. Onboard service is excellent with wide range of buffet and set menu food throughout voyage, in fact too much food so weight was put on! Excursions were extremely well organised and the team coped with some difficult landings and some guests who were not as mobile as they needed to be. The expedition team leader was always looking to provide landings and experiences for guests. This was possible due to the small size of the ship (about 200 guests) which allows the ship access to all possible landing sites. The sites visited did not exactly match the brochure, but this was due to weather systems dictating exactly where it was best for the ship to go. Great friendly service of the ship hotel staff. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We actually took the complete 11 day trip to/from Bergen (not 6 days as above). We had been on the same trip previously and so enjoyed the experience, we wanted to go again. This is unusual for us, as we like to go to different places. ... Read More
We actually took the complete 11 day trip to/from Bergen (not 6 days as above). We had been on the same trip previously and so enjoyed the experience, we wanted to go again. This is unusual for us, as we like to go to different places. So it was a special memory. All the crew we came into contact with were most courteous, kind, helpful and cheerful. The Expedition team provided many interesting and enjoyable sessions daily. Thank you very much. The food, again, was delicious. Always plenty of choice at buffet breakfast and lunch, with beautifully presented served meals at dinner. The multiple sittings at dinner allowed us to really enjoy an almost Michelin starred experience each day. The weather was much better than the previous trip, but the Northern Lights were not co-operating very well this time - very late and very quick. Our "mini-suite" was very comfortable and we particularly praise Hurtigruten for their decisions to be super-friendly to the environment by allowing us to restrict cabin servicing to days of our choice - not just the usual "save the towels". Well done Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Trip was recommended by a travel agent, it was also chance to see the Northern Lights. We didn't want a big cruise ship for our first cruise, we also wanted a trip to the Arctic Circle we this trip provided. The trip to the main port ... Read More
Trip was recommended by a travel agent, it was also chance to see the Northern Lights. We didn't want a big cruise ship for our first cruise, we also wanted a trip to the Arctic Circle we this trip provided. The trip to the main port in the Arctic cancelled due to the weather which was very disappointing. The lights made a very brief appearance which also added to the frustration, I accept we were at the mercy of mother nature and the weather which wasn't ideal. Cloudy, rain and fog on the way up brighter on the return leg. Trip lasted 12 days, I wouldn't do 12 days again, 7 would've been enough, Facilities onboard were limited but we knew that beforehand, it is a relatively small, working ship, more like a ferry. The food onboard was excellent and they catered for all tastes. Limited time to explore the various ports we visited. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have chosen this cruise in Winter to see the arctic and the northern lights. We did the Route Bergen - Kirkenes - Trondheim. Embarkation in Bergen was easy and it had a luggage service. The ship is not to big and for our opinion a ... Read More
We have chosen this cruise in Winter to see the arctic and the northern lights. We did the Route Bergen - Kirkenes - Trondheim. Embarkation in Bergen was easy and it had a luggage service. The ship is not to big and for our opinion a good decision to travel. We had a cabin with a king size bed. The crew is very friendly and helpful. The dining is very good. At Breakfast and Lunch is served a buffet. You can book some excursions, but it´s not cheap. We did three excursion. An Arctic coastal walk, Dogsledding and Midnight concert. All are amazingly. The Ship has an Expedition Team on board. The Team give very interesting informations about the excursions, the historic and life in Norway. You can do excursions at several ports by your own, because the ports mostly directly near the city center. If you travel in Winter you need good clothing. We will do the cruise in winter again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The expeition portion of the was excellent (going ashore), which only last about 60 to 90 minutes. The rest of your time became very boring!!!!!!! Going to the next day presentation was difficult, because the person attempting to speak ... Read More
The expeition portion of the was excellent (going ashore), which only last about 60 to 90 minutes. The rest of your time became very boring!!!!!!! Going to the next day presentation was difficult, because the person attempting to speak English, used "ah" about every third word they spoke. We were on deck 5 (room 565), every morning you left your cabin, you had to smell burnt garlic, because the galley is directly above you. There is no entertainment on the ship at all, unless you count the girl playing the piano in the evening. She was so bad they offered the piano up, if you wanted to play it. These were not worst part of our journey; the food sucks, unless you like fish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The fish they served was extremely fishy tasting, which probably explains, why they cook garlic all day long. They make a joke about the food, saying "you came for the destination, not the food." This cruise did not have many from the USA, maybe we hold food to a higher standard. Add to the fact your serving yourself, for almost all the meals, because it a buffet.It didn't help matters, that my wife and I caught the Norvirus, the last Sea Day. We are just getting over the symptoms. If you already have made final payment, watch out for the lettuce, in the salads, a lot of old stuff, they try to serve. The kind that's turning brown and even black!!! Plus bring your own salad dressing, theirs are really bad. We cruise a lot, Elite Plus with Celbrity, but we've also sailed with Carnival, Royal Cribbean, Azamara, and Cunard, about 60 cruises. Hurtigruten would rank below all of them. The only reason we sailed with them, was to actually stand on Antarctica. The cruise was too long, it could have been shorten 3 or 4 days. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
A state of the art ship, with a state of the art crew. Not your typical cruise with food, entertainment, and gambling being the focus points. This was more of an expedition, with emphasis on education and broadening your appreciation of ... Read More
A state of the art ship, with a state of the art crew. Not your typical cruise with food, entertainment, and gambling being the focus points. This was more of an expedition, with emphasis on education and broadening your appreciation of environment, with an extremely knowledgeable group of people to help you accomplish that goal. They came from an international background and wide range of first hand experiences Germaine to their specialties. The cuisine was more European than American, with ample portions and choices. Not a large choice of comfort foods, (like pizza and Mac and cheese), but you will not go hungry. Landings and excursions were dependent on weather conditions, but the crew did their best to make them happen, and they were wonderful. If wildlife is important to you, this experience will serve you well. A multitude of penguins, (we saw six different species), seals, whales and a variety of flying birds comprised our viewing pleasure. A great trip! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because as a geographer I have always been interested in traveling to Antarctica. We have had previous experience traveling on Hurtigruten ships. We feel the company does an excellent job, and our experience has always ... Read More
We chose this cruise because as a geographer I have always been interested in traveling to Antarctica. We have had previous experience traveling on Hurtigruten ships. We feel the company does an excellent job, and our experience has always been positive. The crew of the Roald Amundsen was very attentive to our needs, from the wait staff in the dining rooms, to the steward who made sure our stateroom was serviced daily, to the front desk staff, expedition team, medical department, tender boat crews, and all of the scientists and experts who presented the lectures aboard ship. This was truly the experience of a lifetime, one that we will remember for the rest of our lives. We would especially like to thank Daniel, from the Aune Restaurant for taking such good care of us, and our evening waiter Zuni who also did a great job. We especially enjoyed the talent show put on by the crew. We had gotten to know many of these folks during our time on board, and it was great to see them in this capacity. The pre-boarding tour of Punta Arenas was very well done. The local guide was informative and interesting. The check-in experience on the ship went very well, and we learned that our cabin had been upgraded. Our dining experience was certainly positive. The food offered was excellent, with plenty of choice to satisfy any kind of palate. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This is our first trip with Hurtigruten ( Bergen - Kirkenes - Bergen) 1. Kirkenes - Bergen - Many ports skipped during return trip due to bad weather. 2. Very comfortable cabin. 3. My wish for every dinner is fulfilled. 4. ... Read More
This is our first trip with Hurtigruten ( Bergen - Kirkenes - Bergen) 1. Kirkenes - Bergen - Many ports skipped during return trip due to bad weather. 2. Very comfortable cabin. 3. My wish for every dinner is fulfilled. 4. Breakfast could be improved (Eg: additional Asian cuisine on board) 5. Very friendly and knowledgable personnel on board. 6. Expensive excursions (could be improved with price). ( Eg: Husky rides done not as described in book !!! ) 7. Northern light not sighted during entire trip due to bad weather. But Hurtigruten promised a FOC trip ( 7D Bergen - Kirkenes or 6D Kirkenes - Bergen) 8. On board entertainment could be improved by adding more physical activities like games, birthday parties, bingo, etc. 9. Drink and food price could be lowered due to duty tax free. ( 0,75 Liter wine is minimum 50€ Per bottle ; 0,6Lbeer is 12€; Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My woman and I had an excellent cruise in summer 2017 with MS Midnatsol to Norway's fjords, so we wanted to make another cruise to see the northern lights in Norway. It was sometimes adventurous and challenging, because the weather ... Read More
My woman and I had an excellent cruise in summer 2017 with MS Midnatsol to Norway's fjords, so we wanted to make another cruise to see the northern lights in Norway. It was sometimes adventurous and challenging, because the weather was more stormy than in many years before. So the agenda of some days had again to be scheduled. My compliments to our tourist guide and the hotel manager who cooperated very well and proved to be very skilful to convince us that an alteration was reasonable. Big storm force and heavy sea are undeniable arguments. Nevertheless we experienced a fine and unforgettable journey. To see the winter landscape around the Norwegian fjords is a monumental event. We also were well-informed when northern lights appeared. It's a good feeling to make such a cruise with an always reliable and polite staff. I have no criticism concerning the ship, our outside cabin, the dining and the service. The dining was opulent, and we enjoyed to have many choices. We had as much activities as we wanted, for we had the opportunity to listen to interesting presentations. We were fully pleased by the service of the staff, for example dirty bed clothes in the cabin were immediately changed. We like to read books and prefer them for our entertainment. So we often read in the panorama room. When we needed more books we found interesting fiction books in the Trollfjord library room. I only regret that some shore excursions and shore leaves were not possible. I think this is a fine cruise for adults, but not suitable for little children and not for people who want to have a cruise trip with much entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chilean Fjords, Antarctica and Falklands - Great Explorers and Wildlife Thursday, December 26, 2019 – Sunday, January 12, 2019 Ship: MS Roald Amundsen Cabin: 719 General Comments: All transfers with guides, on buses or ... Read More
Chilean Fjords, Antarctica and Falklands - Great Explorers and Wildlife Thursday, December 26, 2019 – Sunday, January 12, 2019 Ship: MS Roald Amundsen Cabin: 719 General Comments: All transfers with guides, on buses or vans were well administered. Hostesses at the pre and post hotel the Intercontinental in Santiago de Chile were very helpful and virtually there early morning to late evening. My husband, who left his hearing aids in our room actually got them back. They were waiting for him on our return with his name in giant letters. You could not have asked for any better organization. An additional guard for luggage security was present. In most cases the luggage was transferred with the passengers. Water, coffee and tea with snacks was available as well as an early morning breakfast on the day we had our flights to Punta Arenas. Pre and Post Hotel: The Intercontinental Santiago de Chile was excellent. Breakfasts which were included were substantial and of good quality. Omelets were an option if you wanted one. The hotel bar food and drinks were very good, especially the pizza with everything on it and the vodka martini’s. Flights: On American, non stop Dallas to Santiago de Chile operated without issues. However, it would be our opinion that offering a cocktail to premium economy passengers and then serving them dinner before they could even drink that cocktail needs to be changed. Being an ex stewardess, unless things have changed, the head stewardess determines how the flight will be worked. In this instance if you wanted a glass of wine with dinner, well that was not going to happen. Latam Charter Flights: Flights were without issue. The food was horrible. Half a loaf of bread with no mayo or mustard. I ended up cutting mine in thirds and putting all of the meat and cheese on the sandwich on that third. We were given a container of jelly, butter, crackers and unripened fruit. Ugh! Ship: MS Roald Amundsen, a hybrid ship, I believe the first of it’s kind. I was fascinated with what our ship could do. No anchors, the captain just told the computer to stay there and it did. Propellers that have the ability to go 360 degrees so the ship can back up, turn left or right or whatever the captain desires. An incredible vessel. Battery and diesel powered. Each night the expedition team would tell us what plan “A” would be for the next day. Mind you they had plans’ A, B, C and D if we needed them. Lucky us we did plan “A” everyday and had beautiful, sunny days and around 30 degrees of summer weather. The expedition team gave us talks on explorers, whaling, penguins, whales, icebergs. We all came back so much smarter. Every morning the expedition team would scout out the site for that days landing, also having enough emergency supplies on hand in case we had to spend the night on shore due to some freak weather event. We would go ashore in zodiacs that held 14 people and the ship was divided into teams. No more than 100 people on Antarctica at a time so we would start going ashore at 10 or 11 and that would continue until 4 or 5pm with people coming and going. When we returned to the ship our special Muc boots would be washed by brushes we stepped into and then we would step into an anti-bacterial wash for the bottoms. Hurtigruten is extremely careful not to impact Antarctica in any way. When we arrived on board if you had new clothes all was good, if you were wearing previously worn items they had to be taken to a special area where all the seams, pockets and hiding places would be vacuumed, no hitchhiking bacteria on Antarctica. You could also kayak, spend the night on Antarctica and do the polar plunge if you were so inclined. Food: Let me first say this ship is worthy a five star rating, unfortunately food on board for the most part deserves a three star rating. I hope they will work to improve the restaurant venues. In spite of the restaurant foods, I would highly recommend this ship and sailing to all my friends. The chef prepared a hot soup every day and all of these were delicious. We also were treated to a pasta dish of the day which was also yummy. The cold sea foods were plentiful and of good quality. If you wanted to have smoked salmon three times a day you could, and my husband usually did. The Lindstrom was promoted as their best restaurant but in my opinion the food was uninspired in preparation and presentation. Their most interesting offering being a starter called Smoked Shrimp which when opened smoke came forth. Very clever. This kitchen would benefit from serving aged beef in it's steak offerings. The best dish was a duck breast which would have been better with a seared exterior and keeping a medium rare interior still pink. The Aune was the main dining restaurant and was fair except with casserole prepared dishes that were allowed to dry out to the elements and so become rather unappetizing. The Fredheim was where one could get a hamburger if you just had to have one. Of course, you could not have fries or potato chips but instead were offered a baked potato with your burger. Bizarre to say the least. I am a graduate of Cordon Bleu Paris with a Grand Diplome, it is my opinion that the Lindstrom would benefit from either smaller plates for the main course or adding more to the presentation so the whole doesn't appear as not enough food on the plate. Enough about food. This Hybrid ship and it's crew gave us 110% every day. You need to put this trip on your to do list. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Everything from start to finish was fantastic on this cruise. The transfers between the airport and the hotel in Santiago, and between Santiago and Punta Arenas, were seamless. Embarkation and disembarkation were both a breeze. But the ... Read More
Everything from start to finish was fantastic on this cruise. The transfers between the airport and the hotel in Santiago, and between Santiago and Punta Arenas, were seamless. Embarkation and disembarkation were both a breeze. But the best part, by far, was the cruise itself. The ship was beautifully appointed, and offered all the latest technology. Our cabin was much larger than any that we've had on an ocean or river cruise, and very efficiently laid out. We were completely comfortable for the 16 nights. The food was absolutely fabulous, with plenty of selections at every meal, and a nice variety of vegetarian options. This isn't your typical cruise in that there is no entertainment, per se, although the crew did put on some pretty entertaining musical performances. Since we were on board over New Year's Eve, the hotel manager arranged a really fun celebration. But other than that, the entertainment was limited to lectures by the very knowledgeable expedition team, and the excursions themselves - so much better than playing bingo or watching a Newlywed Game! The nature of this cruise requires that you be very flexible and keep a positive attitude. There are a lot of unknowns with the weather, so plans can change very quickly. That's part of the fun! The expedition team and the rest of the crew were very organized and kept us well-informed of what to expect. Safety was always the first priority. Even though we had some bad weather days, the team managed to arrange landings that provided for absolutely spectacular interactions with wildlife, and incredible scenery. For most people, a trip to Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, so I would highly recommend trusting that experience to Hurtigruten and the MS Roald Amundsen. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We sailed on the December 27th departure. In truth, the trip exceeded our expectations. The ship is beautiful, large rooms, ample space in public areas for viewing the outside scenery. Every convenience...like lots of outlets to charge ... Read More
We sailed on the December 27th departure. In truth, the trip exceeded our expectations. The ship is beautiful, large rooms, ample space in public areas for viewing the outside scenery. Every convenience...like lots of outlets to charge batteries and strong, free wifi 24/7, bathrobes and heated bathroom floor. The expedition team (22 in all) were specialists in all the relevant natural history fields and offered several lectures a day that could be enjoyed on the big screen TV in the cabin or in the lecture hall. One person gave an excellent series of lectures on the history of specific explorers. Communications from the team were excellent. Landings were perfectly executed and even though it was one per day...that proved enough for us. The food was amazing and I can not imagine anyone finding fault, given there were so many choices. We had a tour of the bridge and the ship's officers were visible, friendly and available for questions. They also sat in the dining room for lunch. All other crew members were service oriented and hard working. Could not have done more for us. We had 9 landings in all and also docked in Stanley for the day. Camping, kayaking and snow shoeing were also offered at additional cost. After a morning landing on Petermann island we were scheduled to do zodiac cruising in the afternoon but it was cancelled because of moving ice. We actually bumped our way through floating, dense ice in the zodiacs on the way to Petermann. I was happy with the experience we had there. Otherwise it was landings once a day. The bay was full of icebergs and easy to see from the ship. There were 7 landings in Antarctic and 2 in the Falklands on privately owned islands (sheep farms) which had amazing albatross colonies and rock hopper penguins. If you want to google them it was Carcass Island and West Point Island. We had tea and snacks at the farmers home after our trek to the rookeries. On the day in Stanley we booked a ship excursion for $149 to Bluff Cove Lagoon to see King Penguins which was excellent and we had OBC to use up. Later we had time to walk through Stanley and the ship had non stop shuttles from the dock to downtown. The Antarctic landings were Yankee Harbor, Mikkelsen Harbor, Danco Island, Orne harbor, Damoy Point, Petermann island and Deception Island. A google search will show the beautiful setting and history of these locations. We were so worried about the number of landings before the cruise and also wanted to do zodiac cruising near arched icebergs (yes, we saw wonderful arched icebergs), but in the end the ship got us very close to penguins on icebergs, humpback whales, seals etc. The deck 6 view points are very close to the water and we maneuvered through spectacular scenery. Naturalists are on deck 7 and 10 and very informative. It was very sunny most days. Bring sunglasses and sun block. I know I sound like an advertisement. Decisions about landings were made on a daily basis because of weather etc. but we landed every day. Each night we were given a detailed briefing about the next day. The daily events newsletter was delivered to staterooms at night and were on the TV in the room as well. Just a footnote...there is no on board entertainment other than a crew show. But that was not the reason we took an expedition cruise and we were very busy all day with landings, dining and enrichment lectures. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Hurtigruten offered the best Antarctica cruise available in a brand new technologically advanced hybrid ship. The ship is new, modern, extremely quiet and good for the environment. We visited excursion sites that other ships are not able ... Read More
Hurtigruten offered the best Antarctica cruise available in a brand new technologically advanced hybrid ship. The ship is new, modern, extremely quiet and good for the environment. We visited excursion sites that other ships are not able to get to. We were the southernmost cruise ship in the world for part of the voyage. The staff was excellent - both the hotel staff and the excursion staff. The Penguins were everywhere and adorable. The views were completely amazing. I felt very safe and well taken care of. I was amazed that we had internet the entire trip in such a remote place. I didn't feel like a number or someone to be sold to like on other cruises. The team was very focused on educating us and providing a great experience. Having never been on an expedition cruise before I was delighted. I couldn't have been happier with the trip and the value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Already the third winter trip with one of the old, small, listed ship of the Hurtigrute. The mood on the Norwegian coast is particularly romantic at this time: every day is like Christmas day. However, violent storms and hurricanes must ... Read More
Already the third winter trip with one of the old, small, listed ship of the Hurtigrute. The mood on the Norwegian coast is particularly romantic at this time: every day is like Christmas day. However, violent storms and hurricanes must be expected in winter. The MS Lofoten has no stabilizers, so the ship can have violent movement. But it is very safe! Living together on board is very familiar. The staff was always friendly and courteous even in heavy weather. Since this ship was built in 1964, the cabins are usually relatively small. Many cabins with their own bathroom with shower and toilet. The cleaning perfectly. The excellent cuisine is particularly positive. Breakfast and lunch as a self-service buffet. Dinner as a four-course menu is served at the table. The Hurtigruten shipping company offers a large number of shore excursions. A trip with the MS Lofoten is especially for people who want to take a "real" boat trip, not in a "skyscraper on water". The MS Lofoten is especially recommended for this group! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We would not have chosen to cruise Norway in the winter but we were travelling with friends who had done this cruise before and were anxious to do it again. The experience was amazing. You would be disappointed if you were expecting the ... Read More
We would not have chosen to cruise Norway in the winter but we were travelling with friends who had done this cruise before and were anxious to do it again. The experience was amazing. You would be disappointed if you were expecting the glitz and glamour of a cruise ship. This is very much a working vessel designed to take and pick up passengers and goods along the Norwegian coast. There is very little in the way of entertainment but lots of great lectures and information about ports of call along the way. We were blessed to have Giske, one of the expedition team, who had a beautiful voice and often played the piano and sang in the lounge after dinner. Our cabin was 350 which was very comfortable and being midships quite stable in the few days that we had rough seas. Meals were delicious. The buffet breakfast and lunch had plenty of choice. Dinner was a set menu most nights and apart from the one night when everyone got vegetarian seemed to be enjoyed by all. It was interesting reading about the dishes in the menu each day. Our cruise was over Christmas and Hurtigruten did Christmas beautifully. We enjoyed learning about Norwegian traditions and trying to sing the Norwegian carols. We didn't see the Northern Lights but that didn't worry us unduly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Antarctica was on our bucket list for a long time. This was a beautiful and truly unspoiled nature. We loved Antarctica. The expedition was great but don’t book or plan to book the optional excursions unless you plan to be ... Read More
Antarctica was on our bucket list for a long time. This was a beautiful and truly unspoiled nature. We loved Antarctica. The expedition was great but don’t book or plan to book the optional excursions unless you plan to be disappointed. When we made our initial booking we were told we could book the optional excursions until the sailing date. Called 2 weeks later to book and were told had to be once we got to the ship and after rushing onboard to book were told to wait and hear a lecture and was a random lottery. Did not get any of our excursions we wanted after much anticipation and daily disappointments as the cabins of who was chosen were displayed. Did not register for camping because was told had to be at least 15 years old but on the night of camping we saw young kids age 9 and 11 go camping Finally got photo cruising last night and it was disaster and crew/staff didn’t care. Photographer was great and tried his best to make it nice but kept getting redirected from bridge and didn’t get any worthwhile time out of ship Left feeling like given misinformation and disappointed Landing are fantastic but time constrained. You will be on land for 1 hour a day approximately There are good lectures on board But seating is difficult There see not enough seats in the auditorium for everyone so get there early Dining- food was good but repetitive. The breakfast and lunch are exactly the same everyday of the trip. Meals are Buffett style and seats are limited at prime meal times Service was excellent. The crew went out of their way to make sure my teenagers had something to eat even if it was cooking just French fries only for them The lectures are the only activities on board. No show. No casino. Bring card games or books to enjoy during downtime Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We just got back from the 2019 “Christmas in the Antarctic with Penguins” on Hurtigruten’s Midnatsol. This is a review meant mostly to give upcoming travelers some tips you may not get elsewhere, but I’ll start by saying it was ... Read More
We just got back from the 2019 “Christmas in the Antarctic with Penguins” on Hurtigruten’s Midnatsol. This is a review meant mostly to give upcoming travelers some tips you may not get elsewhere, but I’ll start by saying it was absolutely fantastic. Great staff all around, very friendly and knowledgeable. Top ratings for food too, which I’d classify as a European menu with lots of variety. Very good fish, tasty meats, fresh breads and cakes every day and more fresh vegetables and fruit than we expected on a 15-day Antarctica itinerary. The coffee was NOT good, though. We brought Starbucks Via packets, which we used as a flavor booster. For $3, you can get a good espresso at the bar, but not in the dining room. There were only two days with fixed time seatings on the entire voyage. All the rest of the meals were buffet style with flexible timings. When you get to the ship, they will give you a Hurtigruten water bottle, so you don’t have to bring one. Their bottle is fine, but we used the ones we brought with us when going on shore. When we got to our rooms, we noticed there were no robes and no bath mat. The bathrobe rental fee is $11 for the whole trip, plus a $90 refundable deposit. You have to make the effort turn in the robe on the day of departure to get the deposit refunded to your account before you leave the ship. As for the bath mat, we found out that they’re “not hygienic,” but we did get an extra towel we could use for the purpose. Just don’t leave it on the floor when you leave the room, since everything on the floor gets collected and sent to the laundry. Speaking about the bathroom floor, it’s heated (use the Vermekabel switch to turn it on; it gets really warm, around 85 degrees f after 45 minutes or so). There is body soap/shampoo and hair conditioner in the shower. The shower head is adjustable in height, maybe two feet up/down. We found the small bathroom was well-designed and worked out fine. The small cabins are fine too, since you’re only in them to sleep and shower. Hurtigruten keeps you busy with hikes and zodiac cruises, usually two per day in our case (one shore drop-off and one zodiac cruise). During the voyage to Antarctica, you’ll have to vacuum any clothing and backpacks you’ll be taking on shore. That’s just done once. The boots they provide are sized using the European system (mine were 42, similar to a men’s size 9 in the US). They give you plenty of time to try on the boots and the waterproof hooded jackets (you keep the jacket at the end of the trip). If you don’t like the first size you picked, no problem, they’ll exchange it for another. The boots were surprisingly comfortable and you’re instructed to wear your waterproof pants over the boots (not tucked inside). They sell the pants and other high quality clothing items in the onboard shop, but the prices are pretty high and sizes somewhat limited, so it’s best to bring what you think you’ll need. If you want to buy some stuffed penguins to bring home, we found the ones in the ship’s shop were very nice and only slightly more expensive than what they sell in Ushuaia. Some other reviewers have commented on how warm the ship is. Definitely bring several short sleeve shirts and a light sweater; you won’t need warm clothing in the ship. Whether or not you’re prone to seasickness, the Drake Passage is some nasty water! We actually passed through a hurricane on the way back and got certificates for the achievement. So bring and use pills or a patch — or at least the things you wear on your wrists (Sea-bands). If you need the pills, you can buy them at the ship’s reception counter. Meclazine pills (same as Bonine) are one dollar. Well worth it! Be sure to take a pill before you start feeling sick. A slight headache is usually the first sign something’s up. Just a few more tips: all the outlets, except one in the bathroom built into the front of the hairdryer, are 220v Euro style plugs, so bring adapters for your phones, etc. Cell phone data service was OK, but spotty. We didn’t buy Wi-Fi so didn’t get the price, but most people who were using it thought is was on the slow side, especially at peak hours. The singer/piano player was great: Gil Silverbird, a really good entertainer who was on his first Antarctica voyage (he usually works the Hurtigruten Norway circuit). The crew really went out of their way to give us a good Christmas celebration, both American and European style. We learned a lot about how to celebrate Christmas in Norway! Oh, and laundry is very expensive (priced per piece) except as you get close to the end, when they have a one day only all-you-can-stuff in one bag special for $16. The self-serve laundromat on the ship is closed on long voyages, so their laundry service is the only one you can use in Antarctica. Re the included flights, the weight limit for carry on baggage is 17 lbs, which was only checked and enforced on the return leg at the Ushuaia airport (checked bag limit is 50 lbs). Note that the Ushuaia flights depart and arrive at the local Buenos Aires airport, not EZE international. To sum up, all-in-all it was a fantastic experience. One last point: It turns out the Midnatsol will be extensively updated in dry dock sometime in 2020-21 and will be rechristened with a new name. So, farewell, it was good to know ya! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I planned his travel with this old, but excellent Lady and her friendly and competent crew along Norway's coasts and the cities, to see the Northern Light an have fantastic meals an dinners, to meet new freinds on board. For deseased ... Read More
I planned his travel with this old, but excellent Lady and her friendly and competent crew along Norway's coasts and the cities, to see the Northern Light an have fantastic meals an dinners, to meet new freinds on board. For deseased people this ship isn't a good idea: no lifts and many stairs! The whole crew incl. the captain and the officers are friendly an help to made all my wishes becomes true - and the weather was with us too! I planned my excursion by myself, but there are enough to book on board too. Maybe they could be less expensive sometimes for passengers with less money. The dining was excellent with a wide chooce meals and allways excellent and enough. There are many ports on the long coast of Norway we landed, but by all bigger cities we have a lot of time to explore the cities by ourselfes or with booked excursions. Thank you Hurtigruten! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We took this cruise because it offered the opportunity to see the Northern Lights which we did on several occasions. Without seeing the lights, my rating would have been lower. The ship through its announcement system (press the ... Read More
We took this cruise because it offered the opportunity to see the Northern Lights which we did on several occasions. Without seeing the lights, my rating would have been lower. The ship through its announcement system (press the information button on your room phone when you want to hear the announcements) lets you know when the lights appear regardless of the time. Our cruise left a day late because of bad weather so the ship did not arrive in port until the day after we were scheduled to depart. As is only fair, the ship did put us up at a hotel and provide dinner and breakfast. Other than that, there was no additional compensation. Would have been classy to give each guest a small on board credit or even a free drink once on board. The ship is going in for a much needed refurbishment in January as while it has some amazing Art Deco details, the cabins and public areas are pretty tired. Hallway carpets are threadbare in places and the cabin carpets are very dirty. In the 10 nights we were on board the ship, our room was never vacuumed, The room itself was functional, we had an Arctic Superior cabin, but we definitely did not want to spend a great deal of time in it. There was a refrigerator and safe in the room which was handy. Glad we are not large people as we don’t know how someone of size would fit in the shower. We kept learning things that should have been explained when we first boarded like the card that is in the slot that turns on the cabin lights is also what you should insert in the door lock slot if you want your cabin serviced. We also learned that if you didn’t want the dinner meal that was being served a particular evening you could request a substitute (request by lunch that day.) The night’s menu is on the table during breakfast and lunch so you can decide if that one choice is what you want. Definitely suggest you substitute on the vegetarian night - the oat mushroom cake was like a hockey puck. We had read many positive comments about the food on the ship, but we found it more hit and miss, The roast salmon was wonderful as was the Arctic char. Fish was always super fresh and usually well prepared. The downside is that if you like your food served hot, you may want to lower your expectations, Regardless of which meal you were having, the food was always luke warm at best. Breakfast was the same every day with the exception that some days there were scrambled eggs in addition to the cold fried egg. Lunch was by far our favorite meal as there was frequently mussels on the buffet as well as different types of fish and fresh salad. If you are doing this journey in the winter definitely bring along add on cleats for your shoes. We learned that every trip someone breaks something slipping on the ice. It was true on our journey as well when someone broke an ankle. My advice would be to take a starboard cabin as the ship always docks (34 times during an 11 night journey) and people, goods and cars join the ship from the port side. While regardless of the side, you frequently feel the ship docking, the noise is much less on the starboard side. As others have said there is no entertainment on board, but we knew that going in. There were several lectures that were good as well as the daily review at 5pm many nights. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Booked on our own flights to and from UK and three days prior to and after the cruise package in Buenos Aries. Time to explore a city we had not visited previously. The cruise package started and finished with charter flights between ... Read More
Booked on our own flights to and from UK and three days prior to and after the cruise package in Buenos Aries. Time to explore a city we had not visited previously. The cruise package started and finished with charter flights between Buenos Aries and Ushuaia. Booked extras via Hurtigruten - Buenos Aries City tour before and Tango Show/meal and trip to Tigre after the cruise. All were excellent tours, if not a little on the pricey side. At Ushuaia, we did the Hurtigruten tours in Tierra del Fuego - the National Park and the hike/ trip to Garibaldi Pass. excellent tours again if not a little pricey. All arrangements went smoothly and were well co-ordinated. The whole package is highly recommended. Given the nature of the region visited, the plan/s had to be changeable but there was always a landing or a small boat cruise and the Expedition team were always striving hard to provide alternatives. Just being at some of the locations we visited was a privilege and a joy. It couldn't be measured in time spent ashore as the experience was a big part of the reward for taking the trip. There was a rightly proper emphasis on bio-security - thorough cleaning of provided welly boots and jackets prior to landings to prevent/reduce biological cross-contamination. The other bio-hazard: that of eating at buffets wasn't perhaps so well addressed. It was mentioned twice during the cruise at briefings. Hand hygiene: soap/water and hand-gels were provided but their use not policed thus there were often passengers entering the dining area without using any of these facilities. Buffets also have the potential for cross-contamination not only of bacteria or viruses but also allergens and food intolerance agents. Often there were not enough tongs or spoons or spoons too short for food containers. Spoons fell in to be retrieved by passenger fingers. To be fair, even where there were enough implements, I observed all to frequently, passengers just helping themselves to communal food containers using their fingers. These have been addressed to the company and shouldn't mar an otherwise very well organized expedition cruise which had taken account of health and safety in so many ways. The cruise had plenty of lectures and activities to suit all tastes. I would certainly go again and recommend the Fram as an excellent vessel (with a capacity of about 200 passengers) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Personal recommendation Excellent in every way - instructive, active, enjoyable. The programme of daily activities was very good - interesting, relevant, educational - during our days at sea. On days of landing we enjoyed morning and ... Read More
Personal recommendation Excellent in every way - instructive, active, enjoyable. The programme of daily activities was very good - interesting, relevant, educational - during our days at sea. On days of landing we enjoyed morning and afternoon landings (not possible on bigger ships where numbers landing are limited) and if it was not possible to land (due to swell or ice conditions ) either an alternative site was chosen or we were offered small boat cruises which were always interesting. We had opportunities for walking, camping, taking a 'polar plunge' , kayaking, visiting places of interest eg base stations, museums, old whaling stations and, of course, observing the amazing wildlife. Life on board the ship was comfortable, well organised and we were very well looked after. The food and service in the restaurant were excellent and social activities, including the Christmas celebrations, were all well planned and added to our enjoyment of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We wanted to do the Classic Northern Lights cruise - no dressing up for dinner or Captain's table rubbish for us! This was perfect - we took a few excursions - a local brewery, the Russian border, and a vintage tramride - but ... Read More
We wanted to do the Classic Northern Lights cruise - no dressing up for dinner or Captain's table rubbish for us! This was perfect - we took a few excursions - a local brewery, the Russian border, and a vintage tramride - but otherwise we were mooching around little Norweigan ports with all their Xmas lights, chatting to people, and sleeping during the day when it got dark. We had a fab time and even saw the Aurora a few times coming back southbound. The food was excellent - I'm vegan and they did lots of delicious choices for me - with massive buffets for breakfast and lunch and a sitdown 3-course dinner. We had no problem finding seats tho I can imagine this may not apply in high season, and we didn't mind where we sat. The mix of nationalities was good and we enjoyed meeting a range of people from different backgrounds. Entertaiment is thankfully not of the cabaret/singer type - the Expedition crew give interesting talks on various aspects of Norway's culture/history and there are daily leaflets of ports being visited, expeditions, and points of interest to view from the deck. And yes, Norway is expensive but we'd paid for the cruise several months before, so decided to do whatever we what we wanted. Beers were approx £12 a pint, spirits approx £8 - we had coffee etc in our cabin and could also get free coffee in the little cafe. The shop has some reasonably priced Tshirts and small gifts. Bring your own lanyard for your cabin swipecard, and definitely bring warm jumpers, insulated and waterproof outside layers anc boots. Spikes/studs are needed for some of the icy paths etc in ports but we generally found the decks OK. The boat itself is pretty warm and lovely - friendly and helpful crew and staff Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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