8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We made a booking in November 2016 to travel through the North West Passage with Hurtigruten because of our interest in the history associated with this remote area. We had travelled with Hurtigruten before; doing the classic Norwegian ... Read More
We made a booking in November 2016 to travel through the North West Passage with Hurtigruten because of our interest in the history associated with this remote area. We had travelled with Hurtigruten before; doing the classic Norwegian coastal voyage, and had enjoyed that (apart from eye watering bar prices). The journey booked was titled “The Northwest Passage: In the Wake of Great Explorers – Eastbound” and was planned to travel from Cambridge Bay at the western end of the passage through to Pond Inlet at the eastern end followed by two stops in Greenland that were clearly there as part of repositioning the vessel. The information provided about Fram indicated it was a very capable ship and well suited to travel in difficult polar waters. Hurtigruten’s information also made much of the wildlife to be seen – another key point for us. While in Canada before the cruise we received your e-mail forwarding a communication from Hurtigruten on 5th September advising that our ship, MS Fram would not be able to reach Cambridge Bay. As requested by Hurtigruten, we attended the briefing on the evening of 9th September at the Hotel in Montreal which was hosted by Mario, the Expedition Leader, who was just re-joining the ship after leave and did not appear to be well briefed. He advised that ice conditions were unlike previous years but reassured us that he had a plan B and, if necessary, a plan C. When someone asked if we could cancel our trip and get a refund we were told to join the ship & it would all be sorted out on board. The following day the passengers were taken (in three separate groups) from the hotel and our group was flown to Resolute Bay, where we changed to smaller aircraft and flown to Pond Inlet (the last stop in Canada at the end of the North West Passage according to the original itinerary) where we boarded the ship. Once on the ship there was a fuller briefing by Karin Strand, Field Operations & Expedition Team Manager, who normally appears to work in head office. She seemed to have joined the ship for the two “North West Passage” voyages & we wondered if she had been put on board to provide a “Hurtigruten Head Office message”, as she left the ship with us on 22nd September. At the meeting she advised that the North West Passage was blocked by ice and that we would not be seeing anything of the original itinerary in Canada other than Pond Inlet. We were told that there were other good options including visiting Ellesmere Island. The next day the passengers were taken out to spend some time on an ice berg floating at sea, which was an interesting experience but not what we booked. It also involved lots of waiting around for our turn to use the small rubber boats. There were a good design in that they had steps at the bow and boards at the side but their capacity was small and there were nothing like enough for all passengers to use them at once even though the ship was far from full. The following day we were taken to North Arm on Baffin Island to see some very old rocks which was mildly interesting but not what we booked. That evening Karin finally admitted that Hurtigruten had run out of options given the difficult ice conditions as even Ellesmere Island (where the westbound cruise spent time) was now ice bound. At this point it also emerged that Fram has a limited ice capability (ice class 1B) and the Canadian Ice pilot had refused permission to go further into the ice because of that limitation. I found later that other companies’ ships with a 1A ice class had been allowed to go much further. Karin suggested that the ship headed for Greenland and those present agreed as it was better than going around in small circles getting nowhere. It was quite clear that Hurtigruten needed to go back to Pond Inlet to drop off the local person who had joined the ship 2 days earlier and also the Canadian Ice Pilot. We were given the option of simply dropping off these two people and immediately setting sail for Greenland or stopping and taking a look at Pond Inlet before departing. It was accepted by all that seeing the settlement of Pond Inlet was the better choice. At this point passengers also complained about the lack of the promised lectures activities on board and these started thereafter. This did reveal another weakness of our ship as the lecture theatre had an open back allowing lots of ambient noise in and no staged seating (and a low ceiling) meaning it was impossible to see the screen properly unless sitting right at the front. After slowly crossing Baffin Bay & the Davis Strait for 2 days we visited alternative four sites in Greenland which were scenic & somewhat interesting but not what we booked. I became bored with clambering over rocky barren places. The mood of the passengers became more and more fed up and Monty Python’s “Always look on the bright side of life” was adopted as an informal anthem – enough said! The last 2 planned visits to Ilulissat and Sissimiut went ahead as planned and were enjoyable. I have the following comments: - • No cruise ship has managed to transit the North West Passage this summer ( we believe that 4 ships had planned to go in the short season). • The Cambridge Bay Website stated that the Fram would not be visiting their settlement as far back as 24th August. The website content was subsequently changed and I was left with a clear impression that Hurtigruten had applied pressure to tell the story their way. • Subsequent research showed that the Canadian authorities were issuing ice warnings as early as 20th August and I find it highly improbably that Hurtigruten were not aware of this. • The briefing at the hotel did not make clear the full nature of the change to the itinerary. Ice maps were shown but the captions were not legible at a distance and the implications were not made clear. When someone asked if a refund was possible they were publicly told it was not. It appeared that Hurtigruten simply wanted to get us onto the ship so that further protest would not be possible. Mario could not confirm when asked what wildlife was spotted in Greenland during the westbound voyage which had just completed, which speaks of poor preparation but probably also they knew that little or no wildlife had been seen. • Hurtigruten knew before we travelled to the vessel that we would not be completing the full itinerary and should have offered a refund in line with their terms and conditions. I have included a cut and paste from their terms and conditions here:- “Occasionally we may have to make a significant change to your confirmed arrangements. Significant changes include the following: • Change of UK departure airport. A change from one London airport to another is not considered a major change. London airports are Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City. • Change of your time of departure or return by more than 12 hours. • Change of your flight from a day flight to a night flight if this also includes a change to your departure time of 3 hours or more.† • Change of resort. • Change of holiday accommodation to accommodation of a lower official rating. † For the purposes of the contract night flights are those which depart from the UK between 2200 and 0600 hours or arrive in the UK between 2400 and 0600 hours. If we have to make a significant change or cancel we will notify you as soon as possible and if there is time to do so before departure we will offer you the choice of: (a) (for significant changes) accepting the change and the contract between us will then be varied to incorporate the change; or (b) accepting alternative arrangements altogether (subject to availability) of comparable or higher standard from us (at no extra cost); or (c) if available, accepting an offer of alternative arrangements of a lower standard, with a refund of the price difference between the original arrangements and the alternative arrangements; or (d) withdrawing from the booking completely in which case we will as soon as possible, refund all money paid to us. Passengers must give notice of their decision as soon as reasonably possible and not later than 7 days of being informed of the alteration. If we do not hear from you within 7 days, we will contact you again to request notification of your choice. If you fail to respond again, we will assume that you have chosen to accept the change or alternative booking arrangements.” Had a refund been available we would have taken it and made our own way home . • Hurtigruten’s strategy appeared to be divide and conquer – passengers repeatedly asked for an offer on board but this was refused. We were told each of us would be contacted separately when we returned home & that we would all be fairly dealt with, regardless of our nationality. • During the voyage passengers asked for a conference call to Hurtigruten senior management - this was refused. • Lectures did not start until passengers complained • Preparation for lectures was poor with audio visual not sorted until people were waiting • We paid a great deal of money and did not receive what was promised. We understand that the ship could not go through the ice & that safety is paramount (so much for Hurtigruten’s claims in the brochure which left many people believing that Fram has Ice Breaking capability). However, this is was not a minor change, as the fundamental element, the trip through the North West Passage in the footsteps of the explorers, was completely deleted. We came away with a clear impression that Hurtigruten simply wanted us to get on board ship, so they could try to manage their way through the problem and pay out as little as possible. Hurtigruten’s approach appears to be sly, sneaky, evasive and not in the slightest consumer focussed. • The safety briefing and lifeboat drill didn’t happen for 24 hours • Much was made of the wildlife to be seen when this cruise was advertised but we saw nothing in Canada (I think one person saw a seal) and the birdlife was limited and unremarkable. Initially it was suggested that Greenland was a good substitute but staff were evasive about what we might see in Greenland, despite questions on several occasions. Hurtigruten’s own MS Fram Voyage handbook page 7 highlights the wildlife we could see in Greenland. However, it was eventually admitted that we were too late in the season to see most things, as confirmed by the naturalist experts on the ship. We paused and looked at two “Bird Cliffs” that were completely devoid of birds. We saw no Polar Beas, Narwhal, Walruses, Seals, Musk Oxen, Reindeer, Artic Foxes or Arctic Hares. There were a few, very distant whale sightings. This was also very disappointing, as for many passengers, wildlife was a 2nd major consideration for booking (after seeing the NWP). Not all was bad:- • The staff were generally very good • The food was good (although not as good as it had been on the Norwegian coastal journey a few years ago) • Embarkation at the start of the cruise and disembarkation at the end were handled well • The specialist experts on board were generally good • Bar prices were reasonable We are in discussion with Hurtigruten about refund of monies paid but this proving to be hard work and so we are seeking legal support via our travel insurance. We have lost all confidence in Hurtigruten and have no wish to ever travel with them again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Wanted to follow In the “Footsteps of famous explorers through the North West Passage” as the itinerary advertised. I live in the area where Sir John Franklin was born and have followed his story for many years so this would be ... Read More
Wanted to follow In the “Footsteps of famous explorers through the North West Passage” as the itinerary advertised. I live in the area where Sir John Franklin was born and have followed his story for many years so this would be a trip of a lifetime to follow in his wake and also that of other famous mariners. Saw the full,page advert in weekend papers from ROL Cruises who declare themselves to be the leading agents for Hurtigruten. Had sailed with Hurtigruten before (twice) so relied upon them and felt confident they would be honest and truthful. The trip was the most expensive thing I’ve ever purchased (apart from my house). But that was not the case. ROL contacted us on 5/9/18 with a short email saying the departure point for the Fram had changed. No alarm bells rang because with expedition style cruising, slight amendments are sometimes necessary. However upon arrival in Montreal, began to be very suspicious that something major was wrong. At a briefing in the Montreal hotel we were assured “all was going to plan and not to worry”. We were shown a video clip showing a ship crew member having “a wonderful time” but she didn’t disclose that the Fram wasn’t going anywhere near the North West Passage. Another passenger had seen comments on Facebook by travellers who were actually on board who said the ship was just sailing up and down at 8 knots and not proceeding to the planned itinerary but again we were assured by Hurtigruten representatives that all was well. Just get on board they were saying. Once on board of course we were trapped. Then a major change to the itinerary occurred and although we have been raising complaints ever since, ROL and Hurtigruten are stonewalling all the passengers who have joined together in a protest lobby group. I am absolutely sickened by the behaviour from these providers who I trusted with my hard earned cash who I thought were professional and knew what they were doing. It turns out Fram isn’t the type of “ice proof” ship I’d been lead to believe. Reading the brochure is a million miles away from what is provided. I see the same trip is being offered in the next brochure without any warnings of the ice conditions. Negligent and untruthful. Shame. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We joined MS Fram on the !0th of September for a cruise advertised as the Northwest Passage In the Wake of the Great Explorers. As a result of ice conditions only 4 days of the 14 day voyage bore any relationship to the advertised ... Read More
We joined MS Fram on the !0th of September for a cruise advertised as the Northwest Passage In the Wake of the Great Explorers. As a result of ice conditions only 4 days of the 14 day voyage bore any relationship to the advertised itinerary and 3 of those days were in Greenland that was not the main objective in any case. Although Hurtigruten was not responsible for the ice conditions they were responsible for the appalling way in which the disruption was handled. We first heard of a major change at the briefing in Montreal after all passengers had assembled ready to fly north early the following morning. No senior Hurtigruten staff were present and we were given no opportunity to cancel. We were told of plan B but once we were captive on the ship, at the new departure point Pond Inlet, that was not enacted with no explanation. Instead after 3 days sailing in a tight circle we headed off to Greenland. Subsequent investigation made it clear that Hurtigruten must or should have known at least 2 weeks before we left, from the ice condition reports and failure of other boats to get through, that traverse of the Northwest passage was highly unlikely this season. In fact a Cambridge Bay [original departure point] website stated on the 24th of August that the MS Fram would not be visiting in 2018. Needless to say this webpage quickly disappeared after it became widely known. Hurtigruten eventually reluctantly agreed to compensation but this was only to be communicated through individuals’ travel agents after returning home. At no time did the captain address the passengers about the drastic changes and in fact remained aloof throughout the voyage. Subsequently there have been a series of differing compensation offers despite assurances on the boat that we would all be offered the same. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We went on a previous holiday with Hurtigruten where this cruise to the North west Passage in Canada was highly recommended. We were due to travel from West to East. The North West Passage was in fact already closed, and no cruise ship ... Read More
We went on a previous holiday with Hurtigruten where this cruise to the North west Passage in Canada was highly recommended. We were due to travel from West to East. The North West Passage was in fact already closed, and no cruise ship navigated it in 2018 at all due to the heavy build-up of ice, which is not unusual. Hurtigruten's East to West cruise through the Passage had already been abandoned, but we were NOT informed. Instead the port of embarkation was changed from the West to the North East, involving an 18 hour journey from Montreal by air, with several stops, finally arriving in a fifty seater old turbo-prop at Pond Inlet, close to the Magnetic North Pole, where we boarded from an open inflatable dinghy in the Arctic Ocean at 10.30 at night ! Next day we were at last informed that the North West Passage was closed. Instead of being told the truth about the abandonment of the East to West cruise, we were misled into joining the ship where we became hostages, trapped in the Arctic with no possible means of returning to civilisation. Hurtigruten's sole intent had been to prevent us from exercising our cancellation rights under the contract. Now being at the WRONG end of the North West Passage, even if there had been no ice, there would simply not have been enough time to go down 1200 miles of the Passage and return back up it again before we were due to go home. The journey was supposed to be one-way through the Passage, NOT a return journey. So we ended up sailing around doing nothing in mid ocean for five days, and finally went on a very boring sail down the coast of Greenland - I did not need to spend in excess of £20,000 for what amounted to little more than a seaside jaunt aboard the Skylark from Brighton ! Hurtigruten's behaviour has been arrogant. They have admitted liability by making derisory offers of compensation which are totally unacceptable. A major complaint has been the refusal to respond to my communications; all I ever get is a lot of boilerplate hype about how they value my feedback, but never any individual response. It was even worse on the ship, where the senior representative refused to discuss anyone's complaints by sitting down to talk in a civilised fashion one-to-one. All she ever did was to make public announcements and then scurry away to hide. My main gripe is that Hurtigruten's brochure is full of re-assurance about how well equipped the ship was to navigate "treacherous waters", but there was never any suggestion that it involved any risk of ice making navigation impossible, despite hundreds of people throughout history having perished in the ice. If there had been any warnings at all, I would never have risked all that money for nothing. I will never go on a Hurtigruten cruise again and would caution anyone thinking of doing so to be very careful, especially those thinking of joining the maiden voyage of the new Roald Amundsen through the North West Passage in 2019, the advertisements for which still do not mention any risks of ice closing the route. You go at your peril. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
For the first time, in August/September 2018, Hurtigruten ran two cruises to the Canadian Arctic on Fram, advertised as “Northwest Passage - in the wake of the Great Explorers”. The two cruises were mirror images of each ... Read More
For the first time, in August/September 2018, Hurtigruten ran two cruises to the Canadian Arctic on Fram, advertised as “Northwest Passage - in the wake of the Great Explorers”. The two cruises were mirror images of each other: the first was planned to start in Greenland, cross the Davis Straight to Lancaster Sound, cruise through part of the Northwest Passage to Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island, where the passengers would disembark; and the second cruise would embark passengers in Cambridge Bay and take them through the Northwest Passage and on to Greenland. These cruises were not cheap. With associated connecting flights, each UK passenger would pay a minimum of £10,000. Arguably, this was a reasonable cost for this fantastic experience, visiting notable historical sites on a ship “purpose built as an expedition vessel”, and apparently well suited for “the added navigational challenge of ice in the water .... no need to worry, though, … with a 1B ice class, ship-depth sounding database, extractable forward-sounding sonar and iceberg search lights - and the Captain and his crew are experienced in sailing treacherous waters …” Hurtigruten state in their Terms and Conditions that: “If we have to make a significant change or cancel we will notify you as soon as possible and … will offer you [the opportunity to] withdraw from the booking completely in which case we will as soon as possible, refund all money paid …” Despite global warming, the normal state of the Northwest Passage is that it is blocked by ice. In 2016 and 2017, the only cruise ships to successfully traverse the route were accompanied by icebreakers. This information is freely available. In the summer of 2018, the Northwest Passage was blocked by ice, as usual. No cruise ship was able to complete the journey. When the Fram arrived at Lancaster Sound with the first, westbound passengers on 3rd September 2018, she was unable to proceed any further. It is inconceivable that Hurtigruten were not aware of the impossibility of completing the planned itinerary for this group of passengers. Canadian ice forecasts are published and archived. Cruise ships from other companies had already cancelled their visits to Cambridge Bay (see the Cambridge Bay website). The second group of passengers, scheduled for the eastbound cruise, left the UK on 8th September. On 5th September, Hurtigruten dispatched an email stating that the Fram would be “unable to reach Cambridge Bay and the embarkation point for your voyage will be changed.” No mention or offer of cancellation was made. There seemed no reason to assume anything other than that this was a relatively minor change to the itinerary, perhaps changing the embarkation point to somewhere close to Cambridge Bay. As it was, a tortuous journey to northern Baffin Island was arranged for this second group of passengers in order for them to join the Fram. After two days in that area, the Fram sailed to Greenland, some five days earlier than planned, having never entered the Northwest Passage at all. Hurtigruten must have known that they would have to make a “significant change” to the planned itinerary for this second group of passengers before those passengers left the UK. Not only did Hurtigruten know that they had failed the first group of passengers, the Fram was now incorrectly located to achieve anything like the advertised itinerary for the second group. The purpose of the trip, the planned traverse of the Northwest Passage was deleted, and the passengers were taken to a different continent. Passengers were very dissatisfied. The situation was ironically summarised by the Norwegian Captain of the Fram who said, “I appreciate that you have paid for a Rolls Royce and received a Lada.” Complaints to Hurtigruten have resulted in obfuscation, delay, refusal to meet face-to-face and the offer of derisory compensation. Shockingly, having failed to deliver during 2018, Hurtigruten is currently advertising the same, two, mirror image cruises, on the Fram, for August/September 2019, and have “sold out” a new itinerary for a cruise on the MV Roald Amundsen between Alaska and Greenland during the summer of 2019. Passengers who have booked berths on these cruises should beware of the likely deceit, ensure that at least part of their payment is made by credit card, and ensure that they have legal cover as part of their travel insurance. They should be fully aware that no cruise ship has managed to traverse the Northwest Passage without being accompanied by an icebreaker. Neither the Fram nor the Roald Amundsen are icebreakers, whatever the glowing and misleading words used to describe them in Hurtigruten’s brochures. From this experience, in my opinion Hurtigruten should be avoided. I will never travel with them again, and would advise other potential passengers to look elsewhere. There are many other companies running “expedition cruises”. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience; sailing east-bound through the Northwest Passage to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland. Unfortunately, instead, it turned out to be a huge disappointment as ice conditions prevented the ... Read More
This was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience; sailing east-bound through the Northwest Passage to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland. Unfortunately, instead, it turned out to be a huge disappointment as ice conditions prevented the Fram from its planned itinerary. While we were understandably disappointed at the NW PASSAGE cancellation due to the prevailing ice conditions,  it was the TOTAL failure on the part of Hurtigruten US to keep us informed prior to the voyage that we found unacceptable. Especially since it was  known to Hurtigruten that the passage had been blocked to shipping for the entire 2018 transit season.  Not only that, but the alternate sailing areas considered for us,  such as Lancaster Sound, Bellot Strait and Gjoa Haven and Cambridge Bay were also known to be ice-bound.  The Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Charlottetown was unable to enter Lancaster Sound on Sept 6, 2018, due to heavy ice conditions.  (See Nunatsiaq News dated Sept 7, 2018) In our case we checked cruisecritic’s FRAM roll call where there was a link to a Facebook posting by Hurtigruten, reporting the NW passage would not be passable due to ice conditions. That was the first indication we had that there was a problem - approximately 10 days before our departure for Montreal. We are not regular users of Facebook and it was only by chance we found this. We immediately phoned the Hurtigruten US office in Seattle and were told that there was an eblast being prepared for all the east bound pax that would be sent out “within minutes.” This email never arrived. The day before we were scheduled to fly to Montreal , we once again phoned Hurtigruten and the rep provided little additional info. When I expressed our frustration and disappointment with Hurtigruten's lack of customer service, we were told that it was the “Norwegian way” ! The failure to inform passengers many weeks ahead of the sailing that no transits of the NW passage had been possible at all this year was a big PR failure and disservice to those on this itinerary. In sum: Not once did we receive any information either by phone or via email from Hurtigruten US that we would not be going through the NW Passage. All the info we gathered was as a result of our own efforts. By contrast, we have nothing but praise for the ship’s crew. The expedition team made heroic efforts to make the alternate itinerary less of a disappointment. They were dealing with a significant number of angry passengers and were unfailingly diplomatic in their responses despite the harsh comments and a tense atmosphere.  The ship’s entire crew is a great credit to the company with their good spirits, excellent service and great attitude despite the long hours and heavy schedules they contend with. Their additional burden in dealing with many unhappy customers deserves our admiration and gratitude. In order for Hurtigruten to expand its marketing of expedition style itineraries, they will need to overhaul their currently ineffective communications program to improve customer relations; to include a fair compensation to passengers for the cost of a failed itinerary and for the total failure of keeping passengers informed in a timely manner giving them options as to whether to proceed with the voyage or not.   Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
What was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime booked 2 years in advance for a special occasion turned into a total disappointment and a waste of money. The purpose of the trip was to travel in the footsteps of the great explorers ... Read More
What was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime booked 2 years in advance for a special occasion turned into a total disappointment and a waste of money. The purpose of the trip was to travel in the footsteps of the great explorers visiting along the way all the historical sites associated with these early explorers, our trip was supposed to start in Cambridge Bay exiting Canada at Pond Inlet before ending in Greenland reversing the itinerary of the earlier westbound trip. 3 days before departure we were told Ice Conditions prevented the ship reaching Cambridge Bay and a new itinerary would be revealed in a briefing in Montreal before we flew to meet the ship. Despite the fact that it became obvious Hurtigruten were aware of the conditions a number of weeks before departure which resulted in this significant deviation to the itinerary they denied passengers the right to cancel or discuss any form of compensation until after the voyage was over. To cut a very long story short despite being assured we were going to the North West Passage we were flown to Pond Inlet, spent 3 days bobbing around this area before abandoning any pretext of attempting any of the NWP and headed for an extended out of season visit to Greenland hence the massive disappointment especially with the way Hurtigruten has dealt with this matter on board and since. On the positive side service staff as always were friendly, helpful and tried their best, although service levels were not at as high a level as my previous trip on Fram. I believe this was because Hurtigruten seem to have cut down on the numbers so the already overworked staff had even more to do. Whilst some passengers might have been satisfied, most given the cost of this trip were not. Hurtigruten have eventually offered some form of compensation, but for a significant number a passengers from around the globe this is not enough. Passengers accept that the journey could not be undertaken because of the Ice conditions, No ship was able to undertake the journey in 2018 and very few have done so in previous years without the help of Icebreakers, so it didn't matter which cruise line you chose this year as the NWP was inaccessible. The issue is not that the voyage could not be undertaken as disappointing as that was, but that Hurtigruten knowing the Ice Conditions a number of weeks before did not offer Cancellation, Compensation or any other alternative but to go on the trip and fight for compensation afterwards. If I was booked on one of the many sold out 2019/20 trips I would be worried and asking plenty of questions of whichever cruise line I have booked with. Finally if you are contemplating a trip like this to the more remote and less travelled areas of the globe, book in the knowledge you could very well be wasting your hard earned money as the trip like ours could be nothing like the original itinerary and turn into a big big disappointment. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
As an experienced cruiser (Europe, South Asia, Middle East, South America, Antarctica, Galapagos Islands etc), my wife and I were thrilled to see advertised early in 2017 a cruise by Hurtigruten through the North West Passage of Canada ... Read More
As an experienced cruiser (Europe, South Asia, Middle East, South America, Antarctica, Galapagos Islands etc), my wife and I were thrilled to see advertised early in 2017 a cruise by Hurtigruten through the North West Passage of Canada finishing in Greenland. Having assessed our financial situation, we made our reservation for the trip, and then saved for the next 18 months or so to ensure that we had sufficient funds to pay the balance. On the evening of the second day in Montreal we, and all the passengers going to Cambridge Bay (the advertised departure point), were brought together by the Cruise Team and told that our departure point for the cruise wouldn’t be Cambridge Bay, but would be Pond Inlet on Baffin Island, as the North West Passage was blocked by ice. Some passengers stated straight away that without the North West Passage on the agenda, there was no interest in the cruise, and wanted to cancel the cruise before it had even started. We were all ‘fobbed off’ by the team saying that Hurtigruten would call each of the cruisers individually on our return to explain and discuss the matter, as some passengers were asking ‘on the spot’ for their money back. So the cruise went ahead and turned out to be wandering around northern Canada and off to Greenland earlier than expected - interesting but NOT what was booked. When we were back at home, we found that Hurtigruten knew three weeks before we sailed that Cambridge Bay was inaccessible due to the failure of the ice to disperse during the summer. The Cambridge Bay website announced on 24th August that FRAM had cancelled the visit. We are still awaiting a full refund of our costs. So far, Hurtigruten has offered a 60% refund - this is insufficient. The ship, cabin, dining and service were all as expected, but without the main purpose of going, it was a pointless cruise. Read Less
51 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We actually didn't sail on that date as we didn't sail at all and I wanted to share my experience of the customer service you should expect when your cruise gets cancelled by Hurtigruten. My mother was informed of the cancellation when ... Read More
We actually didn't sail on that date as we didn't sail at all and I wanted to share my experience of the customer service you should expect when your cruise gets cancelled by Hurtigruten. My mother was informed of the cancellation when she was about to board the plane to Norway. Not only she spent the whole time crying and worrying, but no alternative was provided. The refund didn't come through until 6 days after the cancelled trip so my mum had to borrow money from me in order to get to Trondheim, the final destination of the cruise ship. When I politely asked to cover expenses in order for us to get to Trondheim, I was refused citing "it is not our policy" though in terms and conditions there are vague statements of cancellation refunds as well as complaints procedures. We have spent an extra £500 trying to get to Trondheim which we have otherwise never gone to if the cruise was cancelled 2 or 3 weeks before the date but as all our hotels have been pre-paid it was a horrible experience. If anyone has any explanation for how a trip organiser isn't liable for customer's getting from A to B that they have sold on the first place, please share with me. This is the first of a kind for me and I would personally never organise anything with Hurtigruten again. Read Less
Fram Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.9
Dining 3.0 3.4
Entertainment 2.0 2.8
Public Rooms 3.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 2.0 3.5
Family 1.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.8

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