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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We were attracted to the cruise because we wanted to see the northern lights. We had not been to Norway so an added attraction was to see the fjords. We had not been on a cruise before (apart from an 8 berth cruise around the Galapagos) so ... Read More
We were attracted to the cruise because we wanted to see the northern lights. We had not been to Norway so an added attraction was to see the fjords. We had not been on a cruise before (apart from an 8 berth cruise around the Galapagos) so the idea of being on a working ship with a relatively small group of people on the cruise itself suited us too (we were wary of the idea of a dedicated cruise ship). The journey exceeded our expectations. We saw the lights several times and the scenery was superb. We spent time ashore, mostly under our own steam and so got a good impression of Norwegian coastal towns and villages. The ship is a ferry. It is not a cruise ship. It calls at many ports, some for only 30 minutes and many at night. Trips, talks and entertainment were organised by a crew of 3. The lounges are comfortable. The food is Norwegian and very good. It is a Norwegian ship crewed by Norwegians. It is not a Liberian registered floating international hotel. For us, these are all advantages. Alcohol is dear, but no dearer than ashore. The excursions are expensive, so choose carefully and do as much on your own as you can. We did the return trip (3,220 miles). As I say it is a journey not a cruise, accept that and you will love it. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
I always go on holiday with the hurtigrute skips that sils up and down the coast. Exellent food, always superb service onboard and overall good value for your money. I travelled with MS Polarlys. I have sailed with 6 other hurtigruteships ... Read More
I always go on holiday with the hurtigrute skips that sils up and down the coast. Exellent food, always superb service onboard and overall good value for your money. I travelled with MS Polarlys. I have sailed with 6 other hurtigruteships before. This ship and its crew held the same high standard. My cabin was always clean and i got fresh fruit 2 times on my roundtrip. The superhappy staff put smiles on my face. The food is as always good. I travel with full cost. Brekfast, lunch and dinner. I travel alone and always exiting to see who the restaurant manager put me to tabel with. They are usually very good with this jub and didnt disappoint me this time either. On a 12 day roundtrip you are almost guaranteed to make new friends. I cant wait til next time im booking another trip with this great company. I can highly reccomen it to everyone Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
My wife and I have taken five previous balcony cabin cruises on Princess and Royal Caribbean ships carrying passenger from 2000 to 3500. This Hurtigruten MS Finnmarken trip was our first-time sort-of-cruise on a working ferry freighter ... Read More
My wife and I have taken five previous balcony cabin cruises on Princess and Royal Caribbean ships carrying passenger from 2000 to 3500. This Hurtigruten MS Finnmarken trip was our first-time sort-of-cruise on a working ferry freighter carrying 600 beds. The Finnmarken is the fleet's third largest ship and the only one that offers more that two balcony cabins. That's why we chose it. Still, we didn't expect to get the usual cruise experience on such a small ship without the usual onboard entertainment facilities, Las Vegas type shows and luxury accommodations. We also assumed the food service, quality and array of choices would be acceptable, at best. We were happily surprised all around. The Finnmarken felt more expansive than it actually was and our cabin, called a suite, was the largest and best appointed room we've ever experienced on previous cruise liners. The entire ship was very clean, tastefully decorated and well maintained with no shabby carpets, fixtures or exposed rust. The staff and crew were all friendly, kind and smartly dressed. English was spoken by everyone, and with a smile. The passing scenery was stunning, even at this rainy time of year, and the ports of call where all interesting to us. We loaded up on the excursions and were not disappointed, mainly because we always personally talk to the guides and asks many questions about daily living and local customs. However, don't expect the usual four to six hour trips. Almost all, except for two, were less than two and a half hours due to the short stays in port. A few were an hour in duration. Beyond the shore excursions, the trip was very relaxing, but that may have been influenced by our cozy but spacious cabin. Due to the very short winter days, especially in the arctic, and the sway of the small ship, I snoozed much more than I usually do...meaning...I slept through the three Northern Lights sightings! Things to know: The Hurtigruten online info is not entirely accurate. Luggage handing is included from terminal to cabin and back again. Water is served with every meal so you don't have to buy the expensive water package (which we did). Although we stayed in one of the upscale balcony cabins on board, there was only one AC outlet in the room and two in the bathroom near the ceiling. (It took us six days to find that.) Although the dinners were top-of-the-line, there was only one choice and our off-season trip did not offer a la carte dining. However, the kitchen graciously made take-away sandwiches for us when we asked for them. An important note here: If you're a drinker and like your wine, expect to pay a minimum of $14 dollars for a single glass on board, or in any Norwegian hotel. Liquor and wine is very expensive in Norway. The coffee is very strong for American taste but adding water made it drinkable for me. And if you like fish, you'll think you died and went to Heaven. The Norwegian winters tend to have rougher northern seas than usual, so although our ship used stabilizers, the rocking was close to extreme four or five times during the journey. We didn't get sea sick though and the pending rough rides were announced beforehand. Despite the few short-comings, we didn't want the cruise to end. We made friends on the trip and were all sad to say goodbye. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Ancestors came from Norway so it was good to reconnect with my heritage. The scenery was magnificent and the weather was very mild. We were surprised to have no snow during our whole trip in the beginning of November. Commentaries on shore ... Read More
Ancestors came from Norway so it was good to reconnect with my heritage. The scenery was magnificent and the weather was very mild. We were surprised to have no snow during our whole trip in the beginning of November. Commentaries on shore excursions were very informative and pertinent to the location. The buses used for some of the shore excursions were very comfortable. We thoroughly enjoyed the midnight concert at the Cathedral in Tromso and the fashion show aboard the ship was very interesting. The daily house keeping service for our stateroom could not have been better. The table service for the evening meals was excellent because the waiters were very attentive to our needs. Sometimes the rooms were a bit on the chilly side. The stories that were read were extremely interesting. It was interesting to watch cargo being loaded on and off the ship and all the activity in the ports. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and the Lofoten Islands and decided to take the 12 day cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes and back. Unfortunately we were in the Lofoten Islands both on the northerly and southerly cruise at night so ... Read More
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and the Lofoten Islands and decided to take the 12 day cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes and back. Unfortunately we were in the Lofoten Islands both on the northerly and southerly cruise at night so missed the islands during the day time but we were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights. We had booked on two mountain walks one in Lofoten at night the other in Urke unfortunately both were cancelled because of bad weather but we did manage to take alternatives in Urke and Honningsvag which were both very enjoyable in this stunningly beautiful part of the world. The ship (Richard With) stops in quite a number of ports which often allows you time to get off and explore, which we did and thoroughly enjoyed. The food on the ship is excellent and varied with specialities being served from the locality in which the ship has stopped. There are a lot of fish dishes and crab etc. but also meat dishes and vegetarian are always available. In the evening you are allocated a table and served which is more a fine dining experience but at lunchtime and breakfast you can sit wherever you like and with whoever you like and help yourself to the vast selection of food. One of the people on our table for the evening meal had a special dietary requirement and this was dealt with very efficiently. You should be aware that Norway is a very expensive country, the ship being even more so, alcohol is particularly expensive and is not included unless you buy a "drinks package". The package we were on gave us unlimited tea and coffee free of extra charge. The Richard With had a full time expedition team of 3 led by Niri and with Denise and Linus, we could not have wished for a better team, they are a great asset to have. Every day they informed us about the geology and geography of Norway, the culture and customs, points on interest on the way and entertained with things like Norwegian folk dancing and music. The talks included one about the indigenous Sami people which we found particularly interesting. For us this was a really important part of the trip as gave us something to do every day, it was extremely enjoyable, the team's enthusiasm was very infectious. We are both 65 years of age and like to keep active, so on the few days when we couldn't get out to walk we used the gym which was equipped with weights, cross trainer, walking / jogging machine etc. All in all it was an excellent holiday, we have always been sceptical about cruises and have shied away from them in the past but based upon this experience we plan to do another Hurtigruten cruise in the future. The Richard With takes around 500 or so passengers so is of a reasonable size but still small enough to feel quite intimate - a thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended holiday. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I have wanted to do this coastal voyage for many years. I took advantage of the No single supplement offer, the Wi-fi and unlimited Tea and coffee offer as I don't really drink wine or beer. The Cabin was excellent - I was able to ... Read More
I have wanted to do this coastal voyage for many years. I took advantage of the No single supplement offer, the Wi-fi and unlimited Tea and coffee offer as I don't really drink wine or beer. The Cabin was excellent - I was able to choose which one I wanted when booking (full board booking). My only gripe was that the heating wasn't working and they were not able to fix it, however they would have moved me if I wanted. Food was excellent, especially if you like seafood. They catered for those that didn't Interviews with Hotel manager, Captain, and Engineer Manager were good fun and informative. Service brilliant (apart from the cabin heating issue). The staff were good fun, informative and efficient. Unfortunately due to weather conditions, a couple of my excusions were cancelled, and also we were delaying arriving into various ports so limited the time ashore. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
I knew this was first cruise of the season, but it was marketed to me as limited to 300-350 people. That made sense for an expedition cruise to Antarctica. Limitations on numbers of people on land at any time creates logistical issues. ... Read More
I knew this was first cruise of the season, but it was marketed to me as limited to 300-350 people. That made sense for an expedition cruise to Antarctica. Limitations on numbers of people on land at any time creates logistical issues. Add to that the early season, and it made sense to have a limitation. Unfortunately, Hurtigruten booked over 400 people on the ship. Made it into a shakedown cruise - too many people to fit in the auditorium; too many people to land efficiently; too many people who didn't fully understand the nature of landings in Antarctica. Items on schedule that then appeared to be a surprise as someone had to scramble to get them going. All expedition staff unavailable during landing days, because every single one was needed to try and get the landings and cruisings done. No one seemed to understand the logistics of moving so many people (particularly so many elderly people) on and off the ship on the zodiacs. It was simple math to figure out that the stated departure time would not sync with the landings and cruisings. Schedules when both a landing and a cruise were available sometimes ruled out lunch for certain groups. With two dinner seatings, there didn't seem to be any attempt to check on people's preferences. I actually wrote on my passenger info form (sent out very late, with an email that I had not returned -couldn't return a form that was never sent to me) that I wanted early seating, but was assigned to late (was able to change). Some tables were assigned to people to sit alone (???), others had one single man, one single women - not traveling together (???), but when it was asked it we could broadcast a meeting in the bar area for single travelers to meet each other (not for hooking up, but to simply meet others traveling on their own), was told not appropriate. A shake down cruise is the best description I can provide. Off ship excursions are substantially overpriced. If you are traveling with a group, suggest you try to book directly or accept that Hurtigruten will be charging at least double the actual cost. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The Antartic region should be on everyone's bucket list. It is an awesome region to visit and the Midnapsol is certainly well equipped to handle the weather and the landings very effectively. The food on board was of excellent quality ... Read More
The Antartic region should be on everyone's bucket list. It is an awesome region to visit and the Midnapsol is certainly well equipped to handle the weather and the landings very effectively. The food on board was of excellent quality but with little daily variety, and the a la catre restaurant was worth the extra cost.The Philippino crew were very efficient and exceedlingly friendly, making it a very happy ship and happy cruise for all. The ship is in need of renovation again. Carpets in public areas near and on stairs were dirty and worn in some locations, and many of the bar chairs had also seen better days. The alcoholic drinks were very expensive and even by limiting my consumption and avoiding premium wines and spirits, my bar bill worked out at more than 30 pounds sterling each day. The Dazzler hotel in Montevideo where we stayed pre-cruise was very substandard and best avoided. The worst thing was the inexcusable mistake made by the Purser's Office in giving the Chilean immigration authorities the wrong passport number, so that the Immigration arrival form issued to me was invalid and which would have precluded my departure from Chile. I spend 16 unnecessarily stressful hours and a totally sleepless night worrying about whether this mistake could be corrected. Finally, the next morning I was issued on our arrival in Punta Arenas with a correct immigration arrival form by the Purser's Office with no apology! A great relief to me, but this sheer imcompetence on the Purser's part left a very sour note in my mouth in relation to the whole cruise experience. I still await Hurtiguten's apology and recompence for this dreadful error on their part.. Despite the above, I certainly do not regret taking the cruise and would recommend a visit to the Antartic region wholehearted to anyone with a spirit of adventure and exploration. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Voyage to see the Northern Lights above the Artic Circle was exceptional and a trip of a lifetime. Norway is an amazing country , the people friendly and environment beautiful.Hurtigruten thought of everything. Definitely the leader in ... Read More
Voyage to see the Northern Lights above the Artic Circle was exceptional and a trip of a lifetime. Norway is an amazing country , the people friendly and environment beautiful.Hurtigruten thought of everything. Definitely the leader in expedition travel. Their staff at all levels were exceptional as was the cabin, itinerary and 5 star food. They have an emphasis on safety which was impressive. Very much enjoyed the story telling , historical and environmental discussions. In addition we enjoyed the celebrations that occurred at the Arctic Circle and when passing the other Hurtigruten ships, they were a lot of fun. The staff work very hard to make it a unique experience. Loved experiencing the fresh local food and the chef and his team created a menu every day that would satisfy any connoisseur. The Finnmarken is a working ship and that made it very interesting, we were not bothered by any noise which we had expected. The ship is very clean all the time. The furnishings and design of the cabins and public areas are elegant and restful. The Finnmarken provides an amazing service to the many towns on its itinerary up and down the coast and this we enjoyed because you can take advantage of the shortest time in port to walk around the town or join an excursion. We checked our luggage in early prior to departure in Bergen and this worked out well as it was delivered to our cabin. The checkin in staff in port were efficient friendly and helpful. Hurtigruten are certainly experts in recruiting the very best staff at all levels and expertise. We will definitely cruise with Hurtigruten again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The Trip was wonderful. This is not a "typical" cruise, is a postship.This is really important to know! The cruise is for nature and relaxing. The programm onboard is not too much, is only 1-3 per day. But the points of Interest ... Read More
The Trip was wonderful. This is not a "typical" cruise, is a postship.This is really important to know! The cruise is for nature and relaxing. The programm onboard is not too much, is only 1-3 per day. But the points of Interest are perfect for information. On a Hurtigruten cruise you must know your self and your own entertainment. The service was perfect, everybody was nice. The speak english and german, of course norwegian. The breakfeast had a good selection of bread, cereals and more. The dining was delicious. My absolut favorite excursion was the visit to the huskys. They are so friendly and you can cuddle them all. The stops are partially short, is not everywhere time to see the city or the village. But this is a postship, not a typical cruise. We think it was a nice experience and not too much chichi. We met great people and see a beutiful landscape. Read Less
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