This cruise far exceeded my expectations. The MS Trollfjord was better equipped and more comfortable than I had expected - knowing it was also a ferry between ports, I expected a basic level of comfort similar to the ferries I regularly use between Ireland and the UK. It was much nicer! The food was excellent, even for my personal dietary limitations, and I was well catered for. My husband and daughter enjoyed an outstanding range of locally sourced food, and the information given about the food and its suppliers was reassuring and interesting. I have only cruised once before this, on a large cruise ship in the Mediterrean, and although I loved the experience, I was a little concerned about the environmental and ethical impact of cruising. With Hurtigruten, I felt no such worries - the concept behind these Norwegian routes is simple and brilliant - the ships are running the coast anyway, in and out of 34 different ports, serving the local community by transporting people and cargo. As well as 80% of the food being local, so too are the staff. By using local staff, local jobs are created, and the staff have a vast local knowledge of the places the ship visits. By offering space on the ships for tourists too actually supports the local communities and makes the ships more economical in terms of environmental footprint. I was very impressed and will absolutely use this company again. For those used to larger cruise ships, there is relatively little in terms of on-board entertainment, but those disappointed by this had clearly not read the information beforehand - having researched well the trip we had chosen, we expected little onboard and gained much. With views of the Norwegian fjords rolling past the windows 24 hours a day, even when I did think about picking up a book, I found the scenery too alluring to concentrate on anything else. I enjoyed the opportunities to be able to explore small local villages and meet local people and support small local shops, and we had many happy wanderings around the places we stopped. It is worth noting that in most ports, the ship does not dock for long and time in some places was very limited. Often, if guests went on organised excursions, they would not have had time to also explore the villages independently. The excursions we did partake of were well organised and enjoyable. If we could have justified the expense of more excursions, I would have happily joined them. I can honestly say that after some reservations about booking a cold winter holiday, we enjoyed every second of this and cannot wait to return, both to Norway and to Hurtigruten. Oh, and, as well as all that, we had a couple of beautiful displays from the Northern Lights, which, on the deck of a boat, in the middle of a moonlit deck surrounded by snowy mountains and total silence, was pretty amazing.
Clean, tidy, basic but comfortable. For three of us, the storage for clothes was a bit limited. I would have liked to have a safety rail on the top bunk. The bathroom was larger than expected and the shower good and powerful. Our window was larger than expected and for this Norwegian trip, a real asset - we never tired of watching the view. Housekeeping was basic but adequate.
Port of the start and finish of our voyage. Airport transfers were easy and smooth. The port was fairly basic, but clean and comfortable. Given it was the place where most tourists embarked and disembarked, could have benefited from a small cafe or similar, but the embarkation/disembarkation was quick enough for this not to be a real issue.