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Nordkapp Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
45 reviews
See all photos
Editor Rating
Very Good
Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic UK Managing Editor

MS Nordkapp is one of Hurtigruten's older ships having launched in 1996, but regular refurbishments have ensured it's got a fresh, clean, modern look (at least from Deck 4 up).


True exploration of the Norwegian coastline, great seafood


No Broadway-style shows, choice of dining outlets or evening entertainment

Bottom Line

It's hard to beat this ship if you are after the true Norwegian Coastal Voyage experience


Passengers : 590
Crew : 62
Passenger to Crew : 9.52:1
Launched : 1996
Shore Excursions : 33

It's small and pretty basic -- ideal, in fact, for navigating the fjords and inlets of Norway's jagged, 1,250-mile coastline, which it does 365 days of the year, come rain, snow, sleet, hail or gales. Unlike some Hurtigruten ships, MS Nordkapp is dedicated to this stretch of the coast, stopping at 34 ports from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the far north and back, a journey time of 11 days. (Hurtigruten encourages passengers to do the entire round trip, but you can just do one way.)

Life onboard is simple: Eat, get ready for an excursion, get back onboard, eat, listen to a lecture and an early night. During longer periods of navigation, you'll find people dotted all over the ship looking out, cameras in hand, admiring the natural beauty of this stunning landscape and looking for wildlife, such as eagles, orcas and whales.

A sailing on MS Nordkapp is very much about the destination, so do not expect any frills. Yes, the higher-grade cabins do have modern conveniences (TV, mini-fridge) and there is excellent Wi-Fi. But you won't find such typical cruise ship add-ons as room service, nightly shows, a cruise director or even a swimming pool (there are two hot tubs, wonderful on a freezing polar night).

Note, too, that you can "upgrade" your experience depending on the fare type you buy. A Basic fare gets you just that, the basics. Select fares allow you a choice of cabin and include Wi-Fi, coffee (not specialty) and tea. Platinum is the highest fare and gets you into a mini-suite, plus includes such things as specialty dining and private airport transfers.

Where the ship does punch way above its weight, though, is food: There is just one dining room and a specialty restaurant, but both are outstanding -- the freshest of freshly caught shellfish, local meats and vegetables, local desserts with a story attached, wine pairing and top-notch service. It's like eating in a fine dining restaurant on land without the bill (note, however, Norway is expensive and that is reflected in the cost of alcohol).

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Aside from wildlife spotting, excursions are the main source of entertainment on a MS Nordkapp sailing, and they are many and varied. Some of our favorites included staying in a snow hotel, snowmobiling at night, husky sledding, horseback riding and kayaking. We love that there's something for most ages and all abilities.


Fellow Passengers

Who's sailing depends partly on when you're sailing, so over the winter period, you will find Germans, Swedes and French with the odd smattering of Americans, Canadians, Japanese and British. The average age is around 60/65+, and most people are traveling in groups or couples, so it feels more international. Come summer, the age skews downwards and you'll get more families. 

Norwegians use it year-round as a jump-on, jump-off service and as a car ferry (which it still is).

Norwegian is the first language, but everyone without exception speaks perfect English and all announcements are in both languages.

Nordkapp Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Main dining room
  • Use of the gym, sauna and hot tubs
  • Coffee and tea (in MDR)
  • Lectures

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Gratuities (cash only, in Norwegian kroner)
  • All drinks beyond dispensed water, tea, coffee and select juices in the buffet
  • Shore excursions
  • Wi-Fi

Hurtigruten Nordkapp Dress Code

There is no dress code. Hurtigruten does offer a suggested packing list: for winter, thermal underwear, waterproof jackets and trousers, hiking boots, waterproof gloves, a hat and dark glasses. You should also bring a swimsuit for the hot tubs -- even in winter. In the summer bring a hat, sunscreen, dark glasses and hiking boots.

Find a Nordkapp Cruise

More about Hurtigruten Nordkapp

Where does Hurtigruten Nordkapp sail from?

Hurtigruten Nordkapp departs from Bergen

Where does Hurtigruten Nordkapp sail to?

Hurtigruten Nordkapp cruises to Bergen, Geiranger, Alesund, Molde, Trondheim, and Tromso

How much does it cost to go on Hurtigruten Nordkapp?

Cruises on Hurtigruten Nordkapp start from null per person.
Hurtigruten Nordkapp Cruiser Reviews

Great ship, great staff and great travel

We have traveled from Bergen to Trondheim on MS NORDKAPP Hurtigruten's ship. It has been a great experience.Read More
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First Time Cruiser

Age 50s

A 'must do'

If you wanted water / coffee etc out of meal times you needed a package but these can be purchased beforehand NB the water in the cabins is of a very high quality and cold.The food was of a quality not found on normal ferries and as good as the best dedicated cruise ships.Read More
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2-5 Cruises

Age 60s

Northern lights ahead

The cruise was informal; great food; friendly, attentive & knowledgeable staff; variety of ports & excursions With less passengers than the larger ships, people could get to know each other and the staff which led to a friendly atmosphere The food was good quality, with something for everyone (although it did include a lot of fish - but I expect there were vegetarian / meat options if required) The excursions ranged from hikes with experienced guides, some of which would need a good level of fitness to bus tours, kayaking, horse riding, dog sledding and quad bikes Being smaller, the ship could go into smaller fjord, so scenery was lovely.Nothing was compulsory but I'm sure most people found something they enjoyed The staff were lovely and happy to help in any way they could.Read More
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First Time Cruiser

Age 60s

Norway round cruise on MV Nordkapp

We enjoyed some excellent and interesting excursions, although one of the highlights, a trip on a snowmobile, had to be cancelled due to poor weather.Other passengers also experienced cancellations of other excursions due to poor weather, but it must be realised this is a working ferry as well as a cruise ship and winter weather can occasionally lead to missed ports and cancelled excursions.Read More
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2-5 Cruises

Age 70s

Hurtigruten Fleet
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