To start, everyone is so welcoming on this forum!
I discovered Hurtigruten when my husband decided our 30th anniversary will be spent in Norway; a very large country to explore with only two weeks of vacation time to utilize. Hurtigruten will allow us to see the entire coast. We also liked the idea of, for lack of a better term, a "non-cruise" experience.
So, this lead me to Cruise Critic (an old friend from previous cruises). I pored through the posts on this forum and reached out with basic questions along with reading the reviews. I also got my hands on the Norwegian Coastal Cruises Hurtigruten 2019/2020 brochure; packed with 91 pages of info including ship itineraries, ship layouts, maps and excursion details.
Our trip has essentially been shaped by the experiences posted here. Below are some of the great suggestions I've used;
We only have two weeks and therefore are doing the Southbound in October 2020. I've consulted the "moon phase" calendar and it will not be during a full moon; better for seeing the Northern Lights we hope.
We plan on spending a couple nights in Oslo and flying to Kirkenes prior to sailing. We've been giving recommendations on hotels, restaurants and sightseeing.
I have also received recommendations for excursions during our cruise based on what will be available; note that certain excursions are only available during various seasons and many on this forum have included stops that can be explored on your own.
Not on our radar but now included in our itinerary will be the train from Bergen (after a spending a couple days) back to Oslo rounding out our two weeks.
Lastly, we are using a TA who we have worked with forever. As soon as the bookings came available, we knew the ship and cabin we wanted. We like having a TA back in the States, ready to help if needed, while we're abroad.
So, that's our journey to date; have a while prior to traveling but will enjoy the continuous posts!