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Sail Date: September 2018
Done this voyage before, couldn't wait to do it again, not disappointed. If you want beautiful scenery, calm and relaxing voyage, no glitzy entertainment, TV or radio, mostly mature and intelligent fellow passengers, ie they're there for ... Read More
Done this voyage before, couldn't wait to do it again, not disappointed. If you want beautiful scenery, calm and relaxing voyage, no glitzy entertainment, TV or radio, mostly mature and intelligent fellow passengers, ie they're there for the same reason as you, then this is the trip for you. No need to 'dress' for dinner, just dress for comfort and the weather. Take a good camera, binoculars, plenty of layers for the different weather from north to south, plenty of Krone for adhoc purchases. Choose your excursions wisely and don't try to cram in too much, but the North Cape and Taste of Vesteralen are a 'must'. Don't forget the seasick tablets in case of choppy weather. Hop on and off at all the little stops, even it just for 5 minutes, you'll be amazed at what you see. Amazing gallery and museum where the ship stops for the North Cape excursion, visit if you have the time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Smooth embarkation in Bergen and an offer to upgrade to a suite set the standard for this travel! Luggage was properly retransferred to the new cabin while we left Bergen comfortably seated in deck-chairs bathed in the afternoon sun ... Read More
Smooth embarkation in Bergen and an offer to upgrade to a suite set the standard for this travel! Luggage was properly retransferred to the new cabin while we left Bergen comfortably seated in deck-chairs bathed in the afternoon sun (uncommon for Bergen as this is a really rainy city!). The first of many very good dinners was then enjoyed in the restaurant. The dinner menues were prepared to use mainly local food from the actual region we sailed along each day. One dinner was even completely vegetarian; a bold but successful grip. The breakfast and lunch buffets were abundant. There are several activities that one may attend: the Explorer team may accompany you on foot, by bus or even small expedition boats. We did not use any of these as we preferred walking on our own when we had the time during city stops; We mananged to walk to the cathedral Nidarosdomen (Trondheim), the National Air Craft museum (Bodø) and nearly up the hill to Aksla (Ålesund), the latter actually involved quite brisk walking as the ship was mostly 15 minutes delayed to every port so the port-time was consequently shortened. We really enjoyed sitting on the deck, the view of the fjord- and mountain- landscape meditatively passing by was relly relaxing, (Fortunately the internet Connection was good enough to do some computer work in between when we had some cloudy hours..) This ship was suitable for perons using wheel-chairs, althoug a young man balancing the coffee cup in his lap while manoevring his slim wheeler looked very risky on a somehow rolling ship. He even managed rolling by himself down the steep gangway to Svolvær (backwards, gripping the rail). Disembarking in Harstad following a last early breakfast ended our journy. We will be back; preferably pursuing the Norwegian coast line up to Kirkenes the next time! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We always wanted to see the norwegian fjords. Very important for our decition for hurtig ruten, MS Richard With: - small ship, not a "classical" cruise ship with animation and many people - you can choose, if you want ... Read More
We always wanted to see the norwegian fjords. Very important for our decition for hurtig ruten, MS Richard With: - small ship, not a "classical" cruise ship with animation and many people - you can choose, if you want to join the excurtions - the cabins are quite big - offer to upgrade cabin - excellent Restaurants with local specialaties - no agrassive Entertainment - you can stay on your one, if you want to - Casual, even at dinner-time - environmentally friendly ship - very nice, kind an professional staff We took the "southbound" from Kirkenes to Bergen. The travel to the embarcation port was organised by ourselves (we diceided quite shortly to do this journey). Embarcation went smoothly, we even got an offer to upgrade the cabin, that was geat! Disembarcation in Bergen was perfectly organised. Busses bring passengers to the City or to the Airport. Anyway: we decided for a taxi. This ist a trip recommended to individualists, if you don't like to join crowds. Relax on deck an watch landscape in the midnight sun. You can also have a more active trip, if you joinall the offered excursions. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Spectacular views, OK staff, but terrible, stingy organization. Truly irritating experience booking excursions. The agents constantly referred us to the online info. However, the online information was wrong, and had been wrong since ... Read More
Spectacular views, OK staff, but terrible, stingy organization. Truly irritating experience booking excursions. The agents constantly referred us to the online info. However, the online information was wrong, and had been wrong since before it was published online. We recommend you verify any of your important assumptions with a human, even if you have to push them to great confirmation from management in Norway. The incorrect information led us to choose to travel in the more expensive summer season. When we complained we got the standard "tough luck" answers. However, we continue to push and eventually got a substantial on board credit. Hurtigruten never actually told us about it, so we didn't discover this until the last night when we got our bill. If we hadn't chosen to book excursions on the ship, the credit would have expired unused. On checking in, the agent told us our cabin was ready. Wrong! We were assigned a ridiculously early dinner seating. However, we were told this could be altered the next morning. It turns out that this was only true if you wanted to eat very early or very late. The ship consistently arrives late (presumably to save on fuel costs) but leaves on time, so actual time in ports of call, excursions and sightseeing diversions are significantly shorter than advertised or even cancelled. The ship may pick up large tour groups for some of the more spectacular parts of the cruise. When this happens, the ship becomes intolerably overcrowded. The next day's schedule is only available on TVs, requiring you to watch 5-10 minutes of stuff to find the 5 seconds worth of information you actually want. Food had much emphasis on local food. Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do with dried cod and salted lamb. Cabin was small but well organized There was a series of lectures given by members of the expedition team. While well meant and often entertaining, the lectures on wildlife and geology were often factually incorrect. Stinginess all over from elevators much too small to handle the number of passengers to coffee and tea not being free between meals We suggest Regent Seven Seas or Meine Schiffe as an alternative. If you are willing to drive, the Norwegian road system is excellent and goes everywhere the cruise goes. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Our experience on the Richard With exceeded our expectations. The food was amazing and fabulous. The cabin was comfortable and the public rooms very nice and attractive. The scenery must be the best in the world.! The crew could not have ... Read More
Our experience on the Richard With exceeded our expectations. The food was amazing and fabulous. The cabin was comfortable and the public rooms very nice and attractive. The scenery must be the best in the world.! The crew could not have been more pleasant. Of course alcohol bought onboard was expensive but it is everywhere in Norway. The breakfast & lunch buffets were out of this world, and the served meal in the evening very tasty. If you saw something on the menu in the morning you did not like, you could ask for something else for that evening. The ports were interesting, the embarkation easy, the talks interesting. Disembarkation in Kirkenes was a bit slow and crowded but not a problem. I think this was unusual. We did not take any excursions but liked to wander around ports on our own. We were lucky with perfect weather. Mu husband says that everything was "splendid, an extraordinary time, and we enjoyed it thoroughly." The 6 nights were expensive in our view at first but by the end we felt it was good value for the money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
A wonderful way to see the Norwegian coast in comfort. It would be a completely different experience in summer - many people were on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th trip. It is essential to do the full Bergen to Kirkenes and return voyage to ... Read More
A wonderful way to see the Norwegian coast in comfort. It would be a completely different experience in summer - many people were on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th trip. It is essential to do the full Bergen to Kirkenes and return voyage to make the best of it. Remember this is not a cruise, it is a working boat stopping frequently. Make sure you are on one of the newer boats and that it has an expedition team. They organise trips, lectures, daily programmes and are generally very helpful. All announcements were in Norwegian, English, German and French. If you leave the intercom on in your cabin you will be told when the Northern Lights are to be seen. Cabins are small and basic, but comfortable. Outside cabin essential. Food is old-fashioned and wholesome, a little heavy on salt, perhaps that comes from centuries of eating salt fish. Plenty of choice at the breakfast and lunch buffets, lots of fish, good soups. Set menu and time for waiter service dinner, 3 courses with no choice but show casing good local products. Alcohol so expensive (wine £10-30 a glass) it is better to stick to the free table water. There are a few activities, films, lectures, story-telling and some notable sights are pointed out. Talks about the next days sights are helpful. Excursions are ridiculously expensive (£100-300), you really must be sure it's something you want to do. We went on a bus trip across the islands which was spectacular with a good guide. At any of the stops of an hour or more you can get off and walk around, the boat is usually moored in the centre of town. Taxis are also available to save time to go to sights in larger towns, e.g. the cathedrals in Tromso and Trondheim. In winter streets are not cleared of snow and ice so boots and care are needed. Crew all helpful and efficient. If booking a package from the UK with flights from local airports beware. The Germania charter flight and transfers from Leeds/Bradford were one of the worst travel experiences. An uncomfortable plane full, of mostly elderly, people who had to stand for far too long at every check-in. At Bergen the luggage took over an hour to arrive (no seats), then at the terminal there were only 2 people to check in 3 buses arriving at the same time. On return we were dropped at Bergen airport 4 hours before the flight and told that check-in would not start for 2 hours, there were 30 seats for 150 people. Fortunately the Hurtigruten rep managed to get check-in open, although it took over an hour to check-in with many people standing all the time. Then at Leeds/Bradford (surely one of the worst airports) escalator to baggage collection not working, and luggage took almost an hour to arrive. When asked why the people on the flight which arrived after ours had collected their luggage and left, the staff said that they had less than 4 hours notice that our flight was arriving and no staff were available to unload. On trying to leave through customs the exit doors/gates repeatedly stuck with people trapped inside. A waiting onlooker said it had been going on all evening. Then a stressful car park experience with no signs to the exit and a gate system which did not recognise our number plate ("because it is not in the centre of the car") or the code on our booking. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Ft and foremost this is not a 'traditional' cruise but more of a coastal journey. Anyone who has done the smallest amount of research will know that, anyone thinking they are boarding a cruise ship will be disappointed. Hurtigruten is ... Read More
Ft and foremost this is not a 'traditional' cruise but more of a coastal journey. Anyone who has done the smallest amount of research will know that, anyone thinking they are boarding a cruise ship will be disappointed. Hurtigruten is fundamentally a coastal service providing passenger and freight services to the coastal communities of Norway. It has carved out a niche by providing customers with a comfortable journey, but does not orovide the frills of a cruise ship - no flash shopping mall, no flasy entertainment. The philosophy is the the scenery and journey are the entertainment. This was the full 11 night round trip Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen. For 12 days you are constantly in view of the ever changing coastline, with snow clad mountains, fjords, cliffs... It works to a fixed scedule with 34 stops - some as short as 15 minutes, some as long as 6 hours. Every day there is an opportunity to get ashore and explore, some of the stops are in small towns so you get to see the real Norway. There are plenty of excursions on offer but, like most other operators, they are not cheap. Anything from village/town guides walk, sightseeing and adventure. We only did two - Husky Sledding in Kirkenes and Midnight Concert in Tromso. Both were good value for money. Elsewhere we were happy with a map and a guidebook! Boarding in Bergen was smooth and efficient. The safety briefing was done before we boarded. The public rooms are spacioue with good views. The ship is due for a refit/upgrade in November 2018 and is due. Some of the furnishing look dated and worn. The public rooms are on deck 4 (main restaurant, cafe, seating, lounge, conference area) and deck 7 (main bar and observation lounge plus a small gym). Despite the fact the ship was full there was never a problem getting a seat with a view! Food was good. Breakfast and lunch were open seating buffets. Plenty of variety in both and the staff were busy making sure it was constantly replenished. Dinner was fixed sitting and table with a set menu - sittings every 30 minutes from 17:30 to 20:30. Local produce is taken on board along the route and fish featured a lot (as expected). Alcohol is expensive, as it is anywhere in Norway (this is a domestic Norwegian service). Wine and beer packages are on offer but there was no hard sell. The Expedition Team on board provided daily mini talks outside at least once a day on things of local interest, and a longer lecture most days on various subjects like the geology, history of Norway, the Sami people etc. Apart from that the enertainment was the scenery, Northern Light shows etc... Our cabin, 318, was on deck 3 - a Polar Outside. This is the deck with reception and used for access during stops. We chose this deck for ease of access and the port side because acess and reception are on the starboard side. We never heard any noise either during sailing or during port stops overnight. Deck 2 is the car deck. Deck 5 is the promonade deck so every cabin (and the most expensive suites!) have a walkway outside the window with people walking, standing outside. On deck six are cabins, but also the lifeboats, so some have no/restricted view. We looked carefully on the deck plans before choosing. The Arctic cabins are slightly larger, have a TV and tea/coffee making facilities. Was glad we did not pay the extra! All cabin layouts are the same, twin beds, one of which folds up to make a settee during the day. There was ample space (we tend not to live in our cabin! And plenty of storage for clothes and cases - mine went under my bed and my wife's in the bottom of the wardrobe. The ship will, if wished, store cases for you. Our fare (Select, the standard fare) enabled us to choose our cabin and gave free WiFi and unlimited tea/coffee. The WiFi was good and fast the whole trip and, because it is a coastsl voyage, we had 4G for 95% of the trip. It was difficult to find any negatives as long as you set your expectations that it going to be a journey/voyage, not a cruise! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Firstly, I would be careful to describe this as a Coastal Voyage rather than a traditional cruise. We absolutely loved it but it is not like the P&O ships we have been on previously and we knew this before we went. Hurtigruten offer ... Read More
Firstly, I would be careful to describe this as a Coastal Voyage rather than a traditional cruise. We absolutely loved it but it is not like the P&O ships we have been on previously and we knew this before we went. Hurtigruten offer excursions but we didn't participate in these as we prefer to do our own thing. However, do not expect a full programme of entertainment as you get on a "standard cruise ship". We booked a package with flights from the UK and this part of the journey went very smoothly. You are met at the airport and taken to the ship by coach with a guide. There was a short queue to embark as a coachful of passengers all arrived at once of course, but it didn't take very long to get on board. Luggage was taken from the coach directly to your cabin. You arrive on board in time for a buffet dinner and your cases will be waiting for you after dinner (if not before). I believe that all ships will have an Expedition Team on board from April and this is to be recommended. Our team were fantastic, giving information about excursions together with several lectures during the voyage and a meeting most days to tell people what was on the agenda the next day together with weather forecasts, Northern Lights forecasts etc. There was some live music a few nights on our ship but I think that was mainly because our Expedition Team leader enjoyed playing the guitar and singing. He was very good but I doubt that this occurs on all ships! There were also a few things out on deck some days to tell us about points of interest along the way and sometimes to give us a sample of Norwegian food. If the Northern Lights are seen, this is also announced to give everyone the chance to get outside and see them. Our package included wi-fi and free tea and coffee which you get from the cafe by showing your cruise card. They had plenty of fruity tea bags as well as standard English Breakfast tea, but if you like decaff tea, then take your own supply. Decaff coffee was available in a jar. The wi fi seemed to work well except for when we passed through a narrow fjord with no signal! We loved the food - there is a lot of fish on board as this is a staple part of the Norwegian diet. There is always something else though if you don't want fish. We found the fish delicious - so fresh. The selection of food at breakfast is similar each day but there is a wide choice including bacon and fried eggs, hard boiled eggs, beans, potatoes, a full range of cold meats and salad type items which is more of a German-style breakfast. Fresh fruit, cereals, bread, toast. Tea, coffee, juice, smoothies. Occasionally there are pancakes or waffles cooked fresh too. Lunch has lots of smoked fish, a different soup each day, plus hot dishes with vegetables and a salad selection too, also cheese and biscuits. There is a variety of desserts including mousses, pavlova, cakes, fruit, icecream, jelly. These are similar each day. Tea and coffee is again available to help yourself after lunch. Tap water: This is available with lunch and dinner at no cost. I mention this because before we went, I got the feeling that tap water was not served and you had to buy bottled water. Be assured that the tap water is lovely and you can have as much as you want. The waiting staff always offer drinks but as the alcohol is so expensive in Norway, we stuck to tap water as did many others! Dinner is a set menu with no choice but if you have allergies then these will be taken into account and you will be served an alternative. Food is taken on board fresh at various ports of call and you are served local produce from nearby places. The portions at dinner are not huge but you can eat all you want at breakfast and lunch so you won't go hungry! Tea and coffee after dinner is served in the bar. You are allocated a table for dinner and a time. I don't remember specifying a table size but we were allocated a table for two which suited us. You are also allocated a time and some people weren't happy with their time but I believe they were able to swap. The ship calls at several ports each day and during the night but sometimes only for 15 or 30 minutes so you can't always get off. There is a longer stay each day though but not a whole day as happens with a normal cruise ship. We found this trip incredible but before you go, please do your research and make sure it's what you are expecting. There will not be films and shows in the evening and during the day the "entertainment" is largely looking at the glorious scenery. We were very lucky with the weather but do go prepared with lots of activities to keep you occupied during the day just in case the weather is poor and the views are not as stunning. There was a small fitness room on board with a treadmill, cross trainer and a couple of bikes, plus weights. This had a lovely view out of the window! We found the staff very friendly and of course they all speak good English. I would love to do this trip again - perhaps during the summer to see how different everything looks and to experience the long hours of daylight, The Hurtigruten ships began travelling up and down the Norwegian coast 125 years ago and provided a service to the isolated communities - including postal delivery for many years. They are still providing a service today and locals get on and off the boats to travel just a few "stops" up the coast. These days they are catering more for tourists but they still carry freight and a few cars. I'm not sure if cabins above the freight deck experience any noise but I think it is likely. We were on deck 6 so this wasn't a problem for us - but I chose a high deck for that very reason. As the ship stops during the night, I didn't want too much disturbance overnight. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise specifically in hope of seeing the Aurora Borealis, so by necessity had to go in winter. Embarkation at Bergen was easy but surprised by a huge, very well dressed group of people in the dining room the first night. ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically in hope of seeing the Aurora Borealis, so by necessity had to go in winter. Embarkation at Bergen was easy but surprised by a huge, very well dressed group of people in the dining room the first night. Hurtigruten takes ‘private groups’ for Christmas parties on board for dinner or breakfast at their discretion and this group were one of those. The Richard With had a three person expedition team - Linus, Denise and Niri whose many presentations from Aurora Borealis, culture, Vikings to wildlife and using of Norway were excellent. Denise gave a lecture on photographing the Aurora and then spent time with anyone who needed help adjusting the settings on their camera. Even told the smart phone users about an App which would enable their phone to get good photos. Sailing in winter means you see very little scenery. It was dark from about 3 in the afternoon to 11 in the morning. Every port we stopped at had almost completely iced up footpaths and roads. I’d set out a schedule of museums, churches and places of interest to visit not understanding how slow it would be to walk in those conditions. There were 2 passengers who broke arms in port and I fractured my pelvis near the end of the voyage. Living in Australia and not accustomed to Polar conditions I was naive about the dangers. Apparently an inexpensive pair of spikes attached to my boots (which were chosen for icy conditions) may have prevented that. Our cabin, Arctic superior (644) was well located, small but convenient. We were glad of the tea and coffee making facilities and watched some tv when at night there was nothing to see outside. Others without a tv were complaining of not having things to do in the evening. Bed linen was lovely and tiny bathroom had a shower with very hot water and good water pressure. Soap, shampoo in dispensers on walls. A small gym was busy and didn’t I didn’t use the sauna. The meat and fish eaters were very happy with the food which was listed on a menu each night. If you’re vegetarian it was less pleasant. They endeavour to present food from the region in which they are sailing and to be fair, there wouldn’t be any vegetarian option out there in the cold. There was a table of gluten free options each meal. Every meal potatoes and salad. Carrot, swede and turnips were available and most nights a vegetarian savoury but not all nights. Sometimes the soup was vegetarian and was grateful for that. Desserts seemed widely liked. Lots of fresh cream, pavlova, cakes, biscuits and jellies, crackers and cheese with nuts and dried fruit when there was a buffet. Snacks, coffee and small cakes were available in a cafe at a charge. On nights 3 & 4 the Aurora appeared. The announcement was made over the PA system which you can leave turned on in your cabin. Here’s a catch though. The night 3 lights lasted a short while and most people went to bed confident that if they came again they’d be woken. They did reappear at the back of the boat and because the crew don’t see out the back no announcement was made. There were a few people had stayed up and walked around the deck until the early hours and they saw them Denise did say at the beginning that you need to be patient and vigilant but didn’t explain that this may happen. So. A very happy voyage. Pleased to leave the boat a Kirkenes to get medical help and fly home. Have spoken to passengers who made the return voyage to Bergen and the lights didn’t reappear. Most passengers were around 60 or older. The excursions were well attended and met a few people (Austrians) who were going on a hike. There is a small children’s playroom near the cafe. Interesting watching the boat load cargo, passengers and cars in some ports. The crew were introduced but not ‘celebrities’ as on cruise ships. When you see the difficult waters they navigate I was happy that they stayed with their designated jobs. Would love to take the journey in summer to see the beauty of the land and landscape. Read Less
Richard With Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 1.0 2.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 1.0 2.9
Family 2.0 2.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.8
Enrichment 3.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.7

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