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9 Hurtigruten Nordkapp Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

My husband and I, 2 English passengers, had all of our luggage stolen from a Hurtigruten ship after embarking at Bergen for the 12 day round trip. We feel we must highlight the incident and dangers to other current and future international ... Read More
My husband and I, 2 English passengers, had all of our luggage stolen from a Hurtigruten ship after embarking at Bergen for the 12 day round trip. We feel we must highlight the incident and dangers to other current and future international passengers, who will naturally expect in 2014 a certain level of security. Global passengers do not expect when sold a cruise that anyone off the street can board a ship, steal passengers’ suitcases that have been left unsafe in corridors or in unlocked luggage stores and walk off the ship with the suitcases completely unchallenged. There is no security. Hurtigruten are refusing to replace our stolen possessions, even after admitting that the suitcases were in their care and it is therefore their responsibility to put the situation right, as they were negligent by allowing a visitor to steal the 2 big suitcases and walk past the staff completely unchallenged. Norway had previously been our favourite country and we had visited 9 times including a previous Hurtigruten round trip voyage 5 years ago. We have had a very stressful last 2 years with a job and house relocation and a sequence of failed attempts to buy a house. I have a brain tumour and my health has been deteriorating. We have got married recently and this was our honeymoon. Knowing Norway and the sailing schedule, we expected a relaxing, beautiful, stress free 12 day voyage. Imagine our devastation just hours after boarding, when it became apparent that our luggage had been stolen. It seems that Hurtigruten’s poor security procedures had allowed a “visitor” to simply walk onto the ship, take our 2 large suitcases, containing a lot of brand new winter clothing bought specifically for this trip, then walk straight off the ship again without any of the Hurtigruten or Bergen harbour authority staff even questioning him. One of the suitcases was found by a Hurtigruten staff member at a nearby bus stop, it had been ripped open and virtually emptied. We were left with virtually none of our possessions. We checked in at the Bergen Hurtigruten terminal at around 17.30hrs on Sunday 16th March 2014 and the Hurtigruten staff took our 2 large suitcases. We then proceeded upstairs for the safety video, then boarded the ship on level 5. We expected that our luggage would arrive in the cabin later in the evening. We had dinner and then went to the 9pm information talk by the tour leader. By 21.40hrs our luggage still had not arrived and we phoned reception and were told not to worry as the suitcases were all on the ship and must have been placed outside the wrong cabin. My husband had already looked around the whole ship and all the corridors by this stage and it was clear to us that there was a problem. The ship set sail on time at 22.30hrs at which point our luggage still had not been found. They had searched the terminal and no cases were found. The ship turned around, back to Bergen after around 5-10 minutes. It seems an IT worker was returning to his flat from the ship and found 1 of our suitcases, ripped open and mostly empty by the bus stop. The other case was not at the scene. It was only at this point the ship realised that the suitcases had been stolen. The man at Bergen terminal then remembered a man had visited the ship at around 21.00 - 22.00hrs and left with 2 big suitcases, because he remembers saying goodnight to him when he handed back his visitors pass! The ship do not know where they left the cases for them to be stolen. It could be in the corridor, by the lift, by the reception, as they have no organised system. We were totally devastated by what had happened. We did not sleep at all that night. The hotel manager the morning after the theft told us not to contact our holiday insurance, because the suitcases were in the care of the ship and they would look after us. We had not left our cabin, as we were so upset and in shock. The Hotel Manager told us to have some lunch and then to get off at Alesund. They gave us some emergency funds to buy the essential items of clothing, such as underwear and thermal base layers for the extremely cold weather conditions of the voyage etc, but as we only had 2 hours in Alesund, a port we are unfamiliar with and we were in such a state we were only able to buy a few items and as the prices in Norway are very, very high, the emergency funds did not buy much. The Hotel Manager said that he would look into how Hurtigruten would make payment for the other stolen items that we would be unable to replace while in Norway. At his request we gave him a provisional list of stolen items that would need replacing, for him to give to the police when he reported the theft to them in Alesund. On the provisional police report they estimated the losses to be at least 40 000 NOK. We subsequently had a nightmare 2 weeks of stress and upset which was made worse by Hurtigruten staff. In particular we met with the senior vice president of hotel operations when we were in port in Tromso day 5 on Thursday 20th March 2014. We met him for about 15 minutes just before the ship set sail. He clearly had not prepared for the meeting. His inappropriate opening line was “I gather you have had some bad luck with your luggage”. It was obvious that he had no appreciation of what we had been going through. To describe the incident as bad luck is appalling, given that the theft was only possible through Hurtigruten’s negligent security procedures which allow anyone freely on and off the ship without being challenged. When I corrected his insensitivity he said, “I cannot defend the indefensible”. All questions that we asked him he deferred saying “I’ll have to get back to you on that”. Not the sort of behaviour and responses I would expect from apparently the senior vice president of a large company. On the morning of 22nd March the Hotel Manager explained to us that the Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations wanted us to provide another list of all the outstanding stolen items that required replacement this time with replacement values, so that Hurtigruten could look into how to pay us for these items. We spent the whole day compiling this list again. The internet on the ship is extremely slow and breaks up, which made it incredibly difficult to try and get replacement costs for some items. Having to spend a whole day doing this is clearly not going to be an enjoyable task to have to do while supposedly on holiday. On most days we had to spend time chasing the Hotel Manager for copies of paperwork, the police crime reference number, the Hurtigruten report, any progress or an update from the police (e.g. had they yet reviewed the CCTV cameras that we were told are present in the Bergen Hurtigruten terminal?) Some of the paperwork Hurtigruten still have not provided. At 22:00hrs on Saturday 22nd March we were appalled to then be given by the Hotel Manager an email from Senior The Vice President. In the email he wrote that “our policy for lost luggage is £500 per person as outlined in our terms and conditions” He “apologises for the inconvenience”. Again, this email shows no recognition or acknowledgement of the continued upset and distress that we have been caused. I think to describe the event as an “inconvenience” is rather flippant. Again, our luggage is not “lost”, but has been stolen whilst in Hurtigruten’s care through Hurtigruten’s negligence. Despite having requested a list of outstanding items and replacement costs, the Senior Vice President was clearly putting us through more stress and upset and obviously had no intention of even looking at this list. In his email he writes “ we are prepared to offer a further 10 000NOK in addition to the 20 000NOK you have already received from the ship to cover your losses. This is only on production of receipts”. It is incorrect and misleading to say we had already received 20 000 NOK to cover our losses. This money was given as emergency funds by the Hotel Manager for us to buy basic items, such as underwear. From this money we also had to buy 2 new suitcases, which cost more than 3000NOK by themselves. Obviously while 20000NOK is a large sum of money, it does not buy very much in Norway, given the very high prices, particularly for winter clothing and we were only able to replace a small number of our possessions. We are now left in a position, that even after replacing some items with the emergency money we are still more than a further 30 000NOK out of pocket. This does not take any account of the loss of holiday, time, extreme distress, anger and upset which also needs to be recognised and compensated. We feel that the easy theft of our suitcases has only been possible because Hurtigruten do not have adequate security measures in place to prevent anyone simply walking on and off the ship with passengers possessions or luggage and as such Hurtigruten are negligent and have failed in their duty to provide sufficient safekeeping of passenger luggage, having received the suitcases into Hurtigruten’s care. I feel the current outcome is extremely unjust and I ask you to put yourself in our positions……me with a brain tumour and deteriorating health and we have been looking forward to our honeymoon taking a beautiful voyage through our favourite country for potentially the last time together, then within hours of boarding the Hurtigruten ship, we are devastated to find that our luggage has been stolen due to negligent procedures on Hurtigruten’s behalf. We then have to endure 12 days of upset, stress, flippant remarks by a senior vice president, daily battles with the hotel manager to try and get information and answers. We have had to waste time providing documentation for Hurtigruten, yet they have been obstructive to providing us with the necessary paperwork. Despite days of chasing the Hotel Manager, he only provided us with the crime reference number 15 minutes before he got off the ship on Monday 24th March 2014, 3 full days before the end of the voyage. As a result of the theft we are thousands of pounds out of pocket and our honeymoon and holiday have been ruined. If this had happened to you would you feel that Hurtigruten have handled the situation well and would you be satisfied with their response, because we certainly are not? Since coming home we have emailed the CEO of Hurtigruten, but to date have not even had an acknowledgement of receipt of our email. Unfortunately bad things do happen occasionally, but the sign of a good company is how they react in these events to put matters right. Hurtigruten comes out extremely badly. Hurtigruten represents Norwegian heritage, people and country. We were told by the tour leader that Norwegians are compassionate. We have seen no evidence of this. Hurtigruten relies on foreign tourists and if this is how it treats it’s international guests that have paid so much money, it will soon have no guests when this story goes global. It is unbelievable that in 2014 Hurtigruten have no security measures in place to ensure the safekeeping of its global guests and their possessions. You would think after Norway’s Anders Breivik tragedy that Hurtigruten would have re-evaluated it’s security and risk assessments. At present any visitor is allowed on board completely unchecked. No checks of identity, passport, x ray of person or bags. It would be incredibly easy for a bomb to be left on board. The Senior Vice President that came on board to briefly meet us in Tromso, said that we should be reassured that they had immediately changed their protocol and that now any visitor leaving the ship with passengers’ suitcases would be challenged!!!! They have completely missed the point. We spent the entire voyage trying to resolve this travesty. What do you think we should do next? Perhaps you might think this security risk should be notified to the wider travel world, so prospective passengers can make an informed choice? Review of voyage and ship Nordkapp If you have stuck with reading this I will now objectively review the voyage and compare it to our previous one. 5 years ago we booked the same 12 day round voyage on Finnmarken. A couple of weeks before departure I phoned customer services to book some excursions. I was shocked to be told that I could not book the excursions, because the voyage had been cancelled, but they could not tell me anything else, as I had booked through a travel agent. Immediately I phoned the travel agent who phoned Hurtigruten who said everything was fine. I made the travel agent phone again and this time Hurtigruten said it was cancelled, as the ship was going into dry dock as an emergency. To cut a long story short, after a lot of inconvenience and bother we rearranged our lives and rescheduled the voyage on another ship in the fleet, the Midnatsol. When we arrived at Bergen airport at 10pm from Gatwick we waited and waited for our prepaid / prebooked transfer that never arrived. We got a taxi to our prebooked overnight hotel. When we went to get our transfer from the hotel to the quay in the afternoon, yes you guessed it, it never turned up. However the hotel reception told us to stay put as the ship was stuck in very rough seas and would not be arriving in Bergen until very late at night or the next morning. We had another night in the hotel and embarked very early the next morning and because of the late schedule all passengers just walked their own luggage on board. I so wish we had done this on the latest voyage. 5 years ago we had booked a mini suite at the front of the ship on promenade deck 6, which Hurtigruten promised us and our travel agent would not have passengers standing in front of. Yes you guessed it again – any cabin on the promenade decks have passengers walking by or at the front have passengers standing in front of your windows or looking in your windows. We therefore moved to a fantastic MG category cabin deck 8 with floor to ceiling windows. This cabin was wonderful, but at the price it should be. The Captain told us that Finnmarken was going in for a planned session in dry dock to have a helicopter pad fitted and they had known about it for months. No one can deny that the scenery on this voyage is amazing and unfortunately at the moment there is no other way of doing this voyage apart from Hurtigruten. However, Hurtigruten have massively increased their prices and so booking a suite this time was out of the question. This time, even on a 2for1 offer, our tiny, basic outside cabin was £118 per person per night including flights. Remember that whilst reading my factual review and see if you think that is value for money for you, especially compared to what else is available on the market. Outside Cabin 641 Nordkapp -sheets never changed for entire 12 day voyage. Housekeeping do not do anything, except empty bin and change small, thin, hard towels. They knock and immediately enter cabin, never waiting for you to answer. The same staff clean the cabin toilets and then serve the dinner in the evening - awful shower gel and hand wash which is very drying, but also not refilled unless you requested it (was lovely Lux 5 years ago) - very small cabin with only 2 plug sockets - extremely small shower room - well lit and big picture window, which is the same size on all decks - only 3 hangers in limited wardrobe space due to small cabin size - cannot get into cabin until 6pm in Bergen, but have to vacate cabin at 10am for Bergen departure at 2.30pm and have to leave suitcases outside cabin night before between 9pm-4am (for anyone to steal some contents or entire suitcase while it docks at other ports during night and allows visitors on board). They tell you that you have to vacate cabins by 10am, despite the ship not arriving in Bergen until 2.30pm, because of the short turn around time and then do not allow embarking passengers on until 6pm – compare this to all other proper cruise ships and this is a joke isn’t it? - luggage including hand luggage can be left in unlocked luggage room, which anyone can get in to, however they have now kindly put a sign up to say it is at your own risk and at your convenience. Perhaps they should say left at your own risk and for the convenience of others!!! Food The food 5 years ago on Midnatsol was fantastic and a highlight of the voyage. From the very first meal on Nordkapp, when we did not know we had had our luggage stolen we commented how poor the food was. The “hot” food is barely lukewarm and would not pass food temperature standards. Food was continually recycled. I do not waste food at home, but I would not serve last night’s haddock cold for lunch, let alone when passengers have paid this amount of money. Every meal was then seen again undisguised at the next meal or even the one after that, Dinner had 2 sittings 6.30 or 8.15pm, but we were given our time, not asked. We had 8.15pm, drinks orders were taken first, then you are served 3 small courses without choice and it was all over by 9.05 or 9.15pm at the latest if you were the last to be served. If you have a food intolerance or dislike etc you can tell them, but expect it to be ignored. My neurologist has banned me from having caffeine, so no chocolate puds or sauces. A blue, plastic sign was put at my place setting to make it clear to staff of special need and to pay attention. Numerous times this was ignored, so on the last night, fed up with complaining, I stuck my big blue, plastic sign in my chocolate pud and left it on the table whilst my husband ate his desert – this was wasted on the stupid waitress who just cleared the table to hasten us out of the restaurant, which was their only priority. Couples and groups are incompletely served, so half of the table will have their meal, whilst the others wait some time. After dinner tea and coffee you have to make yourself on deck 7 mid (restaurant deck 4 aft), but you are only allowed a set time to have it, i.e. 8.15pm dinner allowed 9-10.15pm only. No decaf tea available and the decaf coffee was horrible. Much of the food we could not eat due to it’s extremely high salt content and it is also very fatty. The buffets at breakfast and lunch were never replenished, even if you asked. Again a definite strategy was noted to cut costs. The buffets were very messy and serving spoons had to be fished out by passengers’ hands, a real hygiene issue. If you wanted a lunch pudding or cheese you had to get it at the beginning of your meal or there were none left. Breakfast and lunch tea and coffee available in the restaurant was made with lukewarm, frothy water, nicknamed by other guests as tea-o-cino. At the Captain’s gala dinner the Captain’s table was completely empty and the reverse thrusters were going for the entire meal whilst hovering outside a port – very unpleasant. However, the Brits’ biggest complaint was that now, unlike 5 years ago, they refuse to serve tap water and you have to pay 25NOK about £2.70 for a 500ml bottle of water and with the amount of salt in the food you need a few bottles. They have also stopped you taking in their own mug from the coffee package deal, in case you are smuggling in water. Lounges The ship was not full, but there was insufficient seating. Dreadful singer/pianist in deck 7 lounge where after dinner coffee available – probably to stop you hanging around and drinking the coffee. In the words of Simon Cowell he certainly made it his own and managed to ruin every smash hit song he sung. Excursions None of them were value for money or great. However you have no alternative way of doing them, as the time in ports is so limited. As we were so depressed and as we felt this was our last time together in Norway we did these trips: Bodo – sightseeing & Saltstraumen – nice scenic drive, but waste of time seeing tidal current by bus, so would give this a miss. On board price 390 NOK= about £43, 2.25 hours Tromso – Huskies. We have mushed huskies many times in Finland before. In Tromso you are not allowed to mush yourself, it is very sedate and slow. Some dogs were very slow, so the groups kept bunching up and then we all ended up stopping many times. The scenery was lovely and there was a long, scenic bus drive to get there but unguided. 300 dogs with lots of dog mess and smelly protective suits. £139 UK prebook or 1350NOK on ship Honningvag – Skarsvag fishing village and Christmas house. Too many passengers and very expensive for what it is – unguided minibus to village then one lady walking you round her tiny fishing village and back to her small house for waffles and glog. 440NOK (£48.50) 3 hours Kirkenes – Huskies – again not allowed to mush yourself. Faster pace than Tromso, but the sleigh we were on for the 2 of us was the same sleigh used for one in Finland, so very uncomfortable. Much shorter track with a huge stop in the middle waiting for the rest of the group, as it is the same route out, as back, so although in total time it was similar to Tromso, the distance travelled was far less. However with this one you can visit the Snow Hotel and see the 4 reindeer in the distance. For those of you who have done this trip before it is now at a completely different location. £129 2.5 hours or 1250 NOK Hammerfest – trip cancelled Tromso midnight concert – very nice, but only 50 minutes, so expensive at £49 booked in England or 480NOK on board Sea Eagle safari – I personally had difficulty with this, as it is contrived – guaranteed sightings because they feed the eagles every day, so it is learnt behaviour and not natural. This to me will ruin the food chain. £88 2 hours or NOK 850 Ambassador Loyalty Club Total rip off. The promised 5% discount on further voyages is not allowed if voyage is on 2for1 offers, nor 5% discount off excursions for the same reason (work that one out). We did however get a small bowl of fruit in the cabin on arrival. Sea Conditions Both 5 years ago and on this last voyage we had extremely rough seas out of Bergen overnight. We have done 20+ cruises and never taken seasickness tablets or suffered, but on Hurtigruten ships in rough water you have the feeling of being in a washing machine whilst laying down – very unpleasant. There were quite a few proper sailors amongst the UK passengers on this voyage and they had to lie down and take tablets. Day 2 was also very bad – breakfast time was horrendous, as was late dinner. The crew told us that the previous voyage was the roughest they had ever known in 5 years and they could not dock at many ports. Summary This is sold as a cruise, but it is not a cruise. It is a ferry pretending to be a cruise and mis-selling to the global cruise market. If you know of another cruise where there is no security of the passengers and their possessions, lukewarm food, buffets not replenished and dishes left completely empty, tap water not provided, sheets not changed for 12 days then I stand corrected. Remember you can have all this for £118 per person per night when it is on a half price special. The Senior Vice President of Hotel operations must be so proud!   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My wife and I have just returned from a wonderful holiday chasing the Northern Lights with Hurtigruten it was superb.The weather was super 10 days of sunshine which helped to highlight the magnificent scenery we encountered throughout the ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from a wonderful holiday chasing the Northern Lights with Hurtigruten it was superb.The weather was super 10 days of sunshine which helped to highlight the magnificent scenery we encountered throughout the cruise.The crowning glory was our sightings of the Aroura Borealis on no less than 5 consecutive nights varying from fleeting glimpses to 2 nights of full blown spectacle a never to be forgotten experience. The ship was beautifully maintained and all the lounges had excellent seating.The cabins were on the small side but comfortable, the food was good with plenty of choices at breakfast and lunch,and evening meals were varied.We read the details of the cruise before we booked and were fully aware that the boat was working boat with frequent ports of call sometimes during the night was meant some noise at times.The staff were really good very pleasant and helpful.I realise that everything was in our favour, but it was a great holiday and would wholeheartedly recommend it.Our only complaint is regarding one of the off boat trips which my wife took which was the sled ride from SoTromso.She found the sled extremely uncomfortable it did not seemto be on runners unfortuneatly following the ride she suffered with her back for a couple of days.When we went on the trip to see the ice Hotel in kirkenes she thought the sleds there were much more substantial. So if people were contemplating a sled ride Kirkenese would be recommended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
It's not comfortable.people need to be under no illusion. The ship is a Ferry! But I think the descriptions in brochure are very fair. We had the best outside cabin and the bunks are very narrow. The cabin is not somewhere we wanted ... Read More
It's not comfortable.people need to be under no illusion. The ship is a Ferry! But I think the descriptions in brochure are very fair. We had the best outside cabin and the bunks are very narrow. The cabin is not somewhere we wanted to spend any time. We went with hopes of seeing the Northern Lights and were lucky. There were glimpses from the ship. We were in Tromso overnight but did not pay £90 each for a trip to view them. We caught a local bus to a country park and saw the lights from there. £9 all in! The buffets on board are excellent but the waited on dinners are a waste of time. There's a lot of fussing and ceremony for tiny portions and usually cold ones. I would say book Breakfast and Lunch. Take snacks for evenings! You can take a Travel kettle and teabags etc.Also take mugs. The 'deal' of buying a mug and being supplied with endless tea or coffee is very expensive for a toilet roll inner sized mug!! The interesting part of the voyage is that the ship is really a working ferry and foot passengers and local people use it a lot. It does go into small inlets and ports that bigger ships can't reach. I think a Summer cruise would be more value for money because the wildlife and scenery would be visible!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
To sum up, I've put the summary first you can also read the more in depth view after, if the mood takes you. If you want reasonable size cabin with half decent facilities don't choose this cruise, unless you can afford the much ... Read More
To sum up, I've put the summary first you can also read the more in depth view after, if the mood takes you. If you want reasonable size cabin with half decent facilities don't choose this cruise, unless you can afford the much larger cabins at much larger prices. If you are after fine dining don't choose this cruise, we found the food very good but may not be to everyone choosing. If you are after entertainment in the evening don't choose this cruise, there isn't any apart from piano man in the bar. If you want Hurtigruten to fuss after you don't choose this cruise, it's not in the Norwegian make up to be concerned that you are enjoying yourself and being looked after they are not bothered. If something goes wrong don't expect an apology so don't choose this cruise. If you are adventurous and want something totally different you want amazing scenery Summer or Winter within a stones throw, choose this cruise. You can get 24 hours of sun in the Summer and 24 hours of darkness in the winter so in winter you won't see so much of the amazing scenery. In the Winter you may be lucky and see the Aurora Borealis. You may also get rough seas 40ft waves and 80mph winds and you will get freezing cold temperatures along with a trip into the Arctic Circle. The choice is yours! would we go again, the answer is yes! but we would try and get a two for the price of one offer if they come up, then it would be value for money at £888 each for 6 nights, compared to other cruises it's expensive. Hurtigruten are relying too much on the scenery, summer and winter and selling it as a working ferry but they want cruise liner prices without delivering the service. They need to go on some customer service courses or experience another cruise line to see what's on offer. The management certainly need to change their attitude, the staff on the ship were always very polite and helpful. We booked a trip on the M/S Nordkapp the Voyage North for our 40th wedding anniversary we did not expect anything but hoped we might get a bottle of wine on the night of our anniversary. We should have known better, this would not be the trip of a life time. At the time of booking I paid Hurtigruten to have a car pick us up at the airport and take us to the ship I advised them of the flight number and arrival time, touchdown 20:00 hrs, and what time I expected to exit the terminal 20:30hrs. When we reached Bergen and stepped out of the terminal on time, no car, nothing, we waited and waited, going in and out of the terminal in case we had missed someone carrying a notice with our name on, nothing. I phoned the number provided several times and got no reply. Eventually someone did answer only to hang up on me when I explained why I was phoning. Then an employee from the Flybusen company asked if we had a problem I explained to him and he said it happens all the time with Hurtigruten, people missing the departure of the ship. with his help we got a bus to the Hurtigruten terminal and just made the departure at 22:30. Because we were late we got none of the information given to other passengers. after a expensive coffee we decided to go to bed. We knew the cabins were not going to be palatial but we expected them to be clean! that was another mistake, when I pulled down the bed I was going to sleep on I looked at the pillow and it was filthy it looked like someone had played football with it and the actual pillow in side the case was stained yellow all over really gross. We were both so tired by this time I just threw the pillow against the door to block out the light coming in through the gap at the bottom of the door, I'm still not sure if any of the bedding was changed before we got there all the sheets were creased but that may be because the beds fold up with the bedding trapped against the cabin wall, how the pillow was so dirty I don't know. When we awoke in the morning we were able to see what we missed on our arrival in the cabin, well it was a sorry sight tatty to say the least, we had one chair to sit on which was far from new, the the top of the back of the chair was frayed where so many hands had gripped and rubbed along it with stuffing coming out, with the seat section well worn, along with the very worn carpets. Then we come to the bathroom, adequate, but small and old, the shower worked with just enough water to feel clean. Toilet seat was broken moving around very much when the sea was rough, a skill just to sit on it in such conditions, then there was the sink, when first we looked, it seemed as though it had not been cleaned but it was just old and stained, with the surface all crazed with small cracks making it look worse. We had booked the trip in the hope of seeing the Northern lights, no guarantees, and as luck would have it we did not, they said we had the worst storm in ten years, staying in Trondheim for an additional 12 hours to let the worst of the storm to pass, so for most of the cruise it was very overcast, these are small ships 11,000 tonnes compared with the big cruise liners of 100,000 + tonnes. Once we had gained our sea legs the rough weather was not a problem in fact it was different, something to talk about, you must expect bad weather in the North Sea in the winter months if you want gentle cruising don't choose this trip. Hurtigruten do say they are a ferry for the Norwegian people which they are, 11 ships, constantly going up and down the coast stopping at 34 ports on the way North and the same again coming South. We missed out on 14 of the ports due to the adverse weather conditions but it was not a big deal, many of these were docked at when we would be asleep. The views of the Norwegian coast were stunning and that was the other reason for the voyage, which didn't disappoint us. My wife and I found the food to be generally very good breakfast was not always a big choice, if you slept in there was even less. Midday meal was between 12:00 and 14:00 help yourself a good selection of hot or cold dishes always plenty of fresh seafood which was really good. Evening meal, there were two sittings 18:00 and 20:00 although with I guess maximum 150 passengers when we were sailing, all could have been accommodated at one sitting and according to the specs, the ship has the capacity of 622 passengers with 456 beds (you have to guess the number of tatty the beds out of the total) If you do choose this type of cruise there is no entertainment to speak of, one man with a synthesiser cranking out a variety of tunes and songs in a bar that feels quite soulless but that's probably because it bankrupts you to have a few drinks in the bar and not many people were prepared to pay the Norwegian prices for booze, small bottle of beer £8.50 glass of wine £9.00 they say it's to stop the Norwegian youth from drinking but there were no Norwegian youth on the ship . What's wrong with giving international passengers duty free privileges, you have to pay by charging drinks to your cabin number, they also advertise duty free for travellers in the on board shop, so it could be done. That may have made the evenings more enjoyable, remember the further North you go in the winter months the shorter the days, it does afford a greater chance of seeing the Northern lights but it shortens the time for the views of the passing scenery so the evenings can seem to be quite long.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Cruise Review Hurtigruten Nordkapp We sailed on the Nordkapp from May 5 -- May 10 from Kirkenes to Bergen. We were told there were 300 people on board with the ship listed as capable of holding 622. The ship is well appointed and run ... Read More
Cruise Review Hurtigruten Nordkapp We sailed on the Nordkapp from May 5 -- May 10 from Kirkenes to Bergen. We were told there were 300 people on board with the ship listed as capable of holding 622. The ship is well appointed and run with reasonable efficiency. The rooms are small but well thought out. In general we found the scenery disappointing. It should be noted that Hurtigruten -- as a coastal shipping company - makes no effort to enter fjords for scenic purposes with the exception of the Trollfjord, and that was cancelled due to "bad weather" on our voyage. The most famous of the Norwegian Fjords (Geiranger) is often visited by bus and not on the ship except at limited times. Southbound passengers do not have that option at all. We were going southbound and that's what this review applies to. We have been to Millford Sound in New Zealand, and to the amazing Kotor Fjord in Montenegro. With the possible exception of Trollfjord and Geiranger when visited, Hurtigruten offers pleasant scenery (quite good scenery in Lofoten) but not spectacular scenery as is available in New Zealand, the Balkans or Canada/Alaska. Hurtigruten, when they replied to this letter, said that in the summer months they enter Geirangerfjord in the ship. They also described themselves as a "coastal cruise" rather than a "Fjord Cruise". You should check your cruise specifically if you want to see a classic Fjord and be aware of the high probability of weather cancellation. It is possible that by going in early May we didn't get the full benefit of what can be seen due to the presence of snow over most of the first 1/3 of the trip. Fjords are also more spectacular from above than from sea level. We should have done more research before taking the cruise to discover all of this of course. Note that the word fjord in Norwegian has a meaning that's basically "bay", while in english it's more like "bay with steep cliffs". We heard one other passenger saying "his only regret regarding the cruise is that he didn't see any fjords". Ironic. In general if you choose not to go for the full 11 days, you should take the Bergen-Kirkenes journey. It's clear from Hurtigruten's effort (there are 18 Excursions going north and 10 going south) that the southbound journey is an afterthought after the journey north. You might get on at an entry point after Kirkenes if you are going south. The Lofoten islands are worthwhile and the highlight of what we saw. From Kirkenes to Tromso the scenery was unimpressive, and a better southbound cruise might be Tromso to Bergen. We found the endless quest for revenue by Hurtigruten disconcerting. Unique in our cruise experience, they charge for water (19 kr) at dinner. There is no free dinner drink (water, coffee and tea are free at breakfast and lunch). The tour of the bridge is 80 kr -- all other bridge tours we've heard of and seen on cruises are free. Everything on the ship is expensive, but it is Norway. The highly lauded 250 kr drink/cup offer is a good deal, but you should try the coffee first to make sure that it's to your taste (the coffee in the cup is the same as at the first buffet, so you can get a sample). Coffee on the ship is different than anywhere else I've been in the US, Europe, Asia or Africa. The Hurtigruten literature specifically says that there is no tipping. Someone should inform the crew of this. Every single Hurtigruten voucher has a line for a tip. The snack bar and bar upstairs have "tip jars". Further at the "mandatory" disembarkation conference Johan, the cruise director (I don't know if that's his official title) made an impassioned plea for tips. Tour guides for Vantage and Grand Circle also instructed their passengers to tip. The service is competent, but it is devoid of any charm. Most of the crew would clearly prefer a cruise without passengers. In any case the original instruction (Cut and paste from the Hurtigruten 2012 brochure): "Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Voyages has a non-tipping policy. However, if you feel that crew members should be rewarded for providing exceptional service this is entirely at your discretion." The dinners are inventive -- some are good, some are not as good and all are interesting. My wife is a vegetarian, and they handled that well. We asked for early dinner seating, and it turns out that's basically only for the tour company passengers (Grand Circle, Vanguard etc). The breakfast was disappointing (fried eggs in the buffet only once, and scrambled eggs perhaps twice). You can forget about pastry unless you pick it up yourself at one of the local towns. Norway has wonderful bread, but the bread on the ship is not as good as the Norwegian average. We saw a number of people picking up food at the local coop grocery stores which are usually a short walk from the pier. The Wifi is exactly as Hurtigruten says -- present in the lounge but slow. It was operational for most of the voyage and Johan did reset the router immediately when needed and requested. The cell phone service on the Norwegian coast is amazingly good. We had good cell phone conversations, and good smart phone email service the whole way without exception. This supplemented our wifi as needed. The rooms are made up once a day unlike many cruise ships where they are made up twice a a day. We can verify that the lower sheet is not changed throughout a 5 day voyage since it had a stain on it when we first saw it, and it had the same stain every day. On some cruise ships they prepare the room by putting down the beds but not on Hurtigruten. That said the beds are very easy to put in place. The departure from the ship was strange. The cruise director (?) Johan described a complex procedure at the "mandatory" disembarkation briefing which - if followed - would have lead to a peaceful relaxed disembarkation from the ship. The procedure involving waiting to leave the ship until the luggage from your floor was about to get on the conveyor belt. He said announcements would be made and went over them in great detail. In the end, no announcements were made. After all how could they be -- Johann was the first person of any type off the ship and his pleasant red haired assistant was close behind. If you have been on travel excursions (cruises, tours, rail journeys) you will remember seeing the crew greet you as you leave the ship. The crew doesn't do that on the cruise for the simple reason that every member of the crew who can leave the ship leaves the ship before the passengers. The disembarkation and luggage claim was the usual "free for all" although it must be said that the luggage delivery at the terminal was fairly quick. I'm still puzzled why Johan described that procedure in detail if there would be no one there to make the announcements. He could have spent even more time talking about tipping instead. Hurtigruten did reply to this letter with the main response being: "We do not operate cruises in the conventional sense as the main purpose of the Hurtigruten is for the ships to operate as working vessels collecting and delivering cargo and passengers (many of the local people using the 'shuttle' service to shop for food and other items) along the coast." Hurtigruten is good if you want a relaxing journey with pleasant scenery. If you want above average or better service and dramatic scenery, you should probably go somewhere else. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We recently returned from a cruise on the Nordkapp, going both north and then south on the ship, beginning and ending in Bergen, Norway. It was a wonderful trip with lots of beautiful scenery. My thoughts on the cruise: next time I will ... Read More
We recently returned from a cruise on the Nordkapp, going both north and then south on the ship, beginning and ending in Bergen, Norway. It was a wonderful trip with lots of beautiful scenery. My thoughts on the cruise: next time I will book a room on deck 3 or 4 in the middle of the ship. We were in a front cabin on deck 5. The outside deck was on deck 5 so there were people walking in front of the stateroom window. When we hit rough seas that cabin had much more movement than other areas of the ship. The rooms are small but clean and adequate. It was fun to stop in all of the little towns but some of the stops were only 15-30 minutes so there was no time to get off the ship. If you want nightlife, shows, casinos then this is NOT the cruise for you. The average age of the people on board was at least 70. The food was good. Buffet breakfast and lunch. Lots of different kinds of fish and lunchmeats and cheeses. Always hard and soft boiled eggs for breakfast. If you like fish and pickled herring then you will love the buffets. Dinner was sit-down....fish one night, meat the next night. We were with a tour group,and the chef was very open to accommodating food restrictions or preferences. Be prepared for very high prices...$10 for a glass of beer or wine with lunch or dinner. Buy the coffee mug for $40 but you get unlimited coffee or tea throughout the day. Otherwise you have to pay for each cup you might want during the day. The prices for the cruises the ship offers seem a little pricey. We went to the midnight concert (well worth the cost $70pp) and took the ATV ride to the Russian Border(lots of fun!). The best part was going through the Troll Fjord. Breathtaking!!!! I would recommend this cruise to anyone wanting to see beautiful,scenery and who does not care for large cruise ships with lots of people. Bring along books to read. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Good points- the ship is well maintained and the public areas are nicely done. The Observation lounge was particularly nice. The 3 course evening meals were good, though you don't get a choice. Breakfast buffet choice was ok, but ... Read More
Good points- the ship is well maintained and the public areas are nicely done. The Observation lounge was particularly nice. The 3 course evening meals were good, though you don't get a choice. Breakfast buffet choice was ok, but not spectacular. Not so good - our cabin was tiny, with fold up beds. There is only 1 very small drawer, though wardrobe space was ok. Small bathroom, but clean and well maintained, shower was ok with plentiful hot water. Hair dryer is rubbish and gets very hot to hold. We were on deck 5 so had large window, but onto boat deck, so you have passengers outside. We were unlucky with weather as grey and gloomy for much of our trip, so scenery looked bleak at times rather than beautiful. Our first night on open sea was very rough, so beware if you suffer sea sickness, though it is very smooth on the inland waters. Also, be aware that there are often stops through the night and the thrusters really make the ship vibrate, so try and avoid cabins near there if you want a good night's sleep. On one night we had someone using an angle grinder outside our room at 2.15am which wasn't very customer friendly! Some of the staff are a little surly and are not that helpful if you have a problem, though their English is excellent. Waiting staff in restaurant were not particularly quick and were very slow at clearing tables at breakfast, so you often had to hunt for a table. We were only half board and be warned, prices are extortionate, with a 500ml can of beer costing about £8. However, this is not dissimilar to mainland prices, so Norway generally is very costly.The only entertainment is a singer in the bar most evenings, who was ok, but he had the same repertoire every night! It's a very quiet ship with mostly elderly passengers, so quite relaxing, but could be boring for some. You have to carry your own suitcases ashore (though they are loaded on for you on arrival) They had steps rather than a ramp to disembark, so this must have been very difficult for some of the elderly or infirm. I didn't see anyone offering to assist? The tour director is fun and his announcements were often entertaining. All announcements were in Norwegian, English and German, though not always in that order. Had we seen the Northern Lights it all would have been worthwhile, but as mentioned, we were unlucky with the weather and it snowed heavily at Tromso which is where we were hoping to get a glimpse, so overall it was a little disappointing for the money we spent. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
We booked our Hurtigruten cruise with our local travel agent and about 2 weeks before departure, our travel documents arrived. We booked the 12 day round trip from Bergen - Kirkenes - Bergen. Our trip started in Oslo. We spent a day of ... Read More
We booked our Hurtigruten cruise with our local travel agent and about 2 weeks before departure, our travel documents arrived. We booked the 12 day round trip from Bergen - Kirkenes - Bergen. Our trip started in Oslo. We spent a day of sightseeing but wish we had allowed 2 or 3 days for Oslo. The next morning, took a morning train, the Norway in a Nutshell. This is highly recommended with beautiful scenery seen by trains, boat and bus. It takes all day and we were so glad we did it. We arrived in Bergen in the evening and spent the next day and a half sightseeing. Around 3PM we arrived at the Hurtigruten terminal to board the Nordkapp. After checking our large suitcases we were directed to a large waiting room. After not too long of a wait, we were allowed to board and were told our cabins would not be ready until around 6PM. We were able to get into the cabin and drop off our carry on luggage right before the dinner buffet. We met a lovely couple from Australia and had dinner with them. Our first cabin did not have enough shelves for our clothes, plus a window that was about 2 feet deep, so not too good for seeing out. So after about 5 days were allowed to upgrade to a cabin on the 6th Deck which was really great. The beds are really comfortable and there was plenty of room for our larger suitcases. In case you do not want to keep the large suitcases in your cabin, there is a storage room where you can take them to. The ship has a tour director who announces upcoming ports and things of interest to see. There was a large panorama lounge on the 7th Deck for relaxing and seeing the scenery or for reading. There are buffets for breakfast and lunch, with a set time for dinner. If you do not like a lot of fish (like me) you can ask for a vegetarian meal, as long as you let them know by noon. Each meal had an appetizer, main course and dessert. We never went hungry! We booked three excursions. The first was a Geiranger excursion. The Nordkapp went down the Geiranger Fjord, then we disembarked by tender to the small town of Geiranger. We then boarded a bus that went up into the mountains, where we were able to look down and see our ship heading back to Alesund to pick us up. The scenery was beautiful, with a lot of sheep in the meadows. The second excursion was to the North Cape. At Honningsvag, we boarded a bus that took us through very unusual scenery. We saw a lot of reindeer on the mountain sides. After stopping at the North Cape visitor center, we took a lot of photos. That day the weather was very cold and windy. We then headed to a Sami camp and took photos of a Sami with his reindeer. There was a small souvenir shop there. Our third excursion was a tour of the Lofoten Islands. They are very beautiful with dried fish hanging on people's homes. Also, there are large racks where the villages can dry their fish. Every day, there are Hurtigruten ships leaving Bergen to make the round trip to Kirkenes and back to Bergen. It stops at 34 ports going north, and 34 ports going south. What ports are made during the night, are usually made during the day time on the trip back. Some ports are only for 15 minutes, some 30 minutes, and a few are 2 or 3 hours or more. The ship blows it's horn 5 minutes before leaving. The entertainment is the scenery which is always changing. I took loads of pictures of lighthouses, some are very beautiful, and some are really small. Most people were either out on the decks or in the Panorama Lounge. There was one guitar player in the evening that was really good. There is a small Cafe if anyone would be hungry. It is also for the locals who board the ship from port to port. The Gift shop was small, but held a lot of items and there were always sales going on. There is an internet room, but the connections are really slow. It took us 40 minutes to log on and write one email while we were in Kirkenes! There is also a small kid's play room. Getting off the ship, even if it is for 30 minutes or less and just watching the cargo being loaded and unloaded is very interesting. We saw farm implements, potting soil, frozen fish and even kitchen cabinets! Disembarkation is like most cruise ships, we had to leave our luggage outside our cabin by 9AM, and be out of our cabin by 10AM. So we just stayed in the Panorama Lounge until the ship reached Bergen. Then, we were dismissed by our cabin deck, which we were one of the first. We then caught a taxi to our Bed and Breakfast. This was a great trip and highly recommend it to anyone who does not need to be pampered every day and can be independent. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Oslo-Tromso 0915-1100 (Flight) £30 Tromso-Tronheim 0130-0615 (3 sleeps later) £200 (Inc Breakfast) Trondheim-Oslo 0930-1020 (Flight) £40 Right, this is all about the best trip I have ever taken. If you want scenery then ... Read More
Oslo-Tromso 0915-1100 (Flight) £30 Tromso-Tronheim 0130-0615 (3 sleeps later) £200 (Inc Breakfast) Trondheim-Oslo 0930-1020 (Flight) £40 Right, this is all about the best trip I have ever taken. If you want scenery then this is the best in the world, I am not joking! This trip is what I would call the "Lofoten" cruise. Every corner you take is another picture. Tromso is great to see the Northern lights and go up the cable car for great views of the city. The Artic church is very nice. (Oh, if you need to taste the best sandwich ever visit the bakery in front of the old church in the center of town. Also, do not leave Tromso without trying "Mack" beer, the Worlds most northern brewery.) I was supposed to get off at Bodo to get the train to Trondheim, but the cruise was so darn good, I begged to stay on board. Must see and do's in Trondheim, The cathedral and the crown jewels. Also take a walk over the old bridge. If your young go to a bar called "Down Town" The staff were great and very helpful with information on important facts. Rooms were comfy, my room 350 had all I needed (inc sockets) Book it, and you wont regret it, that is a promise! Take a spare battery for the camera! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Nordkapp Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.7
Dining 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 3.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation N/A 2.8
Family 3.0 2.8
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.6
Enrichment 3.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.4

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