Norwegian Coastal Voyage

Apr 13th, 2007, 10:41 AM
  #1  
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Norwegian Coastal Voyage

I have been looking at cruises up and down the coast of Norway and wondered if anyone has been on Norwegian Coastal Voyage. I would like to know what it is like. Do you have enough time to explore areas other than just the town? It looks like at some of the locations you have a few hours. I would like to go to some of the waterfalls and glaciers and am not sure if you would get to do that. I noticed on one of the cruise lines you get off at one port and meet up with the ship later in the day at another port. Doesn't seem to be an option on the coastal cruise.
crackers is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 11:08 AM
  #2  
Jed
 
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We took the Norwegian Coastal Voyage, or Hurtigruten, 10 years ago, to Kirkenes. It was like taking a water bus. Cabins were small, food mediocre. Every day we went on a tour for a few hours. We enjoyed the voyage, area, people, and sightseeing. Well recommended.

You can get a lot of info by typing 'hurtigruten' in the search box, with and without choosing 'Norway'.
Jed is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 12:12 PM
  #3  
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Thanks for the info. I found lots of info, but am still not sure what I want to do. I like a cruise that Holland offers, but I would like to experience the area as a local. I guess I will have to see how much each will cost me when the time comes.
crackers is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 10:13 AM
  #4  
 
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My wife and I loved it- went all the way north from Bergen and all the way back. Yes, short stops going and coming but many tours that you can take inland. We just enjoyed the relaxed time on board, the food (disagree with someone above) the cabin- adequate and we didn't spend too much time in it. All in all- a nice trip.
oberost is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 05:08 AM
  #5  
 
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We went on Norwegian Coastal Voyage (NCV aka Hurtigruten) round-trip cruise TWICE - once in July and again in December (Xmas) - and we LOVED both times. Mind you it's nothing like the Caribbean cruise ships - Hurtigruten is a working ship that has cabins and takes on passengers - both cruisers and walk-on-offs. The food was great - just the type of Northern European cooking that we liked, and also the breakfast and lunch buffets were great.

The scenery - it's so difficult to describe it in just a few words, but it was fabalous, brilliant and beautiful.

The ship calls at 34 ports each way - seems a lot at first, but each port are different. At short stops (10-20 mins) we just went out on deck and watched the activity on the dock - it was fun watching the forklift driver off-loading goods from ship and then on-loading empties - in just a few minutes! Many ports you can get off to walk around. The ships offer several land tours - we took several and they were good. Ports that are called at during the night on the way up are called at during the day on the way down and vice-versa so you get a chance to see most of them (if not all).

Highly recommended if you want to see a lot of Norway. The round trip lasts 11 days and Hurtigruten has 11 ships for the round trips - that's one every day, so you get to pass two ships every day - and dock with other ship in some ports.

Each ship has fabalous observation lounge - you get to see everything from there when it gets too cold and windy outside.

Give it a try!
BlueSea is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 06:28 AM
  #6  
 
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Bluesea, what was the weather like in Dec.?
I want to do the round trip in the next couple of years but can't decide on a month. Coming from Florida I don't have alot of really cold weather clothes so I would be curious to know the winter temps.
I have been on a land tour and saw some of the coastal cities and the North Cape and I remember up there it was really cold in Aug.
MarthaT is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 06:39 AM
  #7  
 
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Just to add my 2 cents worth, the typical passenger is older, well-educated and well-traveled. They are predominately European. Of the 460 passengers on the Kong Harald on the May 24th sailing, maybe 50 were Americans. Another 20-25 were Canadian.

As for what to do on shore, check out the excursions and then do your own research on the different stops. We noticed that some people were getting off, renting a car and meeting back up with the ship later. We saw some waterfalls, but no glaciers from the ship although there is an excursion where you meet up with a smaller ship and return to the boat in Bodo. We were hoping to see whales but they did not make an appearance on our cruise.

The Hurtigruten is definitely a different experience from the Holland American line. You always get to dock in or near town. Most of the regular cruise ships have to tender in and do not get to nearly the number of ports. We were frequently met by choral groups, and bands. At one stop, a brother and sister, in traditional Norwegian dress, played recorder duets while we were in port. They were so charming and entertaining that they collected huge sums, in coin, from the passengers.

Dress is casual. A blazer over a sport shirt was as dressy as the men got, sweater sets were frequently seen on the women. There was one evening when a group came on for dinner, quite dressed up, and left a port or two later.
Barbara_in_CT is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 07:17 AM
  #8  
 
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Crackers:
Let me quickly describe our experience on the Hurtigruten a few years ago...it was excellent in every way.

After reaching Bergen on the Norway in a Nutshell excrusion (super great), we spent three days in and around the city...then boarded the Coastal voyage ship for two nights, includng Alesund and the Geiranger fjord, disembarking in Trondheim where we spend a day and a night. Boarded the next ship and
took the next day's optional trip to the Svartsisen glacier...a sight to behold. A bus met us there for the trip to Bodo..very scenic. We spent then night in Bodo, rented a car and ferried to the Lofotens...finally drove to Tromso, then back to Narvik to turn in the car....trained overnight to Stockholm.

We made all CV segment reservations from the US two months before...

I highly recommend that you experience the coastal voyage...pleasant, scenic, comfortable...we opted for breakfast buffet but had our other meals in the cafe (a very good and varied menu...much more reasonable than the overpriced restaurant).

Stu T.
tower is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 07:44 AM
  #9  
 
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If you book the 11-night round voyage, meals are included. Breakfast and lunch are buffets, dinner is a three-course meal served at tables.
Drinks on board are at Norwegian prices, which come as a shock if you're used to other European countries.
For passengers not booking the inclusive package, there is a cafeteria which is, I believe, open 24 hours a day for drinks and snacks, and which serves hot meals in the daytime.
I did the trip in April when there were very few tourists. It was cold outside, and it snowed some days. In summer, you may get a lot of rain. In winter, hours of daylight are limited - the trip goes north of the Arctic Circle, so in December, you won't see the sun for several days.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 08:22 AM
  #10  
 
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Bergen Lines, operators of the Hurtigruten, sold us a package tour which included air from the USA to Oslo via Schiphol (Amsterdam) and return from Copenhage. Hotel in Oslo, rail to Bergen, ship to Kirkenes (with several optional shore excursions), flight back to Oslo. We bought rail to Stockholm, several days at Hotel Gamla Stan in the old quarter, rail to Copenhage, and caught flight back to USA. Marvelous experience without a single flaw. In August, we had almost no rain anywhere. Terrific winds at the North Cape. Roses in bloom above the Arctic Circle in Bodo. Very good food aboard the ship Polarlys. Can't say enough good things about Bergen Lines service. Cost? Long forgotten.
USNR is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 10:31 AM
  #11  
 
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MarthaT: Dec was cold of course, but in the region of -3* to -3* C. There was a lady from Toronto on the cruise who kept on saying it's a lot warmer than Toronto - we were above the Arctic Circle!

GeoffHamer: our first cruise was in the summer (Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen) and I loved it so much - experiencing the 24 hour sun above the Arctic Circle - that I wanted to experience the opposite - the wintertime one.

So we did - for Xmas and New Year - Kirkenes-Bergen-Kirkenes. When we were above the Arctic Circle we saw no sun, but the noon-time twilight was so beautiful. We were up north just before the full moon phase and the moon was so bright and beautiful too! Twilight on one side and the moon on the other side!

When we were below the Arctic Circle and were sailing out of Trondheim on the day of the Full Moon, the moon had to set on one side for the sun to come up on the other side. It was late morning and after a couple of hours or so the sun set and the moon came back up on the other side!

In order for you to go on the winter cruise you need to experience the summer one first, otherwise you might not enjoy - some rough seas. (but I got great sea legs!) One thing though - we saw the Northern Lights one evening!

BlueSea is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 10:41 AM
  #12  
 
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Thanks Bluesea,
I was there in Aug. and saw the midnight sun so I would like to go at another time but not sure if I want to brave the snow and cold. So maybe spring or fall would be nice.
MarthaT is offline  

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