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Sail Date: December 2018
see northern lights an cruise the fords did 12 day cruise with full board food was great for fish lovers but im a meat eater they gave me meat every nite at dinner was no problem thou some people didnt ask not much to do on board ... Read More
see northern lights an cruise the fords did 12 day cruise with full board food was great for fish lovers but im a meat eater they gave me meat every nite at dinner was no problem thou some people didnt ask not much to do on board read play cards amuse ur self scenery was great as was weather northern lights were a bit of dissapontment saw sum seems people complained about prices on ship but all of Norway is as for cabin cleaning u needed to put card out to get room cleaned or they did nothing last day is worst u leave room by 10am ship docks 3pm so u just try an kill time did two tours very pricey walked mostly at ports of call pfm309 dining crew was great did best to accomadate u food for the most was warm or cold needs to be hotter they have a nerve charging for tea an coffee Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise for the Northern Lights but mother nature chose not to participate, which is nobodies fault & a chance you take. The disappointing part was the cost of excursions & drinks. We only did 1 excusion as our ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Northern Lights but mother nature chose not to participate, which is nobodies fault & a chance you take. The disappointing part was the cost of excursions & drinks. We only did 1 excusion as our other was cancelled.Check if your package includes tea & coffee, as a lot didnt have this.Not to mention the hours sitting onboard spent playing cards or reading, as nothing else to do. There were occasional lectures but not regularly. The staff in every area were fantastic, with smiles & ready to answer any questions you may have. We regularly used the walking track on deck 5 & loved that we could at least get some fresh air exercising, however didnt like that our room was on the same deck which we felt limited times our blind could be up. Could not fault the food, smoked salmon is the best we have ever tasted & loved trying local food most days. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose to travel on the Hurtigruten classic round trip 12 day voyage to see the coast of Norway, many ports of call and hopefully the northern lights. We were fully aware that the Ms Polarlys is a working ship but were extremely ... Read More
We chose to travel on the Hurtigruten classic round trip 12 day voyage to see the coast of Norway, many ports of call and hopefully the northern lights. We were fully aware that the Ms Polarlys is a working ship but were extremely underwhelmed by the experience. Virtually all of the times of visits to ports of call were cut short as the ship nearly always arrived late but always left on time? This meant that we were on the ship for very long periods of time. This might have been bearable had there been things to do on board and food and drinks available at affordable prices. This could not have been further from the truth. The ship is essentially a ferry and other than a few on board talks and films there was really nothing else to do. Full board was included with our cruise however be aware that the meals are set menu. In Hurtigruten's case this means set menu with no choice of alternative. We only ate one meal in the main restaurant, it was not to our liking and was of very small portions and clearly concocted as cheaply as possible. That first evening I complained about the lack of choice which was not taken well. I went through the ranks both on board the ship and with Hurtigruten in the UK and Norway, all this took almost 24 hours but the response, although consistent if nothing else was that I either pay NOK220 per person per day to eat in the a la carte restaurant or put up with the set menu. I contacted the cruise agent I had booked my trip with and they paid the supplement for me to have some choice of food and eat in the a la carte restaurant. With the exception of a small handful of staff on board the vast majority are at best indifferent towards the passengers and in many cases down right rude. From moment one we felt like an inconvenience to the crew on board and both the standards and service on board left much to be desired. Most of the crew on board the ship did nothing for the reputation of Norway or it's people and should be ashamed of themselves. Our cabin (524) was okay but the servicing of the cabin was hit and miss and on some days did not happen at all. The cost of everything on board the ship is outrageously expensive and other than the basic meals in the main restaurant this means absolutely everything. It is my opinion that the Hurtigruten philosophy is to charge as much as they can possibly get away with for as little as possible in return. There are other ships now offering similar routes, Hurtigruten did have exclusivity on the Norwegian coastal route up until a couple of years ago but thankfully this is no longer the case. The one and only positive was that after our cruise agent resolving the dining issue the food in the a la carte restaurant was very good and our waitress Mona was fabulous. Needless to say we would absolutely not recommend Hurtigruten to anyone else after our dismal experience on board MS Polarlys for 12 long days! Any ratings I have given I this review for dining relate to the main dining restaurant as this is the included option. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Highly rated on other review sites. Looked unusual and good value at around £100 a day. (2018 prices). Turned out better than expected. All flights and transfers were included. Where else could you stop 66 times in 12 days? The ... Read More
Highly rated on other review sites. Looked unusual and good value at around £100 a day. (2018 prices). Turned out better than expected. All flights and transfers were included. Where else could you stop 66 times in 12 days? The Hutingruten is a working ferry so this allowed us to get a real flavour of Norwegian coastal activities. Several major stops were over 3 hours and since Norwegian towns are not too large it was possible to see all major points on interest by just wandering around. Thanks to some forethought, maps were provided at major stopping points. Extensive organised trips were available and those who went on them gave glowing reports. No problem with the language as all the crew speak English. This ship carried special crew members called an Expedition Team who lead some of the more adventurous trips. Extremely attractive , very knowledgable, and competent in at least 4 languages between them. Lectures, information films and expedition briefings were held throughout the trip - even the Captain explaining the aids to navigation through the many islands (23,000) along the coast. The dress code is very casual, no dressing up at all although you might change for dinner if you would like. No pressure! No caberet (thank goodness) - bring your cards, play games, read books, or talk with other people on the trip. Ladies or gents - bring your knitting or crochet or contribute to the ship's blanket, by making granny squares. Or just sit and admire the ever changing view. Try this trip if food is your thing as much of it is loaded on board freshly every day and reflects the local cuisine in the main evening meal. Buffet breakfast and lunch cater for a wide range of tastes and as much as you can eat. Every meal has been superb. The service cannot be faulted. Most people go teetotal for the trip as alcohol in Norway costs twice as much as in the UK. Mobile phones work without any extra charge; internet access is available on various reasonably priced packages. We saw the Northern Lights! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are only now on our 4th day on cruise and everyday a wonderful experience!! Excursions very good! Boat wonderful, clean, modern and with every facility needed. The staff excellent especially the expedition team! Food is ... Read More
We are only now on our 4th day on cruise and everyday a wonderful experience!! Excursions very good! Boat wonderful, clean, modern and with every facility needed. The staff excellent especially the expedition team! Food is outstanding! You definitely don’t need to upgrade to a-la-cartevoption! Every dinner different and food from area served with wonderful descriptions of dinner options on menu. Most beautiful views outside everyday!!! You sail by the most beautiful little towns, villages, mountains and through fjords. You are warned well on advance when you will be in open sea passages and with stabilisers on the boat the rough seas are handled very well. The crossing of the arctic circle this morning was a joyious occassion and the ceremony thereafter very good. The only complaint is passsengers who is selfish when it comes to seating in explorer lounge.... the staff requested not to reserve seats. Suggestion would be that passengers should be told not to sit and sleep on chairs... only to use it if they are watching and filming the views. The boat is beautiful and the explorer lounge lovely! I will highly recommend the cruise! Well done Hurtigruten!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We took this wonderful cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary. From the very first day the scenery was stunning! The food was world class! We enjoyed the informative sessions scheduled most days concerning the Vikings, troll legends, the ... Read More
We took this wonderful cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary. From the very first day the scenery was stunning! The food was world class! We enjoyed the informative sessions scheduled most days concerning the Vikings, troll legends, the gas/oil industry, and norway's fishing industry etc. The excursions may seem at first expensive, but so worth the money. We especially loved the North Cape rib boat, the hiking with huskies, and horse back riding in Lofoten. When in Tromso we went with the expedition team leader Jan for a terrific hike up a mountain with great views and even got up close to reindeer at the top. Overall the cruise was so well run....Marco the head of the expedition team had unlimited enthusiasm and kept us well informed on how to maximize our cruise and the various points of interests along the way. The ship was very comfortable, well maintained, and very clean. We worked out in the gym every other day, and used the hot tubs every evening! And as if this was all not enough, we were blessed with 2 amazing nights of the northern lights!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I had heard about Hurtigruten and wanted as authentic an experience as possible. It allowed us to see a lot of Norway quickly an easily, from the North Cape (northern tip of Europe), through the beautiful coastal islands, and down to ... Read More
I had heard about Hurtigruten and wanted as authentic an experience as possible. It allowed us to see a lot of Norway quickly an easily, from the North Cape (northern tip of Europe), through the beautiful coastal islands, and down to Bergen. The trip definitely delivered on this basic requirement. We flew up from Oslo to Kirkenes for the southbound journey the morning of embarkation and arrived after the main group had been processed, so it was easy for us. The ship is quite large but not huge. Public areas very attractive and well laid out. The fifth level has an outside walkway all around the ship of .155 miles in length, and is great for getting some exercise. (There is also a small but well stocked workout room.) Our cabin was small but not too claustrophobic. Nice large window. Blackout shade came in handy, given the midnight sun! Food was mostly boring and bland. Desserts were the best representation of what is good about Norwegian cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on local berries. Very little fresh food to be found. For some reason, raw veggies were only fully available at breakfast. No salad dressing. A nice selection of cheeses but bread and rolls were uniformly boring. Costs for extras is very high. This ship does not provide human entertainment (beyond people watching!), and that is fine because the scenery is top notch! The "lectures" were not particularly professional and illuminating and that area needs to be beefed up. Most ports were tiny villages, nice for a quick walk. A couple were larger cities, nice for a longer walk, especially Tromso and Trondheim. We participated in 3 excursions. Breakfast at Northkapp was mostly bus ride through arctic terrain plus the actual Northkapp station,. Our guide on the English language bus was terrific. Worth it to say you've done it and for the many views of reindeer, at our time of year complete with babies. Taste of Vesteralen was again an opportunity for some great views. Not sure if any better than would have been on ship, but we did get some inland scenery which was nice. The description mentions some cultural opportunities including visiting an old church. What we were not told was that we would be told to sit down and then the priest began a service. We should have been told this in advance and not required to participate. The guide was a local and she told us some colorful stories. Finally, the Sea Eagle Safari was very cold but a lot of fun! We saw several sea eagles, many many gulls, and gorgeous scenery from the vantage point of a small boat. Service on the ship was overall efficient but not very friendly. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My second Hurtigruten cruise, this time to experience the midnight sun. We didn't actually get sun at midnight North of the arctic circle, but I found the continuous light really fascinating. I was travelling independently and found ... Read More
My second Hurtigruten cruise, this time to experience the midnight sun. We didn't actually get sun at midnight North of the arctic circle, but I found the continuous light really fascinating. I was travelling independently and found it easy enough to get a taxi from Bergen airport to Hurtigruten and back. The majority of people also had some English. Didn't need cash as everybody used card machines. For me a great trip. Lots to see with all the port stops. Wonderful food and crew. For myself and my brother our dining experience was enriched by our waiter who as well as serving us efficiently found the time for some jokes and excellent wit! Very efficiently organised and mainly very informative excursions. And of course Norway is such a beautiful country to see. Remember that this is a working ship that doesn't provide evening entertainment apart from the wonderful dinners and views. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
About 5 years ago I went on the same cruise in January up the coast of Norway all the way to the Russian border, everything gleamring in the snow. It was so beautiful that I wanted to see it in the summer, and wasn’t disappointed. ... Read More
About 5 years ago I went on the same cruise in January up the coast of Norway all the way to the Russian border, everything gleamring in the snow. It was so beautiful that I wanted to see it in the summer, and wasn’t disappointed. Totally different but stunning all the same. The Hurtigruten Line is very well organised. Joining the cruise in Bergen and disembarkation at the end is done with military precision. The facilities on board are a delight and the food is a dream. Both breakfast and lunch are buffet style but I defy anyone to be unable to find suitable food wherever in the world you come from. Dinner was a set menu with allocated tables. The service staff are quick and efficient and friendly. I can only report on my own cabin experience but I was more than happy. I was fortunate to have an upgrade from inside to outside cabin with a window. I suspect it was because it was my second voyage with Hurtigruten Cruise line. The cabin was well equipped but I did take a little travel kettle, tea and coffee and dried milk. I like a cup of tea as soon as I rise in the morning. The excursions are numerous and, again, well organised. As for entertainment it’s not like the big cruise ships by any means, there are regular lectures about everything Norwegian, from wildlife, oil production, myths and legends, fishing etc. These lectures are entertaining and well presented. There’s the Crossing the Artic Circle ceremony attended by King Neptune, which, if you dare to participate, ends with you having a jug full of cold water and ice cubes tipped down the back of your neck, so beware. The one thing I will say is that Norway is a very expensive country to visit. You have to be prepared for high prices for anything on board over and above the full board costs already paid for. Having said that it is a wonderful experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I always wanted to go on this cruise and finally booked it as there was no surcharge for a single cabin. In the beginning, I was a bit disappointed as the weather was rather cloudy and rainy with limited visibility. Fortunately, the ... Read More
I always wanted to go on this cruise and finally booked it as there was no surcharge for a single cabin. In the beginning, I was a bit disappointed as the weather was rather cloudy and rainy with limited visibility. Fortunately, the weather changed on day 3 and the trip became one of the best I ever did. Great landscape, nice excursions (Northern Cape, Husky sleigh tour and midnight concert in Trondheim), a variety of people to spend time with, very interesting presentations on various aspects of Norway and first-class delicious food! I appreciated the easy-going atmosphere (no fashion shows at diner). Food was delicious and deserves 5 stars. The cabin was as expected, not too big, but with everything you need. My cabin was with restricted view, means there was a rescue boat in front of the window. I made an excursion to the Northern cape, a Husky adventure in Kirkenes where we also visited the Snow Hotel and the Midnight concert in Trondheim. Organisation was good and I enjoyed them all. There is lots more on offer, however they are all quite expensive for Non-Norwegians. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I particularly liked the expedition team as they were giving regular presentations on various subjects on Norway - very informative and interesting. Overall, it was an impressive experience with Hurtigruten and I will most probably go again to experience a different time of the year. Read Less
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