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mheslop

hurtigruten line

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We sailed on Nordnorge from Kirkenes to Bergen, 7-00. Great trip, nice little ships with almost cruiseliner cabins and comforts.

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Even better - no single supplements for some voyages. Bear in mind these are the Norwegian coastal post boats - not cruise liners. You will get more than one port a day in some cases, and many through the night - although I believe what you miss going north, you see coming back south. It is a fabulous journey - very special.

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I just attended a great TA seminar on this cruise line. They have a new series of theme cruises, one for just singles! Take a look on their web site. Even though it's during the Fall months, it looks like a lot of fun and the price is right!

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Greetings:

We are scheduled on the Finnmarken in Nov.'08 for the round trip 11 nites 12 days. As others have stated this is not your "normal" Caribbean cruise ship.

You might want to read other post on CC about the Hurtigruten line.

Have a great trip.

Bruten Branch

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Just wanted to post a few thoughts about our recent trip on the Nord Norge. We did not do a "complete" voyage, as we were just on two nights from Bergen to Trondheim, so this review will not be the usual. Folks on the one way or round trip version would probably have a different view. We walked from our hotel (The Augustin) a few blocks to the dock. Check in was easy and we took our luggage to our cabins. We had two cabins - one in category N and one in L. The cabins are small, but fine for two nights. One pet peeve, the website and the information I was sent said they had TV's and refrigerators in the cabins, but they do not. We did not need really need these, but it is not right to advertise them when they are not provided. There was a place for the TV's, but they had been removed. (Same for the fridge.) The also advertised two hot tubs. The hot tubs were there but had no water! We paid (a lot) and ate the buffet for breakfast and it was very ample. (The first night we ate dinner in Bergen before boarding.)

 

The second day we signed up for the Geiranger fjord excursion. It was seven and a half hours, but we all enjoyed it. We were on and off the bus a lot. We were on the English/French bus, and our guide was good. There was a stop for tea and snacks, and the tour ended in Molde were we had a fish dinner at the Rica Hotel before getting back on the ship. The scenery was amazing, especially the Trollsteign Road. The next morning we did the Trondheim tour to the cathedral and the musical instrument museum, and again it was good. We tipped the bus driver and he took us and our luggage on to the train station, which was very helpful. We enjoyed our brief time on the ship, but wondered if we had done the six nights we would have been bored? Probably not on the six (or seven) night, but definitely on round trip. Just us. One further thought. The scenery is why you do this voyage, but their is limited inside seating to view. (Outside, there is plenty.) We could never find a window seat for viewing inside. Many seats in the lounge were taken by backpackers who did not have a cabin.

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We paid (a lot) and ate the buffet for breakfast and it was very ample..

I think it is very important to make sure that all meals are included when you take a cruise on the Hurtigruten ships. It keeps the costs down!

 

but wondered if we had done the six nights we would have been bored? Probably not on the six (or seven) night, but definitely on round trip.

We did the round trip and found it relaxing rather than boring. Scenery was great and we just walked around the towns and villages where we docked- didn't take any excursions.

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Hurtigurten will not allow you to include any meals if you are a "port to port" passenger. I had asked to have at least breakfast included when I reserved and they said "no". All meals are included if you are on the six, seven, or round trip voyage.

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In May 2007, on the Kong Harald, port to port passengers were eating in the dining room. Whether it is permitted or not, may depend upon how full the trip is.

 

Barbara

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If you do the round trip, I would recommend doing so on one of the newest ships: Midnatsol, Finnmarken or Trollsfjord. They have 2 forward observation decks with all glass and many seats. There were very few commuters on the round trip we took on the Midnatsol.

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We did the Bergen to Kirkenes one way north, but we thought the local commuters added to the voyage atmosphere.

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I am so happy to have found these posts as we are considering one of teh Coastal Cruises- we like the ferry/mailboat aspect , but do appreciate the "heads up" about the indoor seating possibly being occupied by day trippers.

 

 

I was wondering if any US cruisers could give us any idea what is involved in getting transport to /from Bergen and the smaller northern towns if one takes a one way cruise. Is there a train option , and air option etc- I suspect we would spend as much getting to and from the cruise ports as we would taking the cruise. Just wondered how you handled it- both in time and in cost?

I think we will have lots of little questions as we are deciding between this and a larger ship that round trips from Copenhagen- probably a little easier to make arrangements, but we think we would like the aspect of the multiple stops at many small towns.

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Words can't express just how much we enjoyed the Norwegian Coastal Voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes. We were fortunate with long sunny days late May. We enjoyed the spectacular views from the glassed in observation decks.

 

I made all travel arrangements on behalf of my daughter and myself. I flew to Bergen, via Copenhagen. My daughter flew to Bergen, from London. We both flew from Kirkenes, via Oslo, to London (on different flights).

 

As most people speak excellent English, it is an easy relaxing country to visit.

 

Norway is lucky it doesn't have Australia's weather or it would be standing room only!!

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We want to win the lottery here in Florida so we can stay in Norway in the summer and in Florida in the winter. Hard to decide between Oslo and Bergen as a place to live.

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Just bringing this thread forward. There was a two-page spread in the Sunday NY Times today (Feb.15/09) on the Hurtigruten, a November trip on the Vesteraalen. Sounded lovely, although I doubt I would go in the winter (we're Canadian, we get enough here!) I'm wondering if the folks who were going in December want to tell us about their experience.

 

I admit the size of the standard outside cabins has me somewhat dismayed--I'm spoiled in that regard, but am also cost conscious. Anybody tried a mini suite?

 

If we do this some day, I'm thinking May. Anyone have experience with the weather in the spring? Even April, if it meant saving a huge amount of money. I'd like to have as much light as possible I think, but would probably avoid the June high season just to save money.

 

I'm also thinking of the larger more modern ships, but interested in hearing about others as well. It sounds like the Vesteraalen has a certain intimacy, I'm wondering if there's a happy medium.

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I am planning trip for fall of 2009 . Want to go after Sept 15th to get the 2 for 1 fare. How much day light are we loosing by going mid Oct as opposed to mid September. What are the best cabins to not have bunkbeds? What is the issue with TV's. Inside cabins and suites only???

The reviews here have been wonderfully helpful.

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At the equinox (around 21 Sept) there is twelve hours daylight & twelve hours darkness. The length of the day the reduces quickly. The ships call at the same ports north & southbound but many of those by day in one direction will be by night in the other.

 

On Midnatsol the type N cabins have 2 lower berth beds in a L shaped formation, the one by the window can become a sofa by day. The shower room has a heated floor...

 

No TVs in N type cabins; believe there are TVs in suites and (some?) inside cabins. However at latitudes around 70 degrees north satellite reception can be difficult! I enjoyed a 12 day vacation from TV.

 

Don't negelect the winter. The ships are quieter (in Jan/ Feb this year 50% full northbound and 30% full southbound.) The arctic twilight is surprisingly light. We were very lucky with the weather clear and calm, but nobody can predict this. Also there is a greater chance of seeing the northern lights. (we saw them on 5 out of 11 nights)

 

The special offers tend to be on the newer bigger ships as ther is more spare capacity.

 

Norway is very expensive, especially for alcohol, so drink water, everybody else does.

 

Breakfasts and lunches, served buffet style, are the best; dinners (set meal) are adequate, fish is the speciality.

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Well- My wife and I have decided we are going to do this 'cruise' RT from Bergen and need to decide between a Nov '09 and a March '10 departure.

 

Anyone have any insight on differences on the sightseeing related to weather?

 

Or for that matter, anything that might make a difference in the decision.

Thanks!

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My wife and I are thinking of taking one of the cruises out of Bergen next year. As you can see from my user name, I am a big guy, really. I'm 6-foot-7, but spent more than 3 years bouncing around the North Atlantic in a destroyer during the 1950s. I've spent most of my life with my feet sticking over the foot of the bed.

 

I am wondering about the inside cabins. From the virtual tours on the Hurtigurten web site, it appears the group of ships built in the early 1990s, such as the Kong Harold et al, could accomodate me. Does anyone have any insights that might be helpful. I have not ruled out an outside cabin, which is obviously more spacious. However, my experience on a destroyer has shown sleeping fore and aft is much easier during rough weather. There are a handful of inside cabins with a fore and aft alignment. Not having a porthole or window is not a handicap. In fact with the midnight sun, it might be an asset.

 

In 2001, my wife and I went to Alaska on the ferry system and had a very enjoyable time. We had a very comfortable, but simple cabin with an upper and lower berth and attached shower with wc. We spent most of the time in the forward observation lounge gawking at the scenery. The mail boats sound like a similar experience although one friend claims the scenery is superior. We're not particularly fans of large cruise ships. We did the Baltic on one of the Costa liners with casinos and discos. Not our cup of tea. Besides Alaskan ferries, another favorite was a barge on the Burgundy Canal. That was top drawer. We do prefer smaller vessels with fellow passengers who are really interested in observing the countryside.

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We did the Hurtigruten r/t Bergen-Kirkense-Bergen in Nov,08 and really enjoyed it. Friends of ours did it oneway n/b in April,08. More of the ice/snow on the ground in the April trip vs the early Nov. trip. The daylight is a big issue for some travelers. On the Nov.,08 trip of course the further north you go the shorter daylight hours you have.

 

We also used the two for one rate and had a cabin on the seventh deck. It was a great location since there were less than 250 passengers n/b and less than 200 going back s/b. One floor up to the observation area. The seventh deck also had lounge areas that no one used and of course the two hot tubs and pool on the Finnmarken. Our cabin did have a tv and refrigerator.

 

Take plenty of enjoyment and good attitude with you as this is a major plus on this National Geographic type visual journey. You will really enjoy the journey - we did even with two days of 35 foot seas for a few hours.

 

Enjoy.

Bruton Branch

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Hi

 

I am Norwegian and although I haven't taken the Hurtigruten cruise I enjoy reading this thread and what you think about the ship and the Norwegian landscape. If you have any questions about the Norwegians or Norwegian culture I'd be happy to try to answer them.

 

Hanne

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No TVs in N type cabins; believe there are TVs in suites and (some?) inside cabins. However at latitudes around 70 degrees north satellite reception can be difficult! I enjoyed a 12 day vacation from TV.

My wife and I did the Bergen-Bergen round trip in May-June '07 on the Trollfjord and are ready to go again.

 

We took an inside cabin (on deck 7) so we'd have someplace dark to sleep, since the sun was up 24 hours at that time of year. We had a TV in the room but only used it to look at the ship position display in the morning. Otherwise, we were either on deck or in the observation lounge.

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