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16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Some general information about DH & I for reference: we are in our mid to late 50’s, reside in Louisiana, are avid travelers who have visited more than 80 countries, on all 7 continents, and have taken 30+ cruises, including ... Read More
Some general information about DH & I for reference: we are in our mid to late 50’s, reside in Louisiana, are avid travelers who have visited more than 80 countries, on all 7 continents, and have taken 30+ cruises, including expedition type cruises. This was our first sailing with Hurtigruten. This was a new ship, and was on it’s third sailing. I will give bullet points first, then a daily overview farther below, and will try to be as detailed as possible. Ship – the ship is lovely with clean lines and Norwegian furniture, simple and elegant. There are water bottle filling stations on every floor. The rooms are understated and come across beautifully. Almost half of Deck 6 is dedicated to the Science Center which is very underused space. The ship is kept very warm, and being in the Arctic we saw many passengers walking around in shorts and tshirts. The cabin temperature cannot be fully controlled, but only controlled to a few degrees cooler or warmer than the overall ship temperature, resulting in our cabin being too hot for us for the duration of the voyage. Cabin – the cabin décor is beautiful. We had an XT Arctic Superior, outside cabin with balcony, which was perfect for us. Colors are pale woods and putty colors accented with charcoal. The bed was extremely comfortable, but the double comforters are far too hot for the temperature the ship keeps. There are 4 pillows. The trash can has 3 recycle bins, and there is another bin in the bathroom. The storage is a thin coat & shoe/boot closet with metal pegs and a shoe dryer system. The closet has 6 hangers and 2 shelves on the left side, and additional hanging space on right (no hangers though) and 2 shelves, plus shelf with safe that will hold a small lap top. Then there is a shelving system with 2 upper cabinets with a coffee pot in the left one; below there are 4 drawers on the left (1 contains a large blow dryer which I removed and placed elsewhere), then there is 1 drawer on the right that contains coffee and tea setups, and a lower cabinet holding the fridge with minibar (charge applies). There is a shelf here, and 2 thin shelves in the center, and space for 3 wine bottles. We were given gifts of some chocolate pieces, and 2 refillable Hurtigruten water bottles. Full length mirror on wall, and 2 bath robes provided for use plus slippers. In the main part of the room was a small desk and chair with mirror over, and phone on the wall, and 2 thin shelves on wall. There are 2 thin nightstands with drawer. There are 6 wall plugs of the 2 round pin style. 4 wall pegs for hanging garments. 2 reading lights. 2 sitting chairs, 1 with footstool, table between, lamp, wall mount large TV with thin shelf below. The bathroom was small but functional, with a decent size glass shower, a shelf under the sink, 2 hanging pegs, shelf beside the sink, and then 2 thin shelves attached to the wall. The products are by Arctic Pure and feature Handwash and Moisturizer next to sink, and Hair/Body Gel and Conditioner in shower; there is no bar soap. Our balcony was rather deep, and had 2 adjustable mesh chairs and a small table. Food – this area was a huge fail for us. Every single meal, breakfast, lunch & dinner, every single day was served buffet style in the Aune Main Dining Room. We are not fans of buffet style, but can accept it at breakfast and lunch when necessary. Several guests complained and were told that there were many Chinese on board and they preferred buffet. The food was good in taste, although often could use some salt and pepper or lacked seasoning, but was heavy on Asian offerings (dumplings, congi, etc). As the Chinese guests would often sit in your seat if you left the table, one person on your party had to stay to “protect the table” while the other person went for food at the buffet; this resulted in us never sharing a meal together as one person would be up getting food and one sitting down. A huge disappointment. Although dinner was served buffet the entire cruise, dining times were assigned to 6pm and 8pm, and they stuck to this. There are 2 other dining rooms, but both involve a charge to dine there, unless you are in a suite. Internet – the internet onboard worked from boarding on Sunday afternoon to late on Monday night, and then was out for the rest of the cruise. It was included at no additional charge. Announcements – were made in English, German, French and Chinese. The Chinese announcements were often made multiple times, with one announcement being given 7 times from 7:15pm to 7:50pm on Tuesday evening. Daily Program – delivered every evening after 12 midnight for following day, so we only saw it when we woke up the day of. Excursions – were not well organized, information not provided during excursion, were very boring in content. Possibly because ship is new. Passenger makeup – of the 520 passengers, 177 were Chinese, 38 American, 46 UK, 18 Swiss, 56 German, 13 Japanese, and the rest “a bit of everything”. Overall – the itinerary was pretty with shores of upper Norway and Svalbard being attractive, but hardly any time off of ship and not much to see. For the most part a very slow and dull itinerary. While there were several bird sightings, the only other wildlife was 1 arctic fox, 2 reindeer and a group of walrus. The lectures were not provided early in the sailing when we had much down time, but were provided late in the sailing when guests were busy. There is no other entertainment, so you’ll want to prepare with books to read, although the TV offered a good movie selection. On Friday, July 19, 2019, we flew from the US, arriving in Tromso, Norway on Saturday mid-day, on Lufthansa, with no travel issues along the way. We stayed 1 night in the Clarion Collection Hotel With in Tromso, the room was of good size and clean, and included a decent dinner, and breakfast the next morning. Tromso is a charming city, with an active harbor front area. We walked from town across the bridge and over to the Arctic Cathedral. On Sunday, July 21, around 1:30pm, we took a cab to the MS Roald Amundsen, docked about 15 minutes ride from town, and boarded immediately with no delay and no lines. We were told the room was not ready, but could leave our luggage and tour the ship. Most passengers were on the pre-cruise tour that was scheduled to arrive at the pier around 3pm. We toured the ship, took some photos and had a coffee and light snack in the lounge. We were surprised to see many dirty cups and glasses sitting in the seating areas near the pool, and the Explorer Lounge (main lounge). Our room was ready at 2:35pm, and we gathered our luggage and took it to the room, unpacked and settled in. Our room was an Arctic Superior XT, outside cabin with balcony, on Deck 7 and was very nice. The weather was 75 degrees (all temps in Fahrenheit) and sunny. We collected our red expedition jackets in the Science Center on Deck 6. We liked the style, and they are more like light weight jackets, wind and water repellant, which we were happy with. We checked out the Science Center while there, and it is very large and appears to be well stocked, but didn’t connect with the staff. We noted that each time we entered the Science Center during the cruise, we were asked “Can I help you?” by someone working there, but as we didn’t really have a specific question, we would reply “just looking around” and the conversation would end. The expedition staff seemed to be on computers and laptops, or moving around or talking with other expedition members. There was an open seating buffet dinner, and then a Mandatory Safety Drill, which was scheduled to start at 8:30pm, but began at 9:15pm, and ended at 9:50pm. Many of the passengers were quite tired by then from travel. Monday, July 22, We woke up to find our Daily Program outside our door, which was delivered after 11pm the night before. Boat Group Patches and Rubber Boots for landings were to be distributed, beginning at 8:30am, as your group number was called. This required you to first go to Science Center on Deck 6 and locate your group number on the postings, ours was Group 5. Our group was called around 9:30am, and then we went to Deck 5 to try on boots, and receive our Patches, and then to Deck 3 to collect our boots. We arrived in Honningsvag at 10am, and were able to disembark at 10:30am. Weather was 74 degrees and sunny. Most passengers went on a ship excursion to the North Cape. DH and I went on a walk through town, and then a hike up the mountain overlooking the town, shopped a bit and back on board. We were excited to see 2 reindeer strolling through town. This town is small, with 1 main street, and an attractive church, and is cute. Lunch was served from 12:30-1:30pm, buffet style. All On Board was 3:45pm. There was a Captain’s Welcome for English & German guests at 5:30pm, where the staff was introduced and a glass of champagne was provided, it lasted about 30 minutes. No lectures from the Expedition Staff were scheduled today. The internet on the ship went out late on Monday night, and stayed out for the duration of the sailing. Tuesday, July 23, this was a sea day, with 1 scenic cruising by expedition boat trip. 64 degrees and partly cloudy. At 9:30am there was a Mandatory Expedition Boat safety briefing, which lasted until 10:15am, where we were given instruction on RIB boats, shore regulations, and so on involving an expedition cruise. We arrived in the harbor at Bjornoya at 11:30am. At 2pm our group had a 1 hour “expedition boat trip” which amounted to a scenic cruise in the inflatable boat to view birds perched on the sides of rocks, and a ship wreck on the beach (no landing). Our boat did not contain any expedition staff, only the boat driver, and no information was given during our outing. This was the only activity of the day. No lectures from the Expedition Staff were scheduled today. Wednesday, July 24. 40 degrees and overcast. At 10am there was an informational briefing about the landing and outings scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. We arrived in the harbor at Burgerbukta at 12 noon. Our group was scheduled for a 3:30p 1 hour Landing, and a 4:30pm 1 hour Scenic Cruising. Our landing occurred at 4:10pm, and consisted of a walk down a sandy beach and up to a point to view a glacier. The scenic cruising took place directly afterwards, and consisted of sailing near the glacier and some larger pieces of floating ice; again, no expedition staff on boat, only driver, and no information given. These 2 activities, which did not begin for our group until after 4pm, were the only activities scheduled for the day. 1 lecture from Expedition Staff on “Arctic Seabirds” scheduled for 6:30pm, but we were not able to attend as we did not get back on board until 6:45pm, and then had to get ready and go to dinner. Thursday, July 25. 45 degrees and mostly sunny. At 9am we arrived into the tiny research town of Ny Alesund, and were able to get off the ship at 9:30am, with all aboard being 3:15pm. We walked through the town, visited the museum, visited the shop, took some photos. The ship offered a guided walk through town for our group at 11:15am, which I took, lasting for about 45 minutes, and which I would rate as average and slow. I took several laps around the town to stretch my legs from so much time spent on the ship. There were 2 lectures scheduled for today, 9:30am “Spitsbergen, postcards through time, geology of Spitsbergen”, and 5:30pm “Polar Bear”. At 9:30pm there was a talk on “information about tomorrow” given, which was actually information on turning in boots, collecting passports, and disembarkation proceedings. Friday, July 26. This was a rather weird day in it’s schedule, as you’ll see later. At 9am we approached a walrus haul and were able to watch walrus from the ship with binoculars or high powered camera equipment, there was also an Arctic Fox in this location. At 10:30am was a lecture on “MS Roald Amundsen Engine and Technical Features”. From 11am-3pm, guests needed to return their boots and their boat group patches, and pick up their passports. At 3:30pm, lecture “Walruses and Seals”, at 4:30pm lecture “Ocean Giants: whales of Svalbard”; although we needed to nap during this time to prepare to be up all night. We also needed to pack this day, as we had to be out of our rooms by 6pm, and our accounts were closed at 8pm. We packed up and were out of our rooms by 5:45pm, turned in our luggage, and went to dinner. We arrived in Longyearbyen, and were able to be off the ship beginning at 8:30pm. There was a shuttle to the Svalbard Museum, but we chose to take the 20 minute walk to stretch our legs. Everything else in town was closed, so afterwards we went to the Svalbar, for a couple of local beers, and returned to the ship on the last shuttle at 11:15pm. We were directed to make ourselves comfortable in the crowded Explorer Lounge, where all the passengers awaited their shuttles to the airport, ours was scheduled for 2:50am. We spent the next few hours passing time, or trying unsuccessfully to nap. Our shuttle to the airport was at 2:50am on Saturday, with our included flight to Oslo scheduled for 4:10am, which departed at 4:45am and arrived in Oslo about 7:30am. This sailing included flights from Longyearbyen to Oslo, and the ship had scheduled 4 flights for passengers, at 2:25am, 3:25am, 4:05am, and 4:10am. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The Roald Amundsen is a beautiful ship, and I greatly enjoyed my cruise from Tromso to Longbyearen. That said, there were a few glitches that Hurtigruten needs to focus on. When I checked in, they had no record of me in the cabin I ... Read More
The Roald Amundsen is a beautiful ship, and I greatly enjoyed my cruise from Tromso to Longbyearen. That said, there were a few glitches that Hurtigruten needs to focus on. When I checked in, they had no record of me in the cabin I purchased ten months earlier. I booked a specific cabin (a suite) because I liked the location on the ship. In the last three months before the cruise, I had at least three conversations with Hurtigruten staff, who all acknowledged I was in the cabin I had chosen. The staff gave me a bigger room with a larger balcony, but that misses the point. What if that larger suite had not been available? Where would they have put me? When a guy books a specific cabin ten months in advance there should be no changes to that cabin without agreement in advance from the passenger. The Lindstrom dining room served great meals, but there was a problem here as well. Suite guests were supposed to be able to eat at Lindstrom every night. After I got checked in, I was told that they just figured out that they could not accommodate all the suite guests in a single, staggered sitting. This is a simple math problem – if you can’t figure out they you cannot accommodate all the suite passengers, then Hurtigruten should not be advertising meals in the Lindstrom dining room every night. So, we were only allowed to have dinner there every other night (half the nights of the cruise). That is a big drawback given the quality of the other dining choices. I felt a bit ripped off by not being able to eat there every night. We did eat breakfast there every morning and those meals and the alternate-day dinners in Lindstrom were all excellent. My compliments to Rona the head waitress, master-of-all. Hurtigruten also advertised that room service was available on the Amundsen from 0700 – 2300. On my first night I called down to get something to eat about 9:30 pm, as my body adjusted to all the time changes. The receptionist indicated that “room service was not available at this moment.” Okay, I said, what “moment” will it be available. I was then told it dining room service was only available during the hours that the restaurants are open. Again, this is at odds with what Hurtigruten was advertising aboard the Amundsen and that should never be the case. A second restaurant on board, also complimentary to suite guests, was the Fredheim. We ate here most nights that we could not eat in Lindstrom. They had a small selection (burgers, fish burgers, dumplings, quesadillas) but all was very good. The third restaurant, where we had a few lunches, was Aune. They had some great halibut one day, and I got a very decent daily salad there, but otherwise the fare left much to be desired. And this is really the only option for non-suite guests to eat, who all paid quite a bit for this cruise. If Hurtigruten wants to be in the luxury cruise business they need to do much better on the food they provide. They did have quite a bit of Asian fare, and all the Chinese aboard seemed satisfied. I have not been on all that many cruises but never in the past have I chosen to eat dinners from a lackluster buffet. Hurtigruten views their cruises as expeditionary cruises, and that is undoubtedly part of the reason they don’t worry about giving everyone a sit-down dinner every night. On my Arctic cruise, they had zodiacs they went out and some guests opted to go out in kayaks. This was all nice but a few bugs in the scheduling. I have been to Antarctica and Greenland on cruises so I am used to having internet outages. But on this cruise, even when we pulled in to Longbyearen on last day, we had to leave our cabins six hours before the buses would take us to our charter flight back and they did not have their internet working all this time that we were sitting around. Strangely, they did not have a working ship-intranet, so even though they told us to look at daily schedules on our TVs, they did not have the technology to provide the daily planners when they were outside of internet range (most of the whole trip). I would also have liked for the Captain to take us closer to glaciers and sea ice. This is a brand new ship built for expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica. We should have been able to pull closer. I have been on much larger ships in Antarctica and Greenland and those ships were able to navigate closer to glaciers. The cabin staff we had was excellent. The dining staff in Lindstrom and Fredheim was topnotch. And Ciselle, head of reception, came through when we needed her most. The Amundsen is a fantastic ship throughout. There is a great sauna with floor to ceiling window looking out at ocean. However, the gym was pretty sparse and should get a couple ellipticals to supplement the few treadmills. We took this cruise to see the rugged beauty of the Arctic and were not disappointed. Our upgraded room could not have been better. Dinners in Lindstrom were excellent, though they had the same menu each night. Hurtigruten needs to work out a few bugs, some major and some minor. I give the overall cruise a B+/A- ; had I not been in a great suite with at least limited access to the Lindstrom dining room this rating would be lower. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship was renovated in 2016 and is newer and nicer than some of the other Hurtigruten ships. We sailed from Tromsø to Trondheim in March and the scenery was amazing all the way. We stayed at the Arctic Superior cabin which was quite ... Read More
The ship was renovated in 2016 and is newer and nicer than some of the other Hurtigruten ships. We sailed from Tromsø to Trondheim in March and the scenery was amazing all the way. We stayed at the Arctic Superior cabin which was quite small, but nice and comfortable. However, be aware that you risk to get a cabin on deck 5 with the panorama deck right outside your window with somewhat reduced view, as well as direct view into your cabin from the outside. There should therefore be more choices for this cabin category. Otherwise, the trip was an amazing experience but it should be said that we was extremely lucky with the weather conditions. The service was great and the staff are very dedicated to their work. They truly went the extra mile to take good care of the passengers. The breakfast, which we had included, was a very tasty buffét, with a wide selection of food. The food onboard was otherwise very expensive and we ate most meals in the ports along the way. I would absolutely recommend this trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
A trip primarily to see the Northern Lights but thwarted by weather. Had some rock and rolling due to strong seas,[take seasick pills if you do go] No entertainment on board. Three sittings for dinner and if the last (as we were) ... Read More
A trip primarily to see the Northern Lights but thwarted by weather. Had some rock and rolling due to strong seas,[take seasick pills if you do go] No entertainment on board. Three sittings for dinner and if the last (as we were) experienced 2 delayed sitting out of 4. Best evening meal was the buffet dinner on arrival. In winter, Norway is very monochrome - the island etc are rock covered with snow. Long periods of boredom while sailing. Ports were virtually identical. We did not do any excursions as so very expensive and we were dubious whether they would be value for money. For example, the North Cape is a good place to see either the midnight sun or the Northern Lights, but the excursion was a daytime one. We took a travel kettle and snacks and beverages and that saved us a small fortune. When we did have coffee, our bill for 4 cups was £14. Our research lead us to believe we would be having an exciting time, but the info is generic and not specific to our sailing and docking times or even the time of the year. Hurtigruten's website is not easy to navigate and does not go into specifics about the voyage. We only got a timetable once on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Good quality on the atmosfere, service from the crew, and the food was excellent. In this trip i was on just a transport from Harstad to Florø, with my car, but offcourse i can tel you; 3 days holiday cruise on a lovely boat. I ... Read More
Good quality on the atmosfere, service from the crew, and the food was excellent. In this trip i was on just a transport from Harstad to Florø, with my car, but offcourse i can tel you; 3 days holiday cruise on a lovely boat. I was happy with the good price for my car taken within, and service in that place. In my cabin was a good place to relax and break from the; yeah activ sosial atmosfere with restaurant, cafe, bar, alacarte, and shop. There was always crew who do an excellent service in the reception. In the ports we had a good look to all the pasenger and stocks/cargos leaving and came in to the ship all the way, and thats amacing to look at the fast on and off, and in some place "touch and go" :-). Always something to let the mind, and eyes left on, in a very good nature, fjords, mountains, and the light from the skifting weather is realy nice. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We knew that this two day trip from Tromso to Kirkenes was all about the location and the chance of seeing the Northern Lights, so we were thrilled when we had great viewing the first night on the ship. The captain announced when the ... Read More
We knew that this two day trip from Tromso to Kirkenes was all about the location and the chance of seeing the Northern Lights, so we were thrilled when we had great viewing the first night on the ship. The captain announced when the lights were visible, and everyone ran to the decks. The North Cape excursion in Honningsvag was well organized and a great experience. As we knew this ship was more of a ferry vs a true cruise ship, our rather spartan cabin on deck five was perfectly acceptable. What we didn't plan for was the rudeness of the crew and the horrible food in the dining room. First, the majority of the crew members were downright rude. They were annoyed with questions, didn't seem to know their jobs, and were generally upset that they even had to be there. Other passengers we met also commented on the crew's attitude. Secondly, the food was terrible. Since we booked just a two night cruise via the main website, we paid an outrageous $300 US for two people to eat dinner for two nights. The first night there was no choice at all of food, and we were served horribly prepared Arctic Char that tasted very very fishy (not fresh at all). Even the second night, when there was a seafood buffet, the food was barely edible. The crab legs looked great, but were cooked so poorly (or were so old), that the crabmeat wouldn't even come off of the shell. Please note the food in the cafe was actually really good. We felt very duped to have purchased the dinner in the dining room. We were not expecting luxury. This wasn't a luxury ship, it was a ferry. But the service and food were unsatisfactory and this ship is not recommended. We met other travelers who just did a land tour and flew in between the cities instead of taking the ship. Their way seems like the way we should have done our trip as well. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We took an "Arctic Islands Expedition" trip on FRAM, sailing from Tromso, Norway on May 13, 2016 and finished at Reykyavik, Iceland on May 22nd. In between we had three Zodiac landings (Bear Island, Hornsund, and Jan Mayan) as ... Read More
We took an "Arctic Islands Expedition" trip on FRAM, sailing from Tromso, Norway on May 13, 2016 and finished at Reykyavik, Iceland on May 22nd. In between we had three Zodiac landings (Bear Island, Hornsund, and Jan Mayan) as well as three port dockings at Ny Alesund, Longyearbyen, and Isofordur, the first two were in Svalbard and the third was in Iceland. The scenery was excellent, this goes without saying. There were a bit more than 200 passengers, about 40% are Germans, 30% Norwegians, 25% British, and 10% Americans. Most passengers are quite experienced. In particular, in preparing for the tour I read numerous reviews on CruiseCritic, and noticed that several of them had rather harsh reviews on the ship. We are quite satisfied with the ship and with our cabin (cabin 346, category N, about 140 sq ft and fitted for handicapped access). In comparing with many other cruises we have taken on other cruise lines, we did not find anything close to excessive nickeling-and-diming. Water, coffee, and tea in the dining room are freely available, and good hot cocoa is available round the clock outside the dining room. The food is plentiful - it does become monotonous after a few days but nobody comes abroad for Norwegian cuisine anyhow. All services, from dining staff to expedition team members, are at least functional. Read Less
43 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
In my opinion and based on my cruise experience, you cannot rely on anything Hurtigruten (or its sales associates) tell you. I purchased the "Coffee Deal" when I booked my trip. The coffee deal is/was supposed to include an ... Read More
In my opinion and based on my cruise experience, you cannot rely on anything Hurtigruten (or its sales associates) tell you. I purchased the "Coffee Deal" when I booked my trip. The coffee deal is/was supposed to include an insulated coffee mug (along with no-charge coffee and tea for the duration of the trip). When I checked in, both of the people on the reception desk blithely informed me that the mugs are no longer included and I went away empty-handed. This may seem like a small thing, and perhaps it is, but I paid for the coffee deal as advertised and I did not get what I paid for. It smacks to me of a deceptive trade practice, and to add insult to injury I wasn't even given the option of cancelling the coffee deal (it was the mug I wanted, not Hurtigruten's coffee. . .I had brought my own Starbucks VIA coffee packs along with my own sweetener (Stevia) and even my own half&half (minimoos). It was a bad start to the cruise. My "arctic superior" cabin was on deck 7 and located well aft (an advantage in that there is an elevator just steps away that will take you down to the main restaurant. The cabin was every bit as large as nice outside cabins on DFDS, Viking, or Silja. The cabin had two single beds (one was folded up into a sofa), a small desk, and a reasonably-sized bath with a shower. The cabin included a hot water pot (and a selection of coffee and teas). No TV. I paid for the "lunch and dinner" package (breakfast was included In the cost of the cabin), and I regret having done so. I realize that the Hurtigruten ships ply Norwegian waters, so seafood is (and in my case was) the major menu emphasis. However, after the first night's dinner I gave up on dinner, and after viewing the noxious offerings at the lunch buffet the next day, I chose to pass on lunches and dinners and instead concentrated on breakfast each day. Keep in mind that there is only one entrée available for dinner each night, and if it doesn't appeal to you, tough, you are out of luck. The emphasis of the trip (aside from getting from Point A to Point B, seems to be the sale of excursions. Throughout the trip there were frequent announcements on the PA regarding excursions. It was a little irritating. The trip itself was fairly smooth and I have to admit that the scenery was spectacular. I am not completely my poor experience on this trip, and in fact I would be willing to try Hurtigruten again (perhaps on one of its Antarctica trips). This short cruise taught me a number of things, albeit an expensive education. If there is a next time I will not be lured into purchasing the coffee deal or the lunch/dinner package. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our 25th cruise with various companies & this was a totally different experience as it is 'a working ship' it is a cruise ship, a car ferry, a daily passenger ship with people using it as we would a train or a bus ... Read More
This was our 25th cruise with various companies & this was a totally different experience as it is 'a working ship' it is a cruise ship, a car ferry, a daily passenger ship with people using it as we would a train or a bus getting on at one stop & off at the next stop and also a cargo/mail - ship during the full cruise from Bergen & back again (12 days) it calls at 32 ports It was a totally different experience, we embarked at Tromso after flying direct from Newcastle - ship sailed right up to the Russian border & returned the same way to Tromso (4 days) where we disembarked & stayed for 2 nights in Raddisson Blu Hotel for 2 nights before flying home to Newcastle - only 52 people on this trip from Newcastle On arrival at the port in Tromso (after a city tour) we were told the ship would be late in arriving due to storms the previous 2 days - the sea level was too high to dock safely - so after numerous attempts to dock it finally happened 2 hours late. We had to wait while literally hundreds of passengers disembarked, some on trips, some to walk around & some with their cases to stay. it was chaotic as the stairs were very steep as we manhandled our luggage aboard Finally we reached our cabin which was small (as we knew ) with 1 single bed & 1 sofa which pulled down to convert to another single bed - wardrobe space was minimal only space for 6 hangars, a few shelves & other small storage areas - not a lot of space especially when bringing thick clothes the bathroom floor was heated which was great if you needed warming up, we took own kettle, tea, coffee etc & packet soups for a quick lunch as we knew prices on board were astronomical - beer wine £8 each, we also took own alcohol on board - there are no checks as it was so chaotic & also took thermal mugs which we used to take to lounge areas with wine etc mugs were available at breakfast time so just carry one out of restaurant & use in cabin etc Restaurant - breakfast - lots of cold meats etc & a small selection of hot food which varied tea & coffee & fruit juices Dinner - ship wasn't very full so there were 2 sittings (staggered) 7 pm & 7 30 pm - I think just so that all passengers didn't expect to be served at the same time - when ship is full there will be 2 normal sittings - the main meal is a set meal unless you are vegetarian etc & organise with ship before you go (there are menus on their website) the exception was 1 night when it was a buffet including lots of seafood, as we were on the second sitting the queues were horrendous & I was determined to try King Crab - however we waited for at least 20 minutes before more appeared - what a disappointment there was very little meat in the pieces I selected & didn't have much taste (normally I love crab) There is no free water with dinner you have to buy bottles but there are drinks packages 1 - water 2- water & wine which was included in our package @ a cost of £160 this included for 2 people - 2 small bottles & a bottle of wine to compliment the meal being served sometimes red sometimes white - this could be changed at your allocated table - cheapest wines £40 bottle, if changing check the price in the wine list as waiters will suggest a dearer wine - however whenever you change you have to pay 1 NOK - our total bill to pay on departure was 2 NOK as we changed 2 bottles of red for white as I don't drink red wine Lounge areas - lots of seats as ship wasn't full, best place to sit is on deck 9 Take coats after dinner & wait for announcement to see the Aurora & go straight out - just be prepared as sometimes they don't last for very long - we were lucky saw on all 3 nights but last one was the best but only green colours unfortunately sometimes day / night there were demonstrations & snacks on deck 9 outside It was an experience but we will not cruise again with Hurtigruten again mainly due to the cost of food & drink on board & the lack of help with our luggage even though we knew we had to carry our luggage on board this is why we only had 1 case it was still difficult & my husband is still ok to handle luggage normally but not this time due to all the stairs to be climbed there were 2 old people both with walking difficulties & had 2 large cases & lot of hand luggage & they struggled getting on the ship even with help so if going on this cruise line think about the weight & number of cases etc to carry on board TRAVEL AS LIGHT AS POSSIBLE Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Absolutely not worth the price. Horrible old ship without any standards and I must say worst ferry experience ever anywhere in the world. One could not imaginate that there still are so back-dated ships. The cabin was under all critism, so ... Read More
Absolutely not worth the price. Horrible old ship without any standards and I must say worst ferry experience ever anywhere in the world. One could not imaginate that there still are so back-dated ships. The cabin was under all critism, so scruffy and worn-out without a toilet. And this is still possible in Norway, one of the richest countries in the world - such a huge disappointment! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We cruised with Hurtigruten from Tromso – Kirknes – Tromso amd we flew from Gatwick to Tromoso and picked the ship up from there, on our return we spent a night in the Radisson Blu and then flew back to Gatwick. I booked the trip ... Read More
We cruised with Hurtigruten from Tromso – Kirknes – Tromso amd we flew from Gatwick to Tromoso and picked the ship up from there, on our return we spent a night in the Radisson Blu and then flew back to Gatwick. I booked the trip direct with Hurtigruten and got a fantastic deal which included £200 off pp a wine package and 500kr pp on board spending. I opted for the unspecified inside cabin option and we got a fantastic cabin on deck 6, which was outside and had a great window. From the outset of our trip from the booking experience right through until arriving back at Gatwick we knew we were travelling with an excellent company, everything was organised. Our flight had been chartered by Hurtigruten, all we needed at check in was our passports. The flight was better than your average charter flight in that you actually had a movie, all of the staff were very friendly and eager to help. When we arrived at Tromso people were already in the airport looking for us and the buses were all there, we were through the airport and on the buses very quickly and away to the port. When we arrived at port the transfer staff stayed to assist people onto the ship and in some cases transferred luggage from the bus to the ship. Checking in on the ship was smooth and straightforward, you gave the check in staff your name and they already had your cruisecard ready and linked to the card you had used to book the trip. All of the shore excursions were managed excellently and Hurtigruten excursion people were in contact with the excursion companies to inform them of our arrival times etc. The excursion team on Kong Harald lead by Anita were truly brilliant, it was like having your Mum arranging all of your trips for you, the information was always available 24hrs/day and you didn’t have to think about it, you knew it would all be done for you. The food was stunningly good, I was expecting a lot of fish, given that they say the serve traditional Norwegian dishes, but no, we had reindeer, chicken, beef and the taste, presentation was five * standard, the serving staff were knowledgeable friendly and always smiling and helpful. When we left the ship, hurtigruten had booked us into the Radisson Blu hotel in Tromso, when we disembarked our luggage was transferred across to the hotel for us. Overall I would definitely recommend Hurtigruten to friends, they are a fabulous company and we loved the fact we were on a working ship.   Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
About 10 days before cruise I needed a minor operation on my knee which left me on crutches. Before setting out, I informed Hurtigruten and the airline they use of my restricted mobility. Yes we saw the Lights and the food - especially ... Read More
About 10 days before cruise I needed a minor operation on my knee which left me on crutches. Before setting out, I informed Hurtigruten and the airline they use of my restricted mobility. Yes we saw the Lights and the food - especially dinner - was excellent. But as someone with restricted mobility, I saw the trip from a different perspective, and with a little more consideration and organisation, as well as attitude from Hurtigruten staff, this trip could have been much easier and enjoyable. There clearly was no point in letting Hurtigruten know of my restricted mobility - and a couple of other passengers with perhaps more severe disability also suffered the same difficulties. For instance, it is difficult on crutches to move along a line, up a steep ramp, dragging a suitcase, some of the time with snow and ice on the ramp and a blizzard falling, for about 40 minutes constantly being barked at by one of the ships crew to close the gap, as we were checking-in on arrival; or, to negotiate a buffet breakfast or dinner, with crutches, holding a tray, just as the ship starts to roll and staff stand watching your difficulty, only interested in trying to sell you very expensive wine! Many elements of movement to and from the ship as part of the package left much to be desired in help and attitude of staff - it perhaps even seemed a Norwegian attitude, not just Hurtigruten staff! Many elements of the trip were enjoyable, but the experience encountered as a person with restricted mobility certainly distracted from voyage. Hurtigruten cannot justify the claim to be a 'fully inclusive passengers' company, and my advice to fellow travellers with restricted mobility -temporary or permanent - to very carefully consider a trip such as this using Hurtigruten. I am sure more conventional cruise companies will show a very different attitude to passengers with difficulties. I have contacted Hurtigruten about these and other issues - it would seem to be not only staff on the ships with a questionable attitude, but one that eminates from Head Office. See the Lights, but think very carefully about who you use to travel with!! Read Less
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