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Finnmarken Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
65 reviews

Perfect Way to See Norway for NON-CRUISE Types

Review for Finnmarken to the Baltic Sea
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blndgenie
First Time Cruiser • Age 60s

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Sail Date: Jun 2014
Cabin:

My husband and I have never taken a cruise because we have no interest in being on a huge ship with thousands of people, Vegas-type floor shows, all-you-can-eat Midnight Buffets, large numbers of partying, art auctions and dressing for dinner. I gave up booking a coastal Norway 'cruise' years ago because I could not find any which did not include these things. Then I came upon the Hurtigruten website, which goes to great lengths to explain it is NOT a 'cruise', but a coastal VOYAGE on a WORKING ship. Anyone considering a Hurtigruten trip needs to read up on what their trips are and understand the BIG difference. Their website goes to great lengths to educate people on what to expect, so do your homework and make sure its what you want.

We booked the northbound 7 day journey from Bergen to Kirkenes, and in seven days it stopped at about 35 ports at all hours of the day and night. Some of these stops are a few minutes, some a few hours, and ran the gamut from large cities to tiny fishing villages. A variety of excursions are available at some stops but not all---most of the longer ones involve disembarking at one port and meeting the ship at another.

The public areas of the ships allow for great scenery-watching in a variety of lounges with comfy chairs and sofas. There are about 3 large screen tvs throughout the lounge areas and all of them were crowded during the World Cup games. The dining room included large windows which also allowed great views during meals. There is a library and small childrens' playroom on board.

Cabin Review

Cabin GS

Because of the numerous stops these ships make at all hours, its IMPERATIVE that you research the cabin choices thoroughly and if needed, talk to one of their customer service reps BEFORE you book. I saved an extra year so we could book one of the Grand Suites on the Finnmarken, specifically cabin number 604, and we were delighted with our choice. It offered a private balcony on the starboard side so we could view the coast on the trip north--it also offered a windowed windbreak/wall on the balcony towards the front of the ship as well as 4 other windows on the inside with views of the bow. This meant we could sit outside on the teak deck chairs (with a small table) and enjoy the endlessly-beautiful views without having the considerable wind in our faces. A cabin on this deck also ensures there are no people walking directly outside your cabin on deck. Its also on the side AWAY from the cargo doors so you don't any of the noise associated with loading and unloading. Our cabin included TONS of storage, a desk with a makeup mirror and lighting, numerous electic outlets, a small fridge, a hot pot and tea/coffee, and a fruit bowl and chilled sparkling wine when we checked in. It also includes 2 mugs for their 24 hour coffee/tea in the cafe, which is an additional charge in many cabins. The bed was something between a queen and king size, very comfortable, with good linens (although don't expect 800 ct. Egyptian cotton like a 5 star hotel) Acceptable towels (again, not 5 star quality but more than adequate, and changed daily if you wish) No washcloths, like most European hotels. Probably a 27 inch TV with decent channel selection including a real-time map showing the ship's current location. Programming including the BBC News, and UK/US shows. Bathroom had a jacuzzi tub which we could not get to work but it wasn't a big deal since we prefer showers. The shower was part of the tub enclosure and had excellent water pressure and more than enough hot water on demand. Twin sinks and huge storage cupboards as well, and good soap/shampoo/conditioner and lotion. Radiant floor heating was a very nice touch and the cabin's a/c and heat worked perfectly---we used both in June!Our daughter's cabin, number 625 (J Class) was much smaller and included a single porthole partially blocked by a lifeboat---not a problem for her as she spent most of her time in our cabin with us. Hers also included a 'wet' shower with a curtain, again not a problem but perhaps for some. She had no fridge or tub but it was fine for a single person. I think that it would be an issue for 2 people in a room that small since it included a top folding bunk and the bottom bed she slept in. A few days we did notice a fish-smell on desk 3 when we did laundry in the ship's laundry room.

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