We have travelled with Hurtigruten before on their costal round trips a couple of times. We enjoyed these very much so we decided to take the plunge and go for one of the explorer voyages.
We booked direct and received confirmation suggesting a two flight journey each way. When the paperwork arrived we had a three flight journey each way spanning a total thirteen hours not including first airport pre flight time.
Arrival at Svalbard on night in the Raddison Blu hotel. Arrived around midnight, checked in and went to room. Our hearts sank! Annex accommodation comprising of a small unit. Main bed was a sofa bed large enough for one. Second bed was either a top or bottom bunk bed. Room, furniture and fittings looked tired, but at least clean. Curtains as thin as tissue paper so would not keep out midnight sun.No coffe, tea or milk provided.
Transport to ship satisfactory.
Embarkation a little long winded with queuing of around 40 minutes or more for some.
Cabin was as expected. On deck three with window. A little small and very compact, but more than adequate. Clean and comfortable and v good housekeeping.
Dining. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with an excellent selection for all. Dinner was a mix of buffet or fixed menu. Again very good with alternative for vegetarians etc.
Tea coffee and cookies available 24/7
No children's club or facilities due to nature of voyage. Non advertised or expected.
Evening entertainment was very low key. Again due to type of voyage and other activities ongoing. Polar bear spotting or landings.
Disembarkation. Well organised and efficient.
Summary. For a once in a lifetime voyage to see the wild Arctic, this would be difficult to better.
A wonderful experience on a well run efficient ship. Excellent crew and staff including all expedition team who were extremely knowledgable.
A wonderful experience let down by the first night hotel accommodation and the more than expected number of flights to reach our destinations.
Possibly a little on the expensive side.