Vesteralen Cruise Review by Cmmk
- Sail Date: February 2019
- Destination: British Isles & Western Europe
Unfortunately the first cabin we were allocated was the worst accommodation I have ever experienced, too small for two people ( to be frank only just acceptable for one) barely room to move past each other, storage space for clothes limited to a small hanging space and two drawers which were similar to vegetable storage in a kitchen, bunk fold down bed with no sitting space whatsoever except the bottom bunk. My disappointment for a cabin which was costing us over £1300 for six nights knew no bounds. After complaining I was told that it was difficult to move us but they would see what they could do........the next day, after 20% of the trip was behind us, we were moved.
The boat is small and one of the older of the fleet, public rooms are old and tired...... which could be explained by the fact that it is a working boat but hertigruten seem to change premium prices irrespective of the quality of the boats.
The food on board is excellent although the length of the queues for lunchtime buffet meals ensure that one tries to get there about 15 minutes before service starts. Similarly try to be be well I time for breakfast to ensure that you can enjoy the excellent choice of food without having to fight through to the coffee machine.
The ship calls in at a large number of ports, many of them for just 15 minutes but other stops varyin length from 30 minutes to over 3 hours. On the shorted stops, There is an advantage in stretching one’s legs but be aware that the ship calls at ports rather than picturesque harbours and so a walk to a local town or village wil,l of necessity, involve negotiating the dockside ares.....not a problem as long as you are not expecting to find coffee shops and local colour!
Many of the longer stops have organised trips ashore, however, at approximately £80 per person for a guided walk I would suggest asking for a map at reception and making your own way.
Two excursions we did do were of the ‘bucket list’ variety, the dog sledding which was enjoyable although at £250pp more expensive booked through the ship and the snowmobile experience. The latter was very disappointing happening as it did when the daylight had gone and so we snowmobiled for 17kmin the dark aware only of the rear of the machine in front and the narrow path illuminated by the headlight on the snowmobile. At £294 pp this was a very, very expensive and disappointing experience, when booking the trip before leaving the UK none of the information I was sent indicated the time of the trip unlike the i formation in the brochure on board. If I had known it was a night excursion I would certainly lay not have booked it.
Overall a very expensive and very disappointing trip,the only saving grace was the quality of the staff who were, without exception friendly, efficient and good humoured.
Upon arrival back in the UK I Replied to Hurtigruten’s feedbackform and ticked the box which said they would keep my contact information for a month to allow them time to respond to my feedback. The same email also gave me this site to leave feedback but I decided to wait to see what Hurtigruten’s response would be. My answer was silence. A month has now passed and I have have decided to submit this review to ensure others do not save hard to afford the experience of a lifetime simply to feel very disappointed in the quality of the trip.
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