The Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express is a truly breathtaking expedition cruise. While the ships do not offer the full amenities and luxuries cruise passengers have come to expect, the unique ports of call and gorgeous scenery make up for the lack of variety and entertainment on-board. These expedition cruises come in a variety of itineraries, so passengers can customize their voyage according to the length of time and ports of call they choose.
Cabins and On-board Amenities
The Hurtigruten fleet consists of fairly new ships designed with passenger comfort in mind. The staterooms are small but efficiently arranged and the bathrooms provide ample space and feature heated floors on some of the ships. The fleet is used for transporting mail and cargo as well as passengers, so stops along the voyage are frequent and sometimes take less than a half-hour to complete. This is a delightful feature to most passengers, who are there to experience Norway and the surrounding regions firsthand, leaving less time to spend in the cabins and more time to enjoy the scenery above.
Entertainment and dining on the Hurtigruten ships is limited but high quality. The ships sport a single lounge, which often features a piano bar or vocalist in the evenings. The single dining room offers little choice on the menu with family-style dining, although passengers can arrange for alternative entrees early in the day if they have a problem with the advertised fare. There is also a cafe on-board that is primarily used for passengers using the ship for a day trip to travel from one area of Norway to another.
The passenger list on a Hurtigruten ship is diverse, with people from around the world traveling to this scenic spot. The English-speaking crews are quite accommodating, offering hospitality with a Norwegian flare. Many of the passengers are natives, traveling from one location to another, but there are plenty of international tourists onboard as well. The majority are taken with the breathtaking scenery and native culture, allowing passengers to form a bond over the common interests discovered on-board. The limited activities, entertainment and dining options suggest that this may not be the best cruise choice for small children.
Cruise Atmosphere and Considerations
The ships in the Hurtigruten fleet advertise that their primary means of entertainment are your fellow passengers and the scenery viewed from the deck of the ship. The frequent ports of call also allow passengers frequent opportunities to get off the ship and explore native sights and cuisine. However, the lack of entertainment may create a rather redundant atmosphere on longer itineraries. Passengers should not board without at least one or two good books to keep them entertained. Dining opportunities are also somewhat limited, although the fare that is served can compete with most of the larger cruise lines. Those with dietary restrictions should contact their travel agents prior to booking, to ensure the ship of choice can accommodate their needs. The Hurtigruten fleet offers expedition cruises in some of the most beautiful regions of the world. If you are interested in experiencing the glorious north in comfort and style, a Hurtigruten cruise might be the right fit for you.