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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We booked this cruise to travel with friends who had never been to Norway. The first thing to be very aware of is that once you book, there are no cancellations allowed without losing your large deposit. No exceptions, even if it’s ... Read More
We booked this cruise to travel with friends who had never been to Norway. The first thing to be very aware of is that once you book, there are no cancellations allowed without losing your large deposit. No exceptions, even if it’s more than a year in advance. Also, before you book - be aware that the ship only stops once a day in a port long enough to actually get off the ship. And then it will be for only 2 or at the very most 3 hours. This only allows you to book Hurtigruten’s very expensive excursions; otherwise all you have time to do is walk around. This is NOT like a conventional cruise where you are in a port all day. There are too many passengers and not enough chairs in public spaces. Good luck on finding a place to sit, other than on the bed in your cabin. I would never travel on Hurtigruten again, based on my experience. It is not a good value, and I had a much more enjoyable cruise on a conventional cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose a 12 day cruise that took us from Bergen up to the Russian border and back. Bad weather intervened on the return journey so we were stuck on board for most of the time and there's not much to do other than read, gaze out at ... Read More
We chose a 12 day cruise that took us from Bergen up to the Russian border and back. Bad weather intervened on the return journey so we were stuck on board for most of the time and there's not much to do other than read, gaze out at snowy mountains, doze and eat. We would choose a shorter trip next time and fly back from Kirkenes. Snowmobiling at Kirkenes was brilliant helped by glorious morning sunshine. Dog sledding was also worthwhile. Excursions are eye wateringly expensive but if you're only doing these things once..... The ship was fine and the crew were very good. It is a ferry however and it stops everywhere along the coast taking on board cargo and passengers who use the ship like a bus service. Don't expect the luxury of a cruise ship and grab a seat before the locals come on board otherwise you'll have to revert to your cabin. Food was excellent. Wine at a minimum of £53 a bottle is extortionate especially when compared to £15 a bottle on shore. Shame we were not offered a drinks package although unless the wine was heavily discounted I suspect we would have declined. Made for a tee-total holiday which was no bad thing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to celebrate my 70th birthday, to put behind us a challenging year, and to learn about a country and locality that we wouldn't normally see. The first thing to say is that if you like cruising with all the associated ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate my 70th birthday, to put behind us a challenging year, and to learn about a country and locality that we wouldn't normally see. The first thing to say is that if you like cruising with all the associated comforts and amenities of cruising, don't choose the Hurtigruten Atlantic Fiords trip. The business of Hurtigruten is to supply all of the large and small coastal communities between Bergen in the south of Norway and Kirkenes in the north with life's essentials and to enable Norwegians to move up and down the coast. The Kong Harald is a 'ferry with benefits' and up to 400 passengers that have subsidised the service for many years; there were from the UK, Germany, France, Australia and North America. That said the crew, food, and organisation of shore side activities were very good. What's more Mother Nature may let you see Aurora Borealis but be prepared for disappointment - take a good camera! We travelled on the round trip between 7 and 18 March. Our cabin was on the 6th deck and had a double bed, 'bijou' shower, toilet, wash room, coffee facilities and TV. We saw some of the other cabins on lower decks and were please we paid for up grade. It had the additional advantage that we weren't disturbed by the overnight docking and freight handling which can occur up to four times: some passengers on the lower decks said it could be noisy. Food was good especially the fish and self service for breakfast and lunch. If you have deep pockets there was a good selection of wine at £40-50/bottle and £10 for a half pint (Norway is notoriously expensive). We were very lucky with the weather. It was brilliant with clear skies, calm seas and snow capped landscape - but it was COLD and there was always a breeze so the outside temperature was much lower than the air temperature. We raided Trespass and Mountain Warehouse who were very helpful with what is meant by layering up - and we were glad of their advice. There was no 'entertainment' such as may be expected on a cruise but there were daily briefings about next day excursions. We had pre-booked six that would give an insight into the communities and ways of life of the residents but if you are into snow trekking and off-piste activities there were options but remember, the whole of the ships life is governed by its departure time from port. Would we repeat the journey in either winter or summer (more expensive)? The answer is no. For us there were too many passengers and it was difficult to get away without spending more time in our cabin. The scenery is spectacular in Winter and Summer if that is your thing. Norway is an interesting country with a total population half that of London. It has large oil & gas reserves that it sells and invests the income. The primary business of the coastal communities is fishing and processing, shipping and tourism. Look out for the spectacular bridges and some of the longest road tunnels in the world. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My husband and I went to Iceland years ago but didn't see the lights so decided to take this cruise. Having seen some negative comments we were somewhat concerned but our travel agent convinced us that the company was good. The whole ... Read More
My husband and I went to Iceland years ago but didn't see the lights so decided to take this cruise. Having seen some negative comments we were somewhat concerned but our travel agent convinced us that the company was good. The whole trip was outstanding. Yes we saw the lights which I had been wanting to see since I was 10 and said I would die happy if I did see them BUT everything went like clockwork! We did lots of excursions including dog sledding, snow mobiling and horse riding which gave me my confidence back after a few falls. The scenery was breath taking, cabin was clean, warm and beds comfortable. My husband who normally sleepwalks slept like a baby with all the sea air. Excellent and fresh food was always on offer and so much choice and very polite and friendly staff which we couldn't fault at all. The expedition team worked so hard all the time to make sure everyone was happy and all the transfers and trips left on time. It was the absolute trip of a lifetime and blessed with four evenings of northern lights entertainment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Food were excellent for all meals. Wr expected only seafood, but there were delicious lamb, beef pork and turkey to select from. Fruit juices in the morning with coffe were all included in breakfast. The different types of dishes acailable ... Read More
Food were excellent for all meals. Wr expected only seafood, but there were delicious lamb, beef pork and turkey to select from. Fruit juices in the morning with coffe were all included in breakfast. The different types of dishes acailable allows for any person. We were upgrade from an inside cabin to a cabin with two port windows, probably to the few passengers at the time. The Cabin is sufficient and cleaned properly when requested. Hike expeditions were very enjoyable and creation of good memories. On board staff are very knowledgeable, entertaining and accommodating. Informatin sessions everyday allowed us to prepare and make decisions on the next excursion. We only needed this type of info available on the website prior to the trip. This would have given us more certainty on what to expect. Will anytime cruise with them again. Thanks to all the staff Heinz Guske an Marilda for great times. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This cruise was booked as part of a 40 day holiday from Australia. My husband and I had initially booked the MS Spitsbergen wanting to experience a smaller expedition ship, however, we received an email whilst in Iceland that the cruise ... Read More
This cruise was booked as part of a 40 day holiday from Australia. My husband and I had initially booked the MS Spitsbergen wanting to experience a smaller expedition ship, however, we received an email whilst in Iceland that the cruise had been cancelled and what could have been a potential travel nightmare turned into a blessing in disguise! The 24hr Hurtigruten emergency hotline was able to get us on the Kong Harald 2 days earlier. Fortunately this suited us as we had arranged 2 days in Bergen before our initial cruise. We had Arctic Superior: Outside cabin. Double bed. Situated on upper/middle decks. Cabin Number 566 Meals Breakfast (x11), Lunch (x11), Dinner (x11) for 2 passengers included Add On Tea & Coffee Package for 2 passengers Complimentary Wi-Fi for 2 passengers keep the printout withe your wifi details as it logs off every now and then. You can register 5 devices however only 2 can be used simultaneously. My husband and I both had different log in details. The cabin had a queen bed, next to the bed a desk 1 chair with large mirror on the other side a shelf with room to put your personal items and underneath hand luggage plus a power point above the shelf. Individual bed lights. There is plenty of storage under bed to stash your large suitcases, we had 28kg and 23kg bags plus 2 x 7kg hand luggage. Built in Storage shelves above bed. Built in above the coffee making and telephone shelf plus cupboard shelves below this plus a slim wardrobe with top shelf and enough room below hanging clothes. Don’t be put off when you enter the cabin with 2 large suitcases and hand luggage as it will all fit. I had booked a larger cabin and was initially disappointed but it all worked well! I do use packing cubes so my clothes and shoes fitted perfectly on the shelves in the cupboard. The cabin has a TV. Hooks to hang your jacket for those run out the door Northern lights announcements! Clean comfy queen bed with soft pillows plenty of them, a doona each. The bathroom floor has floor heating and the room has adjustable heating. Bathroom has hand wash body/shampoo wash and conditioner lovely fragrance and small shelf, also a clothes line across the shower. You do need to step up into the bathroom. There is also a handheld hairdryer. It is a bit tight to move around the bed you have to side step against the wall, however, plenty of room once your on the window side of the bed. Large window with block out blind with great views you can lay in bed and watch the scenery! Yes it is on a walkway however I did not find this annoying as most people are respectful so wasn’t an issue for us. The cabin was in an ideal position as it is on the starboard side and close to the back exit doors to the 5th deck walkway the stairs to the 6 deck spas and the 7th deck viewing stairway. Also lift and stairs one floor down to deck 4 and dining room. The staff were very very friendly and accommodating and extremely helpful. The dining room experiences were fast and efficient and plenty of food selection buffet breakfast, lunch and occasional dinners had plenty of selection for all diets including I noticed an extra toaster for those who are gluten intolerant. If you did not like a meal ie you don’t eat fish from the set menu which is displayed every day on your breakfast table and on the wall outside the dining room you can ask for a different one. I would set this up before your journey. As with any cruise liner drinks are expensive. If you don’t like the set dinner menu or time you can eat at the other restaurant 3 course for an additional fee. Selection was lovely and food beautifully cooked we ate here 4 nights. We booked 4 tours Northbound RIB safari to Saltstraumen which was fun, your well suited up and warm. The bus trip to Nordkapp Honningsvåg. Southbound Midnight concert in Tromso and the overland taste of Vesteralen. Well worth the investment. This is a working ship/ferry and it is fun to watch it pull into the little 15mins ports, if your awake and watch the efficiency of the little fork trucks and people get on and off. You may be disturbed in the night by the ship shuddering as it pulls into port in the middle of the night, my husband sleeps through anything, I used earplugs from the plane flight so was not disturbed. We walked around the other small ports and explored time allowing. As it was oct it was slippery you are warned by announcement you can buy shoe grips in the shop I found they were the same price as in Aus. There are announcements and information sessions if you wish to attend so you are kept up to date. The announcements are in Norwegian English French and German. You can turn this off in your room. The passengers are from all countries and all ages above 20. I only saw 2 toddlers. Embarking and disembarking was quick and efficient in Bergen also when you are getting on and off in each port. We were blessed with good weather and sighting the Norther lights faint northbound but much more spectacular coming southbound from Kirkenes, your eye will pick up the white and if you rug up and stay out long enough you will be lucky to see the green and purple ribbon swirls, tubes and patches! On deck 7 are a large viewing lounge with swing adjustable seats large windows front of ship with a bar. On this same deck is another area for cards, reading, bossed games, puzzles and another cafe. Deck four has tables chairs large windows to sit and watch the view or read. This also has a bar and light meals can be bought. Go in 1 of the spas it is warm and wonderful to be in it as you pull out of ports, as I said we were in the ideal cabin as it was not to far to get cold! There is a small fitness room and a sauna as well. I thoroughly recommend this cruise, you make your own entertainment. I hope you enjoy it just as much as we did! Bonvoyage! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
How nice to have the whole trip so relaxing, including not having to take a dinner jacket. Loved the whole ambiance. Our ship had been recently refurbished so was quite modern and clean. The cabin was just fine, except didn't like ... Read More
How nice to have the whole trip so relaxing, including not having to take a dinner jacket. Loved the whole ambiance. Our ship had been recently refurbished so was quite modern and clean. The cabin was just fine, except didn't like being on level 5 with the walk way going past us - people can't resist looking in!! The food was excellent & staff were great and very friendly. The excersion staff were brilliant. We went on 7 excursions and aeven though expensive, all worthwhile and unmissable. Highlights: Crabbing safari, breakfast at North Cape, The atlantic bridges trip and Trollfjord. Enjoyed the fact that people wereon and off at different ports including delivering goods to local people. Meant we met alot of different people all the time. Only down side: maybe 80% German travellers, who weren't too friendly Glad we had the coffee package as any extras were very expensive, but that's Noway, so to be expected. Overall a lovely break and of course the scenery was stunning. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Having talked about taking a Hurtigruten cruise through the Norwegian fjords for some years my wife and I have just returned after completing the six-day voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes on board the Kong Harald. As other reviewers have ... Read More
Having talked about taking a Hurtigruten cruise through the Norwegian fjords for some years my wife and I have just returned after completing the six-day voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes on board the Kong Harald. As other reviewers have pointed out, this is not a classic cruise ship but more an up-market ferry. My first impression of the ship was that she was highly functional, well maintained and smart in appearance. We called into over 30 ports on the voyage north; the majority for under one hour, although there tended to be one stop each day for around three hours. Ship handling was well practised and impressive. Let me start by saying that we were fortunate enough to have good weather and the scenery we passed throughout the entire voyage was utterly spectacular. Most of the voyage is through the archipelago of islands that makes up the Norwegian coast, which ensures a smooth passage. On some days, for a few hours, the ship is in open sea and subject to the weather conditions. This voyage is particularly weather dependant. Had it been raining, cold and overcast, we would not have been able to spend so much time on deck. There are insufficient chairs for all passengers to enjoy the passing scenery from within the ship and when at full capacity, as we were, we would have been forced to retire to our cabin, which would not have been either satisfactory or my idea of a holiday. The flights and transfer arrangements booked for us by Hurtigruten were efficient and faultless. Equally efficient were the embarkation and disembarkation procedures. We had opted for an Arctic Superior cabin on 6 deck. This ensured that without a weather deck outside the cabin (like 5 deck) we would not be bothered by passengers walking past the window and either blocking our view or looking into our cabin. The cabin itself was compact; the width being the length of a double bed plus about 250mm. The en suite bathroom was equally compact. Having said that, the cabin had adequate storage and was entirely functional. The bed was comfortable and had plenty of storage space below it for suitcases. Our ‘Select’ package included full board, tea and coffee and Internet access. The meals are served in the main restaurant, with open seating at breakfast and lunchtime and allocated seating at one of about six times between 1800 and 2030. One real complaint is the amount of queuing that was necessary until a free table could be found. The evening meal before sailing, breakfasts and lunches are a self-service buffet. There is ample choice of good fresh food, with a preponderance of fish dishes. The bulk of the food is cold but there is always a hot option. We enjoyed the freedom of these buffets. There were occasions when we opted to eat later during the serving period when items from the buffet had run out and we were told that there were no replacements. The set, three-course evening meal was far less impressive and well below the standard I would have expected on a cruise of this cost. Having queued for and been disappointed by the set meal on the first night at sea, my wife and I decided to upgrade to the a la carte restaurant on board. For a reasonable 220 NOK/person (around £22) we were able to have a three-course meal of genuine restaurant standard; serving delicious, well-presented dishes of scallops, smoked duck breast, carpaccio of reindeer, Arctic char, lamb, cod, beef steak and the most memorable, a stunning dish of reindeer steak. The restaurant was under subscribed, there was no queuing and the service from the wonderful Suzanne, was jolly, relaxed and attentive. My advice to anyone who likes good food and is about to undertake the cruise, would be to book a table in the a la carte restaurant every night. The passengers were almost exclusively of retirement age. Twenty two nations were represented and the majority were northern European (German, Scandinavian, British or French). Dress on board throughout the day was relatively casual; denim jeans, sweatshirts, down filled jackets and waterproof tops. Dress for dinner was either the same or slightly smarter but definitely not in any way formal. In summary: If the weather is good, the view of passing scenery is unsurpassed. The six-day cruise ticked all the boxes for me and I had no desire to remain on board at Kirkenes and sail back to Bergen. Our only disappointments were the queuing to get a table for meals and the poor standard of the set menu evening meal. Thankfully this could be overcome by eating at the excellent a la carte restaurant. So we are glad that we did the voyage and enjoyed it enormously but do not hanker after a repeat performance or a winter cruise to see the northern lights. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
This cruise was booked by friends, thus I would not have chosen it. Staff was rude, cabin was changed three times, food was the same for 12 days and nights, and hot, congested public spaces were horrendous. No entertainment or stimulation, ... Read More
This cruise was booked by friends, thus I would not have chosen it. Staff was rude, cabin was changed three times, food was the same for 12 days and nights, and hot, congested public spaces were horrendous. No entertainment or stimulation, so it felt like a prison sentence. Highly disappointed, plus received no feedback from the cruise line after contacting management. Don’t waste your money! Ports were interesting, however, they required considerable walking in order to see any sights. Northern lights sightings were few, so many passengers were disappointed. Staff was so disorganized since they held many positions onboard; they had no interest in customer service or professional treatment of passengers. This ferry makes so many stops to deliver goods, that it was difficult to sleep or rest while the ship’s horn was sounding. I would not recommend this company under any circumstances, especially if one is traveling from another country for pleasure. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We did a three night cruise from Bodø to Kirkenes - wanted to experience the Midnight Sun Hurtigruten is operating 11 ships along the Norwegian west coast from Bergen to Kirkenes. Hurtigruten ships function as working ships and are ... Read More
We did a three night cruise from Bodø to Kirkenes - wanted to experience the Midnight Sun Hurtigruten is operating 11 ships along the Norwegian west coast from Bergen to Kirkenes. Hurtigruten ships function as working ships and are calling 35 ports around the clock during the voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes. Many of the 35 ports of call are not more than tranquil hamlets at tiny islands and the duration of the stops are not more that 15 to 30 minutes and you will not have time to leave the ship. Longer stops (three to four hours) in Bergen, Tronheim, Bodø, Tromsø, Honningsvåg and Kirkenes. Here it is possible to visit the city or time for a longer excursion. The journey from Bergen to Kirkenes does take 6 nights with departure from Bergen at 8 pm and arrival in Kirkenes at 9 am. The journey from Kirkenes to Bergen is 5 nights - departure at noon and arrival Bergen 2:30 pm. Many does take the entire 11 nights trip, however personally i think it's too much of the same - hence I only did 3 nights to experience the 'Midnight Sun' from Bodø to Kirkenes. I have previously done a Norwegian Fjords Cruise with Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas covering the southern part of the Norwegian West coast. We had booked an outside Arctic Superior Cabin and got an aft cabin at port side. There were some noise and vibration when docking and sometimes when loading of goods (depend on the location of the cabin). Several of the excursions offered by Hurtigruten does start in one port and are finishing in another. Note that excursion offerings are different north and south bound and varies during the year. I did two excursions. One at Lofoten from Stamsund to Svolvær and another at Honningsvåg Shore Excursions are normally pre-booked - I had booked two excursions. Remaining places are sold on board. The Hurtigruten ships are considered expedition ships rather than cruise ships. No entertainment which often is part of conventional cruise ships offerings, however we did get closer to a unique environments. The voyages was accompanied by lecturers by the expedition team as well as films (will be described later). Dress code and clothing: There is no formal dress code onboard. At Summer make sure to bring a windproof jacket – preferably with a hood, eventually a woolen hat and mittens for views from the deck. It can be rather cold in the evening and night. Good walking shoes for some of the optional land excursions There was an internet café on board and the wifi package included in the 'Select package' and connectivity was pretty good - I did also use Wi-Fi for FaceTime without problems. Wi-Fi connection in all public areas as well as un the cabin. Connection was intermittent few times. After embarkation we were requested to go to the 'Torget' main restaurant to make the table reservation for our voyage. Each Hurtigruten ship has a slightly different practice with regard to meal times. The usual meal times are: Breakfast from 07:30 to 10:00 hours (open seating). Lunch from 12:00 to 13:00 hours (open seating). Dinner from 18:30 hours (set seating). During the high season, there are several seating's for dinner with a 30 minutes interval. The seating will normally be allocated on the first evening but we did change time during the cruise. Our full board did start with a buffet lunch and ended with a breakfast on the arrival in Kirkenes. The food on board is high quality local Norwegian food. Breakfast is buffet style with a selection of cold meats, cheese, eggs, bacon and cereals, fruit and bread. Lunch is Norwegian buffet with a selection of marinated herring, smoked artic fish, cold meats, salads, some hot dishes, as well as desserts and fruit. Dinner is a three course set meal. One night a buffet dinner was served. Ships are fully licensed and wine, beer and drinks are served in different bars. Prices are the same as in Norway and considered expensive compared to other countries. M/S Kong Harald is fully stabilized as most of the other ships. Most of out tour was in narrow waters between mainland Norway and the coastal islands, but we did enter the open sea once. The weather was good and the sea calm, but the sea can be rather rough. Gratuities are included in the cruise fare. You can tip specific crewmembers at your discretion, but tipping is not expected. The currency for On board expenses is the Norwegian Kroner (NOK). Foreign currency can be changed into NOK at the reception. Purchases onboard can be made either with cash or by setting up an onboard expense account with a credit card. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
To experience the coast of Norway from the water we choose the 10-day round trip from Bergen. Upon embarking the ship we are told we cannot access our cabin for two hours and we are informed that we can 'upgrade our evening meal by ... Read More
To experience the coast of Norway from the water we choose the 10-day round trip from Bergen. Upon embarking the ship we are told we cannot access our cabin for two hours and we are informed that we can 'upgrade our evening meal by paying an additional 299 Norwegian Kroner and sit in an exclusive dining room. What? We paid close to $10,000 USD for our 'all inclusive' cruise and the 'upgraded' dinner I was just offered is what I was expecting NIGHTLY! Dinner in the regular dining room was not good food. It was bland with few spices or imagination. Clean our cabin? Not for three days did we get our cabin cleaned. We requested five-times to please clean our cabin, new towels, more toilet paper. The cleaning crew took care of all the cabins on our deck six except the five on one dead end. "So sorry, they forgot". Not nice. Coffee? Do you have the 'coffee' upgrade? Yes we do, but, find a hot cup,of coffee at 6:30-7 am in the morning you have to BEG and experience confrontation with the crew on the fourth deck. They don't want to pour you a cup of coffee. They keep the canister of fresh coffee behind the desk. Coffee after dinner in the 'regular' dining room? Nope. You have to climb the stars to the seventh deck and go into the lounge, wait for the bartender to notice you then he gives you a cup and you can self serve. We just kept our coffee cups from then on placing them inside our cabin cabinet so we could get a cup of coffee without the hassle. Our excursions (extra cost of course) included King Crabbing (excellent!); Bicycling riding through Trondheim (excellent!); Rib boat to the tide changes and surrounding geological wonders (excellent!); Kayaking (excellent!); and lastly a guided bus tour to hell! Very bad! The guide was to lead the tour in English and French. He was not a fluent speaker in either language. He would begin to explain a detail in English, lose his place, hesitate then finish in broken French. It was disjointed. He was terrible. He would drone on and on and on and I just wanted to jump off the bus! The French speaking members of the joint tour complained to me that they could not understand a word out of the tour guide. When we returned to the Kong Harald we thought the cruise director should know that all our tours were excellent but this one and the French agreed. What spineless people the French were, they told the cruise director the tour guide's French was excellent. Holy cow! The seventh deck 'Explorers' lounge chairs was another problem. When we arrived on the Kong Harald, an announcement was made to please rotate and share the lounge chairs. The views from these seats are spectacular. The crew requested that seats not be 'saved'. We observed the Germans came up to deck seven right after breakfast and stayed there most of the day. One boorish German woman placed her feet on her husband 'lounge chair' when he left the room. A young father with his three-year old daughter tried to sit in 'her husbands seat' and she placed her feet on the seat scolding the father in German verbally and with her finger waging. Her husband did not return for well over 90-minutes. The crew of the Kong Harald need to monitor this type of boorish behavior. We met some wonderful Australians and two amazing Danish women who walked the deck for well over one mile every morning. We found out they were 89 and 81-years old. The coast of Norway is wonderful, but the best part of our trip were the very nice people we met. Also DO NOT MISS Steilneset Memorial in Vardo, Norway. Simply spectacular architecture and presence. The activities director and his staff were stellar. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Having had an aborted cruise in 2015 due a defective engine following a refit, this was our second attempt to see the Norwegian northern lights. The KH is not only a cruise ship but also a ferry calling at many small ports up & down ... Read More
Having had an aborted cruise in 2015 due a defective engine following a refit, this was our second attempt to see the Norwegian northern lights. The KH is not only a cruise ship but also a ferry calling at many small ports up & down the Norwegian coast. One of those ports on day 6 was Tromso where, while walking around the town, I slipped on some ice breakingmy ankle (tibia & fibular) and another bone in my leg. I then spent the next 4 days in Tromso hospital but was discharged in time to rejoin the KH on her return leg to Bergen. Despite being cabin bound (moving around on crutches on a ship is not a good idea) and the passenger services management & crew could not have been more helpful. Thanks go to Jackie, the senior customer relationship officer. Hence my experience of the cruise is/was unusual to say the least but I can say that my fellow passengers thoroughly enjoyed their time on board as did I. If I had a complaint it was that the cabin window was not too clean to start with and it did slightly obscure the superb views but a quite word with the senior officer responsible for many things including the cabins resulted in the window(s) being cleaned at the next port of call so one can't complain at that rapid service. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was my third hurtigruten voyage, others being finnmarken and midnatsol. I had a very noisy cabin which i complained about. I could see other empty cabins on the same deck on more than one occasion. Why wasn't i moved? I was free ... Read More
This was my third hurtigruten voyage, others being finnmarken and midnatsol. I had a very noisy cabin which i complained about. I could see other empty cabins on the same deck on more than one occasion. Why wasn't i moved? I was free wine by the restaurant manager on account of my lousy cabin which i declined. I made a request whilst on board. I repeated the request asking another member of the crew but still got no response. I then spoke to the hotel manager who agreed that what i was requesting was perfectly reasonable and not too difficult. I was not granted the request and no reason was given during the voyage. This was very poor customer service. I had asked for my mealtime to be changed and had to ask twice, i did not feel like asking a third time. This was eventually granted! I asked the tour leader covering reception if she could please do my online check in for my flight as there was no online access on board for passengers. Although it would have been outside of her remit she looked totally disinterested and i ended up later, asking another member of the reception team who was happy to oblige. The scenery as always is excellent, the shop on board was very good. After that it was all downhill! The food in the restaurant varied from okay to very average. Food on the ferries dfds and fjordline was fantastic compared to what was on offer here. Food on my previous voyages was excellent. Overall very poor customer service and a bad experience and have not been compensated for this. Read Less
82 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
I read many Hurtigruten reviews before my trip but they did not prepare me well for what to expect, so I wanted to provide some helpful tips and observations: Weather: I was on a 6 day north-bound cruise at the end of July, the height ... Read More
I read many Hurtigruten reviews before my trip but they did not prepare me well for what to expect, so I wanted to provide some helpful tips and observations: Weather: I was on a 6 day north-bound cruise at the end of July, the height of the Norwegian summer. It was cold (45-55 degrees F), windy, and sometimes rainy. Dress warmly, with down jackets, raincoats, hats, scarves, boots, and light gloves, especially if you want to spend time outside on the deck to see all of the beautiful scenery. Don’t be fooled by the photos on the Hurtigruten website showing sunny, blue skies. It rains an average of 230 days a year in Bergen, and the rest of the Norwegian west coast is mostly rainy and cloudy. We had two days of partial sun, which was lucky. Excursions: We took 3 excursions: Geiranger Fjord with Trollstigen Pass, Svartisen Glacier, and the bird watching safari near the North Cape. They were all excellent, with terrific guides, well-planned itineraries, and wonderful sights. They also get you off the ship for several hours for a nice change of pace. Caveat: do not book these excursions on line! They cost us $75 US more for each person by booking in advance. It is much less expensive to buy the excursions on the ship. Food and beverages: The food is excellent, with lots of variety, especially if you like seafood. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style, and two of the six dinners were also buffet. There were some cold cuts, but otherwise no meat is served. You must pay extra for all beverages served in the dining room, even the water, and beverages are very expensive. You can bring limited alcohol on board, but you can only drink this in your cabin. They are very strict about this! We tried to bring our own wine to dinner and they made us take it back to our cabin. Don’t buy the water package. You can drink the tap water from the sink in your cabin. It tastes fine and is highly regulated. Unless you are addicted to coffee, do not buy the coffee package. They serve free, unlimited coffee at breakfast. Cabins: Our cabin on the third floor was adequate and had sufficient space for two tall adults. We had two carry-on bags only, and there was plenty of storage room. The two narrow beds were comfortable, with good pillows and linens. The cabins on the fifth floor are about 4-5 feet shorter than those on the third floor and feel more cramped, with no space to store luggage. There are no private balconies on the Kong Harald. Seasickness: I am very prone to seasickness but I had no problem on this northbound trip. The first four days from Bergen to Tromso are in mostly protected waters and it was quite smooth. But the last day, from North Cape to Kirkenes, had seas 8-10 feet high, and the ship was in mostly high seas except when it came into port. If you get seasick, save your medicine for this part of the trip. Or better yet, just take a four day cruise from Bergen to Tromso. Activities: There are few things to do on this trip except eating, the excursions, and walking around in the few cities where they stop for more than 30 minutes (Trondheim and Tromso, which are beautiful). I did not get bored because I enjoy watching the scenery float by, some of which is magnificent, with waterfalls, picturesque fishing villages, and snowy mountains. Bring lots of books, cards, or board games. Internet: They claim to have wi-fi on the ship, but it doesn’t work. Out of 6 days, I only had a few minutes of internet connection at port before we left Bergen. Some of the hotels at the ports had free internet in the lobbies that we were allowed to use. Service: The excursion director, Anita, is fantastic. She speaks at least 4 languages fluently (English, Norwegian, French and German) and is very informative and helpful. The director of food service was unfriendly and strictly enforced the rules against bringing your own beverages to the restaurant. The maid service was problematic. The maid once came into my room when I was in the bathroom and continued to clean my room after I came out. I did not send her away because I was concerned she would not return to finish cleaning. Another time she opened the door without knocking while we were asleep. Children: This is not a good cruise for young children and I recommend against bringing them. They have a small indoor play area for kids, but nothing else is kid-friendly. Out of 600 or so passengers, there were only about 6 children under the age of 10 years. Summary: I highly recommend this cruise, but only for people with a sense of adventure who like to eat seafood and are prepared for the blustery conditions. The smoothest, prettiest and most interesting part is from Bergen to Tromso, so consider taking only a four day cruise instead of going all the way to Kirkenes. I would not want to take the 11-day cruise from Bergen, to Kirkenes and back again – it would be very boring stopping in all of the same places on the way back. This is not a luxury cruise, but who needs luxury when the scenery is so exquisite? Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We cruised with Hurtigruten from Tromso – Kirknes – Tromso amd we flew from Gatwick to Tromoso and picked the ship up from there, on our return we spent a night in the Radisson Blu and then flew back to Gatwick. I booked the trip ... Read More
We cruised with Hurtigruten from Tromso – Kirknes – Tromso amd we flew from Gatwick to Tromoso and picked the ship up from there, on our return we spent a night in the Radisson Blu and then flew back to Gatwick. I booked the trip direct with Hurtigruten and got a fantastic deal which included £200 off pp a wine package and 500kr pp on board spending. I opted for the unspecified inside cabin option and we got a fantastic cabin on deck 6, which was outside and had a great window. From the outset of our trip from the booking experience right through until arriving back at Gatwick we knew we were travelling with an excellent company, everything was organised. Our flight had been chartered by Hurtigruten, all we needed at check in was our passports. The flight was better than your average charter flight in that you actually had a movie, all of the staff were very friendly and eager to help. When we arrived at Tromso people were already in the airport looking for us and the buses were all there, we were through the airport and on the buses very quickly and away to the port. When we arrived at port the transfer staff stayed to assist people onto the ship and in some cases transferred luggage from the bus to the ship. Checking in on the ship was smooth and straightforward, you gave the check in staff your name and they already had your cruisecard ready and linked to the card you had used to book the trip. All of the shore excursions were managed excellently and Hurtigruten excursion people were in contact with the excursion companies to inform them of our arrival times etc. The excursion team on Kong Harald lead by Anita were truly brilliant, it was like having your Mum arranging all of your trips for you, the information was always available 24hrs/day and you didn’t have to think about it, you knew it would all be done for you. The food was stunningly good, I was expecting a lot of fish, given that they say the serve traditional Norwegian dishes, but no, we had reindeer, chicken, beef and the taste, presentation was five * standard, the serving staff were knowledgeable friendly and always smiling and helpful. When we left the ship, hurtigruten had booked us into the Radisson Blu hotel in Tromso, when we disembarked our luggage was transferred across to the hotel for us. Overall I would definitely recommend Hurtigruten to friends, they are a fabulous company and we loved the fact we were on a working ship.   Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2014
It's clear from the Hurtigruten website, as well as reviews, that this is a coastal ferry not a cruise liner. in my view this is a very well appointed ferry with comfortable seating in all lounges. Cabins are snug, but we had plenty ... Read More
It's clear from the Hurtigruten website, as well as reviews, that this is a coastal ferry not a cruise liner. in my view this is a very well appointed ferry with comfortable seating in all lounges. Cabins are snug, but we had plenty of room on our N category cabin on deck 3. Reception staff and tour manager are helpful. At no point were we unable to find a seat in the lounges. The food is variable: eggs at breakfast are often cold, and the evening meal could never be described as hot: more likely tepid ad portions are small. Having said that, the quality of the food is acceptable and at breakfast and lunch there is plenty of choice and free seating. Evening meals are fixed menu. I'm not keen on fish so ordered the vegetarian option in advance. Apart from one meal, the veggie options were fine. The one exception was when I had mashed potato with a side of boiled potatoes! Do take lots to do though, as there is a lot of time spent on the ship. We took cards, board games and lots of reading. The scenery is lovely but there are the odd rainy or windy days where it's not pleasant out on deck. There are little ceremonies when the Arctic Circle is crossed in either direction - a bit of fun. Shore excursions we really enjoyed were the taste of Vesteralen: stunning scenery, snow hotel in Kirkenes where you can also see the huskies and reindeer, and the North Cape - travelling in convoy with a snow plough at the front. . The only let-down was Hammerfest which isn't really much of a tour and I'd suggest you do your own thing. Polaria in Tromso is very small: don't expect a large exhibition. It's easy walking distance from the ship so you can do it independently. We'd done Arctic Cathedral on a previous visit to Tromso, but those who attended the midnight concert enjoyed it. In Svolvaer make time to visit Magic ice Sculptures and the SS WW2 museum - both only 5 mins walk from the ship. Alcohol is prohibitively expensive: the cheapest wine I saw on the menu was the equivalent of £38 per bottle. If I had one grip, it would be that you can't even get tap water at the evening meal. Unless you buy wine, your glasses are cleared off the table. Buying wine includes a free water bottle though. However the tap water in the cabin is drinkable and we took our own kettle, tea and coffee and powdered milk, which is a lot cheaper than the coffee deal for £36 over 11 days.   Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2010
The cruise was our ruby wedding present to us. We could not fault the service or organisation of the cruise. The breakfasts and lunches were to our taste and we found the evening dinner large enough after sampling several of the puddings ... Read More
The cruise was our ruby wedding present to us. We could not fault the service or organisation of the cruise. The breakfasts and lunches were to our taste and we found the evening dinner large enough after sampling several of the puddings at lunch. We were placed on second sitting for the evening meal and this we found was rather late at 8.30pm. However, the service was efficient. We found the frequent stops interesting in that if there was not enough time to walk around the port and surrounding area the loading and unloading of goods was fascinating. Unfortunately the high number of smokers was very unpleasant for non-smokers and for those of us who have breathing problems - caused by secondary smoking. The 'rules' of the ship clearly state that smoking on deck while in port was not allowed but this was ignored by the smokers and not enforced by the crew. The wine on board was very expensive and we did not use the 'coffee deal' as we do not drink much coffee. The scenery was superb and we were very lucky with the weather as it was clear and bright most days. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2008
We, 2 ladies of 42 and 72, embarked at Bergen on the Kong Harald. The choice of ship was determined by the sailing date most convenient to us rather than by any reasoned choice. I suspect the newer boats of the fleet are all very similar. ... Read More
We, 2 ladies of 42 and 72, embarked at Bergen on the Kong Harald. The choice of ship was determined by the sailing date most convenient to us rather than by any reasoned choice. I suspect the newer boats of the fleet are all very similar. The only bad part of the whole holiday was the check in at the Bergen terminal, situated in a bleak desert of port installations. We were able to check in our luggage at the airport for delivery to our cabins. We arrived on the airport bus at 1pm to be met by one woman who showed no interest in this group of travelers, merely telling us we could not check in until 4pm and our cabins would not be available until 6pm. We had to ask for a map of Bergen and then follow this to the city center (10 minutes away). We saw a tourist "train" and did that ride, which meant we saw all there was to see and we still had time to visit the Hanseatic Museum and wander round the market, before going to check in. Look at a weather forecast and take appropriate clothing; if there is food offered on the plane eat it as lunch because you will be appalled at the prices! There is plenty to eat in the market, particularly fish, fruit and cakes and that would be cheaper than a restaurant. We got our cabin at 6pm, on Deck 3 N grade. This seems to be the best option, outside with a good sized window, small, but perfectly adequate, with enough hanging space and drawers. The shower room is also small with basic toiletries. Everything was spotlessly clean and serviced each day. The temperature control was efficient, the beds comfortable. One folded up to make a settee. The first night was an open buffet, dinner is usually in 2 sittings with a set menu. We were able to change our sitting and also ensure my daughter's dietary problem was dealt with. Throughout the food was plentiful; breakfast had everything anyone could want; cold meats, cheese, eggs, sausages, fruit, cereals etc. etc. Lunch was always a cold buffet, again plentiful, with a "hot " option, fresh fruit and mousse type desserts. The dinners were 3 courses, soup, meat or fish and vegetables and a dessert. These helpings were not large and some men were a bit disgruntled. The service was slow and sometimes the food had got lukewarm by the time it arrived. The solution is to eat well at lunch time! On the first evening we were invited to an information session (in English) that went on, and on.. but did put us well in the picture. It was given by the Tour Manager who is crucial to your enjoyment as she organizes everything apart from the "hotel" services and the actual sailing of the boat. We were invited to buy a coffee mug that we could fill 24 hours a day free of charge. Unless you need constant coffee don't bother as there is coffee and tea at all 3 meals. There is also a 24 hour cafe for the odd (small) cup if you want one at a cost of about £1.80 Also think hard about the bottled water deal; this is pricey when you can drink tap water safely and fill your own bottles. Alcohol is horrendously pricey, so if you must drink then you need to look at the wine deal, but most people followed the example of the Norwegians and stuck to jugs of tap water which were willingly provided. The brochure makes clear this is not a traditional cruise ship,and there isn't much to do except watch the scenery. There is TV mostly in Norwegian, but also CNN, in the lounges, and some light music in the evenings and a VERY small library. Each cabin has blankets for sitting on deck; we had one wonderful evening watching the ship go through a narrow fjord then out to a tremendous sun set and rainbow. The full cruise is not a holiday for small children who will soon be fed up of the basic games facilities; perhaps just 1 or 2 nights on board would be an adventure. Because of this you need to be clear whether this is the holiday for you and study the excursions carefully. It is cheaper to buy them in advance at the time of booking the holiday 'tho' extra ones will be advertised on board. It is possible to be self-reliant in the larger towns, eg Trondheim or Tromso, but the length of stay is limited and you will see more on the organized excursions where a coach will whisk you from one site to the next, making a tour of the city while doing so. Some of the excursions deliver you back to a different port so that you have been able to see more of the scenery. If you are ashore at a mealtime you are fed so you don't miss out! These excursions add to the cost of the holiday but are well organized and designed to show you as much as possible. Guiding is professional and in English. You may be in a group that also has another language but the guides are proficient in both and you get to meet new people. We went to a Viking feast on the Lofoten Islands and were the only Brits. The Germans insisted in looking after us and were thereafter people we talked to and sat with. Each day you can pick-up a detailed itinerary (in English) which helps you plan your time. The boat runs to a strict timetable and does not wait for anyone, as one person found out! We had a wonderful holiday; even so we were both glad we were only taking the one-way trip. The food was getting monotonous and we had read all our books so sitting on deck was less and less enticing. We saw a rich variety of scenery, wild life and ways of life; we met people from all walks of life and from all corners of the world, including the indigenous Sami family who welcomed us to their town and showed us their traditional lifestyle they are trying hard to maintain and pass-on while earning a living in the modern world. We admired those who live in Northern Norway and realized that Tourism is as valid an industry as any other in its contribution to GNP. Norway takes tourism seriously and has pride in offering a good service. This particular holiday requires efficient organization and strict timing; we got both. But perhaps a little humor occasionally would lighten the atmosphere. We ended up in Oslo for a very short stay which made us want to go back! Our rosy view may be partly influenced by the lovely weather we experienced; sitting watching rain might get boring! Read Less
Kong Harald Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.6
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 2.0 2.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.0
Family 1.0 3.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.5
Enrichment 5.0 4.0
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.6

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