Hurtigruten cruise lines have a purpose beyond basic provision of a comfortable environment for passengers. The fleet is made up of a dozen passenger freighter ships with different passenger capacities ranging from 100 to 646. Hurtigruten is among the most comprehensive Norway cruises with 34 ports of call, including several in locations above the Arctic Circle. Most of the ships in the fleet have cargo holds that are necessary for delivering supplies to remote villages and towns. The route normally involves 12 day up and down cycle along the western coast of Norway with visits to 34 different coastal ports to deliver both supplies and passengers. Hurtigruten, which roughly translates to “fast route”, has been servicing the route since 1893.
For many sight seers, these voyages provide very fascinating and spectacular trips through the islands and fjords of Norway and other beautiful scenery along the journey. Hurtigruten also operates expedition ships including the 2007 built 278-passenger flagship MS Fram in both the Arctic and Antarctica. The company is not big on casinos and theaters, passengers should not expect any of these, rather they focus on the beautiful scenery that Mother Nature has to provide such as the Northern Lights.
Both the one way and round trip excursions are available for passengers wishing to go sightseeing on the coastal route. Passengers can book trips from Bergen to the Kerkenes on the coastal routes of Norway. The passenger ships are bound to stay closer to land while on the trip to allow for more intimate views of the landscape. The freight delivery vessels make frequent stops at the ports making for a fun and exciting view of the activities at the cargo holds. Shore excursions are also available for passengers where they can get off at a port and then meet up later with the ship. The options for such excursions include, among others, a midnight concert held at the Arctic cathedral in Tromse.
The ships feature a contemporary décor from attractive Norwegian artwork. The cabins are very comfortable with an option to book suites, which come complete with balconies, for those who fancy a little more space. Breakfast and lunch are self-served from plentiful buffets with an array of both international and local treats such as Herring. Dinner is served sit-down with a rich menu that includes both Norwegian salmon and reindeer. Passengers are allowed to bring their own booze to keep in their cabins. Some of the ships in the fleets have Jacuzzis and swimming pools for relaxation. Day passengers are not allowed to book cabins; however they can have their meals in the 24 hrs café for a fee.
Scientists and naturalists are available on expedition cruises to lead zodiac excursions and provide commentary during the tour. These cruises are apt for a mostly European crowd aged 50 and above. You are also bound to find quite a number of well-travelled Americans who are mostly in search of a low-key experience.
The ships travel to the following locations: Coastal Norway, Antarctica, Spitsbergen, Iceland, Greenland and Northern Europe