A rave review by a close friend about the old world charm and the limited number of passengers on board the MS Lofoten (built in 1964) persuaded us to choose this ship for our Norwegian cruise. Bergen, the charming coastal town with its colourful higgledy piggeldy wooden buildings is the departure point and is worth the visit on its own, so make sure you allow a couple of days before or after your cruise to have time to explore it. Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. If you are expecting/wanting luxury and entertainment then this is not the ship for you. This is a coastal passenger and cargo ferry not a cruise ship. Nor is it suitable for those with disabilities as this ship has no lifts. Due to the age of the vessel the cabins are small and basic with many having shared facilities. We upgraded to one of the 4 cabins on the saloon deck which had a small en suite and 2 large windows. The cabins on the lower decks were smaller and could be more affected by engine noise. As most of our time was spent out on deck (the upper deck areas were sheltered by clear screens from the cold wind) or in one of the comfortable lounges, the cabin size wasn't an issue. With only 150 passengers on board we never felt crowded and were able to get to know our fellow travelers. Watching the stunning scenery (the ship is always close to shore), reading, talking, playing cards and the occasional talk given by the tour leader comprised most of the on board entertainment. The crossing the Artic Circle ceremonies were a lot of fun and the demonstration by the Chef on several different ways to prepare raw salmon was both interesting and tasty! Every day there was the opportunity to go ashore for either self guided walks or for (very expensive) excursions. The excursions vary depending on the time of year eg we were able to visit the incredible Snow Hotel in Kirkenes which is only open for a few months of the year. Others did the husky sledding and the snow shoeing excursoons. Opportunities for shore visits seemed better on the northbound leg than on the southbound leg so If you are planning to do only one way I would suggest going from Bergen to Kirkenes. Do expect to put on weight while on board. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style with dinner being a set menu. If you like seafood you will be in heaven. If not there is still a wide variety of food to choose from. Sadly all alcohol was very expensive with the cheapest bottle of wine costing approximately A$80 per bottle ie beyond our budget. I am sure our livers were glad of the rest! It is worth buying the coffee and tea and wifi "package" beforehand. I don't think children would find enough to do on this ship. Most of the passengers were in the 55-75 age bracke though I think that younger adults would really enjoy it too. This ship doesn't have stabilisers and there are a few sections where we were in open water for a couple of hours. The information about the ship on the website did let us know this and as we are prone to sea sickness we came prepared with medication. The Daily program let us know when we were about to cross open water giving us plenty of warning to take the tablets beforehand so we had no problems. We would love to go again!

Old world cruise along the Norwegian coast.

Lofoten Cruise Review by Yawarra

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Trip Details
A rave review by a close friend about the old world charm and the limited number of passengers on board the MS Lofoten (built in 1964) persuaded us to choose this ship for our Norwegian cruise. Bergen, the charming coastal town with its colourful higgledy piggeldy wooden buildings is the departure point and is worth the visit on its own, so make sure you allow a couple of days before or after your cruise to have time to explore it.

Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly.

If you are expecting/wanting luxury and entertainment then this is not the ship for you. This is a coastal passenger and cargo ferry not a cruise ship. Nor is it suitable for those with disabilities as this ship has no lifts. Due to the age of the vessel the cabins are small and basic with many having shared facilities. We upgraded to one of the 4 cabins on the saloon deck which had a small en suite and 2 large windows. The cabins on the lower decks were smaller and could be more affected by engine noise. As most of our time was spent out on deck (the upper deck areas were sheltered by clear screens from the cold wind) or in one of the comfortable lounges, the cabin size wasn't an issue. With only 150 passengers on board we never felt crowded and were able to get to know our fellow travelers.

Watching the stunning scenery (the ship is always close to shore), reading, talking, playing cards and the occasional talk given by the tour leader comprised most of the on board entertainment. The crossing the Artic Circle ceremonies were a lot of fun and the demonstration by the Chef on several different ways to prepare raw salmon was both interesting and tasty! Every day there was the opportunity to go ashore for either self guided walks or for (very expensive) excursions. The excursions vary depending on the time of year eg we were able to visit the incredible Snow Hotel in Kirkenes which is only open for a few months of the year. Others did the husky sledding and the snow shoeing excursoons. Opportunities for shore visits seemed better on the northbound leg than on the southbound leg so If you are planning to do only one way I would suggest going from Bergen to Kirkenes.

Do expect to put on weight while on board. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style with dinner being a set menu. If you like seafood you will be in heaven. If not there is still a wide variety of food to choose from. Sadly all alcohol was very expensive with the cheapest bottle of wine costing approximately A$80 per bottle ie beyond our budget. I am sure our livers were glad of the rest! It is worth buying the coffee and tea and wifi "package" beforehand.

I don't think children would find enough to do on this ship. Most of the passengers were in the 55-75 age bracke though I think that younger adults would really enjoy it too.

This ship doesn't have stabilisers and there are a few sections where we were in open water for a couple of hours. The information about the ship on the website did let us know this and as we are prone to sea sickness we came prepared with medication. The Daily program let us know when we were about to cross open water giving us plenty of warning to take the tablets beforehand so we had no problems.

We would love to go again!
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Cabin Review

Cabin 402
The cabin was small and basic with 2 bunk beds, a settee and very small table. There was room for our bags in the cupboard. The en suite bathroom was very small but adequate, with the shower having great water pressure and good hot water. This cabin had 2 large windows. We found it very quiet with minimal engine noise. There was no noise from the bar, canteen, lounge area at all nor could we hear our fellow passengers in neighbouring cabins.