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MS Spitsbergen Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
32 Reviews

Amazing way to spend Christmas

MS Spitsbergen Cruise Review by 250cemh

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2017
  • Destination: the Arctic

As someone who wanted the opportunity to see the Northern Lights, and could only go in school holidays, it was by chance that we were away over Christmas. The ship was beautifully decorated, and the staff led a Christmas service before we left Bergen.

We went with my 9 and 12 year old son (and 77 year old Grandma) We've done long distance train travel before so I wasn't worried about activities specifically aimed at the children. They loved the cabin bunks and the jacuzzi was a hit. The food was much more varied than I'd thought. Yes, lots fish-based, but presented in different ways and I like that fact that the boys ate the same as us.

We booked an off-shore excusion everyday (apart from Dec 25th when nothing ran, but we walked and explored instead). It was good to explore the towns by foot and to get off the boat for a while.

Our excursions were: Trondheim city, Viking evening, Sami adventure, North Cape and husky sledging (at the Snow Hotel where we also stayed one night). My only criticism is that there was quite a lot of driving in the middle 3 activities. This was good as we saw more of the Norwegian towns, but the Viking evening in particular felt a little rushed at the end.

We were lucky enough to see the Lights several times and it was quite fun waking the boys up in the middle of the night after a call that the lights were there!

Both my eldest and I have said that we would like to see the Fjords in summer. It was amazing to experience the Polar Night and see everything in icy majesty, but we did miss seeing what the fjords are really like.

The Hurtigruten staff were like our Norwegian family, our youngest in particular was greeted by name by some members of staff.

We didn't get a chance to explore Bergen before departure as we missed one transfer bus and the next broke down before it got to us. However this did mean that we got straight on board. At Kirkenes it was a little complicated which bus we needed to take, but I am really glad that we didn't fly straight home. At the Snowhotel the boys could sledge and play in the snow, something they hadn't previously been able to do.

Norway in winter is a magical place. The only other boats we saw were fishermen or once a day the Hurtigruten coming south. I would thoroughly recommend this trip.

250cemh's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin Polar inside 635

A queen sized, high bed with 2 bunks that flipped down from the wall. Plenty of storage. Clean, compact en-suite.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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