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How expensive is the booze on Hurtigruten?

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I'm considering a Northern Lights cruise with Hurtigruten and I'm aware that life on board the ships that ply the northern Norwegian coastal waters probably isn't anything like that on the vessels of mainstream cruise lines but is it possible (literally and/or financially) to buy a bottle of wine with dinner? I know that in Norway, prices in general and for alcohol in particular, are much higher than in the rest of Europe but is it prohibitively expensive? And, are passengers allowed to take their own supplies on board?

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I'm considering a Northern Lights cruise with Hurtigruten and I'm aware that life on board the ships that ply the northern Norwegian coastal waters probably isn't anything like that on the vessels of mainstream cruise lines but is it possible (literally and/or financially) to buy a bottle of wine with dinner? I know that in Norway, prices in general and for alcohol in particular, are much higher than in the rest of Europe but is it prohibitively expensive? And, are passengers allowed to take their own supplies on board?

 

There is a wine list of quite a few bottles, but I don't remember the link (I'll try to find it).

 

I remember seeing a couple of bottles of a nice red (we are "fine wine" aficionados) that weren't too outrageously priced.

Given everything we'd heard about how expensive things are in Norway, I was expecting higher prices. On the other hand, mark-up on wines is usually so sky high anyway, that might account for it.

Our bigger concern was whether there would be anything we thought we'd enjoy, and that wine list was a nice surprise.

 

I'm not sure if prices at local wine shop would be all that good. We might look into duty free, but then we'd need to lug them from Oslo to Bergen, which doesn't sound like fun.

 

My understanding is that if you bring alcoholic beverages on board, it must be consumed in your cabin only. So that makes "wine with dinner" tricky if it isn't purchased from Hurtigruten.

 

GC

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Yes, prices are general high in Norway. Some examples of pricing - water and wine packages are available.

- Bottled Beer (0.33 litres) NOK 75

- Glass of Wine from NOK 95

- Bottle of Wine from NOK 400

Not sure, but I believe you can bring wine on board, however your are not allowed to consume your own food and drinks in public areas.

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GeezerCouple/hallasm

Many thanks for the info. I was pleasantly surprised... in the rather limited threads on the Hurtigruten board, nobody mentions drinks apart from the one person who said that it was necessary to ask for two pitchers of water at the beginning of dinner, hence my doubts about the availability of alcohol. The prices in hallasm's reply are on a par with those on the Cunard crossing we undertook last year and we survived that (just!) without having to take out a second mortgage.

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GeezerCouple/hallasm

Many thanks for the info. I was pleasantly surprised... in the rather limited threads on the Hurtigruten board, nobody mentions drinks apart from the one person who said that it was necessary to ask for two pitchers of water at the beginning of dinner, hence my doubts about the availability of alcohol. The prices in hallasm's reply are on a par with those on the Cunard crossing we undertook last year and we survived that (just!) without having to take out a second mortgage.

 

The more expensive bottles we spotted were approximately twice what hallasm posted. If the wine is reasonably nice, then we figure that's not bad at all on a cruise ship (or even any nice hotel/restaurant).

And if it's not "fine dining" where we stretch the meal over a good part of an evening, then we might even drink half a bottle one night, and polish it off the next. Depends how good the wine is :)

 

Of course, we haven't tasted those specific labels yet... We aren't expecting anything terrific, but hope we can find something we enjoy.

But even if we could find something better to bring aboard, if we can't easily/openly drink it with dinner, then it's not really worth it.

 

GC

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I see now that Hurtigruten are not allowing you to take alcohol aboard for use during the cruise! We did take a bottle for a pre dinner (or post !) drink but now they’ll take it off you and give it back at the end. If prices are as quoted in this thread, they compare well with prices in bars and restaurants ashore.

 

 

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It's Norway so prices are fairly high, though not outrageously so. I usually look at it as a proportion of what the trip costs and go ahead and order a bottle! It doesn't have to be consumed in one sitting, the staff will store it for you for when you next ask for it.

 

The last time we sailed with Hurtigruten we could have taken a bottle on board for consumption only in our cabin (that sounds like some furtive drinking and never interested us!) but it appears that that may have changed now.

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Wow, have things changed since we last sailed (the year before the Hurtigruten was sold). You were able to bring on whatever drink you wanted or purchase it at a State Store along the route. We usually had a balcony and would enjoy relaxing on it, watching the magnificent scenery pass, while enjoying glass of wine before dinner. And, oh yes, water was served with dinner if requested. Times have changed...I think it is called “progress”. :D

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So, am I to understand we can't get free water even with our meals?

 

 

You will get still water (not bottled) served with the meals.

 

 

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Currently on Hurtigruten and have attempted to attach a beer and wine menu. Not sure it will work from my phone though.

 

Also we have had no trouble bringing the occasional drink on board from port stops. We just don’t make it obvious and there is no checking of bags or having to go thru scanners like on other cruise ships (yeah!).

 

I can also confirm as others have mentioned that tap water is available at lunch and dinner in the dining room. Juices are also available at breakfast.

 

 

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Thanks aronde!

 

The list came through beautifully!

 

Do they still have that list of "nicer" wines?

 

Also, do you happen to know what brands of sparkling water they have?

 

Which itinerary (ports) are you on?

Any Northern Lights? :)

 

We'll be leaving home in just about a month, with a week in Oslo and then Bergen before sailing off. It seemed like ages away when we first booked (it was... a year away), and now it's almost time!

 

GC

 

Currently on Hurtigruten and have attempted to attach a beer and wine menu. Not sure it will work from my phone though.

 

Also we have had no trouble bringing the occasional drink on board from port stops. We just don’t make it obvious and there is no checking of bags or having to go thru scanners like on other cruise ships (yeah!).

 

I can also confirm as others have mentioned that tap water is available at lunch and dinner in the dining room. Juices are also available at breakfast.

 

 

1f55bb2020fbb01d669d0d0e1085bed5.jpg

 

 

8c47c0d77da72038990cff7c4e48e8f4.jpg

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Thanks aronde!

 

 

 

The list came through beautifully!

 

 

 

Do they still have that list of "nicer" wines?

 

 

 

Also, do you happen to know what brands of sparkling water they have?

 

 

 

Which itinerary (ports) are you on?

 

Any Northern Lights? :)

 

 

 

We'll be leaving home in just about a month, with a week in Oslo and then Bergen before sailing off. It seemed like ages away when we first booked (it was... a year away), and now it's almost time!

 

 

 

GC

 

 

Yes there is a larger list of wines. I’ll see if I can grab some pics later today and will also check on the water.

 

We are on the Bergen round trip currently southbound. Saw fantastic northern lights two nights on the northbound leg, experienced -30 in Kirkenes (too cold for our huskies even so that excursion was understandably cancelled) and have enjoyed the most amazing meals. All up has been amazing trip so far and will do full review when we are finished.

 

 

 

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Yes there is a larger list of wines. I’ll see if I can grab some pics later today and will also check on the water.

 

We are on the Bergen round trip currently southbound. Saw fantastic northern lights two nights on the northbound leg, experienced -30 in Kirkenes (too cold for our huskies even so that excursion was understandably cancelled) and have enjoyed the most amazing meals. All up has been amazing trip so far and will do full review when we are finished.

 

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That's cold! Brrr. (wind chill, too?)

 

Have you experienced 24 hour darkness (no direct sun) or was the timing not quite right?

If not, you probably didn't have much sun.

Is the "dark" like true night, or is there more of a twilight type of light at all?

 

Thanks for the information.

 

Too bad you couldn't do the huskie excursion, but glad they kept them in during extreme cold.

 

Did you do any other Hurtigruten excursions along the way? Any recommendations (pro or con)?

 

Thanks again!

 

GC

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-30 was the air temp in Kirkenes. No wind, blue skies and the sun even sneaked up over the horizon. We transferred over to a tour of the snow hotel and visited the reindeer and huskies. Very nice and given how frozen we were just walking around kind of glad we did not go zooming around the arctic landscape with huskies! Also our ship was an icebreaker getting into port!

 

No 24 hour darkness. Late sunrises and early sunsets and quite a bit of twilight depending on how far north we are. Crisp, clear skies at the moment. Just had great excursion ‘taste of vesteralen’ where we had massive snowfalls, clear skies and a sunrise/setting sun over the mountains all in the space of four hours with breathtaking scenery. Here are a few shots from today to give you an idea of the light taken between about 11 am and 2pm -

 

77f14dd14e56ff6c9346862e29f58c9c.jpg

 

c2feddff7ae77a77d207e33ae70f0e17.jpg

 

b1ba68ea0a9094c7af9222a46ebc1f65.jpg

 

Did a few other excursions as well with one more to go. Will write about them at end of trip in a few days. We have a long flight back to Australia next week!

 

 

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Have you experienced 24 hour darkness (no direct sun) or was the timing not quite right?

 

If not, you probably didn't have much sun.

 

Is the "dark" like true night, or is there more of a twilight type of light at all?

 

 

 

 

 

Her is a link to a page with sunrise/sunset as well as twilight. First day with sun in Kirkenes this year was January 15.

https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/norway/kirkenes

 

... and link to Norwegian weather forecast

https://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Finnmark/Sør-Varanger/Kirkenes

 

 

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Aronde - Thank you for posting and the beautiful pictures. Which ship.

. I’m planing a trip with Trollfjord from Kirkenes to Bergen January 16, 2019 - this will be the first day with sun in Kirkenes in 2019. I’ll stay few days in Kirkenes pre-cruise.

Looking forward to your review

 

 

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Aronde - Thank you for posting and the beautiful pictures. Which ship.

. I’m planing a trip with Trollfjord from Kirkenes to Bergen January 16, 2019 - this will be the first day with sun in Kirkenes in 2019. I’ll stay few days in Kirkenes pre-cruise.

Looking forward to your review

 

 

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You’re welcome. We are on the Finnmarken. Great ship, crew and food is my short review!

 

Also you are probably aware the first day with sun ‘visible’ may not be Jan 16 as it is highly dependent on the weather and also it does not rise very high in the sky especially when it first makes an appearance in January. Our guide in Kirkenes a few days ago said this was only the third time he had seen it in the last two months!

 

 

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-30 was the air temp in Kirkenes. No wind, blue skies and the sun even sneaked up over the horizon. We transferred over to a tour of the snow hotel and visited the reindeer and huskies. Very nice and given how frozen we were just walking around kind of glad we did not go zooming around the arctic landscape with huskies! Also our ship was an icebreaker getting into port!

 

No 24 hour darkness. Late sunrises and early sunsets and quite a bit of twilight depending on how far north we are. Crisp, clear skies at the moment. Just had great excursion ‘taste of vesteralen’ where we had massive snowfalls, clear skies and a sunrise/setting sun over the mountains all in the space of four hours with breathtaking scenery. Here are a few shots from today to give you an idea of the light taken between about 11 am and 2pm -

 

77f14dd14e56ff6c9346862e29f58c9c.jpg

 

c2feddff7ae77a77d207e33ae70f0e17.jpg

 

b1ba68ea0a9094c7af9222a46ebc1f65.jpg

 

Did a few other excursions as well with one more to go. Will write about them at end of trip in a few days. We have a long flight back to Australia next week!

 

 

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What magnificent photos!

 

What type of camera?

DH gets amazing photos - to my all-too-amateur eyes - from his iPhone, and I wonder about seeing if he'd want to fuss with something nicer.... and more complicated (?). (I'd obviously involve him in the process; no fair giving a gift that someone finds annoying to use... and obligated to use, eh?)

 

We are really curious about either 24 darkness or 24 sun. Does that mean we need to return two more times? :) (Well, somewhere, at least!)

 

We'll be reading your review as soon as you post it. We leave home a month from tomorrow, so the countdown begins.

 

Thanks again!

 

How long in airtime are your flights? That's some distance.

 

GC

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Her is a link to a page with sunrise/sunset as well as twilight. First day with sun in Kirkenes this year was January 15.

https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/norway/kirkenes

 

... and link to Norwegian weather forecast

https://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Finnmark/Sør-Varanger/Kirkenes

 

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Thanks, hallasm.

We actually had found daylight table right after asking that question of aronde, but before reading your reply.

You'll have an interesting time in Kirkenes next year just before your cruise.

 

Beautiful country!

 

And we'll keep a bookmark for that weather forecast. Special thanks for that!

 

GC

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What magnificent photos!

 

 

 

What type of camera?

 

DH gets amazing photos - to my all-too-amateur eyes - from his iPhone, and I wonder about seeing if he'd want to fuss with something nicer.... and more complicated (?). (I'd obviously involve him in the process; no fair giving a gift that someone finds annoying to use... and obligated to use, eh?)

 

 

 

We are really curious about either 24 darkness or 24 sun. Does that mean we need to return two more times? :) (Well, somewhere, at least!)

 

 

 

We'll be reading your review as soon as you post it. We leave home a month from tomorrow, so the countdown begins.

 

 

 

Thanks again!

 

 

 

How long in airtime are your flights? That's some distance.

 

 

 

GC

 

 

Those pics were just an iPhone 6s. I also bought along an Olympus tg5 which has been great for ‘point and shoot’ in low light/northern light situations (possibly even better with a bit of post exposure adjustment) and also for zooming in on scenes with telephoto lens.

 

I’m hoping the lights make another appearance so I can try out some of the other camera settings on the Olympus with a tripod. Not sure how that will go on a moving ship but others have had success though they have much better equipment. I was too excited watching the lights on the first few nights to worry about taking too many pics and setting up a tripod. Luckily we have a balcony because I nearly tripped over three tripods in the dark out on deck the first night - they were everywhere!

 

Flight times I try not to think about! About an hour to Copenhagen from Bergen, then 12 hours I think to Singapore then 9 back to Australia. Add in stopover time but we are breaking it up by having a couple of days in Singapore to defrost on the way home!

 

 

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Those pics were just an iPhone 6s. I also bought along an Olympus tg5 which has been great for ‘point and shoot’ in low light/northern light situations (possibly even better with a bit of post exposure adjustment) and also for zooming in on scenes with telephoto lens.

 

I’m hoping the lights make another appearance so I can try out some of the other camera settings on the Olympus with a tripod. Not sure how that will go on a moving ship but others have had success though they have much better equipment. I was too excited watching the lights on the first few nights to worry about taking too many pics and setting up a tripod. Luckily we have a balcony because I nearly tripped over three tripods in the dark out on deck the first night - they were everywhere!

 

Flight times I try not to think about! About an hour to Copenhagen from Bergen, then 12 hours I think to Singapore then 9 back to Australia. Add in stopover time but we are breaking it up by having a couple of days in Singapore to defrost on the way home!

 

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We'll be on an astronomy cruise, and I think there will also be help with photography, although that's not the main focus. Point is, perhaps, maybe we can arrange for photos taken by others while we stare upwards, with our jaws dropping. (Okay, one can hope for dramatic Lights, right? :) )

 

We also have a balcony, but that will only help if the ship is oriented so we are "facing" that part of the sky, and that's pot luck given how the ship often goes in and out of fjords and around little islands, etc.

 

If there are the really dramatic lights, does anyone know if those are very fleeting or might the most dramatic linger long enough to wake up, throw on *something*, then a jacket/boots, and charge up to the top deck? Or are we "over-worrying" about missing the lights if they do appear?

 

And yes, we do understand we might not see them, so we are "prepared" to enjoy the spectacular countryside no matter what :)

We had a ball on an Alaska cruise NB, and there was no expectation of lights.

OTOH, it was early June, and the l-o-n-g days were amazing.

So many wonderful experiences...!

 

Thanks again.

 

GC

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...We also have a balcony, but that will only help if the ship is oriented so we are "facing" that part of the sky, and that's pot luck given how the ship often goes in and out of fjords and around little islands, etc.

 

 

 

If there are the really dramatic lights, does anyone know if those are very fleeting or might the most dramatic linger long enough to wake up, throw on *something*, then a jacket/boots, and charge up to the top deck? Or are we "over-worrying" about missing the lights if they do appear?

 

....

 

 

 

GC

 

 

Our port side balcony ended up being the side the lights were first sighted on with the northbound leg. However they soon spread to cover the whole sky so we would then head to the top deck. After a while we headed back to the room where it was warm and braved the balcony when we saw them flare up again. The best display we saw was actually from here but people mentioned they were spectacular all around the ship. Also last night we saw the lights from our balcony well before the announcement (they were behind the ship) so we grabbed a few shots from there then rugged up some more before heading to the rear decks. These were fleeting though and by the time the announcement came the best was over.

 

So short answer to your questions is it all seems pretty random! Some go for ages and some just a few minutes. On the northbound leg they advised us the lights were very likely so be prepared (sleep in your clothes if necessary!). A balcony though was the best investment for this trip especially as we are also traveling with kids.

 

 

 

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Our port side balcony ended up being the side the lights were first sighted on with the northbound leg. However they soon spread to cover the whole sky so we would then head to the top deck. After a while we headed back to the room where it was warm and braved the balcony when we saw them flare up again. The best display we saw was actually from here but people mentioned they were spectacular all around the ship. Also last night we saw the lights from our balcony well before the announcement (they were behind the ship) so we grabbed a few shots from there then rugged up some more before heading to the rear decks. These were fleeting though and by the time the announcement came the best was over.

 

So short answer to your questions is it all seems pretty random! Some go for ages and some just a few minutes. On the northbound leg they advised us the lights were very likely so be prepared (sleep in your clothes if necessary!). A balcony though was the best investment for this trip especially as we are also traveling with kids.

 

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Thanks again.

 

Yeah, we had been wondering about sleeping in clothing, especially if we are further north and the sky isn't overcast. Sounds like that might make sense.

 

The Northern Lights "forecast" does show that Tromso was right "in the band" yesterday/today. Where were you? (Hmmm... wonder if the Lights are ever visible on the ship's webcam? That would be something!)

 

Glad that your children got to see some brilliant displays.

 

GC

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