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11 Hurtigruten Trollfjord Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

When I first booked this 'expedition ship/coastal ferry' I was concerned that the experience would not be good. But I was wrong. The Trollfjord was wonderful! Though not a true cruise ship in the American sense, it offers ... Read More
When I first booked this 'expedition ship/coastal ferry' I was concerned that the experience would not be good. But I was wrong. The Trollfjord was wonderful! Though not a true cruise ship in the American sense, it offers comfortable cabins with nice views and above all very good food. Dinner aboard is especially nice since the food quality and presentation was equivalent to a 5 star restaurant. I do want to mention my concerns after completing this trip from Kirkenes to Bergen. CONCERNS: 1. families with small children should be sectioned off far from the main diners as they are quite irritating to listen to. The restaurant is one room and you can hear small children anytime they make noise. Our cruise was only 34%booked so this seemed to be a problem with many meals. 2. Unlike every cruise ship in the universe, this one charges passengers to drink tap water for lunch and dinner. How aweful and stupid? Whoever came up with this idea needs to be fired. This presents a major inconvenience and the cruise line seems to think that because some restaurants charge for table water, that all passengers should suffer this additional charge. 3. Large suitcases will NOT fit under the bed and the room (even a standard suite) is not that big. The ship makes numerous stops, some as brief as 15 minutes along the coastal route and this is very interesting. Fascinating scenery even in snowy weather was one of the highlights. Prospective passengers should be aware that an expedition ship has no movies or show lounges or entertainment. The staff is very responsive. Cabins are cleaned daily and one should be aware that cleaning begins as early as 8am and ends at 3pm. So for aurora hunters who stay up all night, this can present a challenge unless you put your DO NOT DISTURB card on the door. Cabin showers are hot and perfect. The line provides face cloths (spotty delivery), face towels and bath towels as well as shampoo and bath gel. WARNING: travelers should prepare for rough seas in winter and sea sickness bags are provided. You will need them. Take either medications or other measures to mitigate this situation. Trollfjord can carry up to 822 passengers in 301 cabins. Most are European. We were in a standard suite with a small flat screen TV. CNN was one of the 7 channels present. There is a small minibar. Note that everything on this ship costs money. But we did get a free hat and coffee mug. Our suite was 701 adjacent to the bridge. The room also had a phone, hot water boiler, good lighting, large bed, chair, sofa, small table and 2 night stands.There was no problem getting an assigned table for 2 at the restaurant on deck 5. WIFI is free and may work well or not. There are 4 PCs on deck 8 and they are first come first served. No printer. WIFI is on deck 7 and deck 8 but not everywhere. Port side cabins get to see all the ports. Tap water in the bathroom can be drunk without problem. Room lighting is very good. There is a small closet with 4 hangars. I dont know why the ship designers failed to realize that with limited room, large suitcases should fit under the bed as they do on every other cruise line on which we have sailed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Just back from a cruise up the coast of Norway from Bergen to Kirkenes on the Hurtigruten Trollfjord. Had a very fine time: comfortable cabin, decent food (and the kitchen very obliging about accommodating vegetarians and ... Read More
Just back from a cruise up the coast of Norway from Bergen to Kirkenes on the Hurtigruten Trollfjord. Had a very fine time: comfortable cabin, decent food (and the kitchen very obliging about accommodating vegetarians and semi-vegetarians), lots to do, fabulous staff, gorgeous country, beautiful scenery. May I suggest, though, a couple of ways that this experience could be made perfect (rather than just very good): 1.The gym: there's a small but decently equipped gym on board (fine for my limited requirements, anyway) which is, however, not available for passengers' use all the time. Why not? Because of the size of the gym and the limited range of equipment there were several occasions when I wanted to use the gym within the hours designated for passengers but couldn't because it was full - with a queue of folk waiting. Can't see why it isn't available for use all the time so that early birds (5 a.m. onwards) like me, or others who like to exercise late at night, couldn't use it whenever they wanted to. 2. Hot drinks: we bought a Hurtigruten mug to entitle us to all-day tea and coffee refills - well worth it. But hot chocolate wasn't included in the deal. Again, why not? I can't imagine that the provision of hot chocolate as well as coffee and tea would put too great a hole in the Hurtigruten bottom line. In fact, I'm sure that if hot chocolate were part of the deal many more people would buy the mugs, not to mention that it would be a very positive PR move.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We are just home from a trip to Norway which featured a fjord cruise on the Trollfjord. My parents took a fjord cruise 35 years ago and raved about the incredible scenery; once again, my mother was right. My parents also commented on the ... Read More
We are just home from a trip to Norway which featured a fjord cruise on the Trollfjord. My parents took a fjord cruise 35 years ago and raved about the incredible scenery; once again, my mother was right. My parents also commented on the less that wonderful food; I am starting to think that my mother was never wrong! The ship is very nice and run by a very able and efficient crew. The public areas were lovely and well appointed. Embarcation was simple and efficient. We had purchased a mini suite, cabin 691, as we wanted a view from our room. I did not do enough research before booking and discovered that the two windows, one in the sitting area and the other in the bedroom looked out onto a walkway. We quickly discovered that the view was two-way; it became apparent that unless we did not mind people looking in on us, we would not have a view from the cabin. We upgraded to a larger suite, 818, which was lovely and offered a "bump out window" with two comfortable chairs. We spent hours marveling at the incredible scenery. This larger suite had a safe in it which I appreciated; the mini suite did not. There was a shower and a tub and a large walk in closet. A curtain separated the sitting area which had a couch, table, two chairs, and a desk from the sleeping area. The storage was more than adequate and the bed was very comfortable. I was surprised that the towels were both threadbare and in some cases ragged. My husband used the exercise area but had to wait one day as all of the equipment was being used by the crew. There were no towels or water available in the exercise area which suprised me but may just be a European custom. The cost of the original cabin and the upgrade came to $13,500 which is pretty stiff for a six night cruise. I blame myself for not doing a better job of researching; our travel agent did not help us at all with this or with anything else for that matter. We traveled with another couple who had booked an outside cabin; they upgraded also and had the suite across the hall. We explored several towns on our own and took the excursion to see the Sammi. We enjoyed all of these trips and felt that we got to know something of the country other than Bergen and Oslo. We are not fans of huge cruise liners and looked forward to this smaller ship. We have taken four or five river cruises which we loved and expected this to be comparable. We got the coffee and wine packages and thought they were worthwhile. The staff was all very helpful and efficient but I would not describe them as particularly friendly with the exception of two of our waiters, one Greek and the other Swedish, who were a delight. We tipped them at the end of the trip but did not feel we needed to tip the other staff. I used the laundry area; you buy tokens at the customer service desk. Figuring out the directions was an adventure even with the translations. We do not cuise to eat but do enjoy good food; I love to cook and collect cookbooks from the coutries that we visit. My husband is Italian and food matters to him as well. The food on the Trollfjord was a great disappointment for me. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style as were the first and last dinners on board. The food was plentiful but with the exception of the outstanding desserts, it was not good. Perhaps Norweigian food is not to our taste but we had excellent meals in both Bergen and Oslo before and after the cruise. The menu both set and bufffet leaned heavily toward fish and the sauces tended to be cream based. One day we were excited to find lasagna on the buffet but it was swimming in fat and poorly seasoned. Again, I may be just too fussy. Although there was a piano and a dance floor, there was no entertainment. The bartender told us that the cruise line found it too expensive to provide entertainment. Perhaps the fact that the passengers are generally older factors into this. We had read about entertainment on board but that may vary with the season. Overall it was worthwhile for the amazing scenery but I would warn anyone to be smarter about cabin selection and the food. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We chose one of their more modern boats as my husband can suffer with seasickness so wanted one with the best stabilisers. We booked virtually the day the trip was released as we specifically wanted a cabin with a balcony and there are ... Read More
We chose one of their more modern boats as my husband can suffer with seasickness so wanted one with the best stabilisers. We booked virtually the day the trip was released as we specifically wanted a cabin with a balcony and there are only 5 on that boat. We booked MG 775 and friends booked M2 782 next door. We stayed a few nights in Bergen first so caught a cab down to the Hurtigruten terminal where we walked straight up to the check in desk no queues and checked in and were given our room keys and dinner seating and table. We had requested a table for the 4 of us by a window and that is just what we got and on the starboard side of the boat which is on the mainland side as you go north, not that you could see anything but lights at night. The safety presentation was supposed to start at 15.50 but in the end the video did not start till 16.10 but that was the only timekeeping issue we had with the. As soon as that was finished we could board. Cabins were not supposed to be ready till 6pm but at about 4.45 we went to see if we could find ours and it was ready and our bags were outside the door which was a bonus. The cabin was a big seating area with a sofa and two chairs as well as a low table. in the entrance way was a big wardrobe section, the safe though stood on end rather than on it's side - watch out for it as the lid swung down on my fingers causing a big painful cut that needed medical attention on board (very swift and well managed). There was a separate desk with a bottle of sparking wine and two champagne glasses and a bowl of fruit, in the wardrobe were dressing gowns and slippers. Our friends in 782 had similar perks but I understand that is not in all cabin grades. The bedroom was a separate 'room' divided by a curtain and had a porthole but you could lie in bed and see straight out of the glass wall that was one whole side of the cabin looking out over the balcony. We did not draw our room curtains or the main ones on that side in either cabin even at night as it was beautiful to watch the stars at night or see the floodlight ports. The downside was that you could not watch TV from the bed not a huge deal but my husband does like to do that. There were a couple of channels that showed a webcam from the front of the boat and others that showed it's position on route. The bathroom in 775 had a small bath with a shower over it and a hotel style hairdryer. According to their website the suites have internet access - I presumed that meant wifi but no you had to go and get a cable from reception... In this modern day with phones and netbooks not great at all. We did have a small netbook for downloading photos onto but it was as slow as dial up so gave up on that plan. Wifi was supposed to be on deck 5 towards the front of the ship but we found by the first set of stairs on deck 7 we could get good signal, so you would often find us sitting on the bottom steps there if we wanted access! The balcony was huge with two chairs and a small table, a few nights we sat out watching the snowy dark scenery float past with a glass of wine or two. LHR sell wine boxes just the size of your duty free allowance and Hurtigruten did not seem to mind that you brought it on board and stored it in our fridge/mini bar in our room. Sadly our cabin on day 2 developed rising damp in the carpets... and electrical issues so we had to move, we were offered a 'larger' cabin on the 8th deck but wanted the balcony so they moved us to 780 (and hoped to fix the issues before Tromso when someone had booked 780 so they were going into 775... 780 is quite a bit smaller in the lounge area and only had a shower not a shower over the bath as 775 did. However for going northbound at that time of year 780 is better as the main coast line is that side and the sunrises are also that side. The balcony was amazing as I could run out in my PJs if I wanted to take a quick couple of photos and run back in it was well worth it as you are so sheltered back there. Our friend's cabin 782 although not as large and just with a shower was great as well with the balcony for taking photos from, they could see both sides but not as clearly as you could from ours, sometimes the perfect side on view was what I wanted. We did not go for the wine package but did take the tea/coffee deal. The coffee was strong so I either watered it down a bit or drank tea (great selection inc some fruit teas). The mugs kept drinks really hot but were not huge. We attended the welcome on board talk which was good, no selling of trips that was another session which we did not go to as we had already booked what we wanted to do. The manager did say that you could not drink your own alcohol outside of your cabins and that the coffee mugs changed colour if you put anything else in them, which got a big laugh. Just for experimental purposes you understand I tried and can report it was as big a joke as we all thought. We explored the ship which had a small café, shop, bars and lounges, laundry (tokens from reception - 4 machines and 4 tumble dryers you got a detergent gel pouch in the cost) a small gym, men's and women's saunas and two outdoor Jacuzzis. We used one of them most nights despite the cold they were boiling hot and a lovely place to sit and watch the stars. One had a windbreak round it that we favoured the most, the dressing gowns and slippers were perfect for that. The food in the restaurant was good, breakfast and lunch free seating and a bit of a scrum at times. Dinner was two seatings and buffet on the 1st and last nights. If you pressed P1 on your phone you could hear all the announcements in your cabin day and night including in the middle of the night if the NL were spotted. The weather for our whole trip was perfect hardly a cloud in the sky day or night and they were spotted every night but the first one. So cue a mad rush up to deck 9, what I did not realise is that unless they are strong displays they look a bit like funny cream clouds that at time had a green tinge to them. Through your camera with a long enough exposure you got green! Although with the boat moving and the long exposure not great pictures. Some nights we could see them from our balcony's so no mad dash upstairs as we would watch from there. Every day the team on board would post a brief for the next day with times and things to watch out for and would announce when you could see them and on what side. We were only late into a couple of ports and only by a few minutes but we always left on time so if you do get off make sure you are back in time! In some ports it felt like Norway was closed for the winter so as much as we enjoyed it I would not do it again at that time of year. They had a brilliant pianist and singer in one bar and we sat and listened to him a couple of times. When we past by the entrance to Trollfjord and through a really really narrow gap the ship stopped and floodlight the land on either side which was beautiful. We took a couple of excursions the North Cape one - I will review that separately but it was amazing the weather was stunning and the views breath-taking! We also took the Viking feast one again I will review separately good but not amazing, our guide though on that was outstanding we learnt so much from him on the coach journeys. With hindsight we would have done the trip in Bodo to the aircraft museum as there was not much to see or do there. Overall a fun trip, if I was being honest I am not sure I would do it again in the winter to see the NL just go to Tromso and be there as many days as you can. We wanted to see the fjords so would want to go back in the summer and rent a car and explore that way. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Have just returned from our first Hurtigruten voyage and unlike other cruise lines, cannot fault them at all! We were on a 12 day/11 night cruise from Bergen up to Kirkenes and then back down to Bergen on M/S Trollfjord. The scenery was ... Read More
Have just returned from our first Hurtigruten voyage and unlike other cruise lines, cannot fault them at all! We were on a 12 day/11 night cruise from Bergen up to Kirkenes and then back down to Bergen on M/S Trollfjord. The scenery was outstanding and the further north we travelled, with the snow covered mountains, made this holiday magical. It was so interesting to call into all the little ports watching the locals getting off and on; seeing provisions being loaded; and of course going ashore wherever possible. Excursions were on offer but we preferred to do our own thing apart from one up to the Russian border. We treated ourselves to a mini suite which had a limited view obscured by a lifeboat but this was no problem. The suite consisted of a corner seating area, twin beds, fridge, TV as well as a small bathroom with shower, toilet, wash hand basin and hairdryer. The water was always hot and we had the added luxury of a heated floor. Some of the little perks of the mini suite were a bottle of fizz on arrival, fresh fruit every day, complementary thermos mugs (for filling up with tea or coffee), dressing gowns & slippers, kettle etc and a visit to the bridge. The fridge was handy for storing our duty free wine in as cost of drinks on board was astronomical! This was permitted as long as you didn't drink your own alcohol in public areas. The public areas were spacious and there was a large panoramic lounge which was lovely just to sit in and watch the world go by. The dining room again was spacious and breakfast and dinner were buffet style and you could sit where you want. The food was delicious with plenty of choice - the sweets were to die for! Dinner had allocated tables with two sittings, at 6.30pm and 8.00pm and there was a set menu although if you didn't like what was on the menu, there was always an option.Entertainment was virtually nil apart from a singer most nights but this was no problem as there was always plenty to do talking with other guests etc. There was a ceremony up on deck to celebrate crossing the Arctic Circle which was fun; a Russian came aboard with giant crabs for us to see and on another occasion we were given a sample of Norwegian cod liver oil washed down with schnapps! Other useful facilities were a self service launderette and Internet access. A daily news letter was printed which was very helpful and various other leaflets were available too. Of course the highlight of this voyage was the chance to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) and our wish was fulfilled on several occasions. This was fantastic despite being woken in the middle of the night to go on deck to see them! I think what we liked most about this holiday compared with other cruises, especially Ocean going ones, was the lack of entertainment; being pestered by waiters all the time trying to sell drinks; not having to dress for dinner in the evenings and to be amongst like minded people interested in everything we saw. I would thoroughly recommend Hurtigruten. We are now looking into going on one of their smaller ships, M/S FRAM, possibly in 2014, either round the British Isles or the Canary Isles/Madeira and the Azores. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
As first time cruisers we deliberately went for short trip from Bergen to Tromso. There was a bit of unnecessary queuing at Bergen to get on, but otherwise eveything went like clockwork. I can't fault the ship - friendly and ... Read More
As first time cruisers we deliberately went for short trip from Bergen to Tromso. There was a bit of unnecessary queuing at Bergen to get on, but otherwise eveything went like clockwork. I can't fault the ship - friendly and helpful staff, clean, comfortable and no pressure to do anything. We're not ones for entertainment, preferring to relax and chat, and this trip was ideal. We loved the fact that it stopped in lots of places, even if not for long enough to get off at all of them, and some were nightime stops so we had to choose between sleep or seeing another place. The constant stops also meant people coming and going, including locals. We went on a couple of trips off the ship, to the Viking Museum on the Lofoten Islands and dog sledding at Tromso, both of which were great. The former was a real adventure as the wind and driving snow was so bad the coach driver wasn't sure if he could get back to the ship. We even tried reindeer stew which was pretty tasty (sorry Rudolf!) Food on the ship was good, but not huge choice. We love fish, but if you didn't it could be a problem. One thing I was worried about was sea sickness, but the ship was stable, even during a Force 8 gale. Most of the trip is in sheltered waters, but it does occasionally go out into the wilder seas. We choose one of the bigger, newer ships as we heard the older ones do not cope nearly so well in the storms. Our hope was to see the northern lights but the weather was not good, and at times there was so much cloud and blizzards we couldn't see anything from the ship - but we can't blame anyone for that. Would definitely recommend it and are now planning to do the next leg from Tromso to Kirkenes to try to see the lights and also to return during the summer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
On January 29th 2011 we went on the Hurtigruten Classic Round Voyage sailing from Bergen to Kirkenes and back to Bergen.We booked direct with Hurtigruten by phone. They did offer flights and transfers from Gatwick, but we booked ... Read More
On January 29th 2011 we went on the Hurtigruten Classic Round Voyage sailing from Bergen to Kirkenes and back to Bergen.We booked direct with Hurtigruten by phone. They did offer flights and transfers from Gatwick, but we booked independently online with Norwegian Airlines and saved over £600. When we arrived in Bergen we boarded the Hurtigruten bus and paid for our fare. It took us to the Hurtigruten Terminal where we had to wait for the Trollfjord to return. When all the passengers had disembarked we were allowed to go aboard. We were aware this was not your regular cruise ship, but you would never have guessed it as it was much better than the previous cruise ship we went on. We were in cabin 706 on deck 7 in a small corridor that led to the Bridge. The cabin had a very large window, a most comfortable large bed adequate drawer and wardrobe space and a shower/toilet. Very comfortable and warm. The toilet had underfloor heating. We set sail at 10pm that night and started our journey northward. As it was dark we didn't see anything until the next morning when we drew the curtains and saw some beautiful scenery. We stopped at 34 ports , some for 2-3 hours some of the smaller ones for just 15 mins. The announcements were made when we were about to stop in 3 different languages. The dining room was large and breakfast was a buffet style as was the lunch. In the evening we had our set tables and were served by a very obliging team of waiters and waitresses. Nothing was too much for them. The breakfast consisted of eggs, bacon,sausages, fried potatoes,meats, cheeses, fish, cereals, porridge, fruit and lovely bread rolls, marmalade and jam. Tea and coffee was self service. Lunches were again buffet style with a selection of different salads, hot and cold meats, fish, soup, pate, vegetables and the most mouthwatering desserts you can ever imagine with a choice of up to 6/7 items. Dinner was a little bit more formal with some very good food, although we did not eat the reindeer meat offered.(Kept thinking about Rudolph!) We were offered an alternative by the ever helpful staff. This was a very relaxing cruise for us sitting about doing nothing, looking at the wonderful scenery that passed by, occasionally reading. There were quite a few passengers cruising and a number of passengers that were using the ship as a ferry to get to different ports. The embarking and disembarking at the ports was done with great precision and the ship docked at all the ports on time. As we went through the Arctic Circle we all were given a Hurtigruten woolly hat which was needed as the weather started to get colder and more snow was seen. The best thing about this cruise was you were not badgered to spend any extra money as you are on regular cruise ships, and not pushed to go on any excursions..it was your choice. There was no 'standing on ceremony' every night in the Dining room. People were dressed casual tidy and smart (Leave the jewels at home !) The Northern Lights came out 4 times as we sailed North of Tromso.The scenery was spectacular. The ship was brilliant as was the crew. The only problem (which was soon put right when we stopped at a port) was that they ran out of Teabags !!! possibly due to the high number of British people on board. I can honestly say this was the best cruise we have been on, and would love to return to Hurtigruten and visit Greenland to see the Polar Bears... Thank you Hurtigruten and the crew of the Trollfjord for making out cruise so memorable. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Hi there, We have just returned from a cruise on the MS Trollfjord from Bergen to Bergen. We were first time cruisers and our party consisted of 3 people one of which was in a wheelchair. The cruise was fantastic and the staff helpful. ... Read More
Hi there, We have just returned from a cruise on the MS Trollfjord from Bergen to Bergen. We were first time cruisers and our party consisted of 3 people one of which was in a wheelchair. The cruise was fantastic and the staff helpful. Unfortunately my parents could not get off at many ports due to the extreme weather conditions (snow). Alot of areas had not been cleared hence being unable to get the wheelchair around. The excursions were fantastic and everything ran smoothly so we have not complaints at all. We were advised before hand that it was very expensive so prepared for the worst, not as drastic as we thought. The cruise had several nice touches i.e passing the arctic circle was a celebration so there were drinks and a gift, passing a specific Fjord you could purchase a beautiful gift mug etc The cruise was extemely enjoyable and the hilight certainly being the Northern lights - which we were lucky enough to see. I took pictures of everything and they were stunning, unfortunately, i managed to delete half of them and have no idea how so i was devastated when i tried to download them. If anyone has any photos of the Northerncape, snow hotel, huskies, Trondheim cathedral and Allesund, i would quite happily buy copies of them. Many thanks and happy cruising if you decide to go ahead. Gayle Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
We took the 12 day 'Classic Round Voyage' from Bergen to Kirkenes and back at the end of January 2010, the main reason being in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights. Our ship was the Trollfjord, which is one of the newer and ... Read More
We took the 12 day 'Classic Round Voyage' from Bergen to Kirkenes and back at the end of January 2010, the main reason being in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights. Our ship was the Trollfjord, which is one of the newer and larger vessels (and identical to the Midnatsol), although the trip can be made in a number of the fleet's vessels that ply the coast carrying goods and passengers to numerous ports as well as accommodating their holidaying passengers. Embarkation is late in the afternoon, but rather than use a flight (from UK) arriving at Bergen the same day as embarkation, we flew to Bergen the day before in order to spend the evening in Bergen for a pleasant but expensive few drinks and meal, and most of the following day sightseeing before being picked up by the Hurtigruten coach at the hotel (the Strand) at 5pm and taken to the point of embarkation. I would recommend this if possible as Bergen is a pleasant town and well worth the visit, and a number of those we met on board expressed the view that they too wished they had done this. THE SHIP. The boat was bigger and smarter than I had envisaged for a working ferry. Although it doesn't compare with cruise lines - nor should anyone travelling by Hurtigruten expect it to be a 'cruise' in the excepted sense of the holiday - it is well appointed with a large and comfortable dining room, a large bar (with piano/singer in the evenings), cafe, gift shop, saunas, Jacuzzis, small gym, conference facilities, small library and large, comfortable observation lounges. As we were going for the whole 12 days and slightly concerned about the possible boredom factor, we booked a mini-suite to give us more room and comfort should we want to retire to our cabin. Although more expensive, we were glad that we did this as the cabin (no 691) was spacious, with seating area, television/CD player, a large comfortable double bed in a separate area and a good-sized bathroom with shower and hair-dryer. A bottle of fizz on ice was awaiting us on arrival, with a bowl of fresh fruit that was replenished daily, tea and coffee making facilities, and two of their unique coffee mugs that give free access to coffee throughout the trip (these cost 209 NK, or about £24, if bought separately). Also, the cabin was at the back on Deck 6, which is the only deck you can walk round on the outside, so any sightings of the Northern Lights, or need to get some fresh air was very easy as the door to the deck was only a few feet away from our cabin. Although the bar is large it was very much lacking in customers for pre-dinner drinks (coffee is taken there after dinner). This is not surprising at the prices charged. We had a beer each evening, but two .4 litre glasses cost the equivalent of £13.50. It certainly curtailed my usual beer intake! However, it is perfectly acceptable to take your own drink on board for use in your cabin (and as Norway is not in the EU you can take advantage of duty free prices). THE FOOD. As other reports indicate, breakfast and lunch are open-seating buffets, while dinner is a set meal (starter, main and dessert) taken at the same pre-assigned table each evening. Tables are generally for two or four, although at the time of the year we travelled the boat was only about a quarter full and most tables were occupied by a couple only. We were told on booking that there are usually two dinner sittings and we opted for the second sitting. However, as it was lightly booked there was only a single sitting. This was at 7 pm and a little early for us, but there was no problem in arriving at 7.30 or even 7.45 (although after that may have been a bit chancey for getting a starter!). As with everything else, the food does not compare with that available on traditional cruise liners, but subject to my comments below, most of it was perfectly acceptable. The most disappointing was breakfast, as although there is a good selection of cold items (fish, meats, cheeses etc), a few cereals and a limited fruit selection, the 'hot' dishes left a lot to be desired. Firstly it was virtually always the same - inedible rubbery scrambled eggs, small meatballs, tiny red sausages and some small chunks of fried potato. These were invariably tepid at best unless you were lucky enough to get a batch being brought straight from the kitchen (and even then they were only warm) This 'hot' selection got very boring over the voyage and it would have been nice to ring the changes with some grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, different sausages or variety of potato, beans, bacon etc. to make it interesting, but only once in 12 days did we get some baked beans to add some variety, and on three occasions there were pre-fried eggs, topped with a little bacon. These made a welcome variation, but again they were not hot and you had to search for one with a soft yolk. In addition there were two bowls of eggs, one marked 'soft boiled' and the other 'hard boiled', but although I tried a soft-boiled egg when the fried eggs were unavailable, on every occasion the yolk was hard. They might just as well have had a single bowl of hard-boiled eggs! In short, therefore, I was a little disappointed with hot breakfast, as with a bit of variation and better preparation it could have been so much better. Lunch was better, with a good selection of cold and salad dishes (including several varieties of fish) and two or three hot dishes as well as cheeses and a variety of sweets. There was also soup, but although I had it every day it was never more than warm. Similarly the 'hot' dishes tended to vary between tepid and warm more often than not, and were usually fairly plain, as were the accompanying vegetables (boiled potatoes/vegetables featured a lot!) Nevertheless, there was more than enough to satisfy, and being a buffet was able to be the most leisurely meal of the day. Although dinner was without choice, I understand that those who didn't like the main course (for example vegetarians) would be offered an alternative. The food was of excellent quality, especially the fish of which there was plenty (only one day didn't fish feature as either the starter or main meal). However, once again I found it was rarely served hot, and serving it on cold plates didn't help. Nevertheless, it was always good quality ingredients and attractively presented, although again the accompanying vegetable often relied on the plain, unimaginative boiled potato. The problem with the meals being less than hot seems to lie with the food being cooked in the kitchen (and probably the early batches wait in trays) before being brought out to a central serving counter in the centre of the restaurant where it is scooped into canteen-style trays. At lunchtime it then sits and waits in cooling containers, while at dinner it is then dished onto (cold) plates for waiters to distribute. Wine was available at a high cost (the cheapest bottles were just over £36, rising to over £55, although a 'wine deal' was available that gave a bottle of wine per night. I don't know how much this was other than to surmise it must have been eye-wateringly expensive!) However, despite previous reports mentioning a 'water deal' whereby water could be purchased, this must have been discontinued, as (tap) water with the meal was free. Most people I saw drank water with their meals! The service was efficient, although could be a mixed bag in terms of warmth and sociability. Some waiting staff were amiable, while one or two were straight-faced and lacking in warmth the whole time. One in particular (she must have been with them a long time as she appears in a photograph in the Hurtigruten museum at Stokmarknes) became a point of interest, as nobody saw her smile the whole of the trip! However, overall the service was good. THE STOPS. The ship stopped at many ports to unload/board freight and passengers. Often these stops were too short to leave the ship, but where it was possible it was nice to stretch our legs and walk in the winter snow that covered everywhere like a white fairyland. There are numerous organised trips available, although all were expensive for what they were. None particularly appealed so we didn't take any, and rather than taking an organised 'walking tour' of a town we preferred to do it ourselves at our own pace. Overall Despite one or two small negative points, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Although a few reports speculate that the full 12 days could be boring, it is OK if you are prepared for it and enjoy absorbing the scenery, which is spectacular. We found it OK. The 6-day cruise would have been too short and we were glad we were staying as we watched passengers disembarking at Kirkenes after what had seemed a very short voyage, although on arrival back in Bergen I was just about ready to leave. The main attraction, of course, is the scenery and it really is enchanting. I loved it in the winter, with the snow-covered landscape and the early or late sun glinting on the snow-capped mountains giving them varying pink, orange and purple hues as it rose or dipped behind the horizon, and the snow turning the little villages into Christmas card scenes. And to top it off we did see the Northern Lights. Not the spectacular, rolling multi-coloured lights that are shown on TV but the pulsating luminous, greeny and rather spooky lights on the horizon. All in all I wouldn't have missed it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We just completed the 7 day north bound trip up the coast of Norway on the Trollford (June 11, 2007 departure). It was a beautiful voyage. The weather was as good as it could be. Mostly partly cloudy with some scattered showers. Nothing ... Read More
We just completed the 7 day north bound trip up the coast of Norway on the Trollford (June 11, 2007 departure). It was a beautiful voyage. The weather was as good as it could be. Mostly partly cloudy with some scattered showers. Nothing that interfered with any of our port stops or shore excursions. All in all it was a great voyage with spectacular views. I would highly recommend it although I wouldn't recommend doing the full up and back. Mainly because it can get boring. There is no other entertainment than the scenery and various port stops. After a while it becomes redundant. Although I have to admit that the scenery does change as you go north and it is very interesting. And the port stops can be interesting if for no other reason than to take a 15 minute walk ashore. We found that having a good book to read is a must. Here are some of our observations of the ship and Hurtigruten. Reservations -- Dealing directly with Hurtigruten on the phone worked fine for us. There seems to be a loss of information by the reservation agents and what really happens on the cruise. We wanted the early seating for dinner, 6 pm. When we requested this on the phone we were told that it would be done at check in at the dock. Wrong. Early seating can be done on the phone and when we showed up at the dock we had been pre-assigned late seating which we then had to change onboard. Also when we first inquired about pre-paying for shore excursions we were told that we would do that on board. Wrong. Although you can do it on board, and everyone seemed to get what they wanted, you can do it over the phone before departure. It was only after we pressed the issue on the phone did the agent go seek out the right information. Embarkation -- I would recommend that you get to Bergen a day early. The ship doesn't allow boarding until after 4 pm so you have plenty of time to walk the town. It is worth walking it for a day. Check in was efficient and our luggage met us in our room. In our case we had Hurtigruten book our hotel for one night in Bergen, the Radisson SAS is the one they used, and the hotel sent our luggage to the ship where it met us in our room. The Room -- We had a standard outside room, category N. It was small but very well laid out. The twin beds fold down and one is usually set up as a couch during the day. At night you just fold it down and the bedding is set up so you are ready to sleep. There was adequate storage and a small make up table. The two of us never felt cramped. The bathroom is small but very efficient. The shower is not small and the best part is that the bathroom floor is heated. The other cruise lines should install heated floors. What a great thing north of the Arctic Circle. Although they don't show it in any of their brochures there is a hair dryer in the bathroom and a 110V shaver outlet. Dining -- There are two dining facilities on board. The main dining room is for the cruise passengers who have booked the one week or two week trip. It operates pretty much like any cruise ship dining room. There is early and late dinner seating with assigned tables and breakfast and lunch open seating buffets. At dinner you are given what the cook is cooking. No choice, just an appetizer, entrEe and dessert as the meal of the day. You can request a substitute if you have a problem with the main course but you have to do it by noon of that day. All in all the food was pretty good although it all has a Norwegian style to it. So you get a lot of fish. They do serve a delicious Reindeer dinner one night. The service can be slow at times. The other dining facility is the cafe. You can get simple meals here any time of the day but they are not free. Unlike the main dining room you pay for what you want here. The dollar value being what it is you pay a lot. A medium sized cup of soda is $6. A cup of coffee is $5. The cafe is the dining facility that the passengers who get on and off the ship at various ports and only stay a day or two on board use. The Hurtigruten ships are like luxurious ferries that behave like a cruise ship. In addition to the cruise passengers they delivers freight to various ports and cars drive on and off at different stops in addition to short term passengers getting on and off. Entertainment and Shore Excursions -- On board the only entertainment is a nightclub singer and keyboard player at night. The main entertainment is the scenery and the little towns you pass and dock at. It is ever changing and very beautiful. But like I said at the top it does exhaust itself by day 5 or 6. The shore excursions are varied and interesting. We did two of them. We did the drive from Geiranger Fjord to Molde. A fascinating 6 hour trip across the mountains of Norway. The ship left us off at the end of Geiranger Fjord and we drove to Molde where we picked up the ship again. Saw beautiful scenery and had dinner in Molde while waiting for the ship. We also did the trip to North Cape from Honningsvag. This is a must. Its quite exhilarating to stand on the northern most point in Europe. There is a spectacular monument there and a gigantic visitors center. Disembarkation -- We disembarked at Kirkenes. This is the north end of the cruise. We had previously made SAS reservations to Oslo. The only flight is at 11:30 am and disembarkation was at 10:15 am. Hurtigruten assured us that by using their transfer we would make it on time and we did. All went smoothly. Other ship amenities -- There are two hot tubs on board. No pool. There is a small gym with 5 or 6 exercise machines and of course there are saunas. It's not necessary to buy the water on board. The best bet is to buy one bottle ashore and then just refill it from your bathroom tap. It is purified and drinkable. The best spot for viewing on board is the two levels of panorama rooms at the bow. People just sit there all day and watch the scenery go by. You can sit outside on deck 9, and many did, but even though the weather may be clear it can be pretty chilly. There are 4 internet accessible computers on board, for a fee, but the internet connection was down during our whole trip. They print and send to you a daily program of activities and port stops so you always know what's happening. All in all it was a good trip. The Norwegian coast is fascinating and Hurtegruten does a good job. The staff was adequate although not real friendly at times but we did like it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
Northern Lights Festival Bergen to Tromso, Norway January 20 - 29, 2007 I recently returned from a cruise tour to Northern Lights Festival in Tromso, Norway, north of the Arctic Circle. A little late posting a review, as I just returned ... Read More
Northern Lights Festival Bergen to Tromso, Norway January 20 - 29, 2007 I recently returned from a cruise tour to Northern Lights Festival in Tromso, Norway, north of the Arctic Circle. A little late posting a review, as I just returned from a Panama Canal, which will be the subject of another review when I have time. This review has become longer than planned as I kept thinking of things to add, and I hope it will be of interest to anybody else considering a winter trip to Norway. The Package My package, one of several offered, included one night in Bergen, four on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage (NCV) ship Trollfjord, and three nights in Tromso (normally two nights, but I extended one day). It included round trip air Boston-Bergen-Tromso-Boston., transfers, and one of the ship's meal plans, of which there are several. Mine included three meals a day on the ship, but most of the British (the majority of passengers) were on a breakfast-and-dinner plan. Local one or two-day passengers appear to bring food on board and /or buy from the on-board buffet. The Company The Norwegian name of the company is Hurtigruten, which I am told means "quick journey". The Norwegian Coastal Voyage name seems to be used only in North America - in Europe, including the UK where they market heavily, they use the Norwegian name, and I heard that they soon plan to do the same in North America. However, I'll use NCV for ease of reference in this review. What NCV is not: it is not a cruise line; it is a coastal passenger, car and light cargo shipping company, operating working ships with several cruise ship amenities. A ship departs from Bergen every night for the 11-day round trip to Kirkenes on the east side of the North Cape. In addition to the eleven ships plus spares required to maintain this schedule, NCV dedicates two ships to Antarctica excursions in the southern hemisphere summer (our winter), and they have just added a new ship which will be used for Greenland excursions. The Ship I sailed on the Trollfjord which, like her sister ship Midnatsol, is one of NCV's newest and largest ships. At 15,000 gross tons she is about half the tonnage of the former Renaissance "R" ships, but with about the same number of berths. Therefore, I suspect she becomes a bit crowded during the high summer season, but there certainly wasn't any crowding for this lightly booked journey. I also saw several of the older, smaller ships along the way, but don't know how their amenities compare with the newer ships. My fare was based on "best available cabin" and I was assigned to a Deck 4 aft outside cabin. Cabin is actually a double, but is sold as a single with no single supplement during the winter months. It was small, about 160 square feet, but certainly adequate for short trips. It is essentially just a place to sleep, all I normally want on a ship. If I were to do the full 11-day round trip I would probably opt for a larger, therefore more expensive, cabin on deck 6, 7 or 8. Cabin was tastefully decorated, but don't expect frills like TV, refrigerator, safe, fruit baskets, a selection of toiletries, or bed turndown service, although I understand these amenities are provided in the suites and higher-priced cabins. The bed was comfortable, with a warm duvet and extra blankets, and the bathroom, with shower, completely functional. One nice feature: heated bathroom floors, so you step from shower to warm tile. Also, the individual cabin temperature control was the best I have experienced on any ship. The public areas are on a par with upscale cruise ships, nicely decorated and furnished. Deck 5 forward contains a large conference center with tiered seating and full audio visual facilities, and at least two groups came on board for a day or two to hold conferences. Amidships there are cafes, children's playroom, small shops, and the aforementioned buffet. The comfortable attractive dining room is located aft. Deck 8 offers a two-deck-high forward observation lounge, a great place to watch the scenery go by, especially when it is cold and snowing on deck. This was also the venue for several festival events while docked in Tromso. Deck 8 also includes a large bar and lounge area with a small dance floor (very few people danced), the library, internet cafe, and a snack bar. The aft area of Deck 8 is occupied by the high-end suites and cabins. A singer-keyboard player performed nightly and had a good repertoire Everything was in English, although he is Bulgarian. In addition, I assume because of the festival connection for this trip, there was a soprano and her accompanist who performed on several occasions, everything from opera to old pop songs. I don't think I have heard Abba Dabba Honeymoon since college in the '50s, and certainly never by an operatic soprano! Meals As noted earlier, there were several different meal plans. Regardless of which plan a passenger had, he or she was assigned to a specific table for the whole voyage. There are only a few large tables; most tables are for two or four. I was seated with three very pleasant English ladies. I believe I was one of only two or three single male passengers. Since the ship was at less than one third capacity, there was only a single seating for each meal - normally there are several. Tables were assigned the first evening, although I have heard that on more heavily booked trips tables and sittings are pre-assigned. Breakfast was a buffet with open seating; lunch was also a buffet, but passengers were asked to sit at their assigned tables. I assume this is how the kept track of who was entitled to what. Both breakfast and lunch were a treat for those of us who like fish, featuring a large selection of cold fish, including salmon and herring prepared in every way I can imagine. Each day there was also an additional appetizer, such as shrimp, crabmeat, etc. Dinner was similar to a banquet or Rotary Club lunch ashore with no apparent assignment of waiters to particular tables; waiters teamed up to serve the whole room quickly. Dinner consists of three courses: appetizer, main course, and desert, with no choices. However, the evening menu was posted every morning and if it included something you couldn't eat or didn't like, they would do everything possible to find a suitable substitute, at no extra cost. Portions were generous but not excessive - I don't recall seeing anybody patronizing the buffet or snack bar after dinner. Onboard Expenses As on land in Scandinavia, food appeared quite expensive on board, but drinks didn't seem that much more costly than on a high-end cruise line. I had bar charges ranging from $3.50 to $15, but I'm not sure what they were for since the bill is in Norwegian. Food costs incurred depend, obviously, on which meal plan has been included in the fare. Unlike cruise ships, NCV is very relaxed about passengers bringing food, liquor, beer, soft drinks, etc. on board. They only ask that alcohol brought on board from ashore not be consumed in public rooms, which is understandable. I assume there is a corkage charge for wine carried into the dining room, but didn't check this. Upon boarding passengers are offered the opportunity to buy either a wine plan or a water plan. The former provides a full bottle of wine each evening, selected to compliment that night's meal. This was reasonable if a party can consume a full bottle of wine each evening; it's not practical for most single travelers like me. It was also possible to purchase wine by the glass or by the bottle, which they will keep for you from day to day. The water plan, which is included in the wine plan or purchased separately, provides a full liter glass bottle of water daily, either carbonated or non carbonated. There are no pitchers of water on the tables. The bottled water is produced by the ship's desalination system. It is quite expensive, especially if you're not prepared to drink a whole liter of water with dinner, but the solution is simple: buy one bottle on board or ashore and re-fill it in the cabin (it's the same water). People carried bottles around all the time, including to and from of the dining room, and no one objected. Beer chits were available, but I didn't check this as I'm not a beer drinker. There were also charges for various services such as the internet and even a nominal charge to visit the bridge for a non alcoholic drink with the captain. Tipping, a significant cost on cruise ships, is neither necessary nor expected, although tips for any extra or special services are welcome. All on-board expenses can be charged to the "Cruisecard" issued upon boarding. It is activated as a charge card by simply providing your credit card information the first time you want to charge something to the on-board account. The Trip NCV booked my air travel on Icelandair for the transatlantic and SAS for internal flights in Norway. Normally they use SAS out of Newark, but in my case it was more practical to send me from Boston. I was happy with this, as it avoided my having to get myself to Newark. Icelandair was one of the few international airlines I hadn't flown with, and I was pleased with their friendly, efficient service. All flights were either on time or early, and during this light travel season I had three seats on three of the four segments. Food was noticeably better than average airline fare. The one drawback for some might be that most, if not all, Icelandair transatlantic services involve a change of planes at their hub, Reykjavik. This adds an hour or so to the trip, but personally I welcomed the opportunity to stretch my legs in mid journey. Passport control was in Reykjavik, and this apparently covers all EEC-affiliated countries, as I was never asked for my passport again until starting my return trip from Tromso. The one small glitch on the outbound trip was that NCV did not allow adequate transfer time in Oslo. They insisted that 55 minutes would be enough as my baggage was checked through to Bergen. I was fairly certain, and turned out to be right, that I would still have to clear and re-check my baggage in Oslo to go from an international to an internal flight, just as you must in any U.S. port of entry. I wasn't particularly concerned as there are frequent flights from Oslo to Bergen. I probably could have made my scheduled flight if it hadn't taken 45 minutes to deliver the baggage (handling undoubtedly slowed by a snowstorm), but I had no problem getting on the next flight 50 minutes later. When I arrived in Bergen the transfer service had left, not knowing where I was. Driver had left a message for me at the information desk, and when contacted by phone he said he had had another pickup and it would be an hour before he could get back to the airport. Instead, I opted for the airport bus because the weather was nice - dry and in the 40s - and I knew it was only a couple of blocks from the fish market bus stop to my hotel. Hotel was the Clarion Admiral (one of the Choice Hotels brands). It was created from two waterside storage buildings and has a beautiful view of the harbor. I believe I was the only NCV passenger at this hotel. The included breakfast was much more extensive than those now included by mid priced US hotels and motels. I spent the rest of the day, Sunday, resting up from the overnight flight and reacquainting myself with downtown Bergen, and Monday exploring on foot and doing a little shopping. In the afternoon I visited Bergen's aquarium, which I hadn't done on previous trips, about a 20-minute walk from the town center, a small but interesting attraction. There was no snow on the ground when I arrived in Bergen but by the time I got back to the hotel it was snowing quite heavily, and continued to do so throughout most of the trip. Transfer service picked me up promptly at 5 PM and after a couple of other stops, we went directly to the ship where check-in was the most painless I've experienced. The shore agent simply took our baggage and in my case gave me my stateroom assignment. He then sent us onboard to complete registration at the front desk. By the time I got to my cabin my baggage was there. There are none of the normal formalities that you encounter on an international cruise as this is a Norwegian ship sailing between Norwegian ports in Norwegian waters. This applies to embarkation, disembarkation and intermediate ports of call, where the ship simply pulls up to the wharf and lowers the hydraulically operated passenger and automobile gangways. Passengers then come and go at will, just scanning their Cruisecards each time The cruise director warns you the first day that the ship will not wait for you if you are late; in her words, "If you miss the ship, you'll have to get to the next port on your own by air, road or swimming." So, it's wise to double check the boarding and departure times, as I don't think we ever left a port late. The cruise director was our main contact and served not only as cruise director, but also shore excursion organizer, PA announcer (Norwegian, German and English), and in various other capacities. I was considered part of the British group as my booking had been handled by the NCV London office. Two NCV London representatives came on board as group leaders and functioned as staff assisting the cruise director. It was not necessary to split us into two specific groups as is usually done on a land excursion. Instead of a lifeboat drill, impractical with people embarking and disembarking at every port, the cruise director gave a safety briefing. In case of emergency, passengers are instructed to go to the nearest clearly marked assembly point, where life jackets and further instructions would have been distributed as necessary. The journey north to Tromso included about 20 intermediate ports of call, ranging from as little as 10 minutes to six hours in Trondheim. I won't go into detail about the itinerary and ports - details are available www.coastalvoyage.com. There was also a 10-hour stay in Bodo, not the usual five hours, when the captain decided to skip the two Lofoten Islands ports due to high winds and rough seas in that stretch of open ocean. Shore excursions are offered at the longer calls; I only took a couple - I'm not a very good tourist - and having visited the major ports on summer cruises, was content to disembark and walk around in the snow. Overnight, en route to Bodo, our first major port above the Arctic Circle, the snow changed to heavy rain, which continued throughout the next day. However, it changed back to snow during our final night en route to Tromso, where it continued to snow the rest of my stay, with a few very short letups. Obviously, we didn't see the northern lights. When the captain decided to stay in Bodo until 10 PM instead of 5 PM the cruise director organized an after-dark tour of the city, which I went on. It was still raining, but the visit to Bodo's very modern cathedral was worth the small cost of the excursion. A group of young children were rehearsing for some event and treated us to a short impromptu performance. Upon arrival in Tromso about 40 of us were bused directly to the sled dog center for the "Dog Sledge Safari" we had signed up for. Great fun, with about an hour on the sleds and well worth the $160 cost. I had taken along quite a bit of warm clothing but didn't need to get it out, as we were provided with coveralls, boots, hats, scarves and gloves, and we were wrapped in reindeer skins on the sleds. The sled trip was followed by coffee, tea and cakes around a fire in a typical Sami Lavva (a large teepee-like tent). Learned that the native people prefer to be called Sami, not Laplanders. Next we were taken to our hotels, the Clarion Hotel Bryggen in my case, another pleasant hotel right on the waterfront couple of blocks from the center of town. As in Bergen, an extensive breakfast buffet is included, and it has an excellent, although expensive, restaurant open for lunch and dinner. My time in Tromso was devoted to a couple of festival events and exploring the city on foot. It was hard to believe we were several hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, as the gulf stream moderates the coastal temperatures. It was 24 degrees the morning I left Tromso for home; 10 when I arrived in Boston that night. Interesting places include the ultra modern Arctic Cathedral ( a long walk or short taxi ride across the harbor), the"Polaria" arctic center, short walk from the hotel, and the very modern library in the center of town - great place to relax with a coffee when cold and/or tired of walking. There is also a picturesque, active, old church in the center of town, Lutheran I think. The main street is a pedestrian mall. Sidewalks at most shops are heated, so you don't have to climb over snow banks to go window shopping. There is also a Burger King for those who can't live without American burgers, but I didn't see a McDonalds. Northern Lights Festival This is a week-long music festival celebrating the first sunrise of the new year in late January. It includes many events, ranging from symphony to hard rock. I had booked two events from the ship, so my first task after checking into my hotel was to pick up and pay for tickets. It was from this point that I learned what really nice, considerate people Norwegians are. When I got back to my room later that night I couldn't find my ATM card, which I had used at the ticket office First thing next morning I went back to the ticket office, but nobody had turned it in. I figured it was gone for good, probably under a foot of snow somewhere so I called my bank and cancelled the card. Around 5 PM that evening, the front desk at the hotel called to ask if I had lost a card. They told me it had been turned in at the ticket office. I must have dropped it at the ATM, in a fairly dark area, so nobody noticed it for most of the day. When I asked the ticket lady how she had found me, she replied that she had started calling the hotels NCV uses and found me at the third one she tried. Can you imagine that happening anywhere else? If had trusted human nature a bit longer I could have saved the $10 my bank charged for a replacement card. Unlike the ships' normal itinerary, the Trollfjord remained in Tromso instead of continuing north. Several events were held on board, the first I attended being a small group performing on the ship in the late evening. Quickly found that the hard rock beat wasn't my type of music. I went back to the ship a second night for another Norwegian group, but hadn't purchased an advance ticket, and it was sold out. The second event I attended was a concert by "Tromso Storband" a traditional big band augmented by a couple of additional instruments, for a total of 19 musicians. American jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker was guest soloist. A talented group of musicians and a great performance - I'm sure most of us would have gladly stayed for another hour if the performance had gone on! Attendees at all of the events were mainly Norwegian, all very well dressed, so this is obviously dress-up occasion. USA Bound Return trip was completely uneventful. Departure from Tromso was delayed a bit by airport snow removal and de-icing of the aircraft (it was still snowing), but I still had plenty of time for my Oslo connection with even a little time to check out the duty free ships. Our flight route from Reykjavik to Boston took us over southern Greenland and Labrador on a clear day, impressive even from 40,000 feet. We arrived in Boston a few minutes early, but had to sit for a while because our gate was blocked by a 747. However, once we got to the gate, passport control and customs were quick, so I was able to catch the next bus back to New Hampshire. Would I do this trip again? Probably, as there are several other interesting winter packages and I don't mind cold weather or snow - I wouldn't live in New England if I did. These ships also would be a great way to see the Norwegian fjords in any season if one wanted to break up the voyage with stopovers at the various ports. After all, there's always another ship the next day. The major difference between summer and winter is that the ships go up the Geiranger Fjord in summer. The available overland side trip up to Geiranger is spectacular - I did it on a previous summer cruise - and you still get to see the fjord on the way out. Comments or questions will be welcome either on the NCV board or by e-mail. Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
Trollfjord Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.3
Family 3.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.2
Enrichment 5.0 4.0
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.4

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