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Tiffinian
August 16th, 2009, 12:43 AM
I am considering a cruise along the coast of Norway in October or November on Hurtigruten. Itís seven days going north, and six days going south. It stops in the same 34 ports both directions, but daytime ports one direction become nighttime ports the other direction. So is one direction better?

Is there any advantage to taking a smaller ship, like getting closer to the shore for the scenery? Is there a disadvantage with a greater chance of seasickness or some other reason?

I would like to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). What are the chances of seeing them on a six day cruise in October or November? My research says itís not guaranteed, but is it 10% or 90%?

Thanks.

glgolfer
August 16th, 2009, 09:06 AM
We did the round trip in May/June on the Midnatsol. No problem with seasickness.
Here's our review of the trip:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=189561&highlight=hurtigruten

I'll try to answer any questions.

ourdreamhouse
August 17th, 2009, 10:30 AM
My understanding - not verified by personal experience - is that the ships do NOT stop in the same ports on the northbound trip as on the southbound. If you complete the entire round trip (north- and south-bound), you will stop in every port.

gaelsail
August 17th, 2009, 10:53 AM
My understanding - not verified by personal experience - is that the ships do NOT stop in the same ports on the northbound trip as on the southbound. If you complete the entire round trip (north- and south-bound), you will stop in every port.
The ships do stop in all ports north and south- those that you visit during the night on the way north; you visit during the day on the way south.

The schedules and timetables are available on any of the Hurtigruten websites. All the ships do the same journey.

You'll find lots of information in this forum if you do a search for Hurtigruten. Of course there is no guarantee of the northern lights. We only caught a short glimpse on the sailing we took but the ship leaving the day before us had 3 nights of spectacular shows.

glgolfer
August 18th, 2009, 09:18 PM
They stop at the same ports each way any where from 15 minutes to 6 hours. The ones during the day one way are at night coming back. We did the round trip and that is the way it is. There are more things to do going north than coming back south.

If you haven't read my review, please do so.

Mjollnir
August 21st, 2009, 01:00 AM
My wife and I are leaving on the Finnmarken in mid November. Folks on. this board have helped us as fiirst time Norwegian coast cruisers in search of a Northern Lights Sighting:They Are:

1. Enjoy the trip, don't let the Northern Lights become the sole focus of your holiday. There are
2. Watch the Moon Schede a number of comments that were targetted on the aurora say that the fuller th moon, the lower the chance. A good website for this http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?month=11&year=2009&obj=sun&afl=-11&day=1&n=290

3. Experience Bergen, take the trip there by train from Oslo

4. Most importantly.. these are not cruise ships. They are like ferries, maybe because that is what they are.

5. Dress in Layers

Jon

Voith-Schneider
August 24th, 2009, 10:39 PM
Concerning Aurora Borealis check these links:

http://www.tgo.uit.no/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AoIBt-zgn0

http://www.spaceweather.com/

Mind you that also the weather (on earth) has to be right.

Here a link to handful of video clips on a trip aboard Richard With in February 1994:

http://ships.galutschek.at/richard_with/

laceytreigh
August 25th, 2009, 02:28 AM
glgolfer, hi! I read your review and looked at your photos. I thought both were great. I would love to visit Norway, hopefully seeing the Northern Lights. One day.......

Hydrokitty
August 28th, 2009, 06:37 PM
glgolfer: What a find! I have become obsessed with the Northern Lights, having chased them to Iceland and failed, Norway is my next stop! I can't explain it, I just MUST see them, I have been intrigued with them since childhood. anyway, pictures were wonderful and have given me a lot of insight into taking this tour. We would be going with Vantage, as we've done quite a few trips with them and are pleased with the value they offer. A couple of questions:

1. I noticed a lot of snow and white caps....I'm a veteran water rat so that's nothing, but didn't you say you went in Spring???!!!! I'm planning to go in February since that's when optimal viewing for AB is. Has anyone gone this time of year? If so, DID YOU SEE THEM?

It sounds looks like the ships are quite a bit larger than I expected. Did you have any input into your meal times? Also, you mentioned there was no choice in entree....do they have a "default" dish for those of us who cannot eat fish? This could be a serious problem for me.....I'd have to bring a boatload of epipens!!!

Can't wait to hear from you and thanks so much for the wonderful diary and pictures.

Judy

uppitycats
August 28th, 2009, 07:31 PM
glgolfer: What a find! I have become obsessed with the Northern Lights, having chased them to Iceland and failed, Norway is my next stop! I can't explain it, I just MUST see them, I have been intrigued with them since childhood. anyway, pictures were wonderful and have given me a lot of insight into taking this tour. We would be going with Vantage, as we've done quite a few trips with them and are pleased with the value they offer. A couple of questions:

1. I noticed a lot of snow and white caps....I'm a veteran water rat so that's nothing, but didn't you say you went in Spring???!!!! I'm planning to go in February since that's when optimal viewing for AB is. Has anyone gone this time of year? If so, DID YOU SEE THEM?

It sounds looks like the ships are quite a bit larger than I expected. Did you have any input into your meal times? Also, you mentioned there was no choice in entree....do they have a "default" dish for those of us who cannot eat fish? This could be a serious problem for me.....I'd have to bring a boatload of epipens!!!

Can't wait to hear from you and thanks so much for the wonderful diary and pictures.

Judy

I do hope you know that it is going to be COLD in February, on the ship! Not inside, of course, but COLD. They don't call them the "northern lights" for nothing -- they're best seen in winter. So be prepared to be cold!

And no, there is no "default" dish, and if you are allergic to fish, you'd better be medically prepared, as fish is a very common food in Norway, and in that part of the world. Fish in one form or another is available at almost every meal.

We're going on a Hurtigruten cruise in April, 2010..and it'll still be cold, then! :)

glgolfer
August 29th, 2009, 01:24 AM
Actually there are "default" dishes, you just have to pay for them. There is also a pay cafe with sandwiches, salads, etc.

Now, as we can eat anything, we have no problem. In your case, I would contact Hurtigruten and explain your allergy problem and see what, if anything, they can do for you. I would bet they will work with you.

There were many choices for breakfast and lunch other than fish.

Hope this helps.

uppitycats
August 29th, 2009, 07:36 AM
Certainly there is other food than fish. But if the poster is so very allergic to fish that they have to carry epipens, they need to know that fish appears on all the buffets, and has been in contact probably with most of the dinnerware, and there may well be cross-contamination.

Hydrokitty
August 29th, 2009, 03:13 PM
Certainly there is other food than fish. But if the poster is so very allergic to fish that they have to carry epipens, they need to know that fish appears on all the buffets, and has been in contact probably with most of the dinnerware, and there may well be cross-contamination.


Thank you for your concern...I have eaten in restaurants and never had a problem. However, if I ingest it, I react rather violently and while I haven't had to use the epipen, I have been advised to carry one when we're cruising since medical help is not readily available. I've been to Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan and never had a problem. Most restaurants and cruises will work with someone and provide a basic broiled chicken substitute. As long as I can buy stuff at the cafe, I'll be ok.

And, yes uppity cats (I have two of them) I know it will be cold. I went to Iceland to see them and that was cold too, although not as cold as one would expect. I don't mind cold, especially if I can see the lights.:D

glgolfer
August 30th, 2009, 12:26 AM
I would call them and explain the situation. I'm sure they will work with you. The only time you would have a problem with choices is the evening meal. Breakfast and lunch have many choices other than fish.
And, don't forget the beans for breakfast.:D

Hydrokitty
August 30th, 2009, 04:21 PM
How could one EVER forget beans for breakfast!! :D:D:D

I will call them and I am sure all will work out. I actually seem to recall another post I saw somewhere who said they were very good in accommodating her allergies, so I have no doubt they will work with me. I'm not fussy....a bowl of pasta with sauce will do me fine!

glgolfer
August 30th, 2009, 08:07 PM
You've been to Europe and know good chocolate. The 24 hour cafe has the good chocolate for sale.

Remember to take your own antibiotic ointments like Bactine and triple antibiotic, etc. as you need a prescription in Norway. You can not get them over the counter like you can here.

We arrived on 18 May for 17 days. Once above the Arctic Circle, we had daylight 24 hours.

Hydrokitty
August 31st, 2009, 12:39 PM
You've been to Europe and know good chocolate. The 24 hour cafe has the good chocolate for sale.

Remember to take your own antibiotic ointments like Bactine and triple antibiotic, etc. as you need a prescription in Norway. You can not get them over the counter like you can here.

We arrived on 18 May for 17 days. Once above the Arctic Circle, we had daylight 24 hours.

Ok, the meal issue is settled.....chocolate it is! I always bring my own bacitracin when we travel just for that reason. I also bring antacid; anti-diarrheal; am and pm cold tabs and band-aids (I'm a nurse, can you tell)

I'm looking to go in Feb. so we should have 24 hours of darkness....better to see the Northern Lights:D

glgolfer
September 1st, 2009, 01:43 AM
Good luck on seeing the Northern Lights. I hope everything works out for you. Don't forget to adopt a troll and bring one home.;)

Hydrokitty
September 1st, 2009, 04:47 PM
Will do!!! and many thanks for the help and advice.:D:D

CT Granny
September 8th, 2009, 05:08 PM
When you sign up for your dinner seating, explain to the Head Waitress what your food restrictions are. You will be accomodated with more than just a plate of pasta. They are used to dealing with all kinds of dietary restrictions. If the chef has any questions, he will speak with you personally.

Barbara

janetcbl
September 8th, 2009, 11:01 PM
Just returned from a great Hurtigruten 12 day trip. I ,too, have a severe allergy problem and discussed it with the head of staff who promised a substitution. At the very next dinner I was served an item containing the problem ingredient! When I pointed this out, the waiter was most was most apologetic and corrected the problem. So, the answer is yes, the do make substitutions, but monitor the situation very carefully yourself. Breakfast and lunch buffets were terrific; dinners only fair. The scenery and adventures were incredible, and that was the reason for going on the voyage; the food was less important for us.

Wendy The Wanderer
September 10th, 2009, 11:40 AM
I'm not sure I would feel safe on these ships if I had a severe fish/seafood allergy. I've not been, but have been to Norway, and they sure eat a lot of fish!