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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We got a good deal with an inside cabin for the voyage from Kirkenes to Bergen, Norway. Our cabin was so clean & the bed was more comfortable than at home. The food was generous and varied. Hint, don’t expect to lose weight on this ... Read More
We got a good deal with an inside cabin for the voyage from Kirkenes to Bergen, Norway. Our cabin was so clean & the bed was more comfortable than at home. The food was generous and varied. Hint, don’t expect to lose weight on this ship! The breakfast was a buffet each day, with lunches generally too. Dinner at night was table seating at our reserved table. The food was quite varied each day. Even the buffet kept changing slightly. We tried to cut back on the food intake, but it was just too delicious! The crew was fantastic too, despite us enduring a storm at sea. We would go back tomorrow, although we would probably choose summer or spring, as we have now seen the winter view. Very very happy with this cruise. As a side note, the ship and captain performed brilliantly during the storm. Despite 10 metre waves & 136 km/hr winds, we felt very safe and secure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
This cruise was exactly as advertised! It's a working ship and has been in the business of transporting goods and people up and down the Norwegian coast for 125 years. There are many stops and you can get off a quite a few of them, ... Read More
This cruise was exactly as advertised! It's a working ship and has been in the business of transporting goods and people up and down the Norwegian coast for 125 years. There are many stops and you can get off a quite a few of them, if you like. We did some excursions through the ship and some on our own. All were excellent - even if there wasn't enough snow to do a few of them. (Mother Nature has her own rules!) Our cabin was amazing. We could lie in bed and watch the coast go by! The beds were comfortable and the suite was very roomy! The food was excellent! I have some food allergies and they made sure every delicious dinner was safe for me to eat. The buffet breakfasts and lunches were excellent. There were some staples and an assortment of varying foods by location or chef whim. The exploration crew wasn't quite as good as the crew on the Nordkapp. We did see the Northern Lights. Second night out of Bergen, around 10:30PM "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Northern Lights." :) Would recommend the Dinner with Vikings excursion as a MUST! The food and mead were incredible. The "show" was not only informative but interesting and well-laced with humor! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Went on this voyage to see the Northern Lights. NO Northern Lights. Hurtigruten advertise a free trip if you do not see them, but you have to have an inside cabin, pay through the nose for your food. A real advertising gimmick and not to ... Read More
Went on this voyage to see the Northern Lights. NO Northern Lights. Hurtigruten advertise a free trip if you do not see them, but you have to have an inside cabin, pay through the nose for your food. A real advertising gimmick and not to be trusted. The ship is ok, but you have to buy everything except for the air you breath. Meals are included and so is the ghastly coffee out of a massive tank. You need to take out a mortgage to come on this ship and I guess all of Hurtigruten ships. It was announced on one day that whilst we were on a bus trip that the chef had baked an apple cake for us. Then came the downer, you had to buy it! The so called expedition team are unimaginably boring. Just the two, and the so called leader went off on a four day jolly during the voyage. If there is to be an expedition team at least give them a personality even they have very little knowledge of where or what we might see. The internet provided all the info given during the so called team briefing.. The trips are very expensive for a ride on a bus and most the the little energy the expedition team had was trying to sell the trips. A very boring 12 days at sea with very rough seas for a lot of it. Stuff flying all over the place and a very very very rocky ship. Food was quite good except for the buffet if you were not like the Germans and queuing at the door as soon as it is open. They then grab the tables, just like towels, take huge platefuls of food not caring how they leave the dish for the next person. The buffet is not replenished to provide a decent amount of food for those who are not first in the queue. The ship cannot seat all of the passengers all at one time, so for lunch and breakfast there is often a queue, unless you are German of course, dinner is in two sittings . If you are allocated the late one at 8.15 it is horrendous as you then go to bed with a full stomach or have to sit up late on this sterile ship to let the food settle. All in all a complete waste of money for what is promoted as a memorable voyage of a lifetime. Will not be taking up the so called free trip for not having seen the Northern Lights, and will certainly not recommend Hurtigruten to even my worst enemy Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Went on an excursion to Boda and Saltstruam. It was in a bus, it was dark, we saw nothing but lights in houses and shops and factories. The rapids at Saltstuam did not happen Rushed back to bus back to ship. Worthless. Think twice before ... Read More
Went on an excursion to Boda and Saltstruam. It was in a bus, it was dark, we saw nothing but lights in houses and shops and factories. The rapids at Saltstuam did not happen Rushed back to bus back to ship. Worthless. Think twice before embarking on these very expensive excursions from a Hurtigruten ship. While I’m at it everything you buy on this cruise is so expensive you need to take out a mortgage to buy anything. Not even a biscuit is free. The buffet is terrible. The Germans push you out of the way to grab the food. They do not use the utensils provided. They are quite rude and loud. The buffet is not the most hygienic way to serve food because not everyone has the decency to respect hygiene and cleanliness near food.. Breakfast hot food is awful. If you are vegan forget 3ver having a hot breakfast. Eggs are served with bacon laying on top of them. I saw people picking up more bits of bacon that had fallen off the eggs. Very poor. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
+ Very nice, big, modern ship + Good common rooms + Great expedition suite cabin + Kingsize bed, big sofa + Great balcony, very large, with a perfect view + Sofa, safe, minibar, TV + Great breakfast buffet + Perfect ... Read More
+ Very nice, big, modern ship + Good common rooms + Great expedition suite cabin + Kingsize bed, big sofa + Great balcony, very large, with a perfect view + Sofa, safe, minibar, TV + Great breakfast buffet + Perfect lunch buffet + A lot of fish and seafood, very positive and delicate + Fitness room + Sauna + Jacuzzis + Ability to go to the very front deck of the ship + Nice places where the ship stopped (Tromso, Trondheim) - Dining: very small portions, not enough for teenagers and adult males - Main door of the ship under the cabin (very noisy) - Expedition team not very good informed - Very expensive activities that can easily be done at your own - Food at the bar too expensive - Sometimes due to excursions the lunch was moved to 10:30 in the morning! Very bad solution. Would be better to have lunch packages or the possibility to get food at the bar after the trips. - Service very poor - Entertainment: The team was not very motivating. No energy and no enthusiasm. Presentations old and not modern. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Overview The arctic archipelago "Svalbard" has always fascinated us. For this reason we have booked the trip with Hurtigruten. The tour operator attaches great importance to sustainability and environmental protection. This is ... Read More
Overview The arctic archipelago "Svalbard" has always fascinated us. For this reason we have booked the trip with Hurtigruten. The tour operator attaches great importance to sustainability and environmental protection. This is also reflected a little in the price - an Arctic trip is not cheap. The landscapes (geology, glaciology) are very impressive. The fact that in this harsh climate some life develops during the short summer months is fascinating. Lush green meadows, barren moonscapes, beautiful waterfalls and of course lots of snow and ice - that is Svalbard/Spitsbergen. We can recommend this trip because it is very relaxing (no internet for 9 days), but especially because it offers a good mixture of activities, lectures and observing the landscapes and wildlife. Wildlife If you go to this cruise to see polar bears or other wildlife, you'll probably will be lucky... Hurtigruten attaches great importance to sustainability and does not want to disturb the delicate habitat of the animals. Accordingly, everything can only be observed from a very great distance. Of course there are some lucky exceptions, but we have only been able to observe polar bears from a distance of at least 750 meters, for example. Unfortunately, the advertising gives the wrong impression here. With the right equipment you can counteract this a little. Embarkation/Disembarkation The whole process was ok. What was a problem in our opinion the time of disembarkation. We've arrived short after 0.05 o clock. We've waited 1 hour 20 minute to get from board to take the flight at 3.25 o clock. it was very pain and stressful to travel at this late hour. I would have payed 500 euro more to have an afternoon or early evening flight instead of the whole travel thing in the middle of the night... :-( Ship MS Spitsbergen was in 2016 completely renewed. The Ship provides following rooms: Explorer Lounge with Bar, Reception and Bord Shop, Restaurant (2 sittings - 18.00/20.00), Fitness, Jacuzzi, Sauna and on the top floor a large terrace area to observe the beautiful landscapes and animal life. Cabin The cabin was for its size generous and had everything you would expect on a ship. Dining The dining on the MS Spitsbergen was excellent. The Swiss Chef with his crew cooked on a very high level. You wouldn't expect that on a ship. Entertainment and Activities The Expedition-Team organized on each day an interesting program. Nevertheless they could have done different programs for all the different ages. The passengers ages vary from 25 to 90. So not all program points fitted for the young and vice versa. Service The Philippines on board were excellent. They are very friendly and good hosts. The Norwegian crew (Captain and his crew) were very professional, but in comparison to the Philippines rather inaccessible. Ports and Shore excursion On this trip (Spitsbergen/Svalbard) was only Port (Ny Alesund) accessible. All other stations were shore excursion by tender-boat. Some places were not so special, but what do you expect, when you're in the arctic :-) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We've just spent 9 days on Hurtigrutens ms Spitsbergen on an expedition cruise circumnavigating Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Apart from the fact that expedition cruising is exciting, we were pleasantly surprised by the ship and its crew. ... Read More
We've just spent 9 days on Hurtigrutens ms Spitsbergen on an expedition cruise circumnavigating Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Apart from the fact that expedition cruising is exciting, we were pleasantly surprised by the ship and its crew. The arctic superior cabin 621 is light and big enough but lacks drawer space and has no couch nor desk. The window blind adequately blocked out the 24 hr summer daylight. The large bed has a soft matress and plenty cushions. Sleep was never a problem but that also might be caused by the long active days. The restaurant is buffet for breakfast and lunch, diner is somewhat depending on the expedition schedule, sometimes free seating buffet, sometimes first and second seating table service with a fixed 5 course meal. Being norwegian there is a lot of fish every day but no worries there is meat. Give dietary preferences the first diner and they will automaticaly adjust the 5 course meals! Snacks and coffee/thee in the bar from 15:00 to 17:00 hrs. There is no roomservice. The ships crew/lobby are very nice and polite. The expedition staff consist of about 8 persons, mixed nationality -danish, norwegian, english, french- and spoke good english/german. Lectures were simultaneously translated for the german group using remote radio and earpeaces although that sometimes malfunctioned. There is at least one landing per day, sometimes two. Due to weather and ice, one scheduled stop had to be changed to a zodiac ice cruise. That was also the only real bad weather day. The rest consisted of clear skies to cloudy days with no precipitation. Jackets are provided and are yours to keep. Boots provided as well for the duration and are very good but heavy. We had a wonderfull cruise . Note. There was one passenger in a wheelchair who was accomodated by private zodiac cruises in between landings! Very nice. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have sailed the Coastal Routes with Hurtigruten several times, always in the winter months and we have been to Alaska and Antarctica twice with other cruise lines. We enjoy the magnificence of glaciers and snow-capped mountains, plus ... Read More
We have sailed the Coastal Routes with Hurtigruten several times, always in the winter months and we have been to Alaska and Antarctica twice with other cruise lines. We enjoy the magnificence of glaciers and snow-capped mountains, plus the wildlife which comes as a package in these areas. Cold is ok, so where to visit next? The answer was found in the Hurtigruten Expedition “The Historic Sportsman’s Route to Svalbard – South”, sailing in June 2018 on MS Spitsbergen, a modern ship we have travelled on before. The journey to Longyearbyen from Manchester is a long one and a weary band of travellers arrived in the small, but very light and rather chilly hours of May 30th. A few hours’ sleep in the very basic Radisson Blu Hotel was followed by time to explore the small town independently, before lunch and a coach trip out to Camp Barentz and the excellent Svalbard Museum. MS Spitsbergen had been at anchor in the Adventfjorden all day, because the pier was taken up by the Aida Luna from Germany. Once she had left port, MS Spitsbergen was able to take her place and embarkation could begin. (We were at the front of the queue and had priority as Suite Passengers, but many of the other approximately 160 passengers were left literally out in the cold as the process was slow and made slower by the breakdown of the two computers.) In the evening we had a safety briefing and also information about the experience to come. We are NOT on holiday, we were told, but on an Expedition. How right that information was! Longyearbyen is at 78°13′N, 15°38′E. Here, at this time of year, the sun is high in the sky in the middle of the night. Our room had large windows looking out to the starboard side of the ship and we could sit on the bed, facing the windows or take advantage of the narrow balcony to take photographs for as long as we wanted. As we travelled north, enjoying the scenery continually passing us, we had to go to bed before it was time to get up again. For most of our journey, the sea was extremely calm, offering remarkable reflections of great clarity in some places. The conditions only became rougher as we left the Svalbard coastal area and headed across the open sea on our way south. Although interesting at times, it was never uncomfortable for us. Our first stop was at Ny Alesund, now a Science Station. Here the weather was definitely very cold and our new Hi-Viz jackets, which we could keep, were needed as well as many other layers underneath to combat the wind and light snow. We joined a guided tour of the settlement, which was well worthwhile. Afterwards it was good to return to the hot chocolate available on board ship. En route to Magdalenafjord in the late afternoon, we were allocated sturdy rubber boots, which we kept for the duration of the expedition. They were surprisingly comfortable and essential for entering and exiting the RIBs as well as exploring the terrain we visited. We were divided into five groups for using the RIBs, which rotated in order of priority so everyone had a turn at getting off the ship first over the course of the Expedition. The terrain at Magdalenafjorden was quite difficult, with deep, soft snow in places as well as small and larger boulders to negotiate. It was possible to go on a hike, but thankfully we had chosen not to join in, as I certainly would have struggled and there was not the option to turn back without a guard. On every landing, the Expedition Team went ashore first to ensure the site was safe and free of Polar Bears and to establish a secure area. They carried deterrents and rifles and it was not safe to be out of their sight. They also carried ashore emergency supplies of water, food and shelter in case of the unexpected, but thankfully it was never needed on our cruise. We continued north overnight to Moffen, where we arrived at 06.00. Here we had reached just over 80° North. We were able to enjoy the sight of Walrus on or near the beach, before turning back South to Monacobreen in Liefdefjorden. There we were taken on RIB cruises of around 40 minutes. The first explorers went incredibly close to the glacier face, but our guide was not initially so adventurous and our time ran out before our desired destination was reached. Glaciers abound in Svalbard and there was nearly always one to admire as we travelled. Mushamna was our last stop of the day. Our journey south also took us to Bruceneset, the Smeerenburg Glacier, Bamsebu, the Recherchefjorden and Gnalodden. Kayaking was available in some locations for small groups. We finally left Svalbard to visit Bear Island on the way back to Norway. The intention had been to land on the small beach, but the sea was too rough, so we had RIB cruises once again to take us nearer to the cliffs populated by many sea birds. We finally arrived at Honningsvag after a rough night in the open sea, where the rolling of the ship meant we occasionally felt ourselves slide down the bed, despite the use of the ship’s stabilisers. The experience overall was not particularly unpleasant however; the seas were not very big, but the ship is comparatively small and feels the movement. The plan was to dock in Skarsvag, a small fishing village, but the weather meant that was not possible. Honninsvag suited us better and this time we found the attractive small Church was open. We were also able to visit MS Vesteralen, the ship in port as part of the Coastal Route schedule. Our last port and destination was Tromso, followed by another very long day of delayed flights to reach home again, but the experience of Svalbard was worth every inconvenience. The Expedition was quite hard work because we were frequently busy or preparing to be busy; dressing up for shore excursions took some time! The weather was mainly cold but dry, with some snow on occasions. Boarding and getting out of the RIBs could be strenuous, but there were plenty of staff to assist us and even some more physically limited passengers were helped efficiently and patiently. Occasionally we chose not to disembark and we enjoyed the location from the comfort of the ship instead. The days could start early and finish late; there was always something to see outside. We were lucky enough to see Polar Bears on three occasions, two males and a mother with her two year old cub. It was surprising to see how high they climbed up the slopes; one also slid down again on his stomach and rolled in the snow. All were at quite a distance, the closest being the first, who was occupying a projected landing site. On this occasion we had decided to use the hot tub while everyone else was ashore, but we were quickly surrounded by all the other passengers viewing the bear, so we gave up, fetched our cameras and joined them. The landing was abandoned, but nobody minded. As we left Bear Island and the continental shelf, we were told to look out for whales and we did indeed see a Humpback. On the previous expedition, we were told, a Blue Whale was seen. Walruses were ashore or in the water at two locations we visited and sea birds were frequent and numerous companions. Dolphins also made occasional appearances. The scenery was wonderful, if repetitive, as dark mountains with snowy tops and glaciers in between followed one after another. There was almost always one more photo to take before drawing the curtains for the night. We always have a balcony when we cruise, because of the ease of getting outside to see whatever is passing. On most Hurtigruten ships, this means a suite is required. We had already spent Christmas 2016 in the port rear suite, but this time we chose to book the starboard side suite nearest the stern because the layout of the room was better for us and it was also the cheaper option. We were very happy with our choice and the suite category offers several advantages too. Hurtigruten ships naturally have a great many fish dishes on their menus. The evening meal is often a set meal, but if the kitchen is advised on embarkation, other options are available, so we don’t have fish on board. The only meal I thought was poor quality was a vegetarian alternative when the first alternative was a spicy meal. The cauliflower cheese was watery and unappetising and I was told that a vegetarian passenger found nearly all her meals disappointing. Breakfast and lunch are buffets with plenty of choice and on the Expedition, the first three or four evening meals were also buffets, which I prefer. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This ship is amazing, extremely friendly and well laid out. (we were on deck 6). Food is out of this world and the views last the whole of the voyage. I don't think this will ever be bettered. We had blue skies, snow, amazing ... Read More
This ship is amazing, extremely friendly and well laid out. (we were on deck 6). Food is out of this world and the views last the whole of the voyage. I don't think this will ever be bettered. We had blue skies, snow, amazing clouds, northern lights (3 times). The excursions are expensive but i didn't hear anyone complain. We did the huskies in the north, Kirkenes, which was great in blue skies. I was told the sea eagles and the snow scooters were great, just expensive but as i said no one was complaining. As far as clothing take the full works, and if you have the snow boots with furry insides take them as they gripped the snow much better than my walking boots. You must take gloves and a hat and layers as you will want to go out on deck to take pictures. (we went early April). The fitness room is small but as most people don't use it it is fine. We met and made friend with many people from all counties, lots were from Germany and it is great as they speak good English and are very friendly. Don't believe any of your weather forecasts on the i phone Apps as they were only correct on the day. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We boarded MS Spitsbergen in Bergen. We arrived In Bergen just after 2pm and the Hurtigruten bus picked us up at 3pm to take us to the ship. The staff at the check in counter was extremely friendly and the safety talk beforehand was also ... Read More
We boarded MS Spitsbergen in Bergen. We arrived In Bergen just after 2pm and the Hurtigruten bus picked us up at 3pm to take us to the ship. The staff at the check in counter was extremely friendly and the safety talk beforehand was also informative. Seeing the ship we were blown away. embarking was smooth and effortless. we did not get off again to explore Bergen as we were fascinated with the ship itself and the surrounding views. We also knew coming back we had a day to explore the city. The ship was beautiful. inside and out. and being a smaller ship it meant fewer people. so we got to know the faces and some names and we knew the staff and crew. apart from a couple of days of rough sailing it really was a smooth trip. The cabin was warm and comfortable. it allowed easy access to the restaurant, the gym, the viewing decks and explorer lounges. The TV had lots of channels but ours always seemed to be on the bow camera. the beds were comfortable and the little that i did sleep (too much excitement)was a good sleep. The announcements in the cabins was clear, i do feel they may need something for the bathroom because i missed a couple when i was in the shower. cabins were vacuumed and tidied every day. The food at meal times was fantastic. so much variety in the buffets, and everything was tasty. we literally couldn't stop eating! the set menu at dinner was lovely and we enjoyed how they made things to fit the theme for the day. we could not eat any meat but the chef always surprised us with the dishes he prepared for us, so it didnt feel like we were eating the same fish all the time. the chocolate brownie dessert was my favourite! Entertainment in the form of on board lectures, talks, presentations were great. it seemed there was always something to listen to while we were sailing. We enjoyed the arctic circle ceremonies, it was so much fun. Service is 5 star. everyone is friendly and willing to help and share information. The excursions left us with so many wonderful memories. It was well organized and gave us a good taste of the different parts of northern norway. all the tour guides were knowledgeable. We did husky sled in Kirkenes, Snowmobile from Kjollefjord to Mehamn, Midnight concert in Tromso, Taste of Vesteralen, Tram ride and city tour in Trondheim, Arctic coastal walk in Bodo and a dip in the arctic ocean in Vardo. I saw all the ports on the cruise and it was interesting seeing passengers getting on and off, goods being loaded or offloaded. each port was so different and so beautiful. we saw the northern lights twice, the first was a spectacular show, the second more subdued. i had to pinch myself to make sure i wasn't dreaming. I would love to do this cruise again, Norway is an amazing country to explore, the mountains and fjords breathtaking to see. Read Less
MS Spitsbergen Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 3.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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