Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Trip Report: Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Cruise

Trip Report: Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Cruise

Reply

Dec 18th, 2018, 07:07 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 979
thanks Menachem (todah rabah?) I'd already figured out I should do that if nothing else to coordinate with airlines and make sure we hit the places we want to see in daylight. It looks like all their ships do that route, but that the ships are somewhat different. Does anyone have a favorite? and how far in advance would you recommend buying the tickets?
lauramsgarden is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2018, 12:51 PM
  #22
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,211
Thank you so much for the great trip report, Songdoc. I suffer from terrible sea sickness so it's probably not for me but I have friends who are going in the New Year and I think I will print it out for them so they know what to expect.
annhig is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2018, 01:46 PM
  #23
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 12,345
Ann, most of the time you wouldn't have a problem. The ship crosses jjust two areas of open sea, the rest is sheltered by the islands.
The first time I went it was pretty rough and they chnged the dining times accordingly but people didn't get sick. That was on the Vesteralen, one of the oldest ships, but with a better bow shape according to some.
The ships are stabilised, and if you get a mid-deck cabin you won't notice the movement much.
The last time we went, also on the Kong Harald we had a force 10 gale. We walked around the deck as we did every eveing and slept like babies. Some people weren't even aware there had been a gale!
There is a hospital onboard and they sell seasick pills and bands in the shop!
Don't be put off, it is great for solo travellers.
hetismij2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2018, 08:28 PM
  #24
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,345
I heard that too about Vesterålen. I sailed on the Polarlys and on Kong Harald.

On the Hurtigruten site you can also book by ship. There are aficionados for the oldest ships in the fleet, Lofoten and Nordstjernen. Doing part of the route on Lofoten is something I'd really like to do.

https://global.hurtigruten.com/ships/ms-lofoten/
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 19th, 2018, 03:03 PM
  #25
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,211
Thanks for the encouragement, Hets. It's not exactly top of my bucket list but I should like to see Norway sometime, and I can see the attraction of a cruise of this type.

Perhaps one day!
annhig is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 22nd, 2018, 02:52 PM
  #26
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 979
so I'm looking at the schedules, but it seems that a number of the ports are mentioned twice in one schedule - does that mean the ship goes to other destinations and then circles back? I'm confused
lauramsgarden is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 22nd, 2018, 08:34 PM
  #27
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,522
If you are looking at an itinerary that goes up and back down (or vice versa) it's very likely you will stop at the same port twice -- but my guess is that only one time would be in daylight. You can see a list of the hours you will be in each port if you click on the sailing plan in each itinerary. The 6- and 7-day itineraries only go in one direction. The 11- & 12-day voyages circle back.

I did 7 days and wished I had done a longer one.
Songdoc is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 22nd, 2018, 11:10 PM
  #28
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,345
Hurtigruten is set up so any given port has daily arrivals of one ship going north and one ship going south. Whether you go north or south determines which ports you'll see by daylight.

(Although night time arrivals can be interesting too. On my first trip Kirkenes - Bergen, we arrived in Batsfjord late at night for about 40 minutes. Was still awake, so I got out to watch the off-loading. A car, some Ikea stuff. Two people, a couple, rushed off the ship, there was another couple waiting on shore. All hugged and started an animated conversation for half an hour, then goodbyes and the passengers got back on board. Next day I asked the wife about what had happened: turned out they knew each other from college. The Batsfjord couple had moved away to Batsfjord and this was their reunion.)

Last edited by menachem; Dec 22nd, 2018 at 11:21 PM.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 26th, 2018, 09:23 AM
  #29
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 402
Thank you for this wonderful trip report. I have been considering a Hurtigruten cruise for some time now. I recall reading that one of the ship had some simple activities for kids older than 7 years old, so I have been waiting for my oldest to catch up. I don't enjoy "regular" cruise such as Carnival but the Hurtigruten seems like a perfect fit for me.
ToujoursVoyager is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 26th, 2018, 12:53 PM
  #30
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,522
ToujoursVoyager: I wasn't aware of any activities for kids on the ship, but I didn't ask because I don't have children. There might have been boxed games. There are also many shore excursions that (I think) would work well for kids, such as a farm visit, and a visit to where huskies are raised.

On a side note ... we met some of the nicest people and have been emailing with couples from Germany and Switzerland.
Songdoc is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 26th, 2018, 10:53 PM
  #31
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,345
Originally Posted by ToujoursVoyager View Post
Thank you for this wonderful trip report. I have been considering a Hurtigruten cruise for some time now. I recall reading that one of the ship had some simple activities for kids older than 7 years old, so I have been waiting for my oldest to catch up. I don't enjoy "regular" cruise such as Carnival but the Hurtigruten seems like a perfect fit for me.

Your child will be pretty bored, then. Simple activities: doing a puzzle or playing a board game.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 27th, 2018, 05:34 AM
  #32
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 967
Thanks for a great trip report Songdoc. The Hurtigruten cruise has been on my wish list for some time as I have never got above Alesund and winter is actually a time of the year I have been considering, so it was great to see how much you enjoyed it.
shandy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 27th, 2018, 11:40 AM
  #33
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,067
Tuojoursvoyager

We had our the 10 year old son with us on the cruise, the entertainment is limited for kids and yes as Songdoc there are plenty of board games which we found good fun with strangers.

For children who are comfortable with life at a slower pace, reading etc. It should be a problem and again as Songdoc posts, the opportunities for activity excursions are good.

Affect a time your pace on board gains a slow rhythm : get up, long breakfast, walk round the boat, quick shore visit, laze around, lunch, laze around etc etc.

In the end, the journey is about stunning scenery, the shore visits, the Aurora and the relaxation.
BritishCaicos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 27th, 2018, 01:25 PM
  #34
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 402
Originally Posted by Songdoc View Post
ToujoursVoyager: I wasn't aware of any activities for kids on the ship, but I didn't ask because I don't have children. There might have been boxed games. There are also many shore excursions that (I think) would work well for kids, such as a farm visit, and a visit to where huskies are raised.

On a side note ... we met some of the nicest people and have been emailing with couples from Germany and Switzerland.
I found it! The Young Explorers Program:

https://www.hurtigruten.com/inspirat...orers-program/
ToujoursVoyager is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 27th, 2018, 02:36 PM
  #35
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,466
I really enjoyed your report and beautiful pictures, Songdoc! We were thinking of doing a Hurtigruten Cruise and your report certainly makes me want to start researching again. Glad your trip was such a success!
Florida1 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 27th, 2018, 05:02 PM
  #36
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,522
I'm starting to think Hurtigruten should put me on their payroll! HAHAHA!

Thanks for all the nice comments.
Songdoc is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 28th, 2018, 05:06 AM
  #37
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 402
Originally Posted by BritishCaicos View Post
Tuojoursvoyager

We had our the 10 year old son with us on the cruise, the entertainment is limited for kids and yes as Songdoc there are plenty of board games which we found good fun with strangers.

For children who are comfortable with life at a slower pace, reading etc. It should be a problem and again as Songdoc posts, the opportunities for activity excursions are good.

Affect a time your pace on board gains a slow rhythm : get up, long breakfast, walk round the boat, quick shore visit, laze around, lunch, laze around etc etc.

In the end, the journey is about stunning scenery, the shore visits, the Aurora and the relaxation.
Thank you for the feedback! I do think that my children would be comfortable with life at a slower pace. When we went sailing on a 60 feet sailboat, in the Greek cyclades, they both loved it and still talk about it ! It was a nice routine of getting up, breakfast, swim, read, take pictures of the landscape, lunch, explore one of the island, look at the stars. I could see ourselves enjoying a Hurtigruten cruise.
ToujoursVoyager is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 28th, 2018, 11:20 AM
  #38
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,345
Originally Posted by ToujoursVoyager View Post
Thank you for the feedback! I do think that my children would be comfortable with life at a slower pace. When we went sailing on a 60 feet sailboat, in the Greek cyclades, they both loved it and still talk about it ! It was a nice routine of getting up, breakfast, swim, read, take pictures of the landscape, lunch, explore one of the island, look at the stars. I could see ourselves enjoying a Hurtigruten cruise.
Can I just say, crew are extremely approachable. And it's always interesting to see the off-loading and loading of stuff at the ports, even if you're only there for an hour. There's an arctic circle "baptism" that's good for a few laughs and photo - ops and it's always fun to spot whales and whatnot. Be sure to bring binoculars for everyone.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2019, 09:48 AM
  #39
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 1
Songdoc,

I was so happy to see your report; it could have been written by me after I take the cruise which will be on 2/8 on the Polarlys. I too have travelled the world and would otherwise never take a cruise but this seems very appealing. Seeing the lights is also on my bucket list. My husband died suddenly 5 months ago and I'm pushing 75 so, if not now, when? I really hope the lights appear. Did you sign up for the aurora alarm that Hurtigruten offers?
I'm traveling by myself and don't generally take tours so your info about Trondheim is very helpful. Question: after the ship docks at Kirkenes (9am), I fly back to Oslo at noon. Hurtigruten offers a tour at Kirkenes to the northern point. Did you take it? Is it a worthwhile site? Can one go there by taxi or public transportation? If I go, would I be able to get to the airport on time (around 11am)? Any feedback and/or other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
3m3ra1deye5 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2019, 09:52 PM
  #40
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,522
3m3ra...: I'm sorry about your loss. I hope you have a wonderful trip. To answer your questions ...

Yes, I signed up for the aurora alarms -- after I slept through the one weak sighting! There were no alarms -- and no auroras. I'd bet you'll have better luck.

We also docked at 9 am in Kirkenes and I also had a noon flight to Oslo. There wasn't time to take one of the ship's excursions. They would not have allowed time to get to the airport -- which was around thirty minutes by bus. By the way, it was quite a thrill ride on slippery, icy mountain roads.

I believe there were people offering tours from the dock, and maybe with one of them -- or a taxi -- you could see a bit of Kirkenes and/or visit the border (in 90 minutes) then have them drive you to the airport. We had already paid for the transfer from the ship to the airport, so it wasn't an option. I have no idea what is in Kirkenes, or at the most Northern point, but I would have liked to find out!

I hope you love the trip as much as I did. And I hope you see the Northern Lights!
Songdoc is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:42 PM.