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25 Hurtigruten Nordlys Norwegian Fjords Cruise Reviews

We hoped to see the Aurora and experience the stunning arctic scenery. We chose the 7-day Northbound cruise with flights back to the UK from Kirkenes. The prices for the excursions were very high, nevertheless we chose the dog-sledding ... Read More
We hoped to see the Aurora and experience the stunning arctic scenery. We chose the 7-day Northbound cruise with flights back to the UK from Kirkenes. The prices for the excursions were very high, nevertheless we chose the dog-sledding as an experience of a lifetime. It lived up to expectations. The 'Cathedral tour' at one town though, was priced at over £100pp - we decided to walk the half mile from the boat instead and paid the £12 entry fee. It was the same with several other expensive 'walking tours' of small towns/villages - we simply explored ourselves. Other activities billed as lasting 2.5hours failed to mention 1 hour coach transfers etc. On board the breakfasts and buffet-style lunches were quite good, but repetitive each day. There was no* choice on the dinner menu - a set 3 courses each day; and the quality was unremarkable given the eloquence of the written description of the dishes on the menu. (*If you really didn't want what was on offer for a given evening, it was possible to ask for 'the alternative' by prior arrangement by lunchtime that day) A £100+ 'drinks package' bought just 3 bottles of wine - and individually a pint of beer varied between £10 - £12.25 (on shore, even in the more remote villages the price was only £7.50) The bar on board was only available after 3.00pm and was the only place to get free coffee during the day outside meal times) All in all, most things were overpriced and struggled to live up to to their descriptions in the brochure. HOWEVER - the scenery was stunning throughout, and the 'Expedition Team' were knowledgeable, lively and positive, and keen to help guests get the most out of their voyage. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Even though we saw them on 3 nights, be aware - Northern lights are NOT coloured to the naked eye. If your cabin is on the gangway side you get woken in the middle of the night with all the stops. Not enough to do on board except sit ... Read More
Even though we saw them on 3 nights, be aware - Northern lights are NOT coloured to the naked eye. If your cabin is on the gangway side you get woken in the middle of the night with all the stops. Not enough to do on board except sit in the lounge area, some good talks and films. Board games available. The gangway area and walk path to coaches were not treated, so snow and ice v. slippery. Not yet a 'cruise' line as it advertises itself. No medical facilities Twin/single cabins have a large metal handle on the side of bed making getting in and out difficult. Buffet meals were good, but if lunch was a buffet, dinner was a fixed (no choice) menu served slowly and lukewarm. Excursions over-priced. Small poorly equipped gym MS Nordlys is the most recently refitted Hurtigruten ship but Hurtigruten can't seem to decide if they are still a Post ship with lots of short stops, or a Cruise line Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wished to see the Norweigan coast. Even though the price was high, it is a ferry. People without sleeping accommodations sleeping all over seating areas. Food quite diverse but very good. The buffet breakfast and lunch are like fish ... Read More
We wished to see the Norweigan coast. Even though the price was high, it is a ferry. People without sleeping accommodations sleeping all over seating areas. Food quite diverse but very good. The buffet breakfast and lunch are like fish feeding frenzies . Ran out of popular items. Other than for two servers the meal service was horrible. Very short staffed. Also bad timing for one of the lunches, which was not buffet. Sit down meal and an hour later we’re not served and because we booked a tour we basically finished eating after 3 and were supposed to have diner at 5:30. Couldn’t get wine and water, or even order wine. Expedition team outstanding. However, tours are quite costly. Glad we went on the trip but did not receive value for what we paid. Would not recommend if you wish quality service. Beautiful scenery along the way. I would recommend a shorter trip as there are repeat stops returning to Bergen. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
• Background Information We are a retired couple who have travelled a great deal; however, we’d never done a cruise being put off by the thought of thousands of people on the same vessel. A fellow traveller recommended Hurtigruten ... Read More
• Background Information We are a retired couple who have travelled a great deal; however, we’d never done a cruise being put off by the thought of thousands of people on the same vessel. A fellow traveller recommended Hurtigruten after doing one on MS Lofoten. We liked the idea of a smaller ship without the nonsense of casinos, bars, and stage shows. • Travel To Port of Embarkation Icelandair YEG – KEF – OSL. This is our preferred airline for travel to Europe. The service is excellent; it breaks up a long flight into tolerable pieces; it avoids the very large airports with their chaos and noise. On the return, we stayed a few days in Reykjavik, one of our favourite destinations. OSL – BGO was SAS, a good flight. • Hotel Info (if any) Outbound: Radisson Blu, Bergen. Nice hotel, great central location. Return: The Thief (aptly named) Oslo where we hoped to see a bit of the city, but by the we factored in the long train ride there an back, there was no time for any significant touring and the hotel was very, very, very expensive. It would be nice to figure out a way to avoid Oslo altogether. • Stateroom Very comfortable, much better than we expected. The HVAC worked perfectly as did the WC and shower. All better than many hotels. We are both pretty good sailors, but still appreciated a centre cabin, low in the ship. • Ship Info Very seaworthy and comfortable. Able to handle 3m seas with little wallowing or corkscrewing. The seamanship of the crew was astounding. We were able to moor and depart without the slightest bump or clank. We needed to look outside to tell whether we were underway or not. • Dining Excellent quality and variety. Sampling some of the local specialities with table service was an unexpected treat. More salads would be appreciated, though understandably this is a bit tricky at sea. • Activities We enjoyed watching the islands and fiords pass by along with exploring the many ports of call along the way. That’s what we came for and we were not disappointed. • Children's Clubs N/A • Service Table service was generally excellent. We particularly liked Zarah, Jorgen, Kristin, & Marte who all seem perpetually in a good mood. I was only snarled at once by a server who shall remain ever nameless. Housekeeping was variable. At the start, our cabin was made up by early morning; later, it seemed to take much longer. We were happy to participate in the programme to skip days for environmental reasons, though later we had to abandon this as having the room serviced was the only way to get the tiny waste basket emptied. We would have done this ourselves except that dustbins are rare on this ship. • Entertainment There were a number of lectures and films about folklore, history, nature, geography. These were all excellent, both content and presentation. An educational dimension is very appealing and one of the reasons to go on a cruise such as this. I have a special interest in both the energy business and the environment so the talk on North Sea O & G was particularly à propos. Something that needs attention is the canned music that filled the lounges and bars at times. This was really bad, screechy R & R and popular music, at times so loud that we had to leave. No one seemed able or willing to turn it off or down. On a relaxing, nature-themed cruise, maybe Grieg or Sibelius or some of the other fine European composers? • Port & Shore Excursions We enjoyed visiting the various ports on our own. We did not participate in the organised excursions seeing them as both expensive and rushed. Besides, we are from a Northern country where snowmobiles, X country skis, snowshoes are not a novelty. • Disembarkation Very efficient. The ship was cleared in 20m. Nothing was lost or broken. The buses were all waiting. No improvement needed • Summary This was a very enjoyable and relaxing cruise. We would not hesitate to use Hurtigruten again; the quality is first class. A little more information on some of the peripheral details would be nice: transportation options to-from airports, location of the Hurtigruten mooring, tips on packing, &c. Most of this we had to figure out ourselves and our travel agent did not do a very good job of finding this out. Still, we’ll know what to do next time. Finally, French language services would be appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because it advertised exactly what we were looking for and wanted something special to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. It surpassed all of this. Embarkation and disembarkation was a very smooth event. Staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it advertised exactly what we were looking for and wanted something special to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. It surpassed all of this. Embarkation and disembarkation was a very smooth event. Staff were helpful and friendly at all times during the voyage, The expedition team were fabulous, keeping us constantly informed with points of interests and gatherings. Nothing was too much trouble. Food was more than excellent and great to be offered Norwegian food with all the information and history that went with it. The cafe was open for 24 hours so with our package we could have tea and coffee any time of the day. We certainly needed a hot drink after being on deck to see the Northern Lights three nights running. Considering the ship is going in for refurbishment very soon it was still spotlessly clean which was very noticeable. I really hope it doesn't end up like an 'Ikea' ship. We didn't like the decor and furniture on the Kong Harold that we were able to visit. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
So the ship is a working ferry and it desperately needs a refurbishment. Scuffed carpet, stuffing coming out of chairs in the lounge etc. Coffee machines that don't work. The ship made roughly 20+ stops but most of them are for only ... Read More
So the ship is a working ferry and it desperately needs a refurbishment. Scuffed carpet, stuffing coming out of chairs in the lounge etc. Coffee machines that don't work. The ship made roughly 20+ stops but most of them are for only 15 minutes so you cannot get off. I was able to get off in Alesund (gorgeous), Bodo (gorgeous), Trondheim (gorgeous) and Tromso (gorgeous) and Honningsvag (gorgeous). Very disappointed that we stopped in the Lofoten Islands in the middle of the night. We disembarked in Kirkenes. Cabin was an outside but it is incredibly cramped and I was the only person in it. Heaven help 2 people in the cabin. I opted for no cleaning service during the 6 days. The bed was uncomfortable but the bathroom floor was heated which was nice and the shower had excellent pressure and hot. Our tour group (from Australia) had full board but were still charged for coffee/tea outside of meal times which was just money grabbing by Hurtigruten. I'm a vegan and my food choices were very easy at breakfast and lunch because it was a buffet but dinner was a different matter. The first night I was given a chickpea curry which was extremely good and I had such high hopes however dinner for the rest of the cruise was hideous. A vegetable patty EVERY night. I cannot even look at a veggie patty now. The chef didn't even try to come up with something different or interesting for me. There was absolutely nothing to do except sit in the lounge and look at the scenery, which was beautiful, but after a while got very boring. There was one large jigsaw puzzle and a library. I also found that people hogged the chairs in the lounge all day, every day. Each night there was a talk by the Expedition team but it was really just to spruik the ship tours which were all very expensive. A lot of our group chose the NordKapp (North Cape) tour. When I confirmed my booking, I was told that the price I was looking at was the old price and the staff hadn't had time to change the pricing sheet. Our tour leader was ropable and quickly sorted it out so that we paid the advertised price, not the "new" price. The Expedition staff were not particularly helpful. The NordKapp excursion was wonderful and the bus follows a snow plough all the way to the Cape. My tip is to go and see the film first and then go down to the globe. If you do it that way, you are likely to get less people in your globe photo. I have the globe with no people in it (yay!). There is plenty to see there and the scenery is fantastic in winter. Recommendation: if you want to see the Northern Lights, don't do it by ship. Go to places like Tromso and Kirkenes and do trips out each night to hunt them. Stay in Kirkenes at the Snowhotel and take a dog sled ride, snowmobile ride, meet the reindeers. Stay in either a Gamme cabin (fabulous) or in the Snowhotel igloo itself. The one night in Kirkenes was a better experience for me than the entire 6 day cruise. Thank heavens I didn't have to do the return cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We wanted to book a Norwegian cruise on a smallish ship and to be able to sail into small ports and fijords also to see the northern lights. We achieved all of this on the Nordylis. However listening to some passengers who had been on ... Read More
We wanted to book a Norwegian cruise on a smallish ship and to be able to sail into small ports and fijords also to see the northern lights. We achieved all of this on the Nordylis. However listening to some passengers who had been on other larger ships, if you are looking for pure luxury and entertainment then this is definitely not the cruise for you. Also you have to remember that this is a working boat so. Calls into several ports during the night so expected broken sleep on the first few nights. You soon become acclimatised to the noise so wasn’t too much of a nuisance to us. The food served at the buffets is varied and everyone should be able to ind something they like. The set meals are quite small portions which again suited us as we had the 8pm sitting and didn’t want to go to bed after heavy meal. It looked beautiful and we enjoyed all the different Norwegian recipes served but again heard some people complaining about the portion sizes and menu. The answer to this is to speak to the head waitress either earlier in the day to change whatever it is you don’t fancy or speak to the waitress when it is brought to the table and they will change it/ bring you more etc. They couldn’t have been more helpful. Also be warned that an average bottle of wine is £45 +! A glass of wine or beer is £10! The prices are roughly the same in the local alcohol stores so it’s not that Hurtigruten are over charging it is just the price of everything generally in Norway. We took alcohol on board with us to drink in our cabin and it did not cause a problem. If you want a different and reasonably priced experience with good food and beautiful scenery this is definitely the cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I choosed it because it is the easiest way from bergen to the lofoten. I heard about hurtigruten in german TV and liked it. But it was much better than i ever expected. I will absolutely do it again and take all the tour north and back ... Read More
I choosed it because it is the easiest way from bergen to the lofoten. I heard about hurtigruten in german TV and liked it. But it was much better than i ever expected. I will absolutely do it again and take all the tour north and back south. I really appreciated the work of the expedition team. They do a great job and i can absolutely recommend vitising every workshop, excusion and presentation we had on board. please check it out. you will never forget it. You can't get this point of view when you are traveling alone in norway like i do. It is expensive, yes. But i am on my own in norway, traveling alone and on the ship it felt like going on a trip with my classmates. At first i was alone, but with every excursion we had and with every meal i met more and more people and when i was leaving the ship some people huged me and stand outside on the ship and waved me. it feld so nice and it was so easy to get in contact with new people. Read Less
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
Sail Date October 2018
We went on our first cruise with friends and didn’t want a cruise where we had to dress up for dinner. The brochure made this sound perfect and we thought we’d give it a go. We had high expectations and they were exceeded. Ship ... Read More
We went on our first cruise with friends and didn’t want a cruise where we had to dress up for dinner. The brochure made this sound perfect and we thought we’d give it a go. We had high expectations and they were exceeded. Ship marvellous, outstanding and very hard working staff and wonderful excursions. Food excellent and so many choices. We loved every minute even in changing weather, rain and cold climate. The Expedition Team are fabulous - they brought enthusiasm to all they did and were happy to help. We hope to be back to Hurtigruten for a cruise in the future. Would thoroughly recommend. It thoroughly exceeded our high expectations. We saw so many wonderful places and the excursions were amazing - Sami culture, an amazing marble mine, a Lofoten fishing village and so many more choices. Visiting the North Cape was wonderful but cold! I can not recommend highly enough. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had a fantastic time on the MS Nordlys. Even though this is one of the Hurtigruten ships that has not yet been renovated, the facilities were still very comfortable and appealing. We were amazed how creatively the cabin was designed to ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on the MS Nordlys. Even though this is one of the Hurtigruten ships that has not yet been renovated, the facilities were still very comfortable and appealing. We were amazed how creatively the cabin was designed to create the maximum amount of space. The embarkation and disembarkation went very, very smoothly. The same was true for the dining room and other facilities. The ship operated very efficiently and effectively. The dinner menu featured fresh fish with an outstanding and creative use of local ingredients. The crew and staff were absolutely topnotch, friendly, courteous, professional, and fluent in a number of languages, especially English and German. Because it is a ferry ship as well as a postal ship, a Hurtigruten ship like MS Nordlys has a number of responsibilities as it makes its way up and down the Norwegian coast. That is not typical for a cruise ship. But for passengers, it means that you get to see how a working ship operates, including a test of the lifeboats. If you are interested in a cruise with pools, organized games, and live entertainment on board, then this is not the cruise for you. If you are interested in seeing the beauty of the natural world every single day, then you should definitely consider it. The Expedition Team added an educational element to the cruise with periodic evening lectures and short talks on "Points of Interest." I attended more of these than most passengers, because I appreciated the additional information about the geology, ecology, and Norwegian culture. Our Hurtigruten cruise was definitely the highlight of our entire time in Norway. I would absolutely book again. It's not entirely clear from their booking website, but you can embark and disembark at different points, not just at the main terminals of Bergen and Kirkenes. This makes is possible to design your own trip. We found, however, that the northbound trip from Bergen to Kirkenes provided a good amount of time. Anything shorter would have felt too rushed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Always wanted to do the Norwegian coastal voyage *NOTE* NOT 'Norwegian fjords' -the only option listed on this supposedly comprehensive site!! Bought as inside no-single-supplement, but upgraded to outside with portholes on ... Read More
Always wanted to do the Norwegian coastal voyage *NOTE* NOT 'Norwegian fjords' -the only option listed on this supposedly comprehensive site!! Bought as inside no-single-supplement, but upgraded to outside with portholes on deck 2. Embarking/ disembarking both very efficient and well organised. Cruise card for on board expenses. Ship is mid 90s and mid sized for hurtigruten - easy to get around, cosy, not too big. Due for refurb next spring. No problems getting seats in any lounges. Other passengers mainly older, on full round trip, with younger doing local trips, along with native norwegians. No problems with being a single passenger, felt comfortable at all times - plenty of others travelling alone. Cabin more than adequate, portholes a boon. Some would not like low deck (some ship noise - but hey if you don't like waves slapping against the hull, don't come on a ship! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The travel timings were precise and everything went smoothly. However all the meals in the restaurant were lukewarm and often ran out without being replenished. The restaurant service was slow and the prices for the wine, beer etc were ... Read More
The travel timings were precise and everything went smoothly. However all the meals in the restaurant were lukewarm and often ran out without being replenished. The restaurant service was slow and the prices for the wine, beer etc were overpriced. The cheapest bottle of house wine was NOK 500. We priced in local supermarkets at NOK 124. Considering that Hurtigruten would purchase this at a wholesale not retail price - is an extortionate mark up. We found the excursions very expensive and the content rather staid and due to the ship's fast turnaround time extremely rushed. Most people we spoke to either walked or took a taxi towards the end of the trip as soon as they realised the poor value for money. However there is no getting away from the fact that the Norwegian scenery is spectacular and therefore despite our negative comments we are glad that we went. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
To see the fjords north of Norway and all the small ports of call onboard a "coast cruiseliner" during wintertime. It is the company's 150 years aniversery Embarcation and disembarcation vent smoothly Ports and ... Read More
To see the fjords north of Norway and all the small ports of call onboard a "coast cruiseliner" during wintertime. It is the company's 150 years aniversery Embarcation and disembarcation vent smoothly Ports and Shore excursions were well organised but far too expensive. A cruise of adventures which you need to do once in your lifetime In the lounges it was calm and relaxing and from time to time breath taking scenery ,mountains covered with snow and ice,and near sea level small assembling of houses. The weather shifted between snowfalls, snowstorm and sun,and during the nights we expected to see "aurora-the nothernlights" but it did not show up ( overcasted). The food was excellent for breakfast as well as luch, so was dinner too. The excursion team had in the afternoon a lession for the days events and an information for the following day. Also lessions of the "Hurtigrutens " beginning with its history up to day was given. You cannot miss this unique opportunity to be so close to the nature and at the same time so safe onboard this lovely ship Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Embarkation was in Bergen and I took a early flight to explore Bergen. I was happy I could get rid of my luggage at 13hrs to go into town. It’s a nice town. We disembarked on a Saturday and the weather was lovely and Bergen was vibrant ... Read More
Embarkation was in Bergen and I took a early flight to explore Bergen. I was happy I could get rid of my luggage at 13hrs to go into town. It’s a nice town. We disembarked on a Saturday and the weather was lovely and Bergen was vibrant than. A lot of people, full terraces: great! The voyage itself was awesome! The itinerary was unbelievable beautiful. Maybe because it was in the spring but we had a lot of snow but also were able to sit in the sun on deck. One of my best trips ever! The staff are overall are very kind and helpful. And they make the difference in my opinion. Catherina at the bar, the expedition team. People you remember. Also I like the fact that this Hurtigruten trip is of use to the people of Norway..Not just one of the too large cruise ships who look ugly in the landscape. There is to much fresh food 3 times a day :) Just visit the fjords of Norway. Just so amazing beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
Sail Date January 2018
From the on-line booking process to the end of the trip, a great experience. Hurtigruten is a working supply/postal vessel which carry's passengers also, so it goes where other cruise lines cannot get. No theatre's, no shows, ... Read More
From the on-line booking process to the end of the trip, a great experience. Hurtigruten is a working supply/postal vessel which carry's passengers also, so it goes where other cruise lines cannot get. No theatre's, no shows, no live music, except what you make yourselves. A great choice of excursions to suit all tastes and levels of fitness and obviously interest, with very experienced and knowledgeable staff. Great food regardless of buffet style or fixed menu. Great staff, very friendly and accommodating. We did the round voyage Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen and we enjoyed the trip tremendously even if we did experience hurricane force winds and the associated rough seas, all a part of the experience. Obviously I can only speak of our experience on-board MS Nordlys,between 5 January and 16 January 2018, but if the entire fleet has the same quality of staff and food I will not worry too much about which ship I book my next trip on. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I choosed this Ship because I wanted to see a great deal of Norway in a relative short amount of time. The voyage went from Tromsø to Bergen. The Scenery was very beautiful and nice same with the weather. Ship: - very nice ... Read More
I choosed this Ship because I wanted to see a great deal of Norway in a relative short amount of time. The voyage went from Tromsø to Bergen. The Scenery was very beautiful and nice same with the weather. Ship: - very nice interior - smooth embarkation and disembarkation only your Cruise card is needed to scan - sometimes you can smell the motor output but it isn't very bad - very clean - you have to disinfect your hands everytime you go to the dining-hall or come onto the Ship Cabin: - the Cabin got cleaned everyday if you wish so - very good smelling shampoo was provided (Cloudberrys and Birch) :-) Dining: - every meal there was at least one part with fish (very nice) - the waiting staff was very friendly and attentive. - tapwater is free everything else costs Entertainment: - very funny entertainers on board especially Magnus from the Expedition Team - every day multiple Points of Interest - Polar-circle crossing ceremony and certificate - every day at least one Excursion - multiple lectures on Vikings and other interesting stuff - much more Service: - very friendly and helpful staff - all announcements are in Norwegian, English and German All in all it was a very rewarding experience I will do it again as fast as I can. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I have often thought about a Norwegian cruise, how pretty it would be. Friends went in September and I was completely smitten by their photographs and their experience. I perused Hurtigruten's web site and booked a date covering ... Read More
I have often thought about a Norwegian cruise, how pretty it would be. Friends went in September and I was completely smitten by their photographs and their experience. I perused Hurtigruten's web site and booked a date covering both Christmas and New Year, and a class of cabin in my price range. I was not disappointed in my choice. The service on board was excellent from all members of staff. The MS Nordlys has the bonus of an on-board Expedition Team so as well as the Hurtigruten excursions, there were also walks or hikes with the Expedition Team, generally where the tours didn't go. On board there was a daily talk by the Expedition Team on topics such as The Sami People, Polar Expeditions, Folklore and Fairytales, along with general information about the next port of call and things to see and do. I didn't think the excursions were particularly good value for money but that could be because nothing in Norway is cheap. They were, however, very good. Those I went on were, with the exception of a nature and history walk with the on-board Expedition Team, Hurtigruten excursions. Sadly there is only time to do one excursion or expedition at stops en route so if doing both the northbound and southbound voyages its good to read the timings thoroughly before booking anything in case you miss out. For example, if you go dog-sledding in Tromso on the northbound voyage then you miss the city tour because on the southbound journey the stop at Tromso only has a midnight concert. So take the city tour northbound and do the dog sledding at Kirkenes! I didn't find it necessary to pre-book any excursions, they were all bookable on board but perhaps they get more booked out during different seasons. On the dates I travelled (25 December-5th January) the age range of Coastal Voyage passengers was mixed - one or two children, under 30's, over 30's and on to middle aged and older. Some travellers had a physical disability but they were all looked after whenever they needed help. Some locations were difficult for disembarking but their needs were well catered for, including using the car loading bay when the passenger ramp was too steep for them. Don't be deterred if you're disabled! Mealtimes are open seating with the exception of most dinners where you are allocated a dining time and a table at the outset of your Voyage. Most single travellers were put together, generally in groups of same language speakers - English, German etc spread out among the different sittings. Further down this review you will see that I have said I've done 2-5 cruises: my first was moving to Australia in 1971, the second and third were from Australia to New Zealand and from New Zealand to the UK. These were on large impersonal cruise liners. The Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage is not only an experience for travellers but is a working ferry for local people wanting to get from place to place easily and there is no comparison between the first 3 'cruises' and that which I have just taken with Hurtigruten. Without doubt the Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage is the most memorable and the most enjoyable for me - its casual and fun without too many frills, smart casual for dinner rather than stuffy "dress for dinner" or "dine with the captain". If you want posh, then you may find another company suits you better. I will definitely book more trips with Hurtigruten in the future and will definitely revisit the coastal voyage during another season. Read Less
Sail Date December 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
Sail Date November 2017
The Trip was wonderful. This is not a "typical" cruise, is a postship.This is really important to know! The cruise is for nature and relaxing. The programm onboard is not too much, is only 1-3 per day. But the points of Interest ... Read More
The Trip was wonderful. This is not a "typical" cruise, is a postship.This is really important to know! The cruise is for nature and relaxing. The programm onboard is not too much, is only 1-3 per day. But the points of Interest are perfect for information. On a Hurtigruten cruise you must know your self and your own entertainment. The service was perfect, everybody was nice. The speak english and german, of course norwegian. The breakfeast had a good selection of bread, cereals and more. The dining was delicious. My absolut favorite excursion was the visit to the huskys. They are so friendly and you can cuddle them all. The stops are partially short, is not everywhere time to see the city or the village. But this is a postship, not a typical cruise. We think it was a nice experience and not too much chichi. We met great people and see a beutiful landscape. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose Hurtigruten because we wanted to see Norway's coast & spectacular scenery in detail as one part of our Norwegian holiday. We chose the Nordlys because it fit with our schedule but also because it was an ... Read More
We chose Hurtigruten because we wanted to see Norway's coast & spectacular scenery in detail as one part of our Norwegian holiday. We chose the Nordlys because it fit with our schedule but also because it was an "expedition" ship with more active-oriented excursions available. The scenery itself was 4-5 stars while the ship and onboard experience was 2-3. The best part of the journey was traveling through fjords large and small as well as the number of sea days where you could simply relax while looking out a window or sitting on the rear deck as the ship worked its way along the coast while making numerous stops at small towns. We also thoroughly enjoyed the variety of excursions, especially the hiking and bicycling activities that we took part in. For those who like lots of activities and options when traveling, the Nordlys does not fit the bill. While there were 1-2 informational sessions or narratives of the scenery each day, there was no entertainment, no music (live or recorded) in the bar or lounge, no bingo or games organized by a cruise director, no pool, no sauna (it was out of order, and also 1/3 of the gym equipment was non-functional), etc. If you like reading, playing cards or table games with friends/family, or a cruise with lots of sea days to do nothing, then Nordlys may be a good option. There is one main dining room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is a separate a la carte that functions much like a specialty restaurant and is extra. Breakfast and lunch buffets were always crowded each day and we always had to wait for a table unless arriving very early or coming at the end when the food was picked over and not being replenished. Because of the crowded dining room, we often had to sit with non-talkative strangers or they would be placed at our table by the staff. There is one seating for dinner at which you are assigned a table and the meal is one option only (mostly fish). Dinner was a rushed affair and served like being at a sit-down banquet with courses coming quickly after each other. There is a cafeteria/snack bar option, which wasn't cheap but wasn't terrible considering how expensive Norway is in general. We didn't get the wine package but I was told by another passenger it was a good value and you got one bottle each day to drink. Wines by the glass ranged from $10-20+ and beer was $8. The water package was cheaper compared to buying it at $5/bottle but not really a generous package because you only get one bottle of water for lunch and a second bottle for dinner. The most disappointing thing for us was the lack of true hospitality on board. The crew typically did not say hello or greet you when passing in the ship - even the officers ignored us without even a smile - and the service staff seemed so rushed all the time. No one asked us about the food, the stay, the journey, etc. And the staff was minimally helpful when called upon for assistance. When we had trouble logging on to the wifi and asked at the front desk about it, we were pointed to instructions taped to the counter instead of the agent offering to help or at least say, "I'd be glad to show you how; here's some information..." I disagree with others who say not to compare Hurtigruten to mainstream cruise lines. Both types offer sea-based options to visit Norway; services like a cruise card to make purchases on board; off-ship excursions; beverage packages; and active marketing for passengers to take future cruises (two nights in a row there was a continuous loop video about their new ship serving Antarctica). It is true that Hurtigruten is unique, different, and sometimes charming. However, it's still a cruise and the company is actively pursuing cruisers who want to visit Norway. The difference is that Hurtigruten's ships are built for servicing coastal towns, delivering cars, cargo, mail, and day travelers. In other words, they were designed with a different purpose in mind and for a different era of travel. As a value, I think Hurtigruten offers much less compared to traditional cruises, particularly because of the limited food & beverage, lack of premium-ness, or above & beyond service that cruise lines typically provide. While I wouldn't rule out a future Hurtigruten cruise or completely not recommend it to a friend, I would research other options available, too. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our fourth cruise but first on Hurtigruten. We were looking for a less hectic and more relaxed experience. The cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes was all that we had hoped for and more. From wonderful food, to efficient staff, to ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise but first on Hurtigruten. We were looking for a less hectic and more relaxed experience. The cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes was all that we had hoped for and more. From wonderful food, to efficient staff, to friendly fellow passengers to the absolutely stunning scenery, we were very happy with the experience and sad to leave the ship in Kirkenes. Follow the suggested packing list even for summer cruises. We needed our hats, gloves, waterproof jackets and wool socks. Embarkation in Bergen was quick and easy. We got to the terminal about 4 pm, dropped off our luggage (no waiting in any lines!) and took the escalator upstairs for the safety briefing and video. We boarded the ship, hung out in the cafeteria area on deck 4 for a little while, then stopped by the expedition desk to sign up for the Meet the Vikings excursion. When I'd tried to book it over the phone, I was told it was full but that additional places would be available once on board the ship, which thankfully was the case. Our cabin was ready before 6 pm so we unpacked, explored the ship, and had a nice dinner in the main dining room. The first night is a buffet with open seating. The other evenings are set meal times but we found the dining room staff to be very helpful and flexible in changing your dinner seating or table number. We took four excursions and found them all to be excellent value - Geiranger with Trollstigen pass, Meet the Vikings, the North Cape, and Sami Culture. You can book them by phone before you travel but it was easy to add Meet the Vikings and the North Cape once we were on board. The expedition team's materials on the excursions is much better than the information on the web, which we often found confusing and lacking in key details. The information you receive on board the ship clearly tells you when the excursion departs, from which port, and where you reembark. The expedition team held several talks in English and German about flora and fauna in the area, polar explorers, etc which we found very interesting. We got off at many stops even if we weren't taking excursions to wander around, take pictures and visit some amazing museums and cathedrals. Sights are very walkable from where the ship docked but we did use the public bus system in Tromso to get to the Arctic Cathedral. Simply buy your tickets from the tourist information office located a block from the port. The staff there will tell you which bus numbers stop at the cathedral and where the bus stops are located. As noted by others, English speakers are in the minority but announcements are made in Norwegian, English and German and we never had a problem with communication. We met some very nice people during our first excursion and at dinner our second evening. The small size of the ship lends itself to interactions with other passengers. And it feels like a family. The US website doesn't have as much information as I would have liked so one quick clarification on the wine package. The package gives you a bottle of wine at dinner each night which can be split with other passengers. Husband and wife can share the bottle so only one needs to get the wine package, not both. If you have an excursion that includes dinner, you can pick up the bottle early and drink it in your cabin. The only negative was disembarking in Kirkenes. It wa absolute chaos getting off the ship and onto the buses going to the airport. The ship docked 15 minutes late and passengers scrambled and pushed to get on the airport buses and then to check in at the airport. Unnecessary stress as we all made it with time to spare. I had booked the airport transfer by phone before we boarded and did not have a voucher or ticket which confused the driver. (I had asked both at the ship's reception and the excursion desk and was told I didn't need a ticket). Luckily I had printed off the invoice for the entire cruise so he accepted that. In retrospect I should have just booked the transfer on board the ship and then I would have had a physical ticket for the bus. But the rest of the trip was so spectacular that this was a tiny blip in an otherwise wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This cruise was suggested to me by my friend who is a travel agent. In Bergen we embarked the ship. Boarding was OK, but when we got to the room - it was disaster! (There had been a problem with perhaps a broken pipe or something, the ... Read More
This cruise was suggested to me by my friend who is a travel agent. In Bergen we embarked the ship. Boarding was OK, but when we got to the room - it was disaster! (There had been a problem with perhaps a broken pipe or something, the floor was saturated - there were towels and mats all saturated. So, we did not get that room. (You would have thought that the booking reception would have been informed). However, a lovely Swedish lady came to our aid. She was just lovely. She took us to the other side of the ship (not port side) and we were so glad that she did that. The noise on portside was loud, particularly when docking and loading and then on leaving at each port. However, at each port there was unloading and loading of cargo and people. This shipping company has to walk a fine line between pleasing passengers and being a vital link to the communities that are far from major cities. At night we would see tiny villages dotted along the coast. Hugging the shorelines as it is usually fishing that keeps these communities economically above water. It isn't New York. There is no other trade or anything else that could be done in some of these areas along the water line. Very little land. Although you would see the very rare farming areas. This shipping company does a wonderful work and is extremely vital to keep these villages alive and supplied. I praise them for their work. It is not a good thing to work in the extreme cold and water and rain/snow and wind. It is not pleasant. However, without this shipping line - life would come to a very quick and sticky end. So, with that in mind, ((to those that grumble about this shipping line) - this is NOT the Queen Mary 2 ship. It is not meant to be. I believe the company that owns this line should be supported and recognised for trying to please the passengers and the communities, the companies that rely on this shipping line - and of course the staff they employ. What a wonderful staff of people. They are out to please you. Even the Captain signed books and certificates, etc. (Might I say what a dashing gentleman he is!). Then there was Anna (the Swedish lady) who is in charge of the passenger's welfare (accommodation etc). She is a star. Always time for helping, always pleasant, There are the shop staff who are wonderful too. The restaurant staff (the meals were excellent), the mechanical engineers, the loaders, the staff supporting others. All just wonderful. No - we did not see the Northern lights (although there was a very faint hint of a run one evening just before we were to disembark). This was disappointing to my travel agent friend, but not particularly to me as I lived in Northern B.C. Canada and saw the lights every winter. Some seasons more beautiful then others. Just before closing my comment, I wish to say to people who intend to go on this ship. Remember it is not a cruise line. It is a passenger ship. Entirely different. So, if you want to sit back and not move a muscle or lie in the sun on the deck or be waited on hand and foot try Queen Mary 2! However, if you seek an adventure and are interested in Norway and the Fjords and small villages - this is the ship for you. Please support the villages that you may visit. Buy their goods. At least show some interest in their talents. They are all trying to make a living from tourism. They are very welcoming, warm and generous. Yes, I would go again, just to see all again what I saw the first time. Thank you to the Nordlys Hurtigruten. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This cruise was EXACTLY what we thought it would be. Instead of thousands and thousands of passengers there were ony 450. There are 11 ships in this line with a new ship leaving each day. They also deliver cargo, act as a ferry, and ... Read More
This cruise was EXACTLY what we thought it would be. Instead of thousands and thousands of passengers there were ony 450. There are 11 ships in this line with a new ship leaving each day. They also deliver cargo, act as a ferry, and have passengers just for a couple of days going from one part of Norway to another. We loved the Nordlys. The tour director made wonderful announcements in Norwegian, German, and English telling us of what was coming next. The housekeeping staff were friendly and efficient. The restaurant staff were just simply excellent. Speaking English we were a minority, but almost all the crew and staff spoke really good English. The scenery was spectacular. The room was mall, but we knew it would be, and it was fine. The bathroom and cabin were so clean. The bed is really tall, so my poor wife at barely 5 feet tall had to be creative to get in, but she managed, and the mattress and HUGE pillows were wonderful. The view out of our porthole was awesome. The breakfasts and lunches were buffet style, and there was a plethora of items to eat. The evening meal was a 3 course dinner featuring local items from cod, king crab, salmon, trout, mackerel, duck, reindeer, veal, lamb, etc., etc. etc. The desserts were heavenly. If you were allergic to anything or did not want to try anything, you could tell them in the morning, and they would work with you to get something else for dinner. We tried everything, and some we loved and some we liked and some we did not particularly care for, but we tried it all. Norway is expensive, but we found the whole adventure a wonderful experience. We would recommend it to everyone. There is no entertainment, but again we knew that before we left. The midnight sun and other aspects of Norway made up for the lack of entertainment. We were not bored. Timing was right that I got to watch almost all of the Europe 2016 Soccer Championships in a big TV room. Loved that part. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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