We had a fantastic time on the MS Nordlys. Even though this is one of the Hurtigruten ships that has not yet been renovated, the facilities were still very comfortable and appealing. We were amazed how creatively the cabin was designed to create the maximum amount of space. The embarkation and disembarkation went very, very smoothly. The same was true for the dining room and other facilities. The ship operated very efficiently and effectively. The dinner menu featured fresh fish with an outstanding and creative use of local ingredients. The crew and staff were absolutely topnotch, friendly, courteous, professional, and fluent in a number of languages, especially English and German. Because it is a ferry ship as well as a postal ship, a Hurtigruten ship like MS Nordlys has a number of responsibilities as it makes its way up and down the Norwegian coast. That is not typical for a cruise ship. But for passengers, it means that you get to see how a working ship operates, including a test of the lifeboats. If you are interested in a cruise with pools, organized games, and live entertainment on board, then this is not the cruise for you. If you are interested in seeing the beauty of the natural world every single day, then you should definitely consider it. The Expedition Team added an educational element to the cruise with periodic evening lectures and short talks on "Points of Interest." I attended more of these than most passengers, because I appreciated the additional information about the geology, ecology, and Norwegian culture. Our Hurtigruten cruise was definitely the highlight of our entire time in Norway. I would absolutely book again. It's not entirely clear from their booking website, but you can embark and disembark at different points, not just at the main terminals of Bergen and Kirkenes. This makes is possible to design your own trip. We found, however, that the northbound trip from Bergen to Kirkenes provided a good amount of time. Anything shorter would have felt too rushed.
The cabin was very comfortable. We did not hear the engines or feel the rocking of the ship. We also had a large window. However, the lifeboat gear did block some of it. It's also the case that on deck 5 other passengers will often be passing on a walk around the ship. As the cruise progressed, however, we noticed this less and less.
I would recommend the Birdwatching Safari excursion. We saw puffins and eagles. Be sure to bring your binoculars, although the boat had some to lend. We had a very sunny day which made a positive difference, because it was quite cool on the boat. Even though it was toward the end of the nesting season, there was plenty to see. The Expedition Team's lecture on nesting birds was a helpful introduction. We also saw a number of reindeer along the roadside.
Though one of the more expensive excursions on offer, it was definitely worth it. The views were stunning and could not been seen from the ship.View All undefined undefined Reviews