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Havila Voyages


philbob84
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There are a few  posts listed here in this forum:  @Flyinby posted an excellent detailed review..............

 

 

There are also a couple of YouTube videos that are mostly ship tours, but you can see the cabin types.  Facebook has several groups with some comments and reviews including the food and excursions.

 

My trip isn't until June 2024 but I am booked and excited to go!

 

~Nancy

Edited by oakridger
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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, UDChE89 said:

I cruised in January 2023 with my mother and had a fantastic time.  Happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

Glad to hear about another happy Havila customer!

 

Here's a random question: on the full round trip Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen voyage how often is the cabin cleaned and sheets changed?  Just curious!!  I'll be using the laundry machines on board as I will have been traveling for quite a bit before and will after the coastal trip.  I'm glad they offer the laundry room.  I'm trying to pack as light as possible.

 

Thanks,

~Nancy

Edited by oakridger
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5 hours ago, oakridger said:

 

Glad to hear about another happy Havila customer!

 

Here's a random question: on the full round trip Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen voyage how often is the cabin cleaned and sheets changed?  Just curious!!  I'll be using the laundry machines on board as I will have been traveling for quite a bit before and will after the coastal trip.  I'm glad they offer the laundry room.  I'm trying to pack as light as possible.

 

Thanks,

~Nancy


As I recall, they will straighten up the cabin daily but only change sheets/duvet cover when you decide.  Same goes with towels.  The laundry room is a great service and made us realize we had waaaay over packed especially since our checked luggage didn’t catch up with us until Bodø

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44 minutes ago, Jacqueline said:

I am looking at this 7 night northbound next September. We want to tour Poland and the Baltic countries beforehand and I am trying to figure how we will have warm enough clothes for the cruise while traveling with just carryon bags.

Have you considered using a luggage service to send one suitcase to the hotel you will use at the beginning of the cruise?  Then you would only have to check in on the way home, when you don't care as much how long it takes to reach you.

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15 hours ago, Jacqueline said:

I am looking at this 7 night northbound next September. We want to tour Poland and the Baltic countries beforehand and I am trying to figure how we will have warm enough clothes for the cruise while traveling with just carryon bags.

Light clothing you can layer would be good enough.  For September, I definitely wouldn’t bring anything bulky.  We lived for four days without our checked luggage in January but had worn heavier coats on the plane.

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Does the shop onboard sell warm clothing? Or maybe we can pick up a few things in Bergen beforehand?

and yes, Jazzbeau, I am also thinking about the luggage service and having it sent to Bergen. Do you have a recommendation? It would be a few weeks from when we leave to when we get to Bergen. Thanks for mentioning this,

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2 hours ago, Jacqueline said:

Does the shop onboard sell warm clothing? Or maybe we can pick up a few things in Bergen beforehand?

and yes, Jazzbeau, I am also thinking about the luggage service and having it sent to Bergen. Do you have a recommendation? It would be a few weeks from when we leave to when we get to Bergen. Thanks for mentioning this,

No, I haven’t done it. But have read so many veteran travelers rave about it. 

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I have travelled with Havilla twice so far. And I have travelled many times with Hurtigruten. On both my Havila trips I was doing a part of the coastal voyage and I travelled in one direction on the Hurtigruten ships and so it gave me a good comparison. 

 

I found Havila to be my preferred operator in almost every sense. The food onboard the Havila ships is interesting and high quality, and I like the small plates concept in the restaurant which encourages you to try a variety of things. Havila are justifiably proud of this. 

 

The Havila ships are newer and this brings a range of advantages. Chief amongst them is that there feels like there are many more places to sit than on some of the ships on the route. Havila have chosen massive windows around all public spaces, and there are chairs on every level of the atrium for instance. 

 

The onboard prices for extras on Hurtigruten were often considerably higher than Havila. The service from the crew was uniformly friendly and it really felt as if the Havila staff were making more effort to offer the best service they could. 

 

There is one downside of the Havila ships we found. The embarkation gangway has a slightly different design than the Hurtigruten ships. This made is steeper and with a handrail which finished too early for the top of the staircase - bit of an odd design choice. 

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23 hours ago, Jacqueline said:

Does the shop onboard sell warm clothing? Or maybe we can pick up a few things in Bergen beforehand?

and yes, Jazzbeau, I am also thinking about the luggage service and having it sent to Bergen. Do you have a recommendation? It would be a few weeks from when we leave to when we get to Bergen. Thanks for mentioning this,

Yes,the onboard shop does sell warm clothing.  Being that it’s Norway, it’s not cheap.  For some excursions, warm clothing is provided (dog/reindeer sledding, snowmobiling, etc.).

 

Booked our trip directly with Havila.  I believe that’s the only option.

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6 hours ago, UDChE89 said:

Booked our trip directly with Havila.  I believe that’s the only option.

 

I booked online with Havila and also spoke to two different people in their main office in Norway to get my cabin assigned to the one I preferred.  I asked the staff about travel agents they work with here in the USA and he told me they do work with several agents, but the agencies are vetted by Havila before having a booking relationship.  Apparently not any agent can book them unless they have this preapproval with Havila.

 

I'm so excited for this trip after my 2020 Norway cancellation! 

 

Tussen takk to everyone who is posting about their experiences.  🙂

 

~Nancy

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19 hours ago, oakridger said:

 

I booked online with Havila and also spoke to two different people in their main office in Norway to get my cabin assigned to the one I preferred.  I asked the staff about travel agents they work with here in the USA and he told me they do work with several agents, but the agencies are vetted by Havila before having a booking relationship.  Apparently not any agent can book them unless they have this preapproval with Havila.

 

I'm so excited for this trip after my 2020 Norway cancellation! 

 

Tussen takk to everyone who is posting about their experiences.  🙂

 

~Nancy

@oakridgerHow was your experience booking? i was originally planning to just go via the website? I do not have a prefernce on cabin but does that matter? When is your trip??

Edited by philbob84
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@philbob84 I booked it online.  I booked in about February of 2023 for my trip in June 2024.  Yes, it was much earlier than I needed to but I have a lot of logistics on this extended trip plus I was just excited to start planning!  🙂

 

Online I was automatically assigned a forward portside cabin in my category, but I wanted a midship starboard instead.  I called the main office in Norway during their business hours and they switched me to my cabin of choice. They sent a new confirmation email with the new cabin number right away.  It was all very easy!

 

I chose my cabin based on its midship location in case of rough seas.  I chose starboard because the ship docks on port side only and I didn't want to risk being woken up in the middle of the night during port stops. I did not want to be under the prep area of the galley either in case of carts rolling or other galley noise in the early morning hours. I have read reviews since then that people were not bothered by docking noise in their port side cabins.  

 

Good luck!

 

~Nancy

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On 9/16/2023 at 12:13 PM, philbob84 said:

@oakridgerHow was your experience booking? i was originally planning to just go via the website? I do not have a prefernce on cabin but does that matter? When is your trip??

The website is fine for booking, the only thing, as mentioned by Oakridger, is if you need to contact them about a preferred cabin, you have to call them in Norway (9 hours later than our west-coast USA time).  Midnight or early in the morning works.

 

We went in February this year, had a great time and am planning a repeat.  We had a junior suite, and the perks were nice, but it does cost more.  The balcony was nice, even in winter, and I chose port side because I wanted to watch the docking etc.  There are also balcony cabins and non-balcony, and all seemed pretty nice and not cramped.  There are a couple of panorama cabins in front of deck 7, with forward view but no balcony or side view.

 

Especially when the ship is in the open ocean, it can get pretty bumpy.  We were fortunate and most of the rough seas came at night, but they really weren't bad, and it was generally smooth and calm.  We did hear stories of some pretty heavy seas, so a midship cabin may be a little better, but we were fine up forward.  The scenery is unequalled, absolutely amazing, the excursions were all good to great, the staff was great, food was excellent but different than cruise ships with buffets and a lot of waste.  The lounge at top is really nice for relaxing and enjoying the views along the way.

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Booking on their website works fine - I would just recommend reading the terms and conditions - especially with a view to deposit of 20% or 100% and the balance due 42 days before the departure date. The deposit is not refunded due to cancellation.

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