The MS Lofoten crew were brilliantly friendly and helpful and several passengers were so fond of the ship and crew that they were on a repeat voyage. Unfortunately, I was not to become so endeared to the ship.
MS Lofoten is a 55 year old Ferry. It was designed as a Ferry. It was built as a Ferry. It is operated as a Ferry. Many people (and cargo) use it as a Ferry. It is not a “cruise” ship. It is an old Ferry. In my opinion, trying to combine the two roles does not work. It’s a Ferry. A Ferry without stabilisers. It doesn’t take much of a sea state to get it rocking and rolling. On a relatively calm sea, I was sitting in the restaurant watching the water in my glass tilt 15deg to 20deg each way while the horizon disappeared above and below the top and bottom of the restaurant window frames.
Everything vibrates. Constantly, 24/7. It goes right through your body. If I stood in my cabin and held my mouth loosely together, my teeth would chatter. Amusing initially, but somewhat wearing after a couple of days.
In the restaurant, there were no tea spoons with the cups and saucers. I soon discovered that standing the cup on the vibrating table stirs the contents. The food served in the restaurant looked great. And the roast reindeer, served only once, was excellent. There’s a lot of fish. It appears the Norwegians like their fish salty. Very salty. So salty that I found it difficult to eat. Beautifully cooked cod, salmon (my favourite) and other varieties were so over salted I found they were unpleasant unless drowned in lemon juice. It was so frustrating. It may be my palate but anyone who doesn’t like fish or has low salt diet, may have a problem, particularly at the evening dinner because there is no choice for the set meal.
Norwegian prices for drinks are very high. It’s not Hurtigruten monopolising, it’s everywhere in Norway. A beer costs over £10 and a bottle of wine is upwards of £50. If you intend to use the ship’s bar, I’d suggest you register your credit card against your boarding card when you collect it before boarding. Otherwise you will need a lot of cash on board.
The ship tended to run constantly behind schedule. All too often, precious time ashore (walking on stable land that doesn’t vibrate) was either cancelled or curtailed to a quick walk up the dock and back. So although the brochure shows calling at several ports, in many cases we didn’t see much of them.
Wifi internet connection was better than we get at home. For device charging: electrics in the cabin and in the lounge are 220v European 2-pin.
I hope you enjoy your voyage, but for me it’s one I’ll not remember with fondness.
Basic and so noisy that several wives commented they couldn't hear their husbands' snoring. Designed and built for hardy 1 to 2 night ferry passengers in the 1960's.
Beautiful view around harbour. Didn't get long there - just a quick walk.
Decent long walk for 2 hours escape from the ship. Wonderful even though it was raining.
Worth the walk to the very enjoyable botanical gardens. Otherwise, not much else to do in the time available.
Nothing stands out to remember