As an experienced cruiser (Europe, South Asia, Middle East, South America, Antarctica, Galapagos Islands etc), my wife and I were thrilled to see advertised early in 2017 a cruise by Hurtigruten through the North West Passage of Canada finishing in Greenland. Having assessed our financial situation, we made our reservation for the trip, and then saved for the next 18 months or so to ensure that we had sufficient funds to pay the balance.
On the evening of the second day in Montreal we, and all the passengers going to Cambridge Bay (the advertised departure point), were brought together by the Cruise Team and told that our departure point for the cruise wouldn’t be Cambridge Bay, but would be Pond Inlet on Baffin Island, as the North West Passage was blocked by ice. Some passengers stated straight away that without the North West Passage on the agenda, there was no interest in the cruise, and wanted to cancel the cruise before it had even started. We were all ‘fobbed off’ by the team saying that Hurtigruten would call each of the cruisers individually on our return to explain and discuss the matter, as some passengers were asking ‘on the spot’ for their money back. So the cruise went ahead and turned out to be wandering around northern Canada and off to Greenland earlier than expected - interesting but NOT what was booked. When we were back at home, we found that Hurtigruten knew three weeks before we sailed that Cambridge Bay was inaccessible due to the failure of the ice to disperse during the summer. The Cambridge Bay website announced on 24th August that FRAM had cancelled the visit. We are still awaiting a full refund of our costs. So far, Hurtigruten has offered a 60% refund - this is insufficient. The ship, cabin, dining and service were all as expected, but without the main purpose of going, it was a pointless cruise.