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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We booked the MS Fram out of New York to Halifax, NS. The ship itself is beautiful with sleek Euro styling, glass, and mirrors everywhere. Nice lounges, great sauna, lots of deck space and so forth. A nice touch was the gift of a ... Read More
We booked the MS Fram out of New York to Halifax, NS. The ship itself is beautiful with sleek Euro styling, glass, and mirrors everywhere. Nice lounges, great sauna, lots of deck space and so forth. A nice touch was the gift of a Hurtigruten Explorer jacket. We were lucky to have a cabin with a queen bed on what they call Artic Superior. The lower part of the ship has bunk beds. The dining is below American standards. The breakfast buffet would not pass Maricopa County Arizona Health standards. The food was cold and not keep at proper temperature for a buffet. The eggs were put out sunny side up with with whites uncooked. There was no cook to order egg station. Pancakes cold. Everything was cold beginning with the plates. The soups were cold, cold bacon. Lunch was the same beginning with a cold bowl for your soup or cold plate for the buffet.. At dinner you had one choice of entre. Not really a choice. They just brought out today's meal. One night they served steaks. I was lucky to get a medium one. One our tablemates had to ask for a well done one. One night they had a vegetarian meal. I passed and left the plate there and went to bed. One night they served a Ceasar salad with the meal. My wife would never pick a Ceasar salad from the menu. It did not have any romaine lettuce in it? BTW no iceberg or romaine lettuce for the entire trip. Only spring mix and arugula was served. My beverage machine trick was to fill the cold cup with hot water and wait a minute. I dump it out and then had the machine make hot chocolate or coffee. They was no sense putting hot chocolate in an ice cold cup. In the bar one customer got into it with the bartender about the short pours. They filled the shot glass about 7/8 full and that was it. Expensive to boot considering they are serving tax free alcohol. There was no entertainment per se. They had lectures about the islands and ports which were helpful. They even had talks about Antarctica and other cruised they offer. If you are a liberal, you would love their Environmental whacko lectures. The service was substandard to the US market. Late room make up service or they are pounding on your door while you are in the shower. They do not have a modern card system whereby they know if you are in the room or not. In the dining room, there really wasn't any service since they brought everyone at the table the same thing. On two nights they had buffets- an American buffet one night with undercooked bratwurst, and a Phillipino night. The ports were great, the scenery fine. We had good hot lunches ashore about 4-5 times on the voyage. The launches went fast and were safe. There were no wet landings. We went to a lot of neat places. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We went on a previous holiday with Hurtigruten where this cruise to the North west Passage in Canada was highly recommended. We were due to travel from West to East. The North West Passage was in fact already closed, and no cruise ship ... Read More
We went on a previous holiday with Hurtigruten where this cruise to the North west Passage in Canada was highly recommended. We were due to travel from West to East. The North West Passage was in fact already closed, and no cruise ship navigated it in 2018 at all due to the heavy build-up of ice, which is not unusual. Hurtigruten's East to West cruise through the Passage had already been abandoned, but we were NOT informed. Instead the port of embarkation was changed from the West to the North East, involving an 18 hour journey from Montreal by air, with several stops, finally arriving in a fifty seater old turbo-prop at Pond Inlet, close to the Magnetic North Pole, where we boarded from an open inflatable dinghy in the Arctic Ocean at 10.30 at night ! Next day we were at last informed that the North West Passage was closed. Instead of being told the truth about the abandonment of the East to West cruise, we were misled into joining the ship where we became hostages, trapped in the Arctic with no possible means of returning to civilisation. Hurtigruten's sole intent had been to prevent us from exercising our cancellation rights under the contract. Now being at the WRONG end of the North West Passage, even if there had been no ice, there would simply not have been enough time to go down 1200 miles of the Passage and return back up it again before we were due to go home. The journey was supposed to be one-way through the Passage, NOT a return journey. So we ended up sailing around doing nothing in mid ocean for five days, and finally went on a very boring sail down the coast of Greenland - I did not need to spend in excess of £20,000 for what amounted to little more than a seaside jaunt aboard the Skylark from Brighton ! Hurtigruten's behaviour has been arrogant. They have admitted liability by making derisory offers of compensation which are totally unacceptable. A major complaint has been the refusal to respond to my communications; all I ever get is a lot of boilerplate hype about how they value my feedback, but never any individual response. It was even worse on the ship, where the senior representative refused to discuss anyone's complaints by sitting down to talk in a civilised fashion one-to-one. All she ever did was to make public announcements and then scurry away to hide. My main gripe is that Hurtigruten's brochure is full of re-assurance about how well equipped the ship was to navigate "treacherous waters", but there was never any suggestion that it involved any risk of ice making navigation impossible, despite hundreds of people throughout history having perished in the ice. If there had been any warnings at all, I would never have risked all that money for nothing. I will never go on a Hurtigruten cruise again and would caution anyone thinking of doing so to be very careful, especially those thinking of joining the maiden voyage of the new Roald Amundsen through the North West Passage in 2019, the advertisements for which still do not mention any risks of ice closing the route. You go at your peril. Read Less
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