Hurtigruten

Woodbutcher
18th June 2012, 21:27
Has anyone had a Hurtigruten cruise ?.They are small working ships operating up and down the Norwegian coast.I have just booked with them for next February to celebrate my Wifes birthday,shes always wanted to see the Northern Lights.We are starting in Tromso and going up to the North Cape.I am looking forward to it because they carry cargo as well as passengers.

vickentallen
18th June 2012, 21:35
Fast Window !

Ian6
18th June 2012, 22:32
My wife and I had a great time with Hurtigruten a couple of years ago. We did Bergen-Kirkenes and back to Trondheim, then by rail to Oslo.

The ships are a real revelation to those of us who were on deck in the 60's. They are so efficient and automated. The timetable included several 15 minute stops in tiny obscure places. We couldn't get tied up in 15 minutes when I was at sea but Hurtigruten ships come alongside aided by multiple thrusters with automated side-doors and conveyor belts. In 15 minutes we had unloaded some cargo, loaded some new, passengers came and went and a car or two drove on. You will miss some of the best scenery not joining until Tromso so plann another trip in the future. Geraingerfiord and Trollfiord are spectacular.

Prices are standard Norwegian since the ships never leave coastal waters. Be prepared everything is about 3 times UK prices. After a few days you stop crying and enjoy the scenery whilst drinking your beer at champagne prices.
Food is good but you better like fish. Whilst I like smoked salmon I rarely have it at breakfast, lunch and dinner ! Breakfast and lunch are buffet style. There is no big ship entertainment in the evenings but you are almost always coasting with plenty to look at.
Overall we rated the trip excellent, we sailed in Midnatsol, and plan to go again before too long.
By coincidence my wife's sister lives in Rayleigh and their Dad (my father-in-law) was a carpenter with NZS almost all his life.
Ian

Erimus
18th June 2012, 22:36
.................looking at them for next year but at 10 a pint is even worse than Princess or Royal Caribbean.seriously though,none of my friends who have used them would ever think of using anyone else for similar passages........
geoff

matthew flinders
19th June 2012, 18:58
Has anyone had a Hurtigruten cruise ?.They are small working ships operating up and down the Norwegian coast.I have just booked with them for next February to celebrate my Wifes birthday,shes always wanted to see the Northern Lights.We are starting in Tromso and going up to the North Cape.I am looking forward to it because they carry cargo as well as passengers. I went on the Nordnorge February 2011 absolutely brilliant. Intended voyage Bergen/Kirkenes/Bergen. However storm bound in Alta fjord for three days so never made Kirkenes. Did my own thing ashore wherever possible and unless you want some of the more exotic snow sport type stuff you can do pretty well. Didn't find the beer prohibitively expensive and do go for the tea/coffee deal with unlimited top ups. Try and get on the bridge visit irrespective of the bubbly most interesting how things have changed. I am sure you will have a great time.

Woodbutcher
20th June 2012, 00:11
Thanks for the replies and advice on Hurtigruten,wish we were going for longer now.We have booked a dog sledging trip,so looking forward to that,also being on a working ship again.Regarding the drinks prices,i will have to take a bottle of whisky with me, my Wife doesnt drink much so thats ok.I will certainly do a bridge visit if possible,we were on the Oriana earlier this year and P&O dont do them.

Jan Hendrik
25th June 2012, 07:46
I also experienced the Hurtigruten half a year ago. Got a medium sized vessel, Kong Harald.
Brilliant.

You are allowed to take bottles on board and also buy max one bottle per person when going in the townships, but you cannot drink this in the saloon, only in your own cabin.
Buy a coffeemug (comes with lid) which gives you free coffee and tea anytime, 24 hrs a day.
The coffeemug can also be used for other drinks of course, so before settling down in the saloon or on deck, you might have mistakenly still have a drop in there after you left your cabin.........(Thumb)

Cheers and have a good trip
Jan

Woodbutcher
25th June 2012, 08:52
I also experienced the Hurtigruten half a year ago. Got a medium sized vessel, Kong Harald.
Brilliant.

You are allowed to take bottles on board and also buy max one bottle per person when going in the townships, but you cannot drink this in the saloon, only in your own cabin.
Buy a coffeemug (comes with lid) which gives you free coffee and tea anytime, 24 hrs a day.
The coffeemug can also be used for other drinks of course, so before settling down in the saloon or on deck, you might have mistakenly still have a drop in there after you left your cabin.........(Thumb)

Cheers and have a good trip
Jan

Thanks Jan,we are on the Kong Harald too,good idea about the cofee mug ,will try it,cheers.

Jan Hendrik
25th June 2012, 17:04
Some tips:
Geirangefjord, already available after the first stop, fantastic as long as you do not mind those terrible hairpin bends, some 7 hours and you go back on board two ports later. Expensive but worth it.
Most beautiful views.

North Cape
Practically everybody is taking this excursion, excellent.

Hurtigruten museum in Storkmarkness, very nice, no cost as vessel stays alongside for one hour, nice spot.

They offer excursions all the time, but those above 3 I would not miss.

If you like light houses, then this is the voyage for you.
Don,t miss following 2 important light houses:
Kjeungskjer, just after you leave Trondheim and Stabben which you find near Floro, best is the latter on the way back.
Both these light houses you pass at 50-100 metres distance right in the middle of the ocean. Ask the crew's assistance when to be on the lookout.
Cheers
Jan

p.s. if you can still choose: Take a cabin at Port side as that side is always berthed alongside!!

NoMoss
25th June 2012, 17:26
One of my friends did a trip earlier this year. He wrote an article that you can read on the website of the Merchant Mariners of Wight: merchantmarinersiw.org.uk - go to newsletters Middle Watch 2012, pages 8 & 9, Four Seasons in Eleven Days. Sounds a very enjoyable trip.

Jan Hendrik
26th June 2012, 09:16
One of the ships had a TV crew on board (and on land in every port) during the 6 and half day trip from Bergen to Kirkenis.
The Guiness Book of Record has accepted this as the longest non stop TV show ever.
Although you can click on the English version, then please note all further commentary and interviews are in Norwegian.

It is a brilliant piece of work by Norwegian TV and you see lots of people in every port with bands and banners, the latter greeting their families in other Norwegian towns.
Everybody in Norway knew about this particular program which they made to one of the very best show for tourists you can ever imagine.

You can scroll this youtube like version but when moving the curser 2 mm which is usual 30 minutes, then in doing that now it will take you 24 to 36 hours forward.
Jan

http://www.nrk.no/hurtigruten/?lang=en

Tony Crompton
26th June 2012, 10:27
Went on the Kong Harald a few years ago, round trip Bergen to Bergen. The "Hotel Staff" were great but found the Master and Mates extremely unfriendly.

No free coffee then, only after dinner. Other times coffee was 5 per cup. Cheapest wine over 30 a bottle. Small beer and small glass of wine about 12.

Part of our package was overnight hotel in Bergen. Two small steaks and chips,one glass of wine & one small beer cost 95

Great trip however. Everlasting memory of going on the upper deck after dinner, well wrapped up, and lying on sun loungers watching the Northern lights night after night.

Tony

Jan Hendrik
26th June 2012, 11:23
Tony, the coffee was free during breakfast and dinner indeed.
In between you had to buy it, instead you can "buy" a special coffemug in which case you have coffee/tea free 24 hrs a day, but the mug was around 25 USD by memory.

In case you cannot provide such mug then you pay accordingly.
I had much better and cheaper experiences when dining in Bergen even in excellent restaurants.
Egon restaurants e.g., a chain, you find in the centre of Bergen and Oslo and was very reasonably priced.

On board we paid 15 Euro for a glass of wine, very expensive.
With dinner we paid 25 EURO for a bottle and which they put away in the fridge with your name to be used the next day, as such it was a better deal than individual glasses.
You have to allow for alcoholic beverages and excursions and guess this can be budgetted in advance so there are no surprises.
The cruise itself is rather expensive if you compare similar 2 weeks trips with Princess or P and O with identical cabins etc., but this is for a great part also caused by more expensive crew and waiters (all excl. Norwegian).
The others use Philippinos, Rumanian, Indonesian crew/waiters.
Good to hear you also had a good time Tony.
I would not mind doing the trip again.
Jan

Tony Crompton
26th June 2012, 11:38
The meal was in our hotel but our package was room only,forget the name of the hotel.

We booked with a "Package", think it was actually through Hurtigruten but cannot remember for sure.Our deal was Newcastle to Newcastle.

Flight Newcastle to Stavanger, Flight Stavanger to Bergen, Round trip Bergen to Kirknes and back. Return flights with one night in Bergen hotel. Very well looked after by Hurtigruten Reps at every stage.

Forgot coffe was also free with Breakfast. Took our own duty free gin from the airport, but tonics from the local supermarket still made it a very expensive drink!!

Tony

Ron Dean
26th June 2012, 16:27
My wife and I made the round trip Bergen - Bergen in July 2006.
We chose one of the smaller vessels - Vesterlaren and were not disappointed. We took the opportunity to visit many Hurtigruten ships when we were in port at the same time and we were favourably impressed with all the ones we visited.
We found it useful to take a small electric travel kettle & a supply of tea & coffee, rather than to buy the tea/coffee deal that others have suggested.
On our voyage a 20 minute slot for a bridge visit (I think limited to 20 persons) was a daily option. If you didn't manage on one day, you got on it the next day, maybe with only about 300 passengers on the Vesterlaren this was easily manageable.
We had no chance of seeing the Northern Lights as in July the Sun had no sooner set, than it was sunrise again. (weather permitting).
Good luck with your trip - whether you're lucky enough to see the Aurora or not, I'm sure you'll enjoy the voyage - We certainly did!

Ron.

trotterdotpom
27th June 2012, 13:42
Thanks to all for the info, I'm very interested in doing this trip. Is it possible to leave in any of the ports and join another to continue the trip or has it all got to be taken on one ship"

John T.

JohnGrace
27th June 2012, 15:30
Get in touch with Hurtigruten and ask for brochures. My wife and I did the southbound voyage on Polarlys a couple of years ago, in March. Really enjoyed it all. We flew to Oslo and stayed by the airport overnight, which gave us the chance of a quick trip into town. Then flew to Kirkenes and joined the ship for the voyage. Afterwards we stayed in Bergen for a couple of days, which was well worth doing.
There is an aspect of the voyages which needs some consideration and then some luck. The seasonal changes will have an effect on what you will/won't/may see. Travel in the winter and you stand a good chance of seeing the aurora but may miss out on scenery due to long nights and poor weather. Also the northbound and southbound voyages visit more or less the same ports, but the ports that you visit northbound in the day time you will visit at night southbound. When we went I took the view that as we only wanted to do one voyage it should be the southbound so as to see as much of the Lofoten Islands as possible. However now I have been once I want to go again and do the whole round voyage. I would suggest staying a day or two in Norway in addition to the voyage itself. For me I think the highlight of the voyage was the scenery, then the ship with it's relaxed atmosphere and good food. OK prices are high compared to the UK but be careful. Really you want to make the most of it and enjoy it all. Some of the other suggestions all ready made are attractive and I think the train from Oslo to Bergen may well be a good thing to add on to the trip. Hope you enjoy your trip and take a camera.

Ian6
27th June 2012, 19:07
John T.

I'm not sure what the cost would be but it is certainly possible to disembark and then join another ship at the same or a later port. They are genuine long distance ferries and when we went in most ports some people left and others joined. The ships are the size of a modest cruise ship and about half the passengers at any time were doing either 'all the way up' or 'all the way south' or the round trip but the rest were short trippers.
The main restaurant is included for long distance travellers but there is a separate excellent cafeteria with a pay as you nosh menu for those not on full trip. Needless to say whilst the food in the cafe looked very good the price was Norwegian standard, i.e. it's not only the onions that make your eyes water.
Ian

trotterdotpom
28th June 2012, 01:54
Thanks John and Ian.

John T

O.M.Bugge
1st July 2012, 10:01
Thanks to all for the info, I'm very interested in doing this trip. Is it possible to leave in any of the ports and join another to continue the trip or has it all got to be taken on one ship"

John T.

It is indeed possible to do so, but in high seasons (i.e. May-Aug. and X-mas) it may not be so easy to arrange as cabins may be fully booked by round trip pax.

Short trippers and some back-packers, who use Hurtigruten as means of transport, travel without having a cabin. They are thus able to jump on and off at will, as long as they are heading in one direction. (No cabin, no meal in the Restaurant, only the Cafeteria)

There is a lot of stuff about Hurtigruten on: http://www.captainsvoyage-forum.com/index.php

PS> Geiranger is only visited during the summer season, not in the winter.

trotterdotpom
1st July 2012, 10:10
Thanks O.M. - seems like there are a few options.

John T

gaelsail
2nd July 2012, 12:41
Thanks O.M. - seems like there are a few options.

When you're doing port-to-port it is booked per segment. I don't think you can buy a round-trip passage and then split it.

Woodbutcher
2nd July 2012, 20:42
When I started this thread about Hurtigruten,I didnt realise that I would get so much feedback,thanks to everyone who replied with some handy tips, really looking forward to going now.

matthew flinders
9th July 2012, 14:42
When I started this thread about Hurtigruten,I didnt realise that I would get so much feedback,thanks to everyone who replied with some handy tips, really looking forward to going now.
ps Woodbutcher as you are going in February a pair of Yaktrax will be useful as several broken limbs on our voyage will testify.

Woodbutcher
9th July 2012, 18:21
ps Woodbutcher as you are going in February a pair of Yaktrax will be useful as several broken limbs on our voyage will testify.

Thanks Mathew,we have already got ice grippers,after going over on the ice last year.Good advice anyway.We are staying at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Tromso for a couple of nights before flying back,anybody stayed there ?.Cheers.

Woodbutcher
9th July 2012, 18:23
Sorry, meant to do a thumbs up.