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I had heard about Hurtigruten and wanted as authentic an experience as possible. It allowed us to see a lot of Norway quickly an easily, from the North Cape (northern tip of Europe), through the beautiful coastal islands, and down to Bergen. The trip definitely delivered on this basic requirement. We flew up from Oslo to Kirkenes for the southbound journey the morning of embarkation and arrived after the main group had been processed, so it was easy for us. The ship is quite large but not huge. Public areas very attractive and well laid out. The fifth level has an outside walkway all around the ship of .155 miles in length, and is great for getting some exercise. (There is also a small but well stocked workout room.) Our cabin was small but not too claustrophobic. Nice large window. Blackout shade came in handy, given the midnight sun! Food was mostly boring and bland. Desserts were the best representation of what is good about Norwegian cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on local berries. Very little fresh food to be found. For some reason, raw veggies were only fully available at breakfast. No salad dressing. A nice selection of cheeses but bread and rolls were uniformly boring. Costs for extras is very high. This ship does not provide human entertainment (beyond people watching!), and that is fine because the scenery is top notch! The "lectures" were not particularly professional and illuminating and that area needs to be beefed up. Most ports were tiny villages, nice for a quick walk. A couple were larger cities, nice for a longer walk, especially Tromso and Trondheim. We participated in 3 excursions. Breakfast at Northkapp was mostly bus ride through arctic terrain plus the actual Northkapp station,. Our guide on the English language bus was terrific. Worth it to say you've done it and for the many views of reindeer, at our time of year complete with babies. Taste of Vesteralen was again an opportunity for some great views. Not sure if any better than would have been on ship, but we did get some inland scenery which was nice. The description mentions some cultural opportunities including visiting an old church. What we were not told was that we would be told to sit down and then the priest began a service. We should have been told this in advance and not required to participate. The guide was a local and she told us some colorful stories. Finally, the Sea Eagle Safari was very cold but a lot of fun! We saw several sea eagles, many many gulls, and gorgeous scenery from the vantage point of a small boat. Service on the ship was overall efficient but not very friendly.

Easy way to see a lot of Norway with little effort

Polarlys Cruise Review by LisaS229

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I had heard about Hurtigruten and wanted as authentic an experience as possible. It allowed us to see a lot of Norway quickly an easily, from the North Cape (northern tip of Europe), through the beautiful coastal islands, and down to Bergen. The trip definitely delivered on this basic requirement. We flew up from Oslo to Kirkenes for the southbound journey the morning of embarkation and arrived after the main group had been processed, so it was easy for us. The ship is quite large but not huge. Public areas very attractive and well laid out. The fifth level has an outside walkway all around the ship of .155 miles in length, and is great for getting some exercise. (There is also a small but well stocked workout room.) Our cabin was small but not too claustrophobic. Nice large window. Blackout shade came in handy, given the midnight sun! Food was mostly boring and bland. Desserts were the best representation of what is good about Norwegian cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on local berries. Very little fresh food to be found. For some reason, raw veggies were only fully available at breakfast. No salad dressing. A nice selection of cheeses but bread and rolls were uniformly boring. Costs for extras is very high. This ship does not provide human entertainment (beyond people watching!), and that is fine because the scenery is top notch! The "lectures" were not particularly professional and illuminating and that area needs to be beefed up. Most ports were tiny villages, nice for a quick walk. A couple were larger cities, nice for a longer walk, especially Tromso and Trondheim. We participated in 3 excursions. Breakfast at Northkapp was mostly bus ride through arctic terrain plus the actual Northkapp station,. Our guide on the English language bus was terrific. Worth it to say you've done it and for the many views of reindeer, at our time of year complete with babies. Taste of Vesteralen was again an opportunity for some great views. Not sure if any better than would have been on ship, but we did get some inland scenery which was nice. The description mentions some cultural opportunities including visiting an old church. What we were not told was that we would be told to sit down and then the priest began a service. We should have been told this in advance and not required to participate. The guide was a local and she told us some colorful stories. Finally, the Sea Eagle Safari was very cold but a lot of fun! We saw several sea eagles, many many gulls, and gorgeous scenery from the vantage point of a small boat. Service on the ship was overall efficient but not very friendly.
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Cabin Review

Cabin U2-642
The cabin was snug but comfortable and efficient. Good options for storage, great large porthole, acceptable bathroom. Any smaller would have been a problem, so I would not go with a lower class.