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I'm planning a 7-day "Classic Journey North" trip with Hurtigruten for my Mom and me in late April/Early May.

 

I notice from Hurtigruten's site that they don't have an official agency in the US: I'm looking for the benefit of your experience and recommendations in how to go about booking:

 

* How do I get the best deal on a package of cruise, flight and excursions, or should I book them separately?

* Should I find an agent or go via Hurtigruten direct?

* How would I go to Hurtigruten? Through their website/phone number?

* I live in the Bay Area - is there an advantage to finding a local agent, or should I hunt on the internet?

 

Any thoughts and advice appreciated!

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I'm planning a 7-day "Classic Journey North" trip with Hurtigruten for my Mom and me in late April/Early May.

 

I notice from Hurtigruten's site that they don't have an official agency in the US: I'm looking for the benefit of your experience and recommendations in how to go about booking:

 

* How do I get the best deal on a package of cruise, flight and excursions, or should I book them separately?

* Should I find an agent or go via Hurtigruten direct?

* How would I go to Hurtigruten? Through their website/phone number?

* I live in the Bay Area - is there an advantage to finding a local agent, or should I hunt on the internet?

 

Any thoughts and advice appreciated!

A group of us are taking Hurtegruten round trip this December. We made our reservations directly with Hurtegruten. I first read postings here, on ThornTree, and Trip Adviser, so I knew pretty much what I wanted. I found the Hurtigruten web site a bit challenging, but by the time I called them (it's a US number - not sure where the people are located), I knew what ship, date, and cabin I wanted, so making the reservation was pretty straight forward. We made our plane reservations independently, since we are combining this trip with a visit to Oslo to see friends.

 

One word of caution - if you want to take any of the Hurtigruten excursions, you can reserve them ahead of time. Like most tour companies, their excursions fill up, and they do not make it clear on the web site you can reserve early. One of the excursions we wanted to take was booked by the time we called. I don't think you can make excursion reservations online.

 

I doubt a US travel agent has any experience with Hurtigruten, so I would definitely make reservations directly with Hurtegrutin, and I'd do it over the phone again so there is the opportunity to ask questions.

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Borton Overseas is a reputable agency that specializes in Scandinavia and books Hurtigruten. The staff is quite familiar with the coastal voyage asa well as the other things you may/will want to book in Norway. I've had excellent service from them in planning a group tour.

 

Hurtigruten's US office has a reputation for being difficult to deal with, not that they're rude or unpleasant, jsut that the system doesn;t seem to work very well. Borton, on the other hand, is very easy and efficient and if there's any difficulty dealing with Hurtigruten US, they handle it.

 

Website at http://www.bortonoverseas.com/

 

Bill

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Hi I am in Australia and found booking direct with Hurtigruten UK saved us about $1000, (so paying for our excursions) rather than booking with a travel company here who sell Hurtigruten. We saved their add on margin and I had no problems paying or booking. Go onto Hurtigruten website see what ship is sailing the day you want to go, select your cabin and ring, it was very, very easy. Remember to tell them which dining session you want for dinner as there are two, and believe me you will absolutely love it!

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Hurtigruten's cruises are excellent but they charge a lot for flights. We've always bought our own flights and flown in early. The savings have more than paid for hotel and meals and we've been able to fit in some sightseeing too.

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Went with Hurtigruten this past January. I had always wanted to see the Northern Lights and was blessed to have that wish granted - a display on 3 nights. :)

 

 

These are small ferries though, and it was VERY choppy at times. Bad enough to close the lifts. I was extremely glad I took medication with me! :eek:

 

Have a great trip :D

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These are small ferries though, and it was VERY choppy at times. Bad enough to close the lifts. I was extremely glad I took medication with me!

Which ship were you on?

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Which ship were you on?

 

 

Nordkapp.

 

Very nice ship, and good food.

 

It was January, so expected bad weather really. Deep snow, and freezing cold. The sea was very rough.

 

The aurora was beautiful though :)

Edited by Darcy15

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A friend and I used her travel agent, and the TA booked a round trip in early March for us through Vantage Travel. The package through Vantage includes a hotel stay the night before and the night after the cruise, a welcome dinner, walking tours in every port and maybe a few other things I don't remember. I don't know about airfare through Vantage, but I think my friend told me it's about $1000 from Chicago. I used USAirways Dividend Miles and am actually going over a day early.

 

You can go to Vantage Travel's website and look at the packages they offer. We're doing the Voyage of the Northern Lights, because this is supposed to be an unusually good winter for the Northern Lights.

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We did the round trip with Vantage Sept. 2011 and loved it. It was great having a guide on each stop. If the stop was more than 20 minutes we gathered on the dock and had a walking tour of the surrounding area. Many tours were included so we didn't have to worry about paying or signing up. We took Vantage air from the Boston area but probably wouldn't do that again. Their routing wouldn't have been our first choice so would prefer to do our own.

Carol

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We did the round trip with Vantage Sept. 2011 and loved it. It was great having a guide on each stop. If the stop was more than 20 minutes we gathered on the dock and had a walking tour of the surrounding area. Many tours were included so we didn't have to worry about paying or signing up. We took Vantage air from the Boston area but probably wouldn't do that again. Their routing wouldn't have been our first choice so would prefer to do our own.

Carol

 

Carol, this is great information to have. From reading the Vantage information I thought I understood that the majority of tours are included.

 

I do have a few questions.

  • Were all the tours that were included walking tours, or were there others?
  • Did you get to go to the visitor center at North Cape?
  • Were there tours for every port of 20 minutes or longer?
  • Were there optional tours you could purchase?

Thanks,

 

Beth

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Hi Beth,

Yes, the majority of tours were included with Vantage. In addition to the Vantage tours, the Hurtigruten tours were also available. Our tour guide discussed all the Hurtigruten tours and told us which ones had been recommended by other travelers. We did the Arctic Cathedral Concert and the Sea Eagle Tour through Hurtigruten. As part of Vantage, a tour to the North Cape was included as well as bus tours in Bergen, Tromso, Trondheim and Harstad. We did visit the visitor center at the North Cape but were told that during the winter months a common bus is used to get visitors there. Since we were there in a different season, I'm not sure exactly what Vantage offers in March. I'm attaching a link to my review of the trip. Let me know if you have any questions or want pictures. We loved our trip and the ship so are happy to share our experience.

Carol

Norway Trip.doc

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We are in Australia and booked through ************* website. We got a great deal on a mini suite priced cheaper than an oceanview, don't know why but it worked out great for us. I spoke with a consultant and asked which cabins were available so was able to choose the one that looked best. Great deal and no hassle in booking. We did not receive any confirmation paperwork though and I contacted the consultant a couple of weeks before departure. He sent me a copy of a confirmation page and said that was all we would need. I have to admit I was a bit worried about getting on and finding out we were not booked but it all worked out beautifully. We went in September and saw the most spectacular display of northern lights.

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hi Ashryn,

we are also in Oz (Melbourne) and are planning a Hurtigruten trip. How did you book yours please? Is there an Oz agent you know of? thanks heaps!

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hi Ashryn,

we are also in Oz (Melbourne) and are planning a Hurtigruten trip. How did you book yours please? Is there an Oz agent you know of? thanks heaps!

 

Did you notice all these postings are over 4 years old?

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I have just booked a midnight sun tour in June- did book direct at https://www.hurtigruten.com/ - different regions, different currencies.

Select Norway port to port for partial tour ore some of the voyages along the Norway coast.

You can email me direct if any questions.

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hi Ashryn,

 

we are also in Oz (Melbourne) and are planning a Hurtigruten trip. How did you book yours please? Is there an Oz agent you know of? thanks heaps!

 

 

 

Hi.

 

I'm in melbourne. I booked a Hurtigruten trip last year directly through their website. I think it was the Europe or U.K. Website. All went smoothly. Hope that helps.

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Hi.

 

I'm in melbourne. I booked a Hurtigruten trip last year directly through their website. I think it was the Europe or U.K. Website. All went smoothly. Hope that helps.

 

Hi,

Have booked Hurtigruten cruise for Sept. this year. : Kirkenes to Bergen.

Can you recommend any 'must' excursion? Any advice would be most appreciated.

Cheers T.

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Hi,

Have booked Hurtigruten cruise for Sept. this year. : Kirkenes to Bergen.

Can you recommend any 'must' excursion? Any advice would be most appreciated.

Cheers T.

 

Hi T,

 

The voyage I did was north-bound, Bergen to Kirkenes and I believe some of the ports are different and of those ports that are the same, there can be a difference in time of day you'll be there and therefore a difference in the excursions that are offerred. Having said that, there is an excursion that my voyage didn't offer and I wished it had. It's only offerred, I understand, on the south-bound trip; The midnight concert at the Tromsø cathedral.

 

 

I very much enjoyed the 'Hike with a visit to a Shieling' tour. It was a pleasant walk up a gentle gradient with an interesting cultural discovery at the top (the shieling). The view from the top was very beautiful. If you are a bit fitter than me and want a really solid hike, then do the harder walk at this port (Hjørundfjorden). My travelling companion did that one and found it a bit tough but enjoyable (and she's a young runner).

 

 

In Trondheim we didn't take a ship's excursion. The walk to the Cathedral (a must-see) is easily done. We walked directly there and took the long way back, walking in the direction away from the ship (from the cathedral) and then crossing a bridge (they are plentiful along the river) and back through the very pretty town - the architecture is lovely. I'm sure there would be some information about the town that you'd receive on a tour but there's also the sense of exploration you have when you're making your own route and having your own adventure. I favour a mix of the two modes.

 

 

One tour I did and wished I hadn't was to the Polaris centre and cathedral in Tromsø. Nothing wrong with either of those sites (although the soft-hearted might find the performing seals living indoors at the Polaris centre a bit sad) but rather the amount of time spent trawling through the city in the bus - I think we were supposed to be viewing the sites through town from the bus but it just felt to me like crawling through peak hour traffic. By the time we got to the cathedral we had very little time to have a look. Disappointing. Wished I'd walked to one or both and had a better look on foot.

 

Hope those few ideas help. I envy you going. I loved our trip and would go again in a flash. The weather was brilliant (we were a bit lucky) and mostly mild. Take all the warm gear though and good boots for walking. The food is great and the ship was clean and comfortable. I hope you have a wonderful time! Happy to answer any further questions, too. Just ask!

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Hi LittleFish1976,

Many thanks for the information. This did help me.

We are going in September so guess it will not be too cold. If you think of anything else please post.

Cheers T.

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Hi T,

 

The voyage I did was north-bound, Bergen to Kirkenes and I believe some of the ports are different and of those ports that are the same, there can be a difference in time of day you'll be there and therefore a difference in the excursions that are offerred. Having said that, there is an excursion that my voyage didn't offer and I wished it had. It's only offerred, I understand, on the south-bound trip; The midnight concert at the Tromsø cathedral.

 

I very much enjoyed the 'Hike with a visit to a Shieling' tour. It was a pleasant walk up a gentle gradient with an interesting cultural discovery at the top (the shieling). The view from the top was very beautiful. If you are a bit fitter than me and want a really solid hike, then do the harder walk at this port (Hjørundfjorden). My travelling companion did that one and found it a bit tough but enjoyable (and she's a young runner).

 

In Trondheim we didn't take a ship's excursion. The walk to the Cathedral (a must-see) is easily done. We walked directly there and took the long way back, walking in the direction away from the ship (from the cathedral) and then crossing a bridge (they are plentiful along the river) and back through the very pretty town - the architecture is lovely. I'm sure there would be some information about the town that you'd receive on a tour but there's also the sense of exploration you have when you're making your own route and having your own adventure. I favour a mix of the two modes.

 

One tour I did and wished I hadn't was to the Polaris centre and cathedral in Tromsø. Nothing wrong with either of those sites (although the soft-hearted might find the performing seals living indoors at the Polaris centre a bit sad) but rather the amount of time spent trawling through the city in the bus - I think we were supposed to be viewing the sites through town from the bus but it just felt to me like crawling through peak hour traffic. By the time we got to the cathedral we had very little time to have a look. Disappointing. Wished I'd walked to one or both and had a better look on foot.

 

Hope those few ideas help. I envy you going. I loved our trip and would go again in a flash. The weather was brilliant (we were a bit lucky) and mostly mild. Take all the warm gear though and good boots for walking. The food is great and the ship was clean and comfortable. I hope you have a wonderful time! Happy to answer any further questions, too. Just ask!

 

When did you travel? and on whichi ship?

Some of the excursions are only available in certain seasons.

 

We'll be doing the 12 night, Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen in March (2018), with an "astronomy" orientation, on the Trollfjord.

We are also hoping to see the Northern Lights, so we are allowing extra nights near the northern part of the trip, by going both directions.

We are also looking forward to a couple of excursions, but in general, there's not much time at most of the regular ferry stops.

That concert at the Tromso Cathedral is one we are looking forward to.

Mostly, in addition to any "lights", we are really looking forward to some terrific scenery.

 

Any other recommendations?

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When did you travel? and on whichi ship?

Some of the excursions are only available in certain seasons.

 

We'll be doing the 12 night, Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen in March (2018), with an "astronomy" orientation, on the Trollfjord.

We are also hoping to see the Northern Lights, so we are allowing extra nights near the northern part of the trip, by going both directions.

We are also looking forward to a couple of excursions, but in general, there's not much time at most of the regular ferry stops.

That concert at the Tromso Cathedral is one we are looking forward to.

Mostly, in addition to any "lights", we are really looking forward to some terrific scenery.

 

Any other recommendations?

 

Hi GeezerCouple,

 

I travelled in mid-October on ship Spitsbergen which had just entered service after a total re-fit. The ship was fabulous.

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