Just returned from a six-night trip from Bergen to Kirkenes. While we did sail on the MS Polarlys I think my comments are germane to all of Hurtigruten's ships. The main purpose of our trip was to see the Northern Lights and we did. ... Read More
Just returned from a six-night trip from Bergen to Kirkenes. While we did sail on the MS Polarlys I think my comments are germane to all of Hurtigruten's ships. The main purpose of our trip was to see the Northern Lights and we did. We saw them all three nights we were in the Arctic Circle; two nights they were pretty weak but the third night they were really nice. So that was cool!
Our cabin was very nice (we splurged on a suite) and the food was good.
On all of our previous cruises, mostly on riverboats, the highlights of the trips were the excursions. Nothing could be be further from the truth on this trip. We booked five excursions - Art Nouveau Walk in Alesund, Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral, Lofotr Viking Feast, The Arctic Capital Tromso and the Winter Hike in Bodo - and they were all pitiful. Had they been free - and they were far from it - they would still have been a bad value. I'd strongly advise getting a map at the desk and exploring the various ports on your own; you'll see a lot more. But the excursions were not our biggest issue.
The most annoying and offensive issue was Hurtigruten's policy on water. While you could help yourself to a glass of water at the breakfast buffet, you could not at at the lunch buffet nor at the sit-down dinner. If you wanted a drink of water you had to buy a bottle, which cost 29 NOK (almost $4US) for a half-liter plastic (so much for their avowed commitment to the environment!) bottle. I know many riverboats no longer charge for wine at meals but I have no problem with Hurtigruten charging for wine (why should passengers who don't drink subsidize those who do?) but not providing water at meals in unconscionable. Read Less