Classic ship on iconic route - what could be better? A lot, as it turns out: The route does not offer much fjord experience, mostly you trundle coast-wise behind the outlying islands. Most places the time in port is too short for sightseeing. Once in open seas, this little ships rocks. And rolls. Keep your seasickness pills handy. The company has a museum at its place of origin. Don't expect to get in there for free as a passenger. Or to have time for a visit if you bought the ticket onboard and the schedule changes. Or get a refund. Revenue matters. A Lot. The Hurtigruten company is now owned by a US-based investment fund, and it shows. Sign up for Ambassador programme to get a 5% discount and other perks? Sorry, that will take some time, and not apply to your booking unless you do it well in advance. Shore excursions rhyme with extortion. Hint from passengers who did buy some: Don't go on those. Or expect to get hints to attractions if they don't sell them, such as the magnificent Vardoe memorial. Or the tram service from airport, involving a 10min walk. Because their own bus service is sold at eight times the fare, at par with the price for a taxi. Maybe that's the reason for them not arranging a taxi for you in Bergen? Economy abounded also in the restaurant: There was free water to be had with the meals - if you were patient and insistent, you even got a second glass. Everything else costs - a lot. This would have been OK if the quality was the same. Which it wasn't: 11 days of the same buffet food of mediocre quality, despite some high-quality ingredients. Little fresh fruit or salad, bakery items running out half way through breakfast service. Single menu "choice" for dinners, prepared to minimise any sensory impact or desire for more-which there wasn't any available of, anyway. Attitudes towards passengers varied between indifference, hostility or occasional friendliness, especially if you spend up large. Hygiene is taken seriously when it comes to making you to disinfect your hands. But changing bed sheets in between the 11 nights? - not happening. As for the vintage vessel: Ear plugs are a must. If you're lucky, the engine noise is droning out the talking and snoring from adjoining cabins, slamming doors or worse. Qeueing for the single shower per gender and 2 toilets, shared between 20 or so cabins. Standing room only: The narrow bunk taking up 50% of the entire cabin, sink and a bare rack for clothing being the other features. No room to hide: Lounge spaces too confined to accommodate all passengers when the weather is too cold or wet outside. In this instance, "classic" associates with uncomfortable and stinginess, not with class.
Standing room only, next to the narrow bunk bed. No swinging of cats possible.