Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Hurtigruten

3.8 | Great
  • 88% Recommend
Service Level
  • Standard
Type
  • Regional Expert
Established
  • 1893
Headquarters
  • Tromsø, Norway
Trips
  • 17

8
Hurtigruten Reviews & Ratings 88% Recommend

3.8 out of 5
Excellent 3 Great 3 Average 0 Disappointing 1 Terrible 1
Value:
3.8 Guide:
3.3 Activities:
3.8 Lodging:
3.5 Transportation:
3.8 Meals:
3.8

Tour Reviews

C

Recommends

Great Time with Grandfather July 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 3.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I technically took the abbreviated version of this exact cruise a few years back, essentially a one-way trip through the Fjords starting in Bergen and going up to Kirkenes on the Russian border. It was a graduation present from my grandfather, and we took the trip together. He is not the most mobile of travelers, and a cruise was a great compromise for us. I loved being able to talk and read with him on the many rocking chairs looking out the ship's walls, and it was helpful to get the occasional reminder from the Captain about the feature we were passing. We got a solid feel for Norway's coastline and culture from watching attentively from the boat, and also getting off at the majority of the daytime stops. We took part in a bunch of the optional activities (which we booked right beforehand, there was no trouble with that) and there were plenty of options we both liked. One my favorites was seeing a Sami settlement, learning about their culture and how they farm reindeer. The bus ride that took us from the boat to the Sami was also incredible -- the landscape had totally changed, we saw the rows and rows of fish racks, and we even saw wild reindeer run past! The optional activities also meant that when I wanted to take a hike one day, I could go and my grandfather could do whatever he wanted, and we'd see each other in a couple of hours.

A couple of other things that made this trip for us: the food and the ship itself. The ship's room was definitely close quarters, but my grandfather is a big man and we still had no trouble with anything. The entire ship is handicap accessible, and there is a gym and a hot tub I utilized multiple times! Most importantly: the food. My grandpa is a HUGE foodie and an adventurous eater, and that was definitely his primary concern, and we were both satisfied with the quality of the food. We both felt there was a good balance between having good food, and having enough classical Norwegian food. Plus, if you feel like getting fancy, there is a separate restaurant on the ship that is an extra fee.

The only reason I give "guide" a lower rating is because we weren't really guided for much of the ship, only during the optional excursions and the occasional information from the captain.
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C

Recommends

One of the world's most beautiful voyages January 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 3.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The Hurtigruten, which travels the coast of Norway north from Bergen beyond the Arctic Circle almost to Russia, is nothing short of gorgeous. You get to stop in big cities/towns like Tromso and Trondheim, but also in little villages,including one known as the farthest north in Europe. You also get to cruise down some beautiful fjords. One of the best features is that the ships double as cargo carriers along with passengers, so at every stop you can watch the crew load and unload the supplies that keep these far-north villages going all year round. (The summer trips are almost all 24-hour daylight, while the winter trips are mostly in darkness.) There's nothing fancy about these ships, and the food isn't as memorable as on some other ships, but the experience is hard to top. Hurtigruten has expanded beyond Norway, too, but I haven't taken any of their other trips.
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h

Recommends

To the High Arctic on the MV Fram June 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Before we began the cruise, we spent three days in an apartment in Reykjavik. I would recommend a stay in Iceland to anyone cruising in that part of the world. Iceland is beautiful in a wild and unique way.

MV Fram, built by Hurtigruten in 2007 especially for cruising the polar regions, is a wonderful ship. According to Hurtigruten, it carries 318 passengers, but we were told the ship was full on this voyage with 227. The average age of passengers was typical for an expedition-type cruise, i.e., younger than on large ships. There were two or three people with physical handicaps (one in a wheelchair) and a number of children. Eighty to ninety percent of the passengers were Scandinavians (93 Norwegians) and Germans. There were only four Americans aboard, along with a handful of people from other English-speaking countries. The official language of the voyage was English.

Check-in on the ship in Reykjavik was chaotic. Help with luggage was available upon request; otherwise everyone managed their own bags. As on more traditional cruises, a cruise card was used for all purchases aboard. There was a small gift shop with clothing appropriate for the voyage, along with some souvenir items and toiletries. Alcohol, soft drinks, and premium coffees could be purchased. Shore excursions were included in the cruise price, and all passengers were given windbreakers as a memento of the voyage.

There were two dinner seatings with assigned tables, but due to the nature of the trip, all but two nights were buffets with open seating. The food was Scandinavian, meaning good fresh fish (such as salmon) at dinner, and smoked or marinated fish as a choice at every buffet. Besides the fish and excellent desserts, the food was uninspired, to say the least. Vegetarians, diabetics, and people with gluten intolerance were provided for. A snack bar with complimentary coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cookies, and small sandwiches was open 24/7. There was no room service.

The cruise itself was an unforgettable experience. After one sea day we reached Jan Mayen Island, a tiny Norwegian outpost 370 miles NE of Iceland. It is inhabited only by fourteen hardy souls who run the weather station there. There is no harbor, no regular air service, and no tourist facilities. The only visitors are the occasional yachts that anchor there. The Fram was the first cruise ship to call there. Our landing was made on a rocky beach from "Polarcirkel" boats (similar to Zodiacs), and required waterproof boots. Jan Mayen is a wild, desolate place with essentially no vegetation. The perfectly shaped volcano last erupted in the 1970's, and the whole island consists of lava rock. The weather was relatively mild, with calm seas and temperatures in the forties. While we were ashore the volcano was obscured by clouds, but later that night the midnight sun appeared and illuminated the snow-covered peak with its glaciers. As if on cue, three Minke whales also appeared.

After another sea day we arrived at Spitsbergen, where our first stop was to be Longyearbyen, the largest settlement in the Svalbard archipelago. As luck would have it, an ice-field totally filled the Isfjorden. The Fram is designed to break through such ice floes, but progress was so slow that after two hours the captain made the decision to cancel that stop and head north. Standing on the bow (fully covered with wind-proof pants, jacket, hood, boots, and heavy long-johns) watching our laborious progress through the ice, I felt a long, long way from home. We saw many birds taking advantage of the shifting ice floes: puffins, guillemots, auks, fulmars, gulls, and arctic terns.

Our trip north along the west coast of Spitsbergen took us past an incredible landscape of mountains, glaciers and blue skies.

The next morning we stopped for a guided tour of Ny Alesund, a small settlement made up of scientists from different countries doing various polar research projects. Cruise ships and yachts do stop there, but there are no facilities except a small gift shop and a museum. Ny Alesund used to be a mining town, and most of the buildings are remodeled houses from that era.

Later that day we made a landing at the beach in beautiful Magdalena Fjord, where blubber ovens were still visible from the days when whaling ships used this natural harbor (ice-free year round due to the Gulf Stream) as headquarters for their activities in this part of the world. While leaving Magdalena Fjord we saw our only polar bears of the trip, unfortunately far in the distance. It was a mother and cub.

After midnight that night (still bright sunlight) we reached Moffin Island off the north coast of Spitsbergen. It's a walrus preserve, so we were not allowed to go ashore but could see the walrus colony quite clearly.

There were other wonderful experiences sailing through the many fjords and past the countless glaciers and bird nesting cliffs of Spitsbergen. Days and nights were spent watching the scenery and profiting from the excellent lectures and slide shows of the scientists aboard the ship. Among them were five Ph.D.s in such fields as Geology, Glaciology, and Ornithology. All were experts on the polar regions and also gave talks on the history of polar expeditions, animals of the Arctic, and the like.

There was no nightly entertainment per se, just a pianist in the lounge, and a couple of events such as a crew talent show. In addition, all passengers were taken on a tour of the Bridge.

The voyage ended on a dramatic note with another passage through the ice-field in the Isfjorden to get to our final destination, Longyearbyen. It took all of the last day, so the scheduled landing had to be cancelled. But the ship's breaking through the ice was such an exhilarating experience that it was worth it.

We had a few hours in Longyearbyen before our flight to Oslo (included in the cruise fare). The settlement has a history of coal mining and other attempts at making a profitable permanent town here, including many international disputes over sovereignty, especially between Norway and Russia.

The Fram is a beautiful small ship, nicely appointed with a large observation lounge, lecture rooms, attractive public areas, a fitness room, two on-deck hot

tubs, and interesting art work. Our cabin was tiny but acceptable. The service was impeccable and friendly, although with mostly open seating we didn't have much personal interaction with the dining room staff.

The Expedition Team was fantastic, comprised of exceedingly competent and knowledgeable men and women.

All in all, this was an incredible cruise for someone who wants to get way off the beaten path. A memorable experience all around.
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From Hurtigruten

The coastline between Bergen and Kirkenes is over 1,490 miles long, and in the 19th Century almost all of it was home to rich fishing grounds. The maritime maps were unreliable and there were only a few lighthouses, especially in the north. This important seaway was lined with perilous reefs, small islands and narrow inlets, and it was essential that a safe trade route be established to link the southern and northern regions of Norway.

When the Norwegian government decided to create a connection between the north and the south, Richard With and his friend Anders Holthe took on the challenge of thoroughly mapping the seas along the coastline. In 1893, Captain Richard With’s steamer, DS Vesteraalen, was brought into regular service along the coast of Norway, and Hurtigruten was established. The service offered several weekly departures, first from Trondheim to Hammerfest and later from Bergen to Kirkenes in only seven days. He called this important connection ‘Hurtigruten’ (the fast route).

120 years later, we still carry freight and passengers. Our captains use their extensive maritime expertise to ensure that guests and goods are safely carried from port to port. Today, as then, the Hurtigruten ships are a part of Norwegian coastal life. One of the fleet’s 11 ships departs Bergen daily, sailing to Kirkenes and back in 12 days at an average speed of 15 knots.

Hurtigruten's Ships

Hurtigruten ships have been a staple along the Norwegian coast since 1893. The current fleet consists of classic ships, ships built in the late nineties, and ships built after the millennium.

MS Fram:

Many boast of their “ultimate” expedition ships. But none, save the MS Fram, contains two critical features which deliver adventure in a more safe and comfortable way. MS Fram is a purpose-build expedition ship built especially for comfortable Explorer voyages, with emphasis on relaxation and discovery.

MS Fram was built in 2007 with one mission in mind - to bring her guests closer to nature, wildlife and unforgettable experiences. As well as offering numerous lounges in which to relax, our more active guests can use our well-equipped gym. Meanwhile, on deck, our Jacuzzis guarantee you surreal memories when passing the towering icebergs of Antarctica or Greenland.

Associations:

Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, Reisegarantifondet, International Air Transport Association

Awards:

Trips & Specials

Black Friday Offer: Save up to 50% on Last Minute Voyages to Antarctica. Book by December 4th!

Spitsbergen Price Guarantee: Book a 6 day Spitsbergen & Polar Bear Arctic Adventure on MS Nordstjernen with our Guarantee Price Offer (June to August 2015)

Greenland - Guarantee Price Offer: Book a Greenland voyage with our Guarantee Price Offer, choose an Inside Cabin, Outside Cabin or Suite at a fixed rate and receive the best available cabin on the day your voyage departs.

Excursions Package Offer: Throughout our voyages you have the opportunity to take part in the many excursions we offer, allowing you to get even closer to  theNorwegian culture, wildlife and landscape. We've put togehter four of our most popular excursions each season to buy as a package. If you book one of the packages, you'll receive on board credit to spend on your voyage.

15 days
Small Ship Cruise
Comfort (4*)
Physical :
From: $ 9,684

Highlights

  • Experience Canada and Greenland in the same expedition
  • Learn more about the people living in the area
  • See archaeological remains and learn about Viking history
  • Exciting excursions
More
15 days
Small Ship Cruise
Comfort (4*)
Physical :
From: $ 8,207

Highlights

  • Explore several of the isles and islands in the North Atlantic Ocean
  • Sail in the wake of the Vikings
  • Learn more about Viking history and heritage
  • Exciting excursions, both with and without a Viking theme
More
13 days
Small Ship Cruise
Comfort (4*)
Physical :
From: $ 6,531

Highlights

  • See a number of large fjord systems in Greenland and on Spitsbergen
  • Visit Greenland, Jan Mayen, Iceland and Spitsbergen in the same journey
  • See the wildlife in the Arctic
  • Enjoy an expedition under the midnight sun
More
15 days
Small Ship Cruise
Comfort (4*)
Physical :
From: $ 1,680

Highlights

  • On board lectures by our Expedition team on destinations and wildlife along the route
  • Excursions to cities, cultural and historical places, and the South American wilderness
  • Prolong you stay in Montevideo after disembarkation
More
 

See All Hurtigruten Trips >

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