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Trollfjord, March 2018 (Northern Lights)

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We've never been on Hurtigruten before, and realize that these ships that also provide ferry service along Norway's coast are quite different from most other "cruises".

 

Some of this is more than fine with us. We don't tend to go to shows, and we don't drink a lot by the pool or such.

 

Our goal for this cruise is to have "as good a chance as possible" to see the Northern Lights, and also to enjoy some spectacular scenery along the way.

We've tentatively selected a suite, which seems quite nice, and we realize there won't be the "usual" perks of suites, and that's quite fine, too. (Bottom line is if we've got a clean place to sleep with a reasonable bed, and strong preference for private bath, with some hot water, we'll do fine. I used to *love* backpacking, but those days are long over, unfortunately.)

 

There will be an Astronomer/Physicist (same person, it seems) on board, with special lectures and excursions, and the dates are when the moon won't wipe out the lights.

 

We are considering the round trip from Bergen, or possibly getting off at Kirkenes and spending a few days there, again in hopes of seeing Lights at that almost northern-most point. We could return on a different ferry, or just fly home.

 

Pros/cons of Hurtigruten in general?

Pros/cons of Hurtigruten for "Northern Lights"?

Other suggestions?

There aren't a lot of choices to sail there at this time of year, and we don't like huge ships anyway.

 

Many thanks.

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We are on the M/S Spitsbergen right now. It is 2:17 am and I am awake because we just finished photographing the Northern Lights. We are doing the Kirkenes to Bergen southern coastal. We like luxury when we cruise and although this is an expedition ship the owner's suite is very nice. (We are traveling with friends who are in an Arctic Superior.). We received some very nice gifts in the cabin. The wifi is pretty good. If your email is aol, it does not work on the ship.

 

We had a Northern Lights display the first night for about two hours total and again tonight (3rd night). We were able to photo from our Veranda on the back of the boat and also the top deck 8.

 

If you do a one way coastal cruise try to stay at least one night at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel. It is worthwhile. We stayed in the Gamme cabins and toured the snow rooms. When we were there, there was a blizzard with about 18 inches of snow.

 

Look into Norwegian Air Shuttle for inexpensive flights. Also Iceland Air if you want to do a couple of days in Iceland on either end.

 

I plan to do a review with photos and time lapse video when we get home.

 

If you have any questions I will try to answer them for you.

 

 

 

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We are on the M/S Spitsbergen right now. It is 2:17 am and I am awake because we just finished photographing the Northern Lights. We are doing the Kirkenes to Bergen southern coastal. We like luxury when we cruise and although this is an expedition ship the owner's suite is very nice. (We are traveling with friends who are in an Arctic Superior.). We received some very nice gifts in the cabin. The wifi is pretty good. If your email is aol, it does not work on the ship.

 

We had a Northern Lights display the first night for about two hours total and again tonight (3rd night). We were able to photo from our Veranda on the back of the boat and also the top deck 8.

 

If you do a one way coastal cruise try to stay at least one night at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel. It is worthwhile. We stayed in the Gamme cabins and toured the snow rooms. When we were there, there was a blizzard with about 18 inches of snow.

 

Look into Norwegian Air Shuttle for inexpensive flights. Also Iceland Air if you want to do a couple of days in Iceland on either end.

 

I plan to do a review with photos and time lapse video when we get home.

 

If you have any questions I will try to answer them for you.

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

Thank you so much.

 

We'll be there just a week or two "before" you next year, so this is very good news. Of course, so much will depend upon the solar events and clouds.

 

The Trollfjord, although still "small", seems to be quite a bit larger than the Spitsbergen.

 

How did you get to Kirkenes?

Why did you do Southbound rather than Northbound? Just scheduling?

 

Any chance you could email us at the e-address below?

I have some specific questions about the OS, even though a different ship will be, well, different.

 

So glad you've had such good fortune with the Lights!

 

Thank you.

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I do not see your email address.

We flew from the US and traveled for nine days before the cruise and are doing four days after. We visited and are visiting

Stockholm

Helsinki

Kiruna (Ice Hotel)

Oslo

Kirkenes (Snow Hotel)

Hurtigruten Coastal South Bound

Copenhagen

Reykjavik

 

The flights on Norwegian air and Icelandair are so inexpensive. Some do the flights were as low as $65US.

 

We just did the crossing the Arctic Circle ceremony. If you participate you get a nice keepsake.

 

We chose the southbound to have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. We are at the tIl end of the season and wanted to. E as far north as possible early.

 

We have taken photos and videos of our Owners Suite. Also took photos of the gifts they give you in the suite. I will email you the list of things. You need to have lots of space for them in your suite case.

 

 

 

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... and the dates are when the moon won't wipe out the lights...

 

Just a comment. Check for the moon - full moon might ruin the chances for a good view of Northern Lights.

 

As above.

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We have travelled twice, once northbound and once southbound, and we saw the lights from the ship on several nights on both occasions without the need to extend our stay.

 

In terms of which direction to choose, we found the northbound offered the best mix of ports where we wanted to spend most time ashore.

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We have travelled twice, once northbound and once southbound, and we saw the lights from the ship on several nights on both occasions without the need to extend our stay.

 

In terms of which direction to choose, we found the northbound offered the best mix of ports where we wanted to spend most time ashore.

 

How much difference is there in what you see N vs S from the ship, or worthwhile excursions (those available in March)?

 

I'm inclined to stay on board round trip, but worry a bit about DH getting a bit bored.

On larger ships (*not* jumbo mega-ships; we've never been on one of those, and probably never will), he enjoys wandering around and settling in for a while in little areas, such as a library, a cafe (coffee shop), etc.

We both enjoy sitting and just watching the sea go by, be it on an open deck or from our suite. We always have a good view, including from the bed. We do have a nice suite, for the Trollfjord, and we'll have a terrific aft view. We tend to prefer forward views when possible, but that should be great in the big observation area.

Is there comfortable seating there?

 

But given his enjoyment of "wandering around", I worry a bit about the small ship.

 

On the other hand, at the end of every cruise (thus far, all 7- 12 days), we are always sorry we have to get off.

 

Thank you.

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I was on the Trollfjord in May 2017, so did not see the northern lights, but I did the 11 days round trip from Bergen, and I would say that the north to south segment is best for seeing things for the most part. Of course at the time we went we had nearly 24/day of daylight once we crossed the Arctic Circle, but on the trip south you see several segments and ports during the day that you visit at night on the way north, so I am very glad I went round trip. I was trying to save as much money as possible, so had a small inside cabin (I believe all the cabins on the Trollfjord have their own bathroom) but was very comfortable. I spent most of my day in the Vista Lounge (very comfortable seating) or out on deck taking photos and looking at the sights. Also worked on a jigsaw puzzle in the library. I thought the food was great...be sure to try something new, like cod tongue and cloud berries! I did some of the excursions...the Sea Eagle Safari (southbound only) was a highlight, but I also did the Breakfast at the North Cape which I really enjoyed, as well as the tour in Trondheim that include both the Cathedral and a visit to the Musical Instrument museum, which was fascinating.

 

I also flew Norwegian (LAX to Oslo non-stop) for a very good price (around $650 RT as I remember), and took the famous train from Oslo to Bergen and back, spending an extra day in Bergen, and 3 days total in Oslo.

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We have traveled on the Trollfjord and have loved the view from our rear suite, especially when going through the Trollfjord (the fjord near Svolvaer). It does get really cold out on the balcony, I mean really cold, so prepare to take really warm clothes and ask for extra blankets if you need them.

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I was on the Trollfjord in May 2017, so did not see the northern lights, but I did the 11 days round trip from Bergen, and I would say that the north to south segment is best for seeing things for the most part. Of course at the time we went we had nearly 24/day of daylight once we crossed the Arctic Circle, but on the trip south you see several segments and ports during the day that you visit at night on the way north, so I am very glad I went round trip. I was trying to save as much money as possible, so had a small inside cabin (I believe all the cabins on the Trollfjord have their own bathroom) but was very comfortable. I spent most of my day in the Vista Lounge (very comfortable seating) or out on deck taking photos and looking at the sights. Also worked on a jigsaw puzzle in the library. I thought the food was great...be sure to try something new, like cod tongue and cloud berries! I did some of the excursions...the Sea Eagle Safari (southbound only) was a highlight, but I also did the Breakfast at the North Cape which I really enjoyed, as well as the tour in Trondheim that include both the Cathedral and a visit to the Musical Instrument museum, which was fascinating.

 

I also flew Norwegian (LAX to Oslo non-stop) for a very good price (around $650 RT as I remember), and took the famous train from Oslo to Bergen and back, spending an extra day in Bergen, and 3 days total in Oslo.

 

Thanks very much. It's really good to know that even the "duplicates" might be totally different times of day, or maybe different activities possible.

We are especially interested in that Cathedral (concert?) and music museum.

 

I think we've pretty much settled on the RT for convenience.

Yup, that RT fare from LAX-Oslo... pretty amazing.

And we are definitely taking that train one way. Whether we take it RT will depend if it will allow us one less connecting flight out of Bergen. We are less and less fond of airports and also connections. Sigh.

 

We have traveled on the Trollfjord and have loved the view from our rear suite, especially when going through the Trollfjord (the fjord near Svolvaer). It does get really cold out on the balcony, I mean really cold, so prepare to take really warm clothes and ask for extra blankets if you need them.

 

I'm having trouble determining if the Trollfjord actually goes into the Trollfjord, for our cruise. (Aren't they all the same? When did you go?) I can't seem to find that. We would *definitely* love to do that. The photos of ships going through that seem like they had to be photo-shopped or something. (I also saw a photo of a *small* Cunard ship going through it, but really difficult to imagine!)

Which aft suite did you have?

 

We had some very warm clothing we purchased for an Alaska cruise last year. But despite the forecast of cold and rain everyday, we had spectacular and mild weather. We want to go back there, too.

Time for a trip back to REI/etc., to get a few more - and warmer - clothes!

 

Thank you.

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All ships went through the Trollfjord on the 9th day ( Tromso - Stamsund) on the Southbound trip. I have only traveled during the Spring, Summer and Autumn, so have no advice for Winter. In the past few years there have been many changes; someone who has traveled more recently may be able to give you better advice.

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How much difference is there in what you see N vs S from the ship?

 

Search for Hurtigruten's timetable (make sure you get the one relevant for your sailing dates), decide on which ports are important to you, and check on whether or not you will have sufficient time in them.

 

We tend to prefer forward views when possible, but that should be great in the big observation area. Is there comfortable seating there?

 

Yes.

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Usually ships do not enter the Trollfjord in winter (risks of avalanches) but you will get close to the mouth of the fjord, which can be already impressive (you feel like you can touch each side!).

I tend to disagree about the moon. You will see the NL whatever the moon when they are strong (and when they are not strong, they are not spectacular even with no moon). Also, the moon will light up the scenery so the pictures can be much more interesting (although it's a bit more tricky from a moving ship). So the moon phase should not be the most important factor in your decision and your trip will not be ruined by the moon.

Here is an example, taken on a full moon day and the moon is just outside the picture on the right (taken by my friend Paul Kerrien in november 2010 in Lofoten, other pictures here : http://toilapol.net/lofoten2010/index.html )

tryptique.jpg

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Usually ships do not enter the Trollfjord in winter (risks of avalanches) but you will get close to the mouth of the fjord, which can be already impressive (you feel like you can touch each side!).

I tend to disagree about the moon. You will see the NL whatever the moon when they are strong (and when they are not strong, they are not spectacular even with no moon). Also, the moon will light up the scenery so the pictures can be much more interesting (although it's a bit more tricky from a moving ship). So the moon phase should not be the most important factor in your decision and your trip will not be ruined by the moon.

Here is an example, taken on a full moon day and the moon is just outside the picture on the right (taken by my friend Paul Kerrien in november 2010 in Lofoten, other pictures here : http://toilapol.net/lofoten2010/index.html )

tryptique.jpg

 

Thanks very much. Is mid-March still too wintery to sail into Trollfjord?

(There is no ferry service needed to supply a small town in there?)

Avalanches just hadn't occurred to me...!

 

The choice of sailing was in great part because this was one of the "Astronomy" sailings, although there are a couple earlier in the winter.

 

It's very interesting to know that the Northern Lights can be that bright and colorful even with a full moon!

 

We know we'll enjoy the spectacular scenery, no matter what. :)

 

Thanks again, SarniaLo. Your posts have been among the especially helpful ones,

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Yes, usually mid-March is too soon (but then, you never know, weather is so weird these days). There is nothing on the Trollfjord (it's very small), no houses and no roads so it's not serviced by any ships other than tourist ships in season (March is not in season).

 

Thank you so much for your appreciation of my posts, I'm glad you found them helpful.

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Dear Geezer Couple: We also have never been on Hurtigruten... Are you aware of the nighttime stops being disruptive? How do they work with folks getting on and off?

 

we are hoping to book a suite for July 12 day voyage.. Site is down for the weekend.

 

Many thanks,

Another geezer couple.

 

 

We've never been on Hurtigruten before, and realize that these ships that also provide ferry service along Norway's coast are quite different from most other "cruises".

 

Some of this is more than fine with us. We don't tend to go to shows, and we don't drink a lot by the pool or such.

 

Our goal for this cruise is to have "as good a chance as possible" to see the Northern Lights, and also to enjoy some spectacular scenery along the way.

We've tentatively selected a suite, which seems quite nice, and we realize there won't be the "usual" perks of suites, and that's quite fine, too. (Bottom line is if we've got a clean place to sleep with a reasonable bed, and strong preference for private bath, with some hot water, we'll do fine. I used to *love* backpacking, but those days are long over, unfortunately.)

 

There will be an Astronomer/Physicist (same person, it seems) on board, with special lectures and excursions, and the dates are when the moon won't wipe out the lights.

 

We are considering the round trip from Bergen, or possibly getting off at Kirkenes and spending a few days there, again in hopes of seeing Lights at that almost northern-most point. We could return on a different ferry, or just fly home.

 

Pros/cons of Hurtigruten in general?

Pros/cons of Hurtigruten for "Northern Lights"?

Other suggestions?

There aren't a lot of choices to sail there at this time of year, and we don't like huge ships anyway.

 

Many thanks.

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Dear Geezer Couple: We also have never been on Hurtigruten... Are you aware of the nighttime stops being disruptive? How do they work with folks getting on and off?

 

we are hoping to book a suite for July 12 day voyage.. Site is down for the weekend.

 

Many thanks,

Another geezer couple.

 

Hopefully others who have already taken a Hurtigruten cruise will chime in soon.

 

We haven't yet, but one hint we read (not sure if it's accurate for all their ships) is that the car door for the car ferries is on the port side, so presumably there would be louder sounds on that side during docking and loading/unloading, etc.

 

You might also want to post which ship you are on, in case it makes a difference.

 

We've just booked for next March (2018), so... we are all set now.

We have another major trip coming up in May/June to Japan (with a quick stop in Hong Kong), so I've been focused on that. But most of the planning was done quite some time ago. I enjoy the planning (can you tell!?).

 

Did you check on suite availability? It was already a bit limited for next year, at least the category/type/location we wanted. So we found one we liked and pounced :D

 

Are all Hurtigruten ships "car ferries"? If not, it might (??) be quieter to get one that isn't? That's ONLY a guess.

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The notion that the coastal ships are car ferries may not be helpful. We have seen plenty of cabbages, potatoes and tyres loaded and unloaded, but very few cars.

 

As I suggested on the other thread you have subscribed to, though there is little noise in the night, it might be best to book a cabin on the starboard side away from the port side loading door.

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We were on the port side aft and on the southbound coastal that is the side that was facing the port, (If that makes any difference) so while docked we always had a view of the port.

 

 

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We were on deck or in bed when we were in port so the quieter starboard cabin worked for us.

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All stops going both north and south have the port side toward the dock. There is no car or freight loading, nor passenger access from the pier on the starboard side of any of these ships.

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We just did the Classic Voyage South on the m/s Spitsbergen March 19-24, 2017. We had really good Northern Light shows the first two nights. The YouTube link is a time lapse from the first night.

 

 

 

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We just did the Classic Voyage South on the m/s Spitsbergen March 19-24, 2017. We had really good Northern Light shows the first two nights. The YouTube link is a time lapse from the first night.

 

 

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That is spectacular!

We also saw your suite (was that next video that queued yours?).

The placement of the bed, with that view, is amazing. (It isn't quite like that on the Trollfjord, but it will still be wonderful.)

 

We understand that the color shows up better when captured in photos/videos.

Were you able to "see" (eyeball style) anything like this brilliant green?

 

And did the water appear that same beautiful deep blue?

What a gorgeous day!

 

We've got our outbound flights for next year's cruise on the Trollfjord, and need to wait another few days for our return flights. So this is now seeming real :)

 

Thank you.

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