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Posts posted by hallasm

  1. I have not sailed with MS Spitsbergen and the answer may depend on the destination, but I have never experienced music or noise in the explorer lounge on a Hurtigruten ship - most people enjoy the view or read a book.  I will not be nervous about booking a U2D cabin on deck 6.
    I do not know if it is a ‘European trip’ or if your trip goes to Svalbard, it is not certain that you will get to bed early - one of the attractions if going north is either the midnight sun or northern lights. I enjoy sitting in the explorer lounge at 01am and watching the landscape pasning by in the midnight sun or waiting for the northern lights in the evenings.

    Please let us know the itinerary.

  2. 56 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

    specifically the 10- and 11-day Norwegian coastal R/T, at certain times of the year.

    Hurtigruten also offer the ‘Northern Lights Promise’ as expedition cruises from Dover and Hamburg - pretty good chances for Northern Lights - in particular in January to March - where better chances for clear skies.
    Still the compensation is only a “6 or 7 days Classic Voyage in an unspecified inside twin cabin on a full board basis. A choice of departure dates will be given. Offer excludes flights, transfers, all on board expenses, excursions, luggage handling.”

  3. Best option is Northern Norway or Iceland - several cruise lines are offering northern Lights cruises along the Norwegian coast at locations as Lofoten, Tromsø, Alta,  Andenes or Honningsvåg.

    Northern Lights are visible from September through March when dark and clear skies.

    One option is Hurtigruten - either the traditional Coastal Voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes or expedition cruise from Dover. 

    Here is a link to my last Hurtigruten Northern Lights Voyage



  4. 30 minutes ago, wowzz said:

    Does that really happen these days? 

    No passport stamps - we will see a new system put in place for travelers who currently do not require a visa to enter Europe - The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is being implemented by the European Union - scheduled to become available late 2022. 
    Also passport must be valid for at least 6 months when entering the Schengen area.

  5. 7 minutes ago, gerryuk said:

    don't think it matters if you get off the ship or stay on, when in ports of another country. Officials board the ship in each country you visit and stamp your passport. If your cruise is around Europe for 14 days then you will have spent 14 days out of your 90. Don't think getting on or off the ship matters.

    Correct - if all ports are in Schengen Area you’ll be in Schengen for the entire cruise.

  6. 39 minutes ago, sjde said:

    I thought winter was the time to go to see the Northern lights?

    Solar storms occur at all times of the year and at all times of the day, but to see the Northern Lights, it must be dark and clear skies.

    However January to March are probably the three most popular months for Aurora hunting because they bring long dark nights and of the clear skies.

    Spring and autumn Equinoxes (around 20 March and 20 September) is told to have greater chances for Northern Lights, not because there are more solar activities during this period, but due to the Earth's angle relative to the Sun the magnetic field does not protect the Earth quite as well.

    Keep an eye on the lunar phases, when the Moon is full, it will be difficult to watch the Northern Lights. A Review of a Hurtigruten Northern Lights voyage.

  7. 32 minutes ago, capriccio said:

    think that Norway established some new and stringent rules on what type of ship could sail the fjords and you don't want to miss that scenery!

    Excellent point - not all ships are allowed into the heritage fjords today  (depending on age) - originally from 2026 only electronic propulsion will be allowed in the fjords - might be postponed to 2030.

  8. We went with Royal Caribbean for a Norwegian Fjords Cruise from Copenhagen (also possible from Southampton) We have also done the Norwegian Coast from Bergen to Kirkenes with Hurtigruten. 
    Hurtigruten from Bergen to Kirkenes is a coastal passenger and cargo service with 34 ports along the route in six days - they do also offer Norwegian Fjords expedition cruises from Dover (and possibly from Bergen post COVID-19). Summer for Midnight Sun and Winter for Northern Lights.

  9. 7 hours ago, mpdog42 said:

    Can you see the northern lights in May?

    No chances in May
    At no time is it possible to see the northern lights in Copenhagen.  You have to go much further north - within the Arctic Circle.  
    Northern Norway and Iceland are good opportunities, but it is too bright at night in May. 
    The Northern Lights can be seen near dark from September to early April

    I have a blog with one of my ‘Northern Lights cruises’ in Norway


  10. Jewel of the Seas is currently scheduled for sailings from Copenhagen from May. My best guess is that travel restrictions for entry into Denmark will still be imposed by May and June  - it will probably not be possible to enter without restrictions as for example quarantine.

    However much can change but I sense it might not be to the better.


  11. Currently no travel into Norway allowed. Not likely for March or April.

    Norway has introduced the strictest entry rules since March 2020. As a general rule, only foreigners residing in Norway can enter Norway. The government will re-assess whether to extend the measures Monday 15 February.

    My best guess is that travel restrictions will be extended into at least May.

  12. 54 minutes ago, Mcnicm20 said:

    Evidently this sailing is not cancelled yet.

    If you’re booked at a current coastal sailing it will probably not be cancelled - currently Hurtigruten is serving five out of eleven sailings until end of June.

    The reason for sailing is primarily to serve passengers, cars and goods along the coast.

    More unlikely that you’re are able to travel into Norway and join your voyage - when and which ship?

  13. 8 hours ago, GottaKnowWhen said:

    my questions which are a) is my itinerary in 2022 still going to sail? b) if you switch to a ship with smaller cabins, what compensation might I receive? c) will you please send me a full refund?

    The problem is that they, like other companies in the leisure industry, lack the capacity to answer the many inquiries and that they certainly do not currently know the answers to your questions.


    Right now,  Hurtigruten sails with 5 out of 11 departures on the coastal route - hardly because there are many guests but because they are obliged to operate the route with local passengers, cars and goods.

    Expeditions' voyages from Bergen are primarily targeted at foreign tourists and when Norway will again allow overseas tourists without quarantine is an open question.  The pandemic is under control in Norway but vaccinations are very slow.


    You were originally booked on MS Otto Svendrup.  It seems that she is now sailing from Hamburg.  The alternative might be MS Trollfjord - the same size ship and in fact larger cabins.  I do not know which cabin category you have ordered - cabins on Hurtigruten's individual ships are generally quite different. 


     You can request a refund from this link https://www.hurtigruten.com/contact-us/feedback/

  14. I have not visited Iceland by ship but been in Iceland several times. 
    Iceland is primarily nature experiences - a diverse and distinctive nature.  It often requires long driving distances.

    Golden Circle with Thingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss is a must - and then there is the thermal bath the Blue Lagoon. In addition many other beautiful places.
    Personally, I would choose a Scandinavian Cruise - Norwegian fjords or Baltic Sea with St Petersburg from, for example, Copenhagen or Southampton.
    Fly Icelandair via Keflavik to either Copenhagen or Southampton and make a stop over in Reykjavik on the way out or the return trip - rent a car and arrange a round trip - a trip along the coast of Iceland will require 6 to 8 days but it is possible to see most of the important sights in Iceland with 4 nights.

  15. 1 hour ago, GottaKnowWhen said:

    Our booking is supposed to be on MS Otto Sverdrup for 27 March 2022 Bergen-North Cape - Bergen White Winter Expedition.

    in March 2022 MS Otto Sverdrup is scheduled for Norwegian Coast voyages out of Hamburg. Cannot find any of the original planned Expedition voyages out of Bergen

  16. I checked their Norwegian website and it is somewhat deficient regarding expedition voyages with MS Trollfjord from Bergen.  
    Immediately, all expedition voyages from Bergen are canceled until September 21, 2021 but then absolutely no information.  
    And there are certainly far fewer employees at work answering emails.

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