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kiwigirl

Just returned - Bergen - Kirkenes - Bergen

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We just returned from our Norwegian Coastal cruise on the Trollfjord. We had great weather....only rain we had was the last 2 days of the cruise.

 

If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to try and answer them. We did excursions almost every day except 2 maybe.

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Did you book your excursions before or after you boarded? What was some of your favorite excursions or were there any that you wouldn't bother to do? Also, any other tips for first time Hurtigruten sailers would be great!

 

We are booked on the Polarys next March and are looking forward to a cold but exciting trip.

 

 

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We're thinking of doing this same cruise next March in hopes of seeing the Aurora. We'll pack for cold weather. How long were you in ports that had excursions? Did the ship do a lot short dockings to take on or let off cars and passengers?

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Did you book your excursions before or after you boarded? What was some of your favorite excursions or were there any that you wouldn't bother to do? Also, any other tips for first time Hurtigruten sailers would be great!

 

We are booked on the Polarys next March and are looking forward to a cold but exciting trip.

 

We did book all of excursions prior to the cruise. We were traveling with my in-laws. We did the Geiranger with Trollstigen Pass. This was about a 7.5 bus ride that included a couple of stops, with one being a little snack and then a dinner in Molde just before getting back on the ship. This was an impressive drive along the mountainside. Beautiful views of waterfalls and landscape.

 

My husband did the river kayak in Trondheim. He said it was marked as a level 4 but said it was more like a 2 at the most. I don't know if this changes based on the time of year.

 

He and his sister did the SAMI Culture in Kjollefjord. They enjoyed it. This one was in the late afternoon and was during our dinner. People who had the early dining time (6:30) were able to go to the second seating when they got back from the excursion.

 

We all did the Russian Border in Kirkenes. The gentleman we had as the guide was very good, but spoke fast. He did the whole tour in English and German (I believe), so it was hard to keep track some times. In all honesty, I wasn't that impressed with the border. It's a drive through the town, stop at a bunker to see a short video and then to the border. There isn't a lot to see and just a very small souvenir hut.

 

We did the Breakfast at the North Cape. This is very early (5:30am) but we were very lucky and had clear skies with no rain or fog. It was very windy once we got there but no rain. If you do this, I would go right to the breakfast and eat first. Everyone from the buses went right outside. The breakfast area is very small. We ate first while it was empty and watched everyone outside. By the time they all came inside, we were done and went outside and it was empty....no fighting the crowds in either area. Also, be aware that the breakfast isn't anything special (at least in my opinion). It was the same as what was served in our hotel in Oslo.

 

 

My husband and in-laws did the Midnight Concert in Tromso. They said the music was beautiful but you are not allowed to take photographs inside the cathedral.

 

 

We also did the Bronnoysund Village Walk. This was about an hour and it was a nice, leisurely stroll through the town.

 

We did the Atlantic Road but unfortunately this was the only day that we had rain. This excursion is done during dinner so you won't be in the dining room. Dinner is served in a small restaurant about half way through. It's Bacalao (salt cod) stew. You will also have an opportunity to have this on board the ship.

 

My sister in law did the Trondheim & Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. She enjoyed it but again, no pictures allowed inside.

 

 

 

 

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We did book all of excursions prior to the cruise. We were traveling with my in-laws. We did the Geiranger with Trollstigen Pass. This was about a 7.5 bus ride that included a couple of stops, with one being a little snack and then a dinner in Molde just before getting back on the ship. This was an impressive drive along the mountainside. Beautiful views of waterfalls and landscape.

 

 

 

My husband did the river kayak in Trondheim. He said it was marked as a level 4 but said it was more like a 2 at the most. I don't know if this changes based on the time of year.

 

 

 

He and his sister did the SAMI Culture in Kjollefjord. They enjoyed it. This one was in the late afternoon and was during our dinner. People who had the early dining time (6:30) were able to go to the second seating when they got back from the excursion.

 

 

 

We all did the Russian Border in Kirkenes. The gentleman we had as the guide was very good, but spoke fast. He did the whole tour in English and German (I believe), so it was hard to keep track some times. In all honesty, I wasn't that impressed with the border. It's a drive through the town, stop at a bunker to see a short video and then to the border. There isn't a lot to see and just a very small souvenir hut.

 

 

 

We did the Breakfast at the North Cape. This is very early (5:30am) but we were very lucky and had clear skies with no rain or fog. It was very windy once we got there but no rain. If you do this, I would go right to the breakfast and eat first. Everyone from the buses went right outside. The breakfast area is very small. We ate first while it was empty and watched everyone outside. By the time they all came inside, we were done and went outside and it was empty....no fighting the crowds in either area. Also, be aware that the breakfast isn't anything special (at least in my opinion). It was the same as what was served in our hotel in Oslo.

 

 

 

 

 

My husband and in-laws did the Midnight Concert in Tromso. They said the music was beautiful but you are not allowed to take photographs inside the cathedral.

 

 

 

 

 

We also did the Bronnoysund Village Walk. This was about an hour and it was a nice, leisurely stroll through the town.

 

 

 

We did the Atlantic Road but unfortunately this was the only day that we had rain. This excursion is done during dinner so you won't be in the dining room. Dinner is served in a small restaurant about half way through. It's Bacalao (salt cod) stew. You will also have an opportunity to have this on board the ship.

 

 

 

My sister in law did the Trondheim & Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. She enjoyed it but again, no pictures allowed inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is great information, thanks for responding so fast and so detailed!

 

 

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We're thinking of doing this same cruise next March in hopes of seeing the Aurora. We'll pack for cold weather. How long were you in ports that had excursions? Did the ship do a lot short dockings to take on or let off cars and passengers?

 

Depending on the day, there were anywhere from 2 to 8 stops in a 24 hour period. A lot of these stops are only 15 minutes....just long enough to load/unload people/cars and other freight. We weren't even aware of most of the stops.

 

I think the longest stop was about 3-4 hours. With many of the excursions you start in one port and then meet the ship in another at the end of the excursion. When this happens, you don't have any time to see the port. The bus will arrive at the ship just in time to board and the ship usually leaves a few minutes later.

 

There were a few stops that were 30 minutes and we got off and did a quick loop into town.

 

Something that I didn't expect....the weather was much warmer than I expected it to be. I live in San Diego so I'm a bit of a cold weather wimp. 60 degrees in Norway is warmer than 60 degrees here. I also always have the fan/ac on in the car. They do not. I found it to be very stuffy and warm in the buses. I finally made sure that I wore short sleeves on days we had excursions, with another shirt over. I would take the outer shirt off as soon as we got in the bus. When we made a stop, I would have to put the shirt and jacket on. I wore my regular tennis shoes most days and only my waterproof shoes a couple of times. I also found it to be very warm on the ship as long as we were inside.

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This is great information, thanks for responding so fast and so detailed!

Note that most of these excursions are not available in winter, as the excursions will change from season to season.

 

Thank you kiwigirl for reporting. Can I get from your message that you had a positive experience? Could you share what were your likes/dislikes about the ship and the journey?

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Note that most of these excursions are not available in winter, as the excursions will change from season to season.

 

 

 

Thank you kiwigirl for reporting. Can I get from your message that you had a positive experience? Could you share what were your likes/dislikes about the ship and the journey?

 

 

 

Yes we have gotten far enough along in the process to see the difference in excursions. We are looking forward to the husky ride as well as some of the other winter activities. Hopefully we will have good weather and be able to catch the Northern Lights when we go in March.

 

 

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Note that most of these excursions are not available in winter, as the excursions will change from season to season.

 

 

 

Thank you kiwigirl for reporting. Can I get from your message that you had a positive experience? Could you share what were your likes/dislikes about the ship and the journey?

 

 

 

Yes, I would say that, overall, it was a positive experience.

 

A few things that I noted:

- wait staff attitudes varied. Because there were 5 of us, we had our own table at dinner. I noticed that rarely were the women served first. They usually just put the plates to whoever they were closest to first. This obviously didn't impact my experience but it was just something I noticed. They also rarely came back with more water for the table. Also, it was very inconsistent as to when we'd be served. Some nights it was earlier and others it was very late. Again, not a big deal, just couldn't figure it out.

 

- it was to warm inside the public areas of the ship for me. This surprised me as I live in Southern California and have never lived in cold climate. I wished I had brought more short sleeve, or even tank tops, with me. I was able to turn the thermostat in the cabin down so at least it was cool while sleeping.

 

- I'd say my biggest dislike is that dinner is a set meal. I wasn't looking for all of the food options available on mainstream cruising but it would have been nice to have a choice of two entrees, especially on the night with the reindeer steak. Saying that, I definitely did not starve.

 

- I was very unimpressed with the city tour we did in Bergen at the end of the trip. It was an hour driving in a large circle before getting to the hotel. I don't remember if the cost was $50 per person or $25.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi,

 

Thank for all the info, we'll be on the Finnmarken in October and looking forward to the cruise. So far we've booked the North Cape without breakfast as our agent says we have breakfast on the ship, so why do it. Someone posted a pic of seeing the NL recently, did you see some? Hoping for NL sightings when we go. Maybe I'll ask for 2 glasses of water, if they don't return for refills....

:D

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Such a good report thanks. We are on Sept 9 on Polaryls. Looking forward to it but maybe not the reindeer steak. Did you have someone on board that conducted hikes?

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Hi,

 

Thank for all the info, we'll be on the Finnmarken in October and looking forward to the cruise. So far we've booked the North Cape without breakfast as our agent says we have breakfast on the ship, so why do it. Someone posted a pic of seeing the NL recently, did you see some? Hoping for NL sightings when we go. Maybe I'll ask for 2 glasses of water, if they don't return for refills....

:D

 

I'm not sure the North Cape was offered without the breakfast. We were off the ship at 5:30am and didn't return until just before lunch.

 

They bring a slim pitcher of water at dinner. A single pitcher was enough to fill 6 wine glasses about half full. If you're not having anything else to drink, definitely ask for 2 pitchers.

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Such a good report thanks. We are on Sept 9 on Polaryls. Looking forward to it but maybe not the reindeer steak. Did you have someone on board that conducted hikes?

 

They do put the menu out each morning so you can look at it when you have breakfast. I had heard that you can request something else but we never did. I'm thinking that you'd be able to get a vegetarian dish. My FIL does not eat any type of fowl. One evening the appetizer was Hen Soup. There were 3 colored squares on our table and that was to tell them who got a special meal. For some reason my SIL and I were also listed as not having the Hen Soup. I went ahead and had the replacement soup which was Carrot Soup. This was the only time they had something that was fowl. His travel agent let Hurtigruten know of his meal request at the time of booking.

 

We did not have anyone conducting special hikes that I'm aware of.

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Hi,

 

Thank for all the info, we'll be on the Finnmarken in October and looking forward to the cruise. So far we've booked the North Cape without breakfast as our agent says we have breakfast on the ship, so why do it.

i don't think the "Breakfast in North Cape" excursion (done on the Southbound journey) is available in October anyway. At this date, the only North Cape excursion is the one done on the Northbound journey, in the middle of the day. You get an early lunch on the ship and then go on excursion (11.45amto 2.30pm or something like that).

 

 

Regardind the set menu at dinner, there are two possibilites to change what is on offer : (1) you have a special dietary requirement (vegetarian, gluten-free...), in which case you should mention it upon booking and your meals will be adjusted on a daily basis (2) the menu is posted every day in the morning (or sometimes even the night before), if you don't like one of the course you can ask for a subsitute, it's very easy, but you have to do it before lunchtime for the evening dinner. Just ask a staff member in the restaurant.

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i don't think the "Breakfast in North Cape" excursion (done on the Southbound journey) is available in October anyway. At this date, the only North Cape excursion is the one done on the Northbound journey, in the middle of the day. You get an early lunch on the ship and then go on excursion (11.45amto 2.30pm or something like that).

 

 

Regardind the set menu at dinner, there are two possibilites to change what is on offer : (1) you have a special dietary requirement (vegetarian, gluten-free...), in which case you should mention it upon booking and your meals will be adjusted on a daily basis (2) the menu is posted every day in the morning (or sometimes even the night before), if you don't like one of the course you can ask for a subsitute, it's very easy, but you have to do it before lunchtime for the evening dinner. Just ask a staff member in the restaurant.

 

 

Last year my Sept 25 start date on the Nordnorge, they did offer the breakfast excursion as well. I remember thinking why would I pay so much extra to do breakfast?

 

I wasn't hungry yet for the early lunch they offered us on the non breakfast excursion so I made myself a sandwhich of bread, cold sliced reindeer and cheese from the buffet to bring with me! :D

 

As far as vegetarian cuisine and menu changes, I talked with Anna at the restaurant desk and she said anyone can request something different ahead of time as SarniaLo says. Also I spoke at length with a vegetarian I met on the ship and she said she also went to the restaurant manager when she boarded to remind them of her dietary preferences. She said the vegetarian options she was given were wonderful. She was from Germany.

 

Almost a year later, I still feel my Hurtigruten cruise late September of 2016 was the best vacation of my life. Saw the Northern lights 5 nights!:hearteyes::hearteyes:

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Did you book your excursions before or after you boarded? What was some of your favorite excursions or were there any that you wouldn't bother to do? Also, any other tips for first time Hurtigruten sailers would be great!

 

We are booked on the Polarys next March and are looking forward to a cold but exciting trip.

 

 

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We just came back from the return trip on Polarlys. Make sure you are in a renovated cabin. We were in an inside cabin on deck 3 and it was unrenovated. Although the condition was good the layout does not allow for large cases to be placed under the bed so you are always moving them around. The renovated cabins also have more storage whereas we just had a small robe and an open shelf. We only did 2 excursions... The Geiranger Fjord and the North Cape. Regretted not doing the Atlantic Road but thought it not ideal in a large bus. The food was amazing on the Polarlys. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole cruise. No need really to do a lot of excursions although you will be travelling at a different time of year to us.

 

 

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Edited by retep55555

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We're thinking of doing this same cruise next March in hopes of seeing the Aurora. We'll pack for cold weather. How long were you in ports that had excursions? Did the ship do a lot short dockings to take on or let off cars and passengers?

 

 

 

Just returned from the Polarlys round trip.... We were often only in port for 15 mins... Not long enough to get off really. Some ports were 30, 45, 60, 90 minutes which was worth getting off. You always dock right in the middle of the town so everything is relatively close by. There is often not a lot to see in these towns. Some ship's excursions start in one port and they travel overland and pick up the ship at another port. The ship stops at ports during the night too so don't choose a cabin near the car ramp. I would not pre book any excursions... Wait to you are on board. One the first day they will have a talk on all the excursions for the first half... Bergen to Kirkenes. None of the excursions were booked out and you could book up to the night before and sometimes on the same day.

 

 

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Such a good report thanks. We are on Sept 9 on Polaryls. Looking forward to it but maybe not the reindeer steak. Did you have someone on board that conducted hikes?

 

 

 

Just back from the Polarlys... Yes they do offer hikes and one is free which we did. They also put the menu for the night on the table at breakfast time so it is a good idea to check it. On the night of the reindeer steak I asked for an alternative which was fish but you have to prearrange this. The food was superb!

 

 

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Forgot to mention I did the midnight concert excursion too which was very good and worth the late night.

 

 

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We are planning a 12 day round trip next year in Oct-Mar time period. This conversation has been great. I really want to go in November, 2018. Any reports of that time? NL are a MUST! Good weather would be nice, and some fall color.

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November, I think, is probably the worst season for a first trip! :) It is too late for autumn colors (they rather occur between mid-September and mid-October from North to South, at the end of October most of the leaves will have fallen). It might be a bit early for snow, and in general it is a very wet and gloomy month (much more chance for clouds, so less chances for NL).

I would advise either going earlier (early October for instance), or later. For instance January if you still want to experience the polar night, or end February/early March for the real winter experience with plenty of snow, and some daylight to enjoy the landscape a little bit more (but still long nights for the NL).

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I've only ever been to Norway in November, and I can attest it was rather bleak. Although there was still a fair amount of colour up in the hills. I was as far north as Alesund and Lillehammer.

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Thank you both so much for the input. I can do either early October or March 2019 (though I would hate to wait that long!) Would we see NL in early October or is the best bet for that March? That is our quest and bucket list--to see NL.

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For Northern Lights it does not matter much. During the season (late August to mid-April), seeing the NL comes down to solar activity and clear skies, both of which are impossible to predict. Maybe look at the weather statistics to see which month has the less precipitation on average (look at Tromsø for instance) but I would say the chances are the same. If you want to increase your chances for NL, maybe combine the Hurtigruten trip with a land-based stay (for instance, exit the ship on the Southbound voyage in Tromsø or Lofoten, depending on which one appeals to you the most). If you are on land you have more opportunities to move around when the weather is bad above you.

 

The choice of season would depend more on what is the overall experience you want to have. In terms of daylight both would be about the same. October is autumn, colors on the tree, not much snow, milder temperature. March is winter, cold crip air, snow (so snow activities), gorgeous lights and colors during sunrise/sunset. It will be two very different experiences but both are good choices.

 

If you want some more input you can look at my blog (adress in signature), I have done this trip once in end September/early October and several times in winter (February and March) so maybe the pictures can give you an idea and help with your decision.

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@SarniaLo

 

I have just dusted off my long forgotten school French (my teacher would be so upset, I think I forgot more than I ever learned) and read through your Christmas 2010 HR cruise. Stunning. Simply stunning (coming from somebody who went through a week of winter stoms during her HR Christmas cruise, with gale force winds and the water splashing all up to the panorama lounge on deck 8).

 

 

Would we see NL in early October or is the best bet for that March? That is our quest and bucket list--to see NL.

 

If that is your quest and bucket list... a cruise, even a HR cruise, simply might not be your best option.

 

I agree with SarniaLo, on land you have more opportunities to move around. You might be better off taking a regular land vacation (Canada, Alaska, Iceland, Norway/Sweden/Finland), staying in the same spot for a week or two and either renting a car or taking excursions hunting the lights (with experienced guides who will know where there is the least light pollution and how to set your camera). Even combining a HR trip with a land tour might be a better option - you could take the northbound cruise and spend a few days in Kirkenes (then either fly back south or catch a different ship back to Bergen) or hop off in Tromsø, the Lofoten or Vesterålen on the way back south, as suggested. (HR offers "land adventures" you can add to your cruise, at least on the US website)

 

And even if you do that there is no guarantee. You might end up with a week of bad weather, winter storms, cloudy skies, rain, snow.

 

Early October will be nice, Norway in fall is lovely (if the weather cooperates). March will (most likely, unless winter comes as late as it did this year) mean early spring in the south and still winter and snow in the north. I took a train trip through Scandinavia in February/March a decade ago and Bergen was still cool late in February, norther Norway/Sweden was freezing (-14C/6F and three to four feet of snow in Boden, Sweden), Helsinki was bleak and Stockholm, which was my last stop, was definitely in the early stages of spring in late March (approx. 10C/50F). I love the light you have in Scandinavia in February / March. I did not see a single NL on that trip though. We saw one (!) on our HR cruise in December (it was green to the eye but lasted 15 minutes only). Iceland (Akureyri area) in the last week of August had amazing NL for a few nights in a row when we were there in 2014, greyish fog but across the whole sky and for hours, like dancing clouds. You just never know. You can have two weeks of bad weather or low solar activity or bad luck, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could run into bad weather and end up stuck in Harstad because all northern ports are closed due to storms. Or you have amazingly clear skies, high solar activities and five/six nights of lights.

 

No matter what, you will be stuck on the ship. No chance to stay longer in a place that is perfect for lights. No chance to move out of the city a bit to minimize light pollution (neither can you turn the ship lights off completely). No option to move from a to b where the weather might be nicer.

Edited by Wembley Fraggle

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Wow, such good information. You have given me lots to think about. I am so glad I found this thread. I will share this with my husband and be back if/when we have question.

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We just returned from our Norwegian Coastal cruise on the Trollfjord. We had great weather....only rain we had was the last 2 days of the cruise.

 

If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to try and answer them. We did excursions almost every day except 2 maybe.

We are looking into the Hurtigruten and are wondering whether to do the 12 day or the 7 day? Was the 12 days to long? Also how was the south bound part of the cruise.

Thanks

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The ports visited at night on the Northbound trip will be visited during the day on the southbound trip, so you will see different parts of the coast on both directions. You get then a rather complete view of the landscape of coastal Norway.

I think the Southbound trip has 2 of the most beautiful days of the whole journey, particularly the day between Harstad and Svolvaer, sailing through the Vesteraalen and Lofoten archipelago, and also the day after that, crossing the Arctic CIrcle and sailing along the Helgeland coast. It also has the less interesting day (again, for me), which is the last half-day before arriving in Bergen. What I do now often is exiting the ship in Trondheim on the Southbound journey. From Trondheim it is easy to go back to Oslo (by train or plane).

Whether you find it too long or not depends a lot on your particular likings. I have done this trip several times and never got bored, but I'm perfectly happy being on deck for hours watching the landscape go by (and I do landscape photography so that keeps me busy).

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This report and the questions and answers are so helpful, thank you! I have booked the Finnmarken Bergen-Kirkenes for early July 2018. I am trying to figure out about clothes, limiting myself to a rolling carry-on bag. This will be tbe first part of a 3 week trip, continuing to Finnish Lapland and then Helsinki and Copenhagen that I expect will be warmer. I know to prepare for rain, and I have trusty lightweight hiking shoes. So in August it was tank tops/t shirts even north of the Arctic Circle? Would a fleece suffice when windier on deck or for excursions? Thank you for your advice! I understand there are laundry machines on this ship. Any other packing tips for a solo traveler? Many thanks!

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We're thinking of doing this same cruise next March in hopes of seeing the Aurora. We'll pack for cold weather. How long were you in ports that had excursions? Did the ship do a lot short dockings to take on or let off cars and passengers?

 

Are you planning on the Trollfjord also?

 

We've started a Roll Call for the early March Trollfjord RT, the one with the "Astronomy" program.

 

This will be our first trip to Norway (my first to Scandinavia; DH has been to Stockholm and Oslo on business many years ago), and our first cruise with Hurtigruten.

 

It's "suddenly" half a year closer to sailing than when we made our reservations :)

 

GC

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We are looking into the Hurtigruten and are wondering whether to do the 12 day or the 7 day? Was the 12 days to long? Also how was the south bound part of the cruise.

Thanks

 

My apologies. For some reason I didn't get a notification that there was a post here.

 

It may be to late, but we really enjoyed the 12 day. It never felt like time was dragging. We had an excursion almost each day (I think we only skipped one or two days). I was surprised that I enjoyed just sitting in the lounge each day. I think one thing that made it enjoyable was that we had a room on Deck 6 with a window. If we were in the cabin, we were able to look out and if we saw something of interest, we were able to get outside quickly.

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Again, my apologies for the late response.

 

So I live in Southern California and have lived here all my life. I am definitely not a cold weather person. I tried to make sure that I did the layering thing. So glad I did. I found that the buses were very warm for me. I had to be able to get down to short sleeves (or tanks) while on the bus and have a light jacket or other long sleeve to throw on when we got off the bus.

 

I found the same to be true on the ship. I saw many people in long sleeve fleece or heavy jackets. I stayed with my short sleeves and a light sweater or jacket and would bring my windbreaker with me if I wanted to go outside. I do wish I had brought a better hat to wear outside. It definitely would get windy out there. We got extremely lucky and only had rain the last two days of the trip going back to Bergen.

 

There are washer/dryers on board. On Deck 4 behind the reception area. You need to get a token from reception. Different people had different situations. My husband got a couple of tokens on the first day (this included the detergent pod). When my MIL went to get hers, they wouldn't give them to her until she had her laundry ready to go. I believe there are 4 washer/dryer combos.

 

 

 

This report and the questions and answers are so helpful, thank you! I have booked the Finnmarken Bergen-Kirkenes for early July 2018. I am trying to figure out about clothes, limiting myself to a rolling carry-on bag. This will be tbe first part of a 3 week trip, continuing to Finnish Lapland and then Helsinki and Copenhagen that I expect will be warmer. I know to prepare for rain, and I have trusty lightweight hiking shoes. So in August it was tank tops/t shirts even north of the Arctic Circle? Would a fleece suffice when windier on deck or for excursions? Thank you for your advice! I understand there are laundry machines on this ship. Any other packing tips for a solo traveler? Many thanks!

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We just returned from our Norwegian Coastal cruise on the Trollfjord. We had great weather....only rain we had was the last 2 days of the cruise.

 

If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to try and answer them. We did excursions almost every day except 2 maybe.

 

Dear kiwigirl,

 

Thanks for offering to answer questions!

 

We are scheduled to arrive back in Bergen aboard the Trollfjord at 2:30 in the afternoon [of November 27th], and will be flying straight to Oslo. My question is: From your experience with debarkation and getting to wherever you were going, do you think I should try to book a flight around 5:30 or so? Is that a reasonable plan? We will have a car waiting for us to take us to the airport.

 

What think you?

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Dear kiwigirl,

 

Thanks for offering to answer questions!

 

We are scheduled to arrive back in Bergen aboard the Trollfjord at 2:30 in the afternoon [of November 27th], and will be flying straight to Oslo. My question is: From your experience with debarkation and getting to wherever you were going, do you think I should try to book a flight around 5:30 or so? Is that a reasonable plan? We will have a car waiting for us to take us to the airport.

 

What think you?

 

Not kiwigirl, but we returned from the Trollfjord RT a bit less than a month ago.

 

Which deck will you be on? They called by Deck to disembark.

We had a suite, on Deck 8, so we were among the first off, which was no surprise.

What *was* a surprise was that our bags were available to be picked up within a rather short period of time.

We went out and got a taxi, so that I could sit there (I have a bit of mobility difficulties), and we asked the driver to just move a little ways so he wasn't blocking other taxis, while DH went back in to get the larger bags. We had no idea how long that would be, and we were prepared for a, well, long wait (and possibly an expensive one).

 

The Trollfjord staff was very efficient with the process that last day. Impressive.

 

We had a WONDERFUL trip, and we are still reminisce frequently, including looking over our photos.

 

How often are the flights to Oslo?

We prefer to avoid fretting about timing, so we usually leave more, rather than less, time for connections/transportation, etc.

I don't know how busy the airport is late afternoon. We stayed over, and caught an unbearably early flight the next morning, and... it was almost empty then (no surprise).

 

(That first flight out of Bergen was the only way to get home that same day, and it was a very long travel day. "Next time", we'd chop up that much travel and stay at a hotel part way, rather than staying over in Bergen and trying to do all the travel in one day.)

 

GC

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GeezerCouple,

Grateful to you for jumping in - thanks! We, too, are on Deck 8, so glad to hear we may be among the first off - and with a car waiting, I'm thinking the 5:40 to Oslo is doable. If we miss it, there is another flight roughly an hour later. The arrival time in Oslo is moot since we'll be there for the better part of four days, and we have only to get from the airport to the center of the city. The train seems to be the 'smart' way of doing that, depending on where one's hotel is located. Anyway, thank you so much for your insights and information. Any tips on either/both Deck 8 - we're in 825 - and the ship itself would be much appreciated, though I have read all your terrific posts, so perhaps you've really said it all! Best regards.

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GeezerCouple,

Grateful to you for jumping in - thanks! We, too, are on Deck 8, so glad to hear we may be among the first off - and with a car waiting, I'm thinking the 5:40 to Oslo is doable. If we miss it, there is another flight roughly an hour later. The arrival time in Oslo is moot since we'll be there for the better part of four days, and we have only to get from the airport to the center of the city. The train seems to be the 'smart' way of doing that, depending on where one's hotel is located. Anyway, thank you so much for your insights and information. Any tips on either/both Deck 8 - we're in 825 - and the ship itself would be much appreciated, though I have read all your terrific posts, so perhaps you've really said it all! Best regards.

 

You will LOVE that suite!

We had the other aft suite on Deck 8, and that balcony was a pleasure in terms of being sheltered from the wind.

 

In fact, of the 3 nights when we saw Northern Lights (we had a lot of overcast sky, so we feel VERY fortunate for the Lights that we did see!), the first was just the faintest, mostly the "gray cloud-type" view. The second was better, but it was the third night that was by far the best!

And that night, the best view was aft and above, and instead of shivering on the top deck (as we did that first night - the cold and wind were BRUTAL), we were comfy on our balcony, shielded from the wind... We were SO fortunate for that one evening!

 

We had tried to convince ourselves that if we didn't see "the lights", we'd still have a great vacation, and that was certainly true. However, given that we chose that cruise/date because of the Astronomy Package and the "chances of clear skies and Lights", the truth is... we probably would have been disappointed, of course... But that is part of life, and we already had a plan B in place: watch for solar storms, and fly *fast* to Iceland.... As it turned out, there was an unusual solar storm that went straight towards the earth, for two nights. The first? Totally cloudy. The second night? CLEAR :)

 

We would LOVE to go back.

 

If you happen to be awake the very first morning approximately 6am (??), LOOK out that window!

We kept the drapes open all night, every night, so we could see the beautiful scenery (mountains and small town lights, but there was little moonlight by design, of course), and also see the scenery the moment we woke up. It's one solid wall of windows all across rear of the ship, across both bedroom and living room areas.

[For those traveling during the summer months, it probably wouldn't work to keep the drapes open all night, given the 24/7 light. During an Alaska cruise in May/June, we had to tape the drapes shut, even though we weren't nearly at the Arctic Circle. The nights were very short...]

 

Have a great trip.

We loved the ship, the crew, and just... everything.

We weren't sure just what to expect, but everything was just wonderful.

 

GC

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GeezerCouple,

Now I'm wishing it was November! (Patience, Peter, November will be here soon enough!). Thanks again.

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Am considering booking this trip in June 2019 and am just starting my research. One thing I read was that the whole boat except for one small area was "smoking". From the writeup, I couldn't tell if this was inside, outside, or both. What is the policy on Hurtigruten? This would definitely be a problem for my husband and I.

 

Also, do they allow you to bring your own alcohol on board to enjoy in your cabin (or inobtrusively elsewhere)? It sounds like drinks are very expensive. Even worse, I've read that the coffee is very bad and someone wished they had brought instant. Can you get hot water easily? We might want to bring our own Starbucks Via.

 

What do you think about the 12-day round trip, as opposed to doing the 7-day northern leg of the trip?

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