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Hurtigruten vs. main stream cruise lines

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I've always thought of doing it in May, a shoulder season. But that may not suit us right now, so will have to think about September. Perhaps next year. This September we're going back to French Polynesia on the Paul Gauguin.

 

We did it in May, on the last shoulder season voyage, and had glorious sunny weather.

 

We had a basic inside cabin.

 

This was one of our favourite voyages.

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I took a 2 week Scandinavia tour 35.."cough cough" years ago and we were on the ferry for 24 hrs and I had a little simple bunk room and wonderful dinner..midnight sun time...

 

 

Thank you so much for this thread and effort!! I really want to do this for a long cruise..I would love it...thanks again all...Sarah

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I spent a lot of time reading the brochure of the cruise line.

 

Apparently, hot and cold drinks, are not included in the fare?

 

Also, are meals included in the fare?

 

The excursions are very expensive. Are there any options doing it yourself?

 

How long are the ships in port for the main cities? The timetable is just not clear when ships arrive and depart.

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The policy on drinks has changed since I was on the Midnatsol, so I'll let more recent travelers answer this question. We did buy the coffee cup.

 

You have a choice about meals. You can go "full board" which means all three meals. I believe there's a half board option, and I know there is a no meal option. The dining room is open at set times. If you want food at other times, you can purchase items at the snack bar (hot and cold). The food is reasonable at the snack bar, but like everything in Norway, the prices are high. If you do not purchase full board, you can pay for individual meals in the dining room. Again, the meals are expensive. If I remember correctly, the posted price for dinner was around $80 US.

 

Yes, you can do tours on your own, but unlike other places I've cruised, there were no tour operators selling tours at the ports. The Hurtigruten timetable shows the arrival and departing times online and in their brochure. Regardless of what ship you are on, the times are the same. It changes a little between summer and winter, but you are in port for 15 minutes to load and unload goods and passengers to several hours. Even if we were in port for only a few minutes, we got off the ship and walked around the immediate area. The villages are small, and easy to walk around without a tour. We took the 12 day round trip, full board, and only took three tours: Viking feast, dog sled in Kirkenes, and midnight concert in Tromso. The only one I hesitate to recommend is the Viking Feast. It was interesting - a re-enactment of a Viking meal. I'm not big on that types of tour, but one of the people in my group really wanted to do it. In the other ports we took walks on our own. for us there was plenty to do because of the beauty everywhere.

 

I suggest you read the Hurtigruten member reviews, too. The ships vary a lot from a museum type ship (Lofoton) with limited amenities to modern ones with amenities like hot tubs and a small gym. Choose your ship carefully. The people who complain about their Hurtigruten trip usually did not realize the type of ship they were going on or the type of shipping line Hurtigruten is. Hurtigruten is a long distance ferry line.

 

We loved our December trip and hope to repeat the trip some spring.

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I spent a lot of time reading the brochure of the cruise line.

 

Apparently, hot and cold drinks, are not included in the fare?

 

Also, are meals included in the fare?

 

The excursions are very expensive. Are there any options doing it yourself?

 

How long are the ships in port for the main cities? The timetable is just not clear when ships arrive and depart.

You can read some details i posted on the Enjoying Midnatsol thread a few days ago.

We have hot and cold drinks with breakfast, hot drinks with lunch and nothing free with dinner but coffee and tea after dinner upstairs in the lounge. This is on full board.

 

There is a thread about water issues that you may want to read too. So far they seem to be sticking to their policy. There is a water package, a wine package and a coffee package. Somehow we have managed without any of them... just enjoying the relaxing trip.

 

I will say the food has been very good! I wouldn't want to be trying to scrape up food in the ports as a passenger without a food plan. Half board skips lunch. Not sure how much it saves.

 

You can bring alcohol aboard to drink in your cabin but if you buy it locally it's very expensive too. m--

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What is the cost of full board?

The cruises are already expensive.

The prices quoted in the brochure are usually the prices for the full board option (which brochure are you looking at? There might be slight variation in the offers from country to country).

 

The excursions are very expensive. Are there any options doing it yourself?

How long are the ships in port for the main cities? The timetable is just not clear when ships arrive and depart.

As previously said, bear in mind that Hurtigruten is not a typical cruise. To my mind, the excursions are just an "add-on" and you can enjoy your trip perfectly without the excursion. I have done the trip 5 times and only 2 excursions (North Cape, for the symbol, and once the Sea Eagle Safare because I wanted to take pictures of my ship sailing in the Trollfjord from outside). There are little DIY options for excursions in most of the ports, but the ship nearly always dock in the city center so you can explore on your own.

 

The timetable (as posted here for instance) is rather clear I think about when the ship arrives and leaves. Most of the stops are short (30 minutes or less), in the most interesting towns you will get a bit longer (around 4 hours in Trondheim or Tromso for instance). But although it is always really nice to come ashore and discover the cities, big or small, what happens between the stops is at least as important (even more important, for me). You are close to nature and beautiful scenery almost 24/7, there is always something to enjoy outside. This is what this trip is about.

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So glad I read this thread. I really want to go to Norway for my next big trip. I was debating land vs cruise...and still am kinda...but this helps a lot. We will definitely go in winter though because I want to see northern lights.

 

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Forums mobile app

Edited by bowbiter

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Still pondering 2015. Can anyone tell me what a beer costs in the bar? Thinking we'd probably carry two litres of liquor with us from some duty-free or other, but DH likes his beer--I can do without these days, although I do like drinking water!

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I didn't buy beer but wine was $10-12 per glass and I'm guessing that beer is not much less, but of course the glass is bigger!

 

I don't know what you'll be drinking your 2 liters of liquor with, maybe bring your mixers aboard also. I didn't have ice service or a refrigerator but I've read on these boards that you can get a glass of ice in the cafeteria. m--

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Hurtigruten gets into your blood. I have done six star cruise lines, however hurtigruten up and down the Norrway coastline is far and above the experience you will feel on any cruise line. The ships stop at the most remote villages/ports and you feel part of Norway. In a way I hope that they do not get more ships that cruise up there. River cruising in Europe is starting to be way too crowded when you have to go through four ships to get to your ship.

 

Have you taken the above Hurtigruten cruise? We are interested in connecting with someone who has done it as we are booked and anxious to see this area.

 

Thanks for your help!

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