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Crossing the Arctic Circle on the Hurtigruten MS Lofoten in Norway

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I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there is always going to be about two months between when I visit a place and when you get to read about it, at least on this blog. I travel quicker than I can write or post (especially without bothering you by posting every day), which is why I try to keep my Instagram and Snapchat (brittytt) as current as possible so you can see what I’m up to in the now as well.

If you have been following me on instagram and snapchat you’ll know I just visited Norway two weeks ago. And while you’ll need to wait the requisite two months for my posts on Oslo and Bergen, I’m much too excited to share my experience on the Hurtigruten. Hence I’m jumping a little out of chronological order to bring this post to you now!

Norway, and particularly seeing the Aurora Borealis, has been on my bucket list since I was an 11 year old book worm devouring Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials series. Thus when planning my trip to Europe I knew I had to visit Northern Norway.

Hurtigruten Cruises

It was in researching my trip to Norway that I stumbled along Hurtigruten Cruises. Hurtigruten is a Norwegian ferry company that have been shipping passengers and cargo along the coast of Norway for over a hundred years. In recent decades they have also expanded their services to offer packages to tourists who want to experience the Norwegian Coastline in the best way possible.

The company immediately appealed to me for the simple reason they weren’t offering luxury. Whilst I think I would suffocate on a luxury cruise liner, the idea of a 12-day cruise on a simple ferry seemed great.

It was also one of the cheapest ways for me to see Northern Norway. For €1029 I managed to pick up a 12 day cruise with my own single cabin and all meals included. Given that you’ll struggle to spend less than €25 on even a room in a dorm bed, and less than €25 on any meal in Norway it works out to be a bargain.

It already provided me with the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights. In order to see them you need to be outside of the lights of a city, and a boat out at sea easily provides this setting. The Hurtigruten are so committed to you seeing the Northern Lights that on some departures in winter they offer a Northern Lights guarantee- if you don’t see them they’ll let you rebook another 7 day cruise for free!

The Hurtigruten MS Lofoten

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

I booked the Hurtigruten MS Lofoten because it was the cheapest boat by a considerable amount (I think the next cheapest boat was about another €400). But after spending 12 days on this ship, I can honestly say that if I returned with all the money in the world I’d still return to this boat.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

The Hurtigruten MS Lofoten is the oldest and smallest boat in the Hurigruten fleet. It first set sail in 1964 and it’s been navigating the Norwegian coast every since. Its age makes the ship really magical. It’s almost like stepping into a time machine and I almost felt like at any moment I’d step into the saloon to find men smoking cigars and ladies fanning themselves like in the old movies.

MS Lofoften is also a quarter of the size of the next biggest ship and this is another reason why I loved it so much. Smaller size means it takes fair fewer passengers.

It’s very rare to find any cruise these days where you are sharing the boat with less than 300 people (Loftoten’s capacity), but on our ship we averaged 105. This made the whole place very intimate, by the end of it everyone knew everyone.

I could sit next to someone new in the parlour and they would pip up and say ‘you are the Australian girl yes?’. It also means you develop a special relationship with the crew which was also really nice.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

I’ve always thought cruises to be my idea of a travel nightmare, sharing such a small space with thousands of people and waiting in long lines to disembark for a short amount of time. I feel claustrophic just thinking about it. Hurtigruten MS Lofoten was one of those special opportunities to set sail without all the jazz and people of a luxury liner.

Although if you are used to luxury cruise liners with a thousand things to do on board than Hurtigruten MS Lofoten is probably not for you. This ship is more about long days curled up in the vintage parlour or saloons with a book, or sitting out on the deck and admiring the beautiful scenery going past.

The Food

If you book a specific voyage with Hurtigruten all of your meals are included. This involved a breakfast buffet, a lunch buffet and at least a four course set dinner. The food was exceptional, and I’m still retraining my stomach that three plates of food is not an acceptable portion for a meal.

We ate lots of fresh Norwegian seafood, amazing soups, incredible desserts, steak, French cheese. I couldn’t fault a single meal.

The clear highlight was the special Arctic Buffet where we got to go all out on prawns, mussels, king crab, crab, salmon and other seafood. I just kept going back and being the seafood lover I am, I was in food heaven.

I’ve heard the food on the Hurtigruten MS Lofoten is especially good. It’s a lot easier to cook good food for a smaller amount of people and the chef on our boat does special ordering, separate from the other boats.

I’ve included the dinner menu in every day summary so you can see just how well we were eating! Although bare in mind that the menu changes with every season.

The Voyage Itself

I feel the best way to describe my 12 days on the MS Lofoten is to take you through every special day!

Day 1: Bergen

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle bergen
Day 1 of the cruise is arrival day. The Hurtigruten leaves quite late on this first day (10.30pm in the winter, 8pm in the summer). You can check your luggage in from 3pm, board the ship by 5pm and gain access to your cabins from 6pm.

I would highly recommend arriving a day early to make the most of Bergen.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle bergen

I spent my day taking the cable car up Mt Ulrik for a beautiful view over the city, walking down said mountain on a very rough hiking track (although that didn’t seem to deter the young families of Norwegian making their way up the trail), and exploring the UNESCO listed old city of Bryggen in the city centre.

I arrived at the Hurtigruten Terminal at around 6.30pm. They take your luggage for you, so you don’t have to carry it on the boat yourself. And by the time you have taken part in the compulsory safety briefing and boarded the boat it’s already waiting out the front of your cabin.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle cabin

I spent half an hour nosing around my cabin. I booked a single cabin with a shared bathroom. It wasn’t even that small, especially given the cupboard at the end which I could throw my bag in.

I had a sink which was super useful for brushing my teeth and washing my face without having to venture to the bathroom. I was just super excited to be able to unpack for 12 days and not have to move, and to have a room all to myself for the same amount of time.

I was also super excited to find the special Northern Lights alarm. If you have this activated in your cabin you’ll get an announcement when the Northern Lights are spotted, regardless of the time of the night.

On Day 1, dinner is the included meal and I got my first taste of how incredible the food was going to be.

Menu for Tonight:

Pickeled Mackerel, Spinach Soup with Egg, Boiled Salmon with sour cream, cucumber salad and boiled potatoes, and a dessert of cream, apples and cinnamon.

Day 2: Alesund

After discovering the beauty that is the breakfast buffet on the ship (a huge assortment of boiled eggs, potatoes, bacon, baked beans, smoked salmon, cheeses, fresh cuts of meats, fruits, yoghurts and breads), I settled down for my first few hours of experience the beauty that is the Norwegian coast. Every time I looked out the window there was something beautiful to see.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

We weren’t cruising for long before an announcement came over that wild orcas had been spotted over the boat. It was amazing spotting them swimming and jumping around the boat. After watching Blackfish it really reminded me how much more beautiful wildlife is in its own habitat than in captivity.

They started the service of lunch early at 11.30am so that we could eat before getting off at our first long port of call; Alesund. Alesund was one of the cities I was most looking forward to. It’s famous for its Art Nouveau buildings. Alesund was completely destroyed by fire in the early 1900s (find date) and thus was completely rebuilt in the art nouveau architecture.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle alesund hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle alesund

The result is an incredibly pretty town with beautiful and colourful buildings lining the harbour.

There is also an amazing viewpoint you can walk up to (not something I was able to do as my body was still recovering from walking down Mt Ulriken).

Some of the Scenery from Today’s Cruising:

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

Menu for Tonight:

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle food hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle food hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle food

Gammon with Melon, Mussel Soup, Entrecote Steak and Queen Maud Pudding.

Day 3: Trondheim

The stop in Trondheim is the longest of the trip. We arrive at 6am and stay until 12pm. But there was no real point in disembarking at 6am, so I made good use of the breakfast buffet, had a leisurely couple of cups of tea before setting off to explore Trondheim.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle trondheim

The stop in Trondheim is also one of the furthest from the centre of town; it takes about 20 minutes to walk from the Hurtigruten Terminal to the city centre. I headed straight for one of Trondheim’s most famous places; the Nidaros Cathedral.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle trondheim nidaros cathedral

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle trondheim nidaros cathedral

You usually have to pay to enter the cathedral but given that we were visiting on Good Friday, entrance was free. The Cathedral was the darkest I’ve visited, although I’m not quite sure whether it was especially dark in recognition of Good Friday. This made admiring the stained glass windows especially beautiful.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle trondheim

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle trondheim hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle trondheim

After the cathedral I walked along the river and across Gamle Bybro, the formidable old bridge of Trondheim. After crossing the bridge I took time to explore and snap photos of the most picturesque part of Trondheim; Bakklandet. This was the original part of Trondheim and it’s home to a colourful array of buildings.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle trondheim hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle trondheim

Some of the Scenery from Today’s Cruising:

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circlehurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

Menu for Tonight:

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle food dinner hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle food dinner

Smoked Ham, Chicken Soup, Reindeer Steak (sorry Rudolph!) and Filled Pancake.

Day 4: The Arctic Circle and Bodo

On the morning of day four we finally crossed the Arctic Circle. The ship celebrates the occasion with an Artic Circle Ceremony. This involves King Neptune coming to greet everybody and asking you to take part in an Arctic Circle tradition.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle ceremony

This tradition involves sitting patiently while the captain of the ship ladles ice water down your back. It was incredibly cold but something I knew I had to do. You get rewarded for your efforts with a shot of cloudberry wine and it helps to keep the cold away.

 

Lucky for us we weren’t members of the crew. All new members get initiated onto the boat by having the whole bucket of ice water thrown over them!

Today’s long stop was Bodo but I choose not to get off here. I was feeling slightly lazy and from everyone’s reviews I didn’t miss much. The cities and towns of Northern Norway, such as Bodo, were heavily bombed and destroyed during the occupation of the German Nazis in World War II. Hence many of the towns this far north lack beautiful old towns. But they make up for it with the beautiful scenery that surrounds them!

From Bodo, the ship runs an excursion to Salstrummen, one of the world’s best natural whirlpools. I definitely regretted not signing up for that one!

Some of the Scenery from Today’s Cruising:

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circlehurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

Menu for Tonight:

Crab Cocktail, Onion Soup, Cod Roulade and Prune Compote.

Day 5: Tromso and Husky Sled Riding

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle tromso dog sledding

The Hurtigruten offers optional excurisons throughout the journey. You can visit the North Cape, take guided tours of some of the cities you visit, listen to a midnight concert and partake in adventures such as sea eagle excursions and snow mobile riding.

Whilst these excursions are very pricey (that is Norway for you) I decided to splurge a little and do the dog sledding in Tromso.

As always I’m really careful about participating in any tourist activities that might exploit animals. Hence I asked Hurtigruten for the name of the company in Tromso before signing up and did some research.

After visiting the centre I can definitely say that the dogs are treated very well; their areas are clean, they have constant staff on hand (even during the night) and the company ensures they place retired dogs in happy homes.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle tromsohurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle tromso dog sledding

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle tromso dog sledding

Dog sledding was an amazing experience. Even before we had left the dogs got really excited about running. This is a breed of dog that just loves to run, and the other dogs in the yard were barking in jealously at not coming with us. The scenery that you are taken through is phenomenal and it’s definitely one of those once in a lifetime experiences.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle tromso dog sleddinghurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle tromso dog sledding

But the highlight for me was just cuddling the dogs, especially the puppies. My scarf, shoe laces and jeans were a little worse for wear after, considering all the bitting they had been doing. But it was worth it to be able to cuddle all of these beautiful dogs!

Some of the Scenery from Today’s Cruising:

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle
Finnmarknes, a very short stop

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

Menu for Tonight:

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle north cape buffet food dinner

The North Cape (Artic) Buffet including King Crab, Mussels, Prawns, Reindeer Stew and Salmon.

Day 6: Honningsvag and the Northern Lights!

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle honningsvag

Honningsvag is the most Northern city/town in Norway, situated on an island right at the top. It’s here that you can take part in an excursion to the North Cape, the very top of Norway.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle honningsvag

I instead choose to explore the city itself. It had obviously recently snowed so this small town was absolutely stunning, covered in a layer of snow. We were lucky enough to have a sunny day which made this harbour town even more beautiful.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle honningsvag

 

 

The highlight for me was climbing up to a viewpoint, half way up the mountain where I got a stunning view over all of Honningsvag.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle king crab

In the afternoon we also got to meet some king crab!

Day 6 ended up being my favourite day of the whole trip, not because of this town but for what came later that night. Day 6 was the night where we finally got to see the elusive Northern Lights.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle northern lights

DSC04627 hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle northern lights hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle northern lights

The main reason I’d booked this trip was to see the magic of the Aurora Borealis and it did not disappoint. We sat outside for more than an hour and watched them dance across the sky in different sequences and patterns. It’s definitely one of, if not the, travel moment of my life.

Some of the Scenery from Today’s Cruising:

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circlehurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circlehurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle honningsvaghurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

Menu for Tonight:

Poached Salmon, Meat and Vegetable Soup, Arctic Char with Creamy Spinach and Flan with Caramel Sauce.

Day 7: Kirkenes, Vardo and more Northern Lights!

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle kirkenes

Kirkenes is the end of the journey for those only going one way. Here the boat turns around for the journey back to Bergen.

My plan for Kirkenes was to visit the museum which is meant to be pretty good. Unfortunately after half an hour walking on very icy streets I arrived at the museum to discover it was unexpectedly closed.

The rest of Kirkenes didn’t have much more to offer either, as the town itself doesn’t have any particular historical sights (Kirkenes was destroyed during the war).

This rather boring stop in Kirkenes had me wishing that I’d signed up for an excursion here, such as the journey to the Russian border or the snow mobile trip.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle vardohus fortress

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle vardo hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle vardo

The more interesting of the stop was Vardo, where the crazy people went icy dipping in the freezing water and the more normal people (i.e. me) headed to the Vardohus fortress where we even found an enigma machine!

That night we also had another opportunity to see the Northern Lights but they weren’t as good as the night before. The lights themselves are very tempermental. You can sometimes be in the north for months without spotting them!

Some of the Scenery from Today’s Cruising:

Menu For Tonight:

 

Reindeer Pate, Potato and Leek Soup, Halibut and Fruit Salad

Day 8: Hammerfest

Hammerfest is another town that claims to be the most Northern in Norway. It claims this title because although it is further south than Honningsvag, it is the most Northern town attached to mainland Norway (Honningsvag is on an island).

Hammerfest is another one of the Northern ports that suffers from having been destroyed during the war. But we did manage to visit a pretty superb museum here that offered a great overview on the war in Norway. The reconstruction museum had interesting exhibitions on the caves and tunnels the Norwegian people fled to, the destruction of Hammerfest and how it was rebuilt.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle hammerefestWhat I found most interesting was the discussion on how this destruction and the reconstruction following it helped modernism Norway. And how the ideals you still find in Norway today, particularly social policies, sprang out of the post war process.

We also returned back to Tromso just before midnight and many of those on the boat decided to go on the excursion to see a midnight concert in the Cathedral. I only heard good reviews so if you are a fan of classical music it might be an excursion to consider.

Some of the Scenery from Today’s Cruising:

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

Menu for Tonight:

 

Tart, Cauliflower Soup, Veal Roast and Pear Belle Helene.

Day 9: The Hurtigruten Museum and the Lofoten Islands (Svolvaer)

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

On Day 9 we saw the best scenery of the whole trip. Whilst on the way there we had sailed through the night, on the way back we got to experience the amazing scenery.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

The area around the Lofoten Islands is known for being spectacular so I wasn’t surprised that we found ourselves sailing past beautiful snow capped moutains and awesome rock formations.

We also stopped at Stokmarknes for an hour where you’ll find the Hurtigruten Museum.

I choose not to go because I was a bit concerned about rushing it but some of my friends that went said it was really interesting to learn about the history of Hurtigruten, especially its struggles after the opening up of air connections between Oslo and the Northern cities.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle svolvaer

But the highlight of the day was sailing into Svolvaer, the only stop that we make in the Lofoten Islands. The port itself is very pretty, but the must do for the stop in Svolvaer is the Lofoten War Museum.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle lofoten war museum

The Lofoten War Museum is one of the best museums I have ever visited. It’s the complete private collection of one man, a man that you’ll find manning the desk every single day and who is always willing to answer any of your questions about the war.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle lofoten war museum

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle lofoten war museum

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle lofoten war museum

The place is full of hundreds of unique artefacts, from Nazi war medals, to Nazi casino chips, to Nazi Christmas Baubles (seriously!). We got to see rare military uniforms, Nazi medical equipment, pieces of submerged submarines and old gus and machinery. Everything was accompanied with little laminated cards with explanations.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle lofoten war museumhurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle lofoten war museum

But the most interesting part of the whole museum is the Disney characters painted by Adolph Hitler himself. The owner of the collection found them hidden behind the canvas of another painting done by Hitler and they are truly unique. It’s crazy to think of Hitler being a Disney and Snow White fan!

Some of the Scenery from Today’s Cruising:

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circlehurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circleDSC04787hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

Menu for Tonight:

Shrimp Cocktail, Fish Soup, Filled Pork Loan and Whipped Cream Pudding with Cherry Compote.

Day 10: Amazing Views from the Boat

Whilst we didn’t have the most interesting ports of call today, it was a day for sitting back and watching spectacular scenery pass us by.

Early in the morning we crossed back out of the Arctic Circle and this time we were able to snap some photos of the monument on the island marking the circle.

Whilst on the way to Kirkenes we celebrated the Arctic Circle crossing with ice down our backs, upon leaving the Arctic Circle we did something a little different.

People had to volunteer to swallow a spoonful of cod fish oil, the favoured supplement of the Arctic explorers. Of course I did it, there was a free fish shaped spoon involved. It was truly disgusting.

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

From the boat today we were afforded a great view of the famous seven sisters, a mountain range of seven mountains between 902-1106 metres high. It was definitely stunning!

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

Later in the day we also passed Torghatten, the mountain with the famous hole through it. The hole right through the mountain is said to have been caused by water passing against it during the ice age. It’s pretty incredible to see the ray of light passing through it.

Some of the Scenery from Today’s Cruising

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

Menu for Tonight:

DSC05006hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle dinner foodhurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle dinner food

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle food dinner

The Captain’s Dinner where we got to say goodbye to all of the crew. This was one of the best meals of the trip and included cocktail lofoten (crab, shrimp, salmon roe, smoked salmon cocktail), consommé charolais, beef wellington, cheese plate and Baked Alaska.

 

Day 11: Trondheim and Kristiansund

This was one of the quieter days. We returned to Trondheim at 6am but as we were leaving at 10am, I didn’t bother leaving the boat except to go get some wifi at the port. Whilst we had a great free internet connection on the boat for most of the trip, it did cut out for the last three days of our journey.

Kristiansund is a beautiful port and whilst we didn’t stay for long, the scenery coming into the port was very pretty!

Some of the Scenery from Today’s Cruising:

hurtigruten ms lofoten round voyage crossing the arctic circle

Menu for Tonight:

Chicken Cabaret, Asparagus Soup, Roast Pork and French Toast.

Day 12: Saying Goodbye to the MS Lofoten

I woke up on my last day on the MS Lofoten feeling very sad about finishing my journey. And that wasn’t just because of finally having to pack again! I absolutely loved my time on the boat, Norway is now one of my favourite countries and it was definitely the trip of a lifetime.

I can definitely say I’ll be back to take this trip again, hopefully before the MS Lofoten is taken out of service (which I’ve been told is NOT happening anytime soon!).

 

Looking For Somewhere to Stay Before/After Your Trip?

If you are a budget traveller or are just looking to make some friends, I always recommend staying at hostels. Upon my return to Bergen I stayed at Marken Guesthouse it was fine.

AirBnB is also a great option if you are on a budget or looking for a bit of space. I stayed in an AirBnB before boarding the ship.

For all of your bookings, whether hostel or hotel I always recommend Booking.com, specifically because most of the time you can make a reservation without a deposit and many bookings are fully cancellable and refundable. I love being able to lock in my accomodation early, but then shift things around if my plans change!

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13 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed your travelogue account of each day: the sights, the stunning pics, your Arctic-crossing video BRR, and the delicious pics of the food! You really brought to life your impressions of each day and I was sad because I didn’t want your adventure to end! Well done!

  2. Thank you so much for this write up – we had already booked our trip for December 2016 – so have found your review so useful and we can’t wait.

  3. Head on the same boat March 3. Any suggestions on how to dress and how cold it might be are there laundry facilities in Baird ? Assuming there’s a Laundramat in ports

    1. There are laundry facilities on board and they aren’t too pricey either. You wouldn’t really have time to get washing done at ports. Make sure to pack for as cold as possible- you are going to the Arctic Circle after all! Layers are good because it means you can wear jeans and a tshirt where its warm inside the cabin and then throw on jumpers and a warm coat to go outside. I’d also recommend a warm hat, scarf and gloves.

  4. Wonderful review. We have booked the Southbound trip over Christmas for the very reasons that you stated. To me this trip appears to offers adventure as well as tradition. We are going as a family with our two teenage boys, so we are hoping that in between ports we will get some quality family time playing board games and cards, as well as looking at the stunning scenery. Thanks so much for the insight.

  5. Thanks for the info. Can u elaborate on some other hidden costs if any? I read reviews about how noisy, can be dirty, & have aving to pay for water, tea, coffee etc.

    1. My boat was never dirty- always super clean and they made my cabin up everyday. CLeaner than most hotels I’ve been in! Parts of the boat can be noisy if you find yourself near the engine- the best way to avoid this would be to book an outside cabin (one with a window). Tea and coffee is free during breakfast, lunch and dinner but if you want to get one outside of these meal times then you do need to pay a small amount. Water is drinkable on the boat so just bring a water bottle with you and fill it up.

  6. Thanks for the write-up. I’m taking my dad on a trip aboard this ship, or another Hurtigruten ship, this coming winter or spring. t

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