Winter ferry cruise Norway

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Just wondering if anyone has been on the hurtigurten ferry cruises in winter and can offer experience as just booked one for December trip. Planning on side trip to xmas markets in FRA and post xmas maybe CPH or OSL
 

smckay

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Trip Advisor or Google them; I found some unflattering reviews when researching a cruise up that end of the world. Pretty basic old ships made to look special.
 

get me outta here

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I was on the MV Finnmarken in August. It's a very nice medium size ship but the Hurntigrutens are not a cruise ship. They are really ferries. The only real entertainment is looking out the windows at the spectacular views, so it is very relaxing. I read 2 books in 4-5 days. So, if possible, choose your ship carefully. Some of their smaller ships are pretty basic with lots of timber etc.

There are very short shore visits. I got on in Bergen and got off in Tromso. Of course when I went it was summer and the weather was beautiful but in winter it would be very cold. In retrospect I probably would have preferred to get off for couple of days in Trondheim.

I only did one ship organised tour, to Geirangerfiord which I really recommend.
 

Fifa

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I also did a Hurtigruten voyage - 6 night north bound from Bergen to Kirkenes.
It was in September 2014 and we were on the second oldest ship - MS Vesteralan.

The weather then was cold and at times windy but we loved it. I am planning on returning in the future during winter to see the northern lights but next time we will sail on one of the medium sized ships.

Meals include buffet breakfasts and lunches with set 3 course dinners (no choice) but good and included lots of local produce. Alcohol was really expensive.
 
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Thanks very much to you all for the information - definitely some unflattering comments online but the good seem to outweigh the bad. Kong Harold is the ferry - chosen after reading reviews as initially had selected their oldest vessel Lofoten but quickly changed it when found out no / basic stabilisers. Sea sick tablets seem a necessity! It appears that being winter the tour options I suppose will be dependent on the weather and capacity to dock. Thanks for the tip I shall read up on G,fjord hadnt noticed that tour. Biggest worry is cold weather clothes - as this weekend in TSV was darned hot. Any tips for that?
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Most of the actual cruising is done between islands with very little open sea, so it is not choppy. But, that may depend if you are off over to Svalbard etc.

I am am reminded of the saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. Your best hope I guess is to make a trip to the outdoors shops once the sales of the winter gear begins. Try to borrow as much as possible as you'll need a substantial down jacket. Maybe someone in TSV went skiing recently and will let you borrow their stuff. If you are doing any activity where you'll get hot, it will be important to have the right type of clothes. Take some professional advice. Check out ebay etc. The main thing is layers and warmth rather than fashion.

I suspect that some of the online Hurtigruten complaints relate to some of the fleet being older than others, the lack of entertainment facilities and a few silly things that they do such as insist that people have to buy water at dinner and you can't bring your own free water. But having been warned of that I didn't find it in convenience, I was only in the dinning room for dinner once. You don't need to buy the full three course dining package. I just had the breakfast package and ate in their cafes and I had taken a few supplies such as packet soups. The breakfast was terrific.

Thanks very much to you all for the information - definitely some unflattering comments online but the good seem to outweigh the bad. Kong Harold is the ferry - chosen after reading reviews as initially had selected their oldest vessel Lofoten but quickly changed it when found out no / basic stabilisers. Sea sick tablets seem a necessity! It appears that being winter the tour options I suppose will be dependent on the weather and capacity to dock. Thanks for the tip I shall read up on G,fjord hadnt noticed that tour. Biggest worry is cold weather clothes - as this weekend in TSV was darned hot. Any tips for that?
Log
 
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get me outta here

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If I were to do it again, I could consider doing a point to point and having a day or so in the more interesting ports.
 

ftm

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If I were to do it again, I could consider doing a point to point and having a day or so in the more interesting ports.

An excellent idea - They work best for itineraries like that where you stop somewhere for a few days, then jump back on the next ship. They are supply ships, not cruise ships so they are never going to offer the onboard experience of a big ship. But they're a unique way of seeing Norway.
 

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The other issue I just thought of with the HurtIgruten, is that there is zero interpretation of what's going by and any issues. So if you're like me and always wanting to ask 'why this and why that,' you will not get any answers. Getting on and off, may give you the opportunity to do some short walking tours or something with locals. Even though it might be -20. ;)
 

Fifa

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Because I was on a 6 night voyage breakfast, lunch and dinner were all included.
Next time I would purchase a bottle of water in the ship's cafeteria and once empty refill it from the bathroom tap in the cabin to take to dinner each night.

We did our own thing at each of the ports, either walked around town or visited the many excellent museums.

At Honningsvag most of the passengers paid for the overpriced tour to Nordkapp (North Cape). I did a little research before arrival and we caught the public bus which meets the ship. The return trip including entrance to Nordkapp was less than half the price of the ship's tour. We were able to pay by credit card as we boarded the bus.
Bus to North Cape

As you are travelling in the middle of winter I would suggest you purchase a good pair of insulated snow boots as well as taking get me outta here's advice on clothing.
 

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Here's an interesting article on something that intrigued me when I was there that prospective visitors may find interesting:

The Norwegian Paradox: Fighting climate change while selling the fuels that help cause it - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Fifa, I had read that the restaurant staff don't allow people to take their own water into the reataurant, but I did not test it. But, yes the tap water on the ship is drinkable and bottled water like everything else is pretty expensive.
 
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Thank you all. Back in cool BNE so will search out clothes. Haven't booked tours yet but that local bus seems a logical way to see things at that port. Thanks for the tip about h2o as I'd decided against buying the drinks package. On this trip took up the 3 meals day option. 24hrs of no daylight with some hrs of dusk sounds interesting
 

amaroo

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Thank you all. Back in cool BNE so will search out clothes. Haven't booked tours yet but that local bus seems a logical way to see things at that port. Thanks for the tip about h2o as I'd decided against buying the drinks package. On this trip took up the 3 meals day option. 24hrs of no daylight with some hrs of dusk sounds interesting

You'll love Norway ... particularly in Winter! We were there early January and enjoyed all that Winter offers.

Where in Norway will you be going? Are you planning on seeing the Northern Lights?

I did a TR on our trip, you can see the Norway bits here http://www.australianfrequentflyer....e-and-chasing-lights-72682-8.html#post1384834
 

ausfox

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We sailed on MV Nordkapp Bergen to Kirkenes and return in February 2016. This ship is in excellent condition, stabilised and during the two short open sea periods the roll was quite gentle.
The ship is heated to about one light jumper/fleece temp.
The food is to die for but substantially fishy. There are alternatives at the buffet breakfast and lunch so don't stress.
As stated the ships are ferries and so have little/no entertainment on board. There are daily talks on various local happenings each morning but I chose to take in the view. Mrs fox enjoyed the briefings.
The weather is B COLD out at this time of year (surprise) so have the good clothing hat and gloves and you will, survive mostly happily
The alcohol cost is outrageous as is the water bottle package. You are allowed to request tap water by glass at the dining table and this is supplied without any problems.
Each day the ship has at least one landing of several hours and you can go ashore. The excursions are very expensive but whatever rings your bell. The towns are quite small so you can self guide easily.At higher latitudes the ice is everywhere on the roads and footpaths so you need some form of shoe spikes/grippers which are available in sporting goods stores. I took a great backslam before I purchased mine.
The return trip Kirkenes to Bergen is same same so as most people do, just do the one direction. We went for the Northern lights and saw them on 3 occasions. Freezing, windy, but magnificent.
One trip worth the expense.
 

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That is interesting that one ship had daily briefings and another ship has zero briefings. Sadly, I was on the latter.

We sailed on MV Nordkapp Bergen to Kirkenes and return in February 2016. This ship is in excellent condition, stabilised and during the two short open sea periods the roll was quite gentle.
The ship is heated to about one light jumper/fleece temp.
The food is to die for but substantially fishy. There are alternatives at the buffet breakfast and lunch so don't stress.
As stated the ships are ferries and so have little/no entertainment on board. There are daily talks on various local happenings each morning but I chose to take in the view. Mrs fox enjoyed the briefings.
The weather is B COLD out at this time of year (surprise) so have the good clothing hat and gloves and you will, survive mostly happily
The alcohol cost is outrageous as is the water bottle package. You are allowed to request tap water by glass at the dining table and this is supplied without any problems.
Each day the ship has at least one landing of several hours and you can go ashore. The excursions are very expensive but whatever rings your bell. The towns are quite small so you can self guide easily.At higher latitudes the ice is everywhere on the roads and footpaths so you need some form of shoe spikes/grippers which are available in sporting goods stores. I took a great backslam before I purchased mine.
The return trip Kirkenes to Bergen is same same so as most people do, just do the one direction. We went for the Northern lights and saw them on 3 occasions. Freezing, windy, but magnificent.
One trip worth the expense.
 
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Well been busy sourcing some cold weather clothing.
Can I ask does anyone have a preference for either BA or SAS from FRA to BGO? Don't really care abt the meagre SC earn on BA. More worried abt reliability of flights
 
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A bit late to this thread but FWIW we did the NordNorge in Dec 2014 from Bergen to Tromso. I booked the fares through their website and without meals as we didn't want to be tied to meals at set times, there was no choice for dinner and we thought it was expensive.

We had had low expectations of the ship but found the cabins clean, contemporary and comfortable. Breakfast was included in the fare and we ate lunch out in whatever town we were docked in and either brought food back for dinner or ate from the cafeteria. My partner is vegetarian and the cafeteria chef was brilliant in catering for her - some interesting flavour combinations (think spaghetti with sweet chilli sauce) but she was very thankful. Most nights we would order one main and a salad and share as the servings were generous. They had a deal that if you bought a Hurtigruten mug from the cafe, you enjoyed free tea or coffee for the entire cruise - from memory this cost about $30 but it was excellent value. We bought water on shore each day and took back to the ship.

We didn't do any tours, happy to explore on our own usually on foot. Neither of us are great sailors but we didn't have any problem with seasickness.

Our cruise was leading up to Christmas and many of the passengers were going through to Kirkenes - lots of older, solo travellers and I thought what a great way to spend Christmas. The ship's crew were terrific with organising activities each day and these included craft workshops to make all the decorations for the Christmas tree.

We left the boat in Tromso - arrived on the day that the change happens when darkness is 24 hours - we arrived at 2pm to pitch black night, so surreal.

We took thermals, quilted jacket, hat, gloves, scarf and those super thick socks - all about layers - and coped quite well.

Our only regret was that we didn't stay on board all the way to Kirkenes instead of travelling to Poland for a very, very, ordinary Christmas (and lots of work on our part) with my partner's mother and husband.

We plan to do Hurtigruten again from Tromso to Kirkenes but probably in the summer and combine it with the Inlandsbanen from Gallivare.

I was just reading the other day that they have started upgrading their ships and four have been done - can't remember which ones though.

I would do SAS - as the legacy carrier you have better options if there are delays/cancellations etc. Also found them very good.
 

ADLhighflyer

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Hi All,

After some knowledge here. Looking at booking the 12 day round trip up the coast from Bergen with Hurtigruten, and trying to work out the difference between the Classic Roundtrip Voyage and Norwegian Coastal Expedition which cover roughly the same dates. Can anyone help me out.

Trying to work out which would be more beneficial, as I'll be travelling by myself and hope to see the Northern Lights.

PS - Looking at travelling in November
 
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