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MS Spitsbergen Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
35 reviews
8 Awards

Disappointing, traumatic and a waste of money. Deeply saddened.

Review for MS Spitsbergen to the British Isles & Western Europe
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2-5 Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Apr 2022

Look, I LOVED my Norwegian coastal cruise -- which is why I booked this trip during the height of Covid. It was postponed for two years. I was thrilled to board the ship and was looking forward to a great trip. NOT. This was the first time this itinerary was done by Hurtigruten and the inexperienced expedition team had never been to this area and their answers to everything was "I don't know, I've never been." Hurtigruten should have done their homework and sent advance teams out to investigate the area and the realities of landing on these tiny islands. We were forced to sign up for excursions on our boarding day, but no one could answer any questions about the trips, and we were rushed to sign up because it was "Easter vacation." Well, that's not my problem. Excursions were cancelled. Landings were cancelled due to rough weather. Puffins are advertising copy, but then we're told, "We're a bit early for puffins," as if it were my fault for booking the trip when it was offered. The marketing copy did not make it clear that many of the landings were tender landings -- which forced the cancellation of so many islands because the weather was so rough at this time of year. Worse: there was no plan B. The poor captain could only say, "Sorry we can't land." It was a cruise to nowhere. There was no ambientation or excitement on the ship about England, Scotland -- movies, music, folklore, woolens, culture, etc. I really had no idea where I was and what was the difference between one island and the next.

The food was great! The dining room staff was cheerful and energetic, so kind. The excellent Restaurant Manager and Head Waiter, the marvelously talented Ukrainian Chef!!!! Slava Ukraina! The cabin crews were wonderful too. It was the expedition team who ruined this trip for me, and whose fault is that? Management! These young people hadn't been oriented or trained properly to talk about any of the locations, some of the trips were boring and should not be offered, their lectures should be vetted, practiced and planned. The lectures seemed like college level wiki pedia recitations. The evenings were boring.

I feel deeply saddened and hurt by this cruise which was expensive. I am scared to take another Hurtigruten expedition -- and this saddens me too. What can Hurtigruten say or do to make up for this sad experience?

Cabin Review

LOVED my cabin. I was traveling with a companion and we needed two separate bunks. The cabin was spacious, well laid out, good storage, great bathroom. Super nice!

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