Check in and chat with our staff on board.
Chat with our staff and book excursions in the Kompass Reception, which also features a new shop. Photo: Simon Skreddernes Photo

Travel Information for Norwegian Coastal Voyages

Practical information for travellers on the original Norwegian coastal voyage between Bergen and Kirkenes.

Get to know the practical information before your cruise on the famous coastal route, where we stop at 34 ports along the Norwegian coast.

Note: This information is not valid for expedition cruises to Norway.

Practical information: General

The information and descriptions on this website have been checked by our staff and/or local agents to ensure they are correct. However, changes may occur after the date of publication and there may be occasions when Hurtigruten or local suppliers may withdraw some facilities. Should we become aware of any significant change which may be considered to have an effect on the enjoyment of your holiday, we will do our utmost to advise you.

If you make your booking through a travel agent, all communication between you and Hurtigruten must be via that agent. If you book your holiday direct with us, all correspondence will be sent to the Lead Passenger. Please quote your booking reference number in all communications. When you or your agent first contact us, we will usually confirm your holiday at the earliest opportunity and advise current flight times and prices, including any applicable supplements or extras, etc.

For high season dates, when demand is greater, or if you book within eight weeks of departure, we may have to request your cabin, flight or hotel space and it may take slightly longer to confirm your holiday. An invoice will be sent to confirm your arrangements. If you are travelling with friends but would each like to receive separate documents, please advise us at the time of booking. Travel documents are generally sent approximately 7–14 days prior to departure.

All routes and excursions are provisional and subject to change – weather and sea conditions may affect the itinerary. Excursions may also be subject to minimum/maximum numbers. Please take care that you are back on board on time, especially when your ship arrives with a delay but departs on time to keep the schedule. The departure time is displayed at the gangway. Please note that ships cannot wait for late passengers. If you miss your ship, you will need to arrange transport by yourself and at your own expense to the next harbour.

Some holidays are subject to a minimum number of participants to enable them to take place. Should the minimum not be reached, we will advise you at least 60 days prior to your departure, when we reserve the right to cancel the holiday.

We reserve the right to cancel the holiday and to refund all monies paid to us. Alternatively, you may choose another holiday with us, but if the alternative arrangement is at an additional cost, the difference will be payable by you.

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. Our sales consultants will also try to book appropriate hotel rooms. Passengers who use a wheelchair must bring their own standard size, foldable chair.

Guests who are able to navigate around the ship unaided in a wheelchair do not need to have a travel companion. Those who need assistance need to be accompanied. Please discuss with your booking agent. When the ship stops at ports on the Norwegian coast, there is a ramp or gangway for embarkation/ disembarkation.

Excursions have not been adapted specifically for passengers with walking difficulties. Please contact us or the Tour Leader when you are on board, and they will be able to advise which excursions are suitable. It is essential you advise us of special requirements at the time of booking to enable us to make the necessary arrangements for you.

Hurtigruten brochures include pictures and descriptions of wildlife and natural phenomena’s, which may be seen from the ships and during excursions. Spending time on outside decks increases your chances of spotting this, but there is no guarantee of sightings.

Hurtigruten’s environmental efforts are tied to our strategic six-point policy;

  1. That environmentally-oriented measures are identified and implemented in day-to-day operations.
  2. That focus is directed specifically at the marine environment.
  3. That we specify requirements for subcontractors and contractual partners.
  4. That our communications concerning our own environmental performance are open and complete.
  5. That we ensure continuous monitoring and improvement of our environmental work.
  6. That we do not leave any permanent traces behind us in vulnerable areas.

As a traveller with Hurtigruten, your contribution to environmental care is welcome. We have garbage sorting aboard all ships, and we encourage you to turn off lights when leaving the cabin and unplug electrical transformers when not in use.

In 2018, we banned all single-use plastic on board our fleet. When ashore, bring your litter back to the vessel or dispose at designated places. We are often near wildlife on our voyages. Please heed the advice of your Tour Leader/Expedition Leader and excursion guide and strive to act in a way that does not alter the wildlife’s natural behaviour.

Before you go

All guests have to present a valid passport or government approved ID card when they check-in to a voyage starting in Norway. For all voyages starting or ending outside of Norway, a passport with validity of six months after end of the trip is required.

At the time of printing this brochure, there are no compulsory vaccinations or health requirements for travelling to Norway. It is however the responsibility of all passengers to ensure they comply with any health requirements at the time of travel. We suggest you consult your doctor or relevant health authorities about any precautions you should take with regard to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

We suggest that you take a small amount of local currency (Norwegian Kroner–NOK) in cash. Major credit cards are widely accepted, except possibly at smaller businesses.

You may be asked to provide identification when you pay by credit card or exchange money.

Norway CET (GMT + 1)
Norway CEST (GMT +2)

For the most recent weather updates in Norway, check out YR.no.

Average daytime temperatures in °C per month:

  Oslo Bergen Trondheim Bodø Tromsø
January -2.3 2.7 -1.6 -1.3 -3.8
February -1.3 3 -0.7 -0.9 -3.1
March 2.4 4.9 2.1 -1 -1
April 7.3 8 5.1 3.8 1.7
May 14 12.9 10.5 8.5 6.1
June 17.6 15.1 13.2 11.8 11
July 19.9 16.6 15.3 14.1 13.7
August 18.7 16.3 14.9 13.8 12.5
September 13.7 13.3 11.3 10.7 8.4
October 8.1 9.8 6.7 6 3.3
November 2.3 5.8 1.8 1.7 -1
December -1.4 3.3 -1.1 -0.5 -3

 

Occurs when the whole disc of the sun is visible above the horizon. Dates for the Midnight Sun as below:

LOCATION: FIRST DAY - LAST DAY

  • North Cape: 13 May - 30 July
  • Hammerfest: 15 May - 29 July
  • Vardø: 16 May - 28 July
  • Tromsø: 19 May - 26 July
  • Harstad: 23 May - 22 July
  • Svolvær: 26 May - 18 July
  • Bodø: 01 June - 13 July

The Polar Night occurs when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. This only occurs inside the polar circles. Dates for the Polar Night as below:

LOCATION: FIRST DAY - LAST DAY

  • North Cape: 20 Nov - 22 Jan
  • Hammerfest: 23 Nov - 20 Jan
  • Vardø: 24 Nov - 18 Jan
  • Tromsø: 28 Nov - 14 Jan
  • Harstad: 03 Dec - 9 Jan
  • Svolvær: 08 Dec - 05 Jan
  • Bodø: No polar night

Transport, accommodation and embarkation

All flights booked with us to and from Norway are in Economy Class with one of our airline partners: KLM/Air France, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air Shuttle, SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) and Widerøe. Please note that direct flights are not always available and you might connect via Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm or Amsterdam.

Depending on the flight operator, flight connection and booked class of carriage, there may be a surcharge for the connecting flight you require, even in Economy Class. Flight arrivals and departures can be early morning or late evening but they are always aligned with your travel arrangement.

Depending on the flight operator, snacks and drinks may be included in your Economy Class booking or purchased for a fee. Generally, one piece of hand luggage weighing 6-8 kg is allowed to bring on board the plane. Please check airline websites carefully for more information about the meals on board and the weight and size of your hand luggage.

Usually your check-in luggage is restricted to one piece weighing up to 23 kg, although this may change depending on the air connection. You will receive the details with your travel documents. Please note that rebooking or changing a flight ticket before your voyage may be possible for a charge of GBP 60. A rebooking or refund after the start of your journey is not possible.

The standard of the hotels we use is equivalent to 3 or 4-star, and centrally located. There is no official hotel rating system in Norway. All rooms have private facilities (except for the Snowhotel in Kirkenes). Single rooms may be smaller and less conveniently situated, may be double rooms for sole occupancy or purpose-built single rooms. Hotels may charge for some facilities e.g. saunas. The price per night normally includes breakfast, unless otherwise stated on your confirmation.

Hurtigruten offers pre- and post-voyage packages that include train rides between Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim. The train departures comply with your booked travel assignment. On the train ticket provided with your travel documents, you will find information about your booked train class and seat reservation. You can find timetable information on www.vy.no/en

The voyages and tours on this website are based on independent travel; however, all ships and many of our featured hotels have staff who can advise you on excursions and offer general assistance. Some of our holidays are part-escorted.

Transfers are included as shown and are usually unaccompanied. When embarking and disembarking in Bergen, Trondheim and Kirkenes, Hurtigruten offers bus transfers from the airport to the pier and some hotels, and from the airport to the city centre in Oslo and Tromsø.

In Bergen and Trondheim, we offer bus transfers to and from the railway station and dock. The transfers are operated via chartered buses (at fixed times) or the official Airport Express bus (official schedule). The fixed times comply with the daily ship arrival and departure times, so waiting times at the airport are possible.

The airport transfer takes between 20 and 45 minutes, depending on the city. You will receive our arrival/departure handbook containing all transfer times with your travel documents.

Life on board your ship

220v AC. – 2 pin Continental-type for which an adapter is required. Guests are advised to bring their own adapters with them on the voyage.

It is not common practice to tip on Hurtigruten ships on the coastal voyage, but if you feel that crew members should be rewarded for providing exceptional service, tip boxes are placed in the restaurant together with envelopes.

We have wireless internet available on board for a small charge, unless already included in your Select or Platinum fare. Please ask for more information at the on-board reception.

Norwegian and English are the official on-board languages. Some Hurtigruten Guides (or the Tour Leaders on board MS Vesterålen and MS Lofoten), personnel at the reception and service crew often also speak German.

Most of our excursions are guided in two or three languages. Please contact the Hurtigruten Guides or Tour Leader on board for further information.

Norwegian Kroner (NOK) is the on-board currency. Most major currencies may be exchanged. Visa, American Express, MasterCard and Diners Card are all accepted.

A cruise card can be obtained and used for payment for extras and settled at the end of your voyage.

It is a safety requirement that all Hurtigruten passengers attend a compulsory safety briefing in Bergen and Kirkenes before the ship leaves port. After embarkation, the crew will greet you and conduct the mandatory safety brief at intervals. This will last between 10-15 minutes.

The briefing will include a demonstration of how to put on a life jacket and the instructions to be followed in the unlikely event of an evacuation or other emergency during the voyage. The briefing is compulsory for all passengers including those who have travelled with Hurtigruten before. There will be an opportunity to ask questions if you have any concerns.

Please familiarise yourself with the emergency procedures as shown in the cabins (there is a diagram on the cabin door and in public areas), and ask at reception if in doubt. In many ports, there may be a good deal of activity on the quay with cars joining/leaving the ships and/or goods being loaded or unloaded. Please be alert to such traffic when embarking and disembarking.

Take care during winter months when it is icy underfoot, particularly on the outside decks and when disembarking the ship or alighting from coaches. Ice spikes and other winter clothing can be purchased in the ships store. Do not carry large amounts of cash and keep valuable items, including mobile phones and cameras, out of sight.

Smoking is only permitted in designated areas on the outside decks. Smoking is strictly forbidden when the ships are in port and fuelling and the staff will advise when such times are.

With the exception of MS Lofoten, all of our vessels are equipped with stabilisers.

Private mobile phones may be used on board although reception may vary. Check with your provider for costs when using your phone abroad.

On board, dress is informal. Although some passengers choose to change for dinner, the dress code is casual rather than formal. The weather in Norway 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 all voyages, 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, during the winter months. On land, where it may be icy, sturdy shoes are important for shore excursions and a walking stick/trekking pole may be useful.

Facilities and services

Luggage handling is not included in the cost of your holiday. Unless you are embarking or disembarking the ship at the Hurtigruten Terminal in Bergen, you will need to carry your own luggage on and off the ship at all other ports.

For guests travelling on a Select or Platinum fare, you will be able to choose a cabin grade and cabin number at no extra charge (subject to availability). The cabin number for guests travelling Bergen-Kirkenes or Kirkenes-Bergen on a Select fare is available for a fee.

For guests on a Basic fare, your cabin grade and number will be assigned to you at the on-board check-in.

Please note that cabins on decks with passenger access to outside areas may sometimes have an obstructed view due to other passengers walking past. Our ships function as working ships calling at ports around the clock. You may experience some noise and vibration in some cabins during docking and loading of goods. This varies depending on the location of your cabin and the type of ship.

Please ask our reservations team for advice on the best cabin location for you.

Laundry rooms with washing machines, dryers and irons are available on all ships. Tokens can be purchased at reception.

Norway’s culinary traditions have much in common with the scenery of the coastline. It is always fresh, distinctive and full of variety.

We have always strived to give our guests a truly unique and authentic experience, and local produce and old food traditions are incorporated into every element of the culinary experience on board as well.

We pride ourselves on using many local suppliers and ingredients from up and down Norway’s coast, with our ‘Norway’s Coastal Kitchen’ on board our ships.

Special diets, e.g. vegetarian can be catered for if requested in good time. Passengers on strict diets may find that there is a limited choice.

We now offer a 3-course vegan menu option for the evening meal on our 12-day voyages.

There is no doctor or pharmacy on board. However, officers are trained in first aid and can provide emergency medical assistance. The ships are also close to land should urgent medical assistance be required.

All our ships have a shop carrying a selection of high quality products. We sell clothing by high end Norwegian brands and outdoor equipment suitable for excursions and hikes, as well as gifts and souvenirs. There is also a small selection of toiletries available for purchase.

All Hurtigruten ships (except MS Vesterålen and MS Lofoten) along the Norwegian coast, have Hurtigruten Guides who undertake special activities on board like lectures and presentations, on-deck guiding, photo activities and offer hikes and outdoor activities in many ports.

These activities take place both inside the ships and out on deck, designed with relevance to the season we are sailing in. Our aim is to get closer to unique environments and share the experience with fellow passengers. It is up to the guest whether they wish to join.

The Hurtigruten Guides also sell and advise on excursions, issues a daily programme, and makes announcements regarding places of interest, disembarkation, etc.

On board MS Vesterålen and MS Lofoten, this service will be carried out by the Tour Leader or by the reception.

We recommend pre-booking excursions to avoid disappointment. You can pre-book excursions up to four weeks prior to departure (2 weeks if paid by credit card) at the rates presented.

Any remaining excursion places will be sold on board. All bookings on board will be charged in Norwegian Kroner at the ship’s exchange rate. The price in local currency may differ due to exchange rate fluctuations.

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