MS Nordstjernen crossing Sortlandssundet towards Stokmarknes

MS Nordstjernen - Practical information

From entry requirements to Expedition Team - here's everything you need to know before travelling with MS Nordstjernen.


Guests are reminded that only beverages sold and/or provided in the restaurants, bars, cabins, and suites can be consumed on board. Any alcoholic beverages purchased in ports-of-call will need to be stored separately on board the ship b our crew. Your purchases will be returned to you and delivered to your cabin on the last day of your sailing.

You will be issued an ID card upon arrival on board as part of the check-in procedure in accordance with ISPS regulations. All our guests are requested to wear this card when disembarking the ship in all ports of call and landings. The card serves as a control system on the gangway enabling the ship to know which of our guests are on board or ashore at any time. A running tab of all purchases on board will be kept for each cabin. Shortly before the cruise ends the account will be totalled and settled on board, either by credit card, or in cash. We regret that there is no facility for cash withdrawals or currency exchange on board.

Please note that when using your credit card on board the ship, your account will be debited in Norwegian Kroner (NOK). The rate of exchange will be the one stipulated by your credit card company.

Every day the Expedition Team distributes a daily programme with a list of port calls, landings, lectures, meals, and activities on board.

All our published plans are subject to change. 

Please note the use of passenger-operated drones is not permitted during your voyage. This is for general safety as well as the protection of the vulnerable wildlife and other guests’ personal security.

The plugs in your cabins are all 220V/50hz. Suites have 110V for shavers. The plugs are continental two pin plugs, which may require an adapter. 

On MS Nordstjernen, there is no internet connection on board, except while at port in Longyearbyen and Barentsburg. Depending on the operator with whom you have a contract, mobile phones will function in Longyearbyen and Barentsburg. 

Announcements are given in English and German. Lectures are in English with simultaneous translation into German. On some occasions, lectures will be given in German and translated simultaneously into English. Daily programmes will be in English and German. There will be English, French, German, and Nordic-speaking staff on board.

No laundry service is available on board and dry-cleaning is not possible on the ship. 

The ships have a selection of books on different topics that are available to guests while on board. 

Hurtigruten complies with the ISPS-regulations (International Ship and Port Security System) where all luggage is subject to X-ray/metal detector inspection upon arrival at the port facility or ship. The ISPS regulations also include hand baggage scans in all ports of call throughout the course of the cruise.  

The ship complies with international safety requirements, and is a modern vessel suitable for sailing in the respective destinations, including icy waters.  

All guests will be instructed in safety procedures and the use and location of the safety equipment before departure. There is a Safety Notice posted on the inside of the cabin door which we encourage all guests to read carefully. 

During the sailing, special safety regulations will apply on landings with the expedition boats. Please follow the instructions given by the Expedition Leader and crew/staff. Special lifejackets for use during landings will be provided to all passengers. A mandatory briefing regarding the safety guidelines will also be given. 

Safety is always our priority and the ship’s Captain will decide the final itinerary during the cruise. Each cruise is unique, and all published routes are only indicative. 

You can hand in your mail at the reception, and for a service fee and cost of stamps we will forward the post in every port where possible. The time needed for delivery of mail may be relatively long. Hurtigruten Expeditions accepts no responsibility for lost mail.  

Your cruise includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The open seating for the breakfast and lunch buffet creates a relaxed atmosphere. Dinner varies between buffets, set meals, and barbeques. The type of dinner is announced in the daily programme. If you have special dietary requirements, such as vegetarian, diabetic, or gluten free, please inform your sales office/travel agent as early as possible, and contact the Restaurant Manager when on board. The chefs will do their best to meet your dietary requirements. Beer, wine, and soft drinks are sold in the restaurant during lunch and dinner. 

Information about your table number and mealtimes will be in your cabin upon arrival. Please provide information regarding special requests for seating arrangements. On MS Nordstjernen there is only one sitting for all passengers. Your table in the restaurant will be assigned after embarkation. 

Where possible, we plan our menus around seasonal ingredients, taking advantage of local produce to satisfy healthy appetites stimulated by the fresh sea air.  

Regular coffee and tea is complimentary throughout the whole cruise. Still water by carafe is included together with your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Other beverages and refreshments during the day are not included, but may be purchased on board in the restaurant, cafeteria, and bar.  

There is no room service on MS Nordstjernen. 

Seasickness pills are available for purchase in reception. If you are prone to seasickness, it is recommended that you bring pills that you are familiar with. 

On board MS Nordstjernen there is a very limited selection of clothing and expedition equipment for sale. 

Guests are respectfully reminded that only our stable expedition 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 times it will become second nature. On all landings in expedition boats, guests are expected to wear proper footwear. Landing operations depend on favourable conditions. 

On board, smoking is only permitted in designated areas on outside decks. smoking is not permitted in cabins or private balconies. Throwing cigarette butts overboard is strictly prohibited. A cleaning charge of approximately 150 EUR will be applied for smoking in a non-smoking cabin, to cover the cost of cleaning linen and curtains to return it to a non-smoking standard. E-Cigarettes, according to Norwegian law, are the equivalent of tobacco cigarettes and therefore smoking these is only permitted in the designated smoking areas.  

When the ship is refuelling smoking is prohibited. Announcements will be made on board accordingly.  

Smoking is not allowed during nature landings in AECO and IAATO areas, except for city landings. 

If you have special requests (e.g. dietary or medical), please inform us as soon as possibleand no later than 8 weeks prior to your cruise departure. We will do our best to meet such requests but cannot guarantee to do so, and under no circumstance will any such request be accepted by us so as to form part of a contractual agreement. 

We kindly remind you to take care when walking on board the ship while at sea, especially when venturing out on deck, observing the signs for warnings of wet and slippery decks. Be aware the doors toward the outer deck are potentially dangerous in windy conditions. Please adhere to the signs and announcements when it is not advised to go outside. While walking inside, hold on to railings but not to door frames, to avoid injury. 


The information and descriptions 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 best to advise you. Many areas we visit are very remote and affected by prolonged cold weather or difficult terrain. The facilities on offer will be subject to local conditions. 

Every expedition cruise is unique. All routes and excursions are provisional and subject to change as weather, sea and/or ice conditions may affect the itinerary. Excursions may also be subject to minimum/maximum numbers. Hurtigruten Expeditions reserves the right to change the itinerary and the content of excursions without prior notice (see terms and conditions). 

For safety reasons, children under 12 years of age will be considered for participation in excursions at each landing. It is entirely at the captain’s discretion whether or not to allow children on shore landings. 

MS Nordstjernen is not suitable for wheelchair users. The ship has no accessible cabins or lifts. Guest in need of special assistance must travel with a companion. Longyearbyen is not suitable for wheelchair embarkation or disembarkation. 

Scheduled flights 

The airfares offered are special package tour fares, which cannot be altered or cancelled without charge. All flight package prices are based on specific booking classes. If the relevant booking class is not available, a supplement may apply. On most intercontinental flights and some continental flights, drinks, meals, and snacks are included in economy class. If not included, drinks and snacks will be available for purchase. We can offer upgrades to business class on some routes. Depending on the airline, this may also include seats with more legroom. Upgrades are not available on all flights. Luggage allowance varies between airlines and charges may apply if you exceed this limit, or carriage may be refused. As a general rule, each guest can carry a piece of hand luggage weighing approx. 6-8 kg (dimensions and weight depend on the respective airline) on board. Your baggage allowance is set to 1PC (23 kg), but may vary depending on the flight connection; please check with your airline. Further transport guidelines can be found in the respective terms and conditions of our flight partners. If you are planning to take a wheelchair or need assistance at the airport, please advise us at the time of booking. Flights may be scheduled early in the morning or late in the evening, as they are adapted to our travel arrangements and voyages. Please note that some flights may require transfers or stopovers. Times and/or route changes, as well as a change of aircraft type, are reserved. Our common flight partners are Lufthansa, British Airways, KLM/Air France, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Scandinavian Airlines, Widerøe, and Iceland Air. Please note that rebooking or reimbursement of an already issued ticket before departure is only possible for a fee. A transfer or refund of a ticket after departure is not possible. Any flight times advised at the time of booking are provisional and subject to change; please check before you travel. 

Funken Lodge offers modern comforts in historical surroundings. The hotel is located in Haugen, with magnificent views over Longyearbyen. There is no official hotel rating system in Norway, but the standard of the hotel is equivalent to 4-5 stars, All rooms have private facilities. Single rooms may be smaller and less conveniently situated, and may be double rooms for sole occupancy or purpose-built single rooms. The hotel may charge for some facilities, e.g. saunas. The price for the overnight stay includes breakfast, unless otherwise stated on your confirmation. 

Coal Miners’ Cabins is located in Nybyen, Longyearbyen’s little ‘satellite town’, and is within walking distance from the town centre. Standard rooms are simple, but with practical furnishings and views towards the wild Arctic landscape. All of the buildings have internet access, kitchens so you can self-cater, sitting rooms, laundries, and bathrooms with showers and toilets (shared facility). The price for the overnight stay includes breakfast, unless otherwise stated on your confirmation. 

Hurtigruten offers a choice of optional Pre- and Post-Programmes that can be added to your Hurtigruten journey. This can be a half or full-day excursion, or an overnight tour. Please note programmes are subject to change, and a minimum number of participants applies. For guests who are not fully mobile, Pre- and Post-Programmes are on request. 

Explore Pre- and Post-Programmes here

There is an English-speaking physician and nurse on board always. The ship has a small medical facility with the necessary equipment and medication to handle small emergencies. In the event of a serious emergency, the nearest hospital will be contacted. Medical consultations as well as medicines will be charged to the passenger affected. All guests must have personal travel/health insurance. If you depend on medication, remember to bring sufficient supplies to last through any unforeseen delays. We also recommend that you keep your medication in your hand luggage, properly labelled, and with clear instructions for its use. If you depend on vital medication, please inform the ship’s doctor upon arrival. Illness on board can lead to quarantine, and orders from the ship’s physician and captain must be followed.

Please take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the required travel documents you will be asked to provide prior to boarding the ship. It is the sole responsibility of the guest to identify and obtain all required travel documents, and have them available when necessary. A passport is the only valid identification. For some destinations, your passport must be valid for more than six months after you return to your home country. At check-in on board, passports will be collected in order to clear immigrations and customs. It is the responsibility of each guest to ensure they comply with any visa travel document requirements at the time of travel. Please pay special attention to the ESTA/ETA regulations for our North America and Canada cruises. See details here.

On some expedition cruises, vaccinations can be recommended or may be required (e.g. vaccine against yellow fever). All passengers are responsible for ensuring they comply with any requirements at the time of travel. See details here.

On all our Expedition cruises Health Declaration Form is required. For some cruises, an additional part of the form must be completed by your doctor.

Click here for more information and to download the form.

Transfers are included as shown in your booked arrangement (please see your booking confirmation). Hurtigruten offers bus transfers from the airport to the pier and some hotels.  The transfer times are set according to the ship’s arrival and departure times, and your arrival and departure times. Delays at the airport are possible. The duration of the airport transfer can vary depending on the destination, but it takes usually between 20-45 minutes (depending on traffic). With your travel documents you will receive further information on your transfer. 

For guests who are not fully mobile, wheelchair accessible transfers are available on request.  

The dress code on board is informal. Depending on the weather several layers should be wornas the temperature may vary quite a lot during the day. For the Svalbard expedition cruises we have a limited number of thermal suits available on board in various sizes. These can be borrowed by guests who wish to spend a lot of their time on deck. Sturdy shoes are important for most shore excursions and landings.