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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise specifically because it gives you the greatest chance of seeing the Northern lights. We followed the advice from Hurtigruten about what camera lens to buy and to take a tripod but what they don't tell you is that ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically because it gives you the greatest chance of seeing the Northern lights. We followed the advice from Hurtigruten about what camera lens to buy and to take a tripod but what they don't tell you is that there is also a 99p app from I-phone which will enable you to take pictures of the Northern Lights when they are weak, as was the case with our cruise. We only found out about this app by chance, on talking to a fellow passenger who had got some spectacular photos with her phone the previous day. So, I would advise anyone who wants to get photos of the Northern Lights to do both, take the equipment advised by Hurtigruten but also get the app! You will also need a good hat, coat, gloves and winterlined trousers if you plan to be on deck at night to get the photos as the windchill factor is high! The My Aurora forecast is also useful, although they do give a Northern Light forecast at the Gatherings. On the plus side, the boat was clean and well equipped, the food was very good - they were happy to provide me with vegetarian and gluten-free food without complaint - a very refreshing change! My favourite was the rice porridge at breakfast and the dessert of rice pudding and berry sauce in the evening. The restaurant staff were helpful, particularly Margarethe and Anna. The cabin we had on the 3rd deck was small but adequate and well equipped - the heated shower floor is a godsend as you go further north. There is a small library with English books accessed through the a-la-carte restaurant, which also provides seating if other areas are busy. We spent most of our time in the panoramic lounge on deck 7, which gives spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. I can also recommend going ashore at Urke on the north-bound voyage - you don't have to pay for this but do need a ticket (something we were not aware of) - if you don't get a ticket, wait until the other tenders have left and they provided another tender for those passengers left who wanted to go. It's a very pretty area in spectacular scenery and worth seeing. The excursion to the North Cape was very good, made better by our guide "Bob" who provided a very funny commentary to our trip there and back. The excursion to Hammerfest was also interesting, if not as funny! Sailing through the Trollfjord area was also a highlight with snow-covered mountains. The main thing we enjoyed was sailing along with a book, looking at all the different landscapes. It's also good to stretch your legs when the boat is in port for an hour or so. We enjoyed the Gatherings held by the Expedition Team in the evenings - very informative and also got to see the photos taken by various passengers during the day. It was worthwhile having the package including free coffee, although the bar and coffee machine on deck 7 was only open from 4 pm - the café on deck 4 was open 24 hours. Tap water is OK to drink from the cabins and also free in the restaurants. There is a list of the days activities available from the Expedition Team area every evening, also next day's menu at the front of the restaurant. We asked for a table for 2 from the restaurant manager for the evening meal and this was provided without any trouble - otherwise you sit on a table with other passengers and keep that table for the whole cruise. On the minus side, the trips are very expensive, as are the beer and wine packages. It was difficult to get a seat when there were no trips and everyone was on the boat. It was also very busy in the restaurant at such times for breakfast and lunch. The big complaint I have is that we waited over an hour to check-in to our Titan Airway flight in Bergen on the way home. This is really unacceptable and should be addressed. Otherwise, check-in and check-out on the boat was very well organised. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Once we made the south bounded tour from Kirkenes to Bergen, in summer. Now we wanted to make the north tour in winter especially because of the polar light, but also to see the coast in winter, e.g North pole. Of course we made a ... Read More
Once we made the south bounded tour from Kirkenes to Bergen, in summer. Now we wanted to make the north tour in winter especially because of the polar light, but also to see the coast in winter, e.g North pole. Of course we made a sight seeing trip throuh Bergen, although it was raining. The embarkation and disembarkation was smooth, and without hectic. In both situations the luggage was satisfactory brought into and out of the ship, so we didn't have to handle it myself. We used as long two ships, MS Nordnorge and MS Nordlys. Both were very well equiped, enough space to relaxe and to see the surrounding. The cabin was only used for sleeping and dressing, therefor it was o.k. The dining was excellent, especially in accordance to the local region. The activities were excellent, the expedition team was the best team we ever have seen. The service was also out of discussion, excellent. Because of the expedition teams te excursions were very good prepared. The evening before you became information, all questions were answered, pictures were shown, he work shop about making photos of polar light was excellent. We had no children with us, but perhaps when our grandchilds are elder. Of course we will repeat travelling with Hurtigruten. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
What an amazing journey! So different from a 'big ship' experience - you get really up-close-and-personal to the Norwegian coast with Hurtigruten, visiting so many ports of call, and expertly navigating the myriad of islands and ... Read More
What an amazing journey! So different from a 'big ship' experience - you get really up-close-and-personal to the Norwegian coast with Hurtigruten, visiting so many ports of call, and expertly navigating the myriad of islands and fjords of the coast - amazingly close, almost reaching out to touch some of the cliffs or to shake the hands of locals. Could not fault the food, service and staff on board - so refreshing to see Norwegian staff, as the talk about their home country with such pride. Enjoyed learning about the Northern Lights - and Hurtigruten have their Northern Lights Promise of a free voyage if the Lights do not appear (some small print does apply) - but we were treated to an spine-tingling event on several nights. Asking the Expedition team how they rated the Lights we saw, they said "about a 6 or 7 out of 10" - so I can't wait to go back and see what a 10/10 experience would be!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I saw an article offering no single supplement on this Hurtigruten cruise (11.11.17) and investigated it. Sounded good, so I booked it. Flew from Sydney to Bergen - warm weather to icy chill! Dinner on the first night was buffet ... Read More
I saw an article offering no single supplement on this Hurtigruten cruise (11.11.17) and investigated it. Sounded good, so I booked it. Flew from Sydney to Bergen - warm weather to icy chill! Dinner on the first night was buffet style, but after that each night - bar one - it was a set three course meal - no choices. However the choices for breakfast and lunch were excellent - particularly if you like seafood - and cheese. The only complaint I have is that the hot food could have been a lot hotter - some times it was just warm. Hurtigruten prides itself on supporting local suppliers and often what we had for dinner was bought fresh from a local port that day. While the coastal voyage states that it calls into 34 ports - don't be fooled - this is a mail/cargo/passenger run and so often the ports are at all times of the day and sometimes only 15 minutes. Usually each day there is a major port stop with excursions offered - quite pricey - but most times there is a good map available on board so that you can walk around yourself. I had bought rubber slip on "spikes" to attach to my boots and was able to walk on snowy and sometimes icy streets with confidence - after the first cautious steps. On board we had cultural and information talks about Norway and its history. Don't expect any entertainment at night - there is an occasional story telling at 9.30 - and you may be lucky to be called from your bed for the Northern Lights but that's it. Read Less
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