Fram Cruise Review by Afaj27
- Sail Date: September 2018
- Destination: Arctic
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.