Nordkapp Cruise Review by Margaret Duncan
- Sail Date: September 2017
- Destination: Norwegian Fjords
You will get no help from the crew. Maps of upcoming destinations were kept locked away until the very day of the stop. If you asked for one ahead of time, a crew member would unlock the drawer and pull one, and only one, out, explaining that if they put them out ahead, people would get confused. That seemed unlikely to me. All of the maps they do put out are available from Norway's tourist Info offices. So I suggest you contact the Norway tourist info offices before your trip and ask for maps of the major ports where you will have time.
When we tried ask questions that would help plan how to use our time off the ship, the crew at the reception/excursion/shop, particularly, the short woman with short reddish brown hai,r was not only unhelpful, but sometimes gave misinformation.
An example, when asked about hikes at Urke, she said it was in the country so you could just get off and walk anywhere. I discovered that there were several marked hikes, some of which were short enough to do during the stop. But you needed to know which direction to go, depending on whether you wanted to walk up a steep slope for a good view or a more level walk along the river valley. There is an Info office there, but ideally you contact them ahead of time and ask about hikes in the area.
Another example, one in our group did some research on line and found that for the North Cape (which is spectacularly beautiful), which you get to from Horingsvag, there is a regular bus that takes you there and back for about 1/3 the cost of the Hurtigruten "excursion." It goes and returns at exactly the time the ship is in the harbor, so you get back with plenty of time to board the ship. Check out bookfinnmark.com, look there for transportation, then North Cape. The bus leaves from the tourist info office, which is right next to the parking lot where Hurtigruten buses leave from. It's a very comfortable bus, very nice driver, beautiful ride, with reindeer along the way, and the spectacular cape at the end. The staff person selling excursions warned us that they would not be responsible if we got back late and that the bus might break down. Actually, it seemed to be as new a bus as those Hurtigruten used.
Allesund is another stop where the most interesting thing is simply to go for a walk around the town, using the tourist info map marked routes that show off what is described as the art nouveau buildings. You don't need an expensive excursion that goes to the same area.
As for the food, the dinners were often skimpy, although there is plenty of food at the serve yourself breakfasts and lunches. But I found the food incredibly salty. After a day or two, I asked for less salty food, which they accommodated for dinner. For other meals, you can choose to avoid the saltiest things, e.g., soups.
Unlike the Hurtigruten cruise I took to Antarctica in 2005, everything is extra. On that earlier trip, they served coffee, lattes, etc. any time the bar was open, which was a good chunk of the day. Shakes, burgers, etc. were also available for no extra charge. Afternoon cookies and other goodies appeared everyday. Not so now, at least with the Nordkapp. They didn't even serve coffee with dinner, much less a cappuccino or latte. You had to go to the coffee shop to get coffee, but that did not include lattes. I wish I had brought some non-fat dried milk and instant coffee along. They did not serve reduced fat or notnfat milk in the lattes you had to buy. For breakfast, there is a self-service machine that makes pseudo lattes and cappuccinos, but they are minimally drinkable, lukewarm. I would have been better off with dried milk and instant espresso.
All that said, I would still recommend the trip. The scenery is fantastic. Just come prepared so you can arrange your own excursions and have a passable latte.
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