• Background Information
We are a retired couple who have travelled a great deal; however, we’d never done a cruise being put off by the thought of thousands of people on the same vessel. A fellow traveller recommended Hurtigruten after doing one on MS Lofoten. We liked the idea of a smaller ship without the nonsense of casinos, bars, and stage shows.
• Travel To Port of Embarkation
Icelandair YEG – KEF – OSL. This is our preferred airline for travel to Europe. The service is excellent; it breaks up a long flight into tolerable pieces; it avoids the very large airports with their chaos and noise. On the return, we stayed a few days in Reykjavik, one of our favourite destinations. OSL – BGO was SAS, a good flight.
• Hotel Info (if any)
Outbound: Radisson Blu, Bergen. Nice hotel, great central location.
Return: The Thief (aptly named) Oslo where we hoped to see a bit of the city, but by the we factored in the long train ride there an back, there was no time for any significant touring and the hotel was very, very, very expensive. It would be nice to figure out a way to avoid Oslo altogether.
Very comfortable, much better than we expected. The HVAC worked perfectly as did the WC and shower. All better than many hotels. We are both pretty good sailors, but still appreciated a centre cabin, low in the ship.
• Ship Info
Very seaworthy and comfortable. Able to handle 3m seas with little wallowing or corkscrewing. The seamanship of the crew was astounding. We were able to moor and depart without the slightest bump or clank. We needed to look outside to tell whether we were underway or not.
Excellent quality and variety. Sampling some of the local specialities with table service was an unexpected treat. More salads would be appreciated, though understandably this is a bit tricky at sea.
We enjoyed watching the islands and fiords pass by along with exploring the many ports of call along the way. That’s what we came for and we were not disappointed.
• Children's Clubs
Table service was generally excellent. We particularly liked Zarah, Jorgen, Kristin, & Marte who all seem perpetually in a good mood. I was only snarled at once by a server who shall remain ever nameless.
Housekeeping was variable. At the start, our cabin was made up by early morning; later, it seemed to take much longer. We were happy to participate in the programme to skip days for environmental reasons, though later we had to abandon this as having the room serviced was the only way to get the tiny waste basket emptied. We would have done this ourselves except that dustbins are rare on this ship.
There were a number of lectures and films about folklore, history, nature, geography. These were all excellent, both content and presentation. An educational dimension is very appealing and one of the reasons to go on a cruise such as this. I have a special interest in both the energy business and the environment so the talk on North Sea O & G was particularly à propos.
Something that needs attention is the canned music that filled the lounges and bars at times. This was really bad, screechy R & R and popular music, at times so loud that we had to leave. No one seemed able or willing to turn it off or down. On a relaxing, nature-themed cruise, maybe Grieg or Sibelius or some of the other fine European composers?
• Port & Shore Excursions
We enjoyed visiting the various ports on our own. We did not participate in the organised excursions seeing them as both expensive and rushed. Besides, we are from a Northern country where snowmobiles, X country skis, snowshoes are not a novelty.
Very efficient. The ship was cleared in 20m. Nothing was lost or broken. The buses were all waiting. No improvement needed
This was a very enjoyable and relaxing cruise. We would not hesitate to use Hurtigruten again; the quality is first class. A little more information on some of the peripheral details would be nice: transportation options to-from airports, location of the Hurtigruten mooring, tips on packing, &c. Most of this we had to figure out ourselves and our travel agent did not do a very good job of finding this out. Still, we’ll know what to do next time. Finally, French language services would be appreciated.
Better than expected. HVAC and plumbing worked perfectly. Beds were comfortable and not too soft. Lots of storage space and hangers. This space was better than many hotels. Only one tiny waste receptacle which filled up very quickly. Housekeeping was thorough and efficient, though the timing was variable and unpredictable.