An A-Z guide of what to expect on board a Norwegian coastal voyage or Expedition cruises
All cabins are fully air conditioned, as are all public areas. You will find a temperature control gauge in your cabin, which will allow you to adjust the air temperature to your comfort.
Bureau de Change
There is a limited money exchange service on board our ships; organising foreign currency is advised before you travel
Standard and Superior Cabins
Cabins grades I, L, J, N, P and U all have private facilities and twin beds, one of which can be turned into a sofa. Grades A, D and some I, J and N have upper and lower berths and D grades on MS Lofoten have a wash basin only. Towels, soap and hairdryers are provided in all cabin grades.
Suites are graded QJ, Q, M, MG, and MX and have a seating area with TV. They have a shower/ wc and most have a double bed (this may be two single mattresses set in a double frame which cannot be separated). Our sales consultants will be pleased to give advice if you would prefer a bath/jacuzzi.
With the exception of MS Lofoten, all our ships have at least one specially equipped cabin for disabled passengers. Special non-allergy cabins are available on MS Finnmarken. Please contact our reservations department for further information. Prices for cabins which can accommodate three or four people are available on request and inter-connecting cabins are available on some of our ships.
Norwegian Krone NOK are used on board all ships only. Visa, American Express, Master Card and Diners Card are all accepted. A cruise card which acts as a credit card can be used for extras on board all ships.
Passengers are requested to go to the restaurant on embarkation to make their table reservation. The usual meal times are: breakfast from 08.00 to 10.00 hours (open sitting); lunch from 13.00 hours (open sitting); dinner from 18.00 hours (set seating). During high season, there may be several sittings, the times of which will be shown on board. Full board begins with a buffet dinner on departure from Bergen and ends with brunch on the arrival day back in Bergen. The food is Norwegian and breakfast is buffet style with a selection of cold meats, cheese, eggs, cereals and fruit. Lunch is the famous Cold Table with a choice of fish dishes, cold meats, salads, a selection of hot dishes, desserts and fruit. Dinner is a three-course set meal; there is not usually a choice of menu. Occasionally the Cold Table may be served in the evening and the set meal at lunch time. All vessels are fully licensed.
On board dress is informal. Although some passengers choose to change for dinner the dress code is “smart/casual” rather than formal. The weather in most of our destinations can vary during the course of each voyage or even during the day. To cater for these variations we recommend the layered dress approach that enables you to adapt to changes in temperature, wind and precipitation conditions easily. For voyages during the winter months, we advise you to take breathable rain and windproof clothing. A warm hat, gloves, scarf and thermal clothing can be useful, together with thermal underwear.
On land, sturdy shoes are important for shore excursions and a walking stick/trekking pole may be useful. You should pack a pair of UV protective sunglasses, even during the winter as the reflections of snow and ice can be harmful to the unprotected eye. An additional list of recommended clothing and equipment is sent out on selected departures. Many ships offer a Jacuzzi on board, so take your swimsuit. Where necessary excursions include use of appropriate clothing.
There are no duty free facilities on board any of our ships.
The emphasis onboard is relaxation and getting away from the commercial entertainment which is so often apart of conventional cruises. Our aim is to get closer to unique environments and share the experiences with fellow passengers. Occasionally some musical entertainment on some stretches of the voyage will be offered but there is no organised program. On our Explorer Voyages we offer lectures.
A separate Excursions Booklet is available, detailing all the shore excursions. Pre-booking excursions, wherever possible, is recommended as only remaining seats will be sold on board. Excursions booked on board will be payable in Norwegian Krone and the price may vary as a result of exchange rate fluctuations or local changes. It is not possible to pre-book within 14 days of departure. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum numbers and local conditions. Excursions can be booked directly with the reservations team, via your travel agent or by completing excursion booking forms which can be found on our website www.hurtigruten.co.uk
A selection of shore excursions are already included in some of our explorer holidays with additional optional excursions available to book on board. Where available we will supply you with excursion information with your travel documents. Otherwise you will receive full details and prices on board. Excursions and their content are subject to maximum/minimum numbers and local conditions.
Excursions by Zodiac and Polar Cirkel boats
These sturdy inflatable boats enable both water based exploration and safe landings in otherwise inaccessible areas. You will need to be fairly agile to board these but there is otherwise no need to worry about travelling in them. The crew will show you what to do and as long as you follow their instructions, after a few days it will become second nature.
All our ships except MS Lofoten and MS Vesterålen have a small fitness centre onboard.
There will be an information and safety meeting on board on the evening of departure from Bergen and Kirkenes in Norway. You will also receive an information pack. In addition, a Daily Bulletin will keep you informed during your journey.
On the Explorer voyages the expedition team or lecturers on board will organise talks and information briefings on subjects relevant to the areas visited.
There is an internet café on board all ships except MS Vesterålen and MS Lofoten. Passwords can be purchased from reception, costs are currently 40NOK for 30 mins, 60NOK for 1 hour and 200NOK for 6 hours (subject to change).
All our ships except for MS Lofoten and MS Vesterålen have washing machines and tumble dryers. Tokens can be purchased at reception. On the other ships, laundry services can be arranged by the crew.
There is a library on all our ships except from MS Lofoten and MS Vesterålen. The books are in a variety of languages including Norwegian, German and English.
There is no luggage limitations on board our ships. However the luggage allowance will depend on the airline carrier. The baggage allowance for most airlines is 20kg per person. Check with the airline for the latest information.
Postcards and stamps can be purchased in the ships shop and cafeteria. There is a letterbox on board most ships and where this is not available the reception will be happy to send post.
Safety deposit boxes
Cabins are not equipped with a safety deposit box. Valuables may be handed in at the reception for safe-keeping in the ship’s safe. Hurtigruten Ltd. cannot accept liability for the loss of valuables.
There is a shop on but all the traditional ships. They sell souvenirs, knitwear, books, postcards, postage stamps and a limited supply of toiletries. On MS Lofoten this service is handled by the coffee shop.
Smoking is not permitted in cabins or public areas. It is allowed on open deck but prohibited at all times when the ships are in port. The Expedition ships usually operate a non-smoking policy throughout the vessel and smoking may only be allowed on deck.
MS Finnmarken boasts a small swimming pool. MS Fram, MS Trollfjord, MS Midnatsol, MS Nordnorge, MS Nordkapp, MS Polarlys, MS Spitsbergen, MS Kong Harald, MS Nordlys and MS Richard With have a hot tub on board.
With the exception of MS Vesterålen and MS Lofoten all of our vessels are equipped with stabilisers. On the coastal route the ships enter the open sea, for a few hours, on only a few occasions during the whole voyage. The majority of the time the ships sail between mainland Norway and the coastal islands where the sea is generally calmer.
Tea & Coffee
Except for the suites on the MS Fram, MS Midnatsol, MS Trollfjord and MS Finnmarken, cabins do not have tea/coffee making facilities but beverages may be purchased around the clock. Tea/ coffee are free on the Explorer vessels.
All ships have pay phones and phone cards can be purchased from reception. Private mobile telephones may be used on board. Note that the telephone and mobile reception may vary depending on the area of travel.
Travel documents are generally sent approximately between 7 and 14 days prior departure.
Most vessels have a non-tipping policy. However, if you feel that any crew members should be rewarded for providing exceptional service this is entirely at your discretion. For voyages on board MS Fram you will receive tipping guidelines with your travel documents or on board.
A continental 2-pin adaptor is required for electrical items. Hairdryers are provided in all cabins except on board MS Lofoten and selected cabins on MS Vesterålen.
Wheelchairs & Mobility
We are happy to welcome passengers who are not fully mobile and all ships except MS Lofoten have at least one cabin equipped for travellers using a wheelchair. Passengers who use a wheelchair must bring their own, standard size, foldable chair and travel with a companion who is able to assist them. In mainland Norwegian ports there is a ramp for embarkation/disembarkation. Our reservations team will also try to book appropriate hotel rooms.
We regret that Hurtigruten Explorer holidays are not considered suitable for less able passengers as landings and sometimes embarkation are by PolarCirkel boats or tenders. A certain level of agility will be required to board but crew will be in attendance to ensure passenger safety.
Not all excursions have been adapted specifically for passengers with walking difficulties. Please check at the time of booking. It is essential you advise us in writing of special requirements at the time of booking to enable us to make the necessary arrangements to ensure a trouble-free holiday.
Our brochures, websites and marketing materials include pictures and descriptions of wildlife which may be seen from our ships and during excursions but there is no guarantee of sightings.
Our ships function as working ships calling at ports around the clock. You can expect some noise and vibration in a few cabins during loading of goods. This varies depending on the location of your cabin and the type of ship. Also, noise affects people differently and what may be a problem for one person may not be a problem for others. Please ask our reservations team for advice on the best cabin location for you.