1800x900_ms-polarlys-in-kirkenes-05

FAQ: The Coastal Express

Everything you need to know about facilities and services on our Coastal Express ships, including bringing a vehicle on board

Know before you go

We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

Passport and visas

All guests must present a valid passport with a validity of six months post-voyage when they check-in to a voyage. A valid passport is required for both The North Cape Express and The Svalbard Express. You will not be permitted to disembark the ship without one.

All guests should obtain up-to-date advice on passport and visa requirements from the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of the destination or country(ies) through which you are travelling.  

Vaccinations

There are no compulsory vaccinations or health requirements for travelling to Norway, but it is the responsibility of all passengers to check and make sure they comply with any health requirements at the time of travel. For the most up-to-date guidance, check the Norwegian Institute for Public Health website.

We suggest you consult your doctor or relevant health authorities about any precautions you should take with regard to deep-vein thrombosis (DVT).

Prohibited items

Hurtigruten complies with ISPS regulations (International Ship and Port Security System) so all luggage is inspected by X-ray/metal detector upon arrival at the port facility or ship. These regulations also include hand baggage scans in all ports of call throughout the course of your voyage.

The below list is not exhaustive. The SSO/Captain are authorised to make a professional judgment as to the legality of any item declared, detected, or discovered on board. 

Prohibited items include:

  • Illegal drugs, narcotics, and illegal substances

  • All firearms including replicas imitations, non-firing weapons, starting pistols and their components (including but not limited to the following items: Guns, operational or replicas, ammunition of all types, BB Guns, Compressed Air Guns, including Paint Ball Guns, Flare Guns, Gun Lighters, Gun/Firearms Parts, Pellet Guns, Spear Guns, Starter Pistols, Realistic Replicas of Firearms)

  • All explosives and replicas (including, but are not limited to, the following items: Blasting Caps, Dynamite, Fireworks, Pyrotechnics, Hand Grenades, Plastic Explosives, Bomb Making Components, Gun Powder)

  • Pointed weapons and sharp objects (including, but not limited to, the following items: throwing stars, flick- or gravity knifes, daggers, knifes or scissors with blade longer than 7 cm (including folding pocket knives), open razors, Spears or Spears gun, archery equipment, crossbows, crossbow bolts and long bow arrows, sabers, swords, Skean Dhus or Kirpans, axes)

  • Blunt weapons (including, but not limited to the following items: knuckle dusters, brass knuckles, clubs, coshes, batons, flails or nunchaku and other items adapted or intended for use as an offensive weapon)

  • Restraining Devices (including, but not limited to the following items: handcuffs, leg or head restraining straps)

  • High voltage stun devices and items containing incapacitating substances (including, but not limited to the following items: tasers, gas guns, tear gas spray, mace, phosphorus, acid and other dangerous chemicals that could be used to maim or disable, poison)

  • Flammable substances unless carried in limited quantities (including, but not limited to the following items: petrol, methylated spirits, lighter fuel, paints, thinners, large batteries, etc)

  • Candles or incense

  • Compressed gas tanks, bottles, cylinders (including, but not limited to the following items: dive tanks, propane tanks, large aerosol cans)

  • Items containing heating elements (including, but not limited to the following items: Immersion Heaters, Heating blankets, infrared heaters, flat irons, water heaters, coffee machines, etc)

  • Remote-controlled or independent flying devices (including, but not limited to the following items: drones, toys, kites of any kind)

  • Self-balancing hover boards, air wheels, scooters, Segways

  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB), ham radios, satellite phones, transformers, laser and laser pointers, signalling jamming devices

Though we always do our utmost to stick to our sailing schedule, the weather on the Norwegian coast often has other plans. 

When the water is too choppy or the fog is too thick, your safety comes first, every time. That's the case even if it means we have to change our itinerary or cancel onshore excursions at the last minute.

Just like weather on the Norwegian coast, we can't control what wildlife you get to see on your voyage with us. A lot depends on the season, migration patterns, and pure luck.

Nature and wildlife on the Norwegian coast are unpredictable, but really, that’s what makes the surprise encounters all the more special. 

Information about life on board

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 access to outside areas may sometimes have an obstructed view and/or have other passengers walking past their window. Some cabins may experience some noise and vibration during docking and loading of goods. This varies depending on the location of your cabin.

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

Check-in

In Bergen, embarkation is from 16.00, with departure at 20.30. 

Check-out

Normal check-out from cabins is at 12.00. It is possible to buy a later check-out at the reception if it is available:

  • NOK 300 for 1-3 hours

  • An additional NOK 100 per hour for more than 3 hours

Ports with earlier check-out:

  • Bergen (at 10.00 a.m.)

  • Kirkenes (at 8.00 a.m.)

  • Trondheim (at 8.00 a.m.)

  • Tromsø (southbound - at 8.00 p.m.)

All our Coastal ships (except MS Vesterålen) have a Coastal Experience Team on board, who run a special programme of activities including lectures and presentations, photography workshops and offshore hikes and excursions. 

On board MS Vesterålen, this service is carried out by the Tour Leader or by the reception team.

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

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

We offer a wide range of plant-based options for lunch and dinner. Our chefs can also cater for special diets and some food allergies if you let us know ahead of time. It is very important that, at the time of booking, you make a point to tell us clearly about any food allergies you have.

Although some passengers choose to change for dinner, the dress code is casual rather than formal.

The use of passenger-operated drones is not permitted during your voyage. Drones can hinder the user’s safety, disturb vulnerable wildlife, and affect other guests’ personal security.

The sockets used on board are the 220v AC, two-pin Continental type. Please bring your own adapters with you if needed. 

To ensure a smooth departure, please be prepared for boarding at least 15 minutes prior to departure time at all ports. If you are embarking in Bergen, please arrive at the terminal no later than 30 minutes before departure.

You’ll have the option to explore the ports we visit at your leisure. Our sailing plan is available. Please ensure that you are back on board in time, especially if the ship arrives with a delay but departs on time to keep to the schedule. The departure time will always be clearly displayed at the gangway.

Please note that the ship 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 port on the schedule. 

Our main restaurant, Torget, is open for three meals a day and offers a varied selection of dishes. Breakfast is served from 7am, with a range of hot options and a buffet of fresh bread, fruit, yoghurts, eggs, pancakes, smoothies, and juices. From 12pm, you can tuck into a menu of à la carte options based on the season’s best ingredients, while a three-course à la carte dinner is served from 6pm. Guests will find a variety of plant-based options on the menu for lunch and dinner.

Guests can also enjoy a taste of Arctic fine dining at Kysten, where the menu has been carefully curated by our Culinary Ambassadors. For a more relaxed meal, guests can head to Brygga, our onboard bistro, which offers a delicious menu of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and pizzas.

Those with a sweet tooth will want to pay a visit to Multe, our onboard bakery, where guests can tuck into waffles loaded with generous dollops of whipped cream or ice cream. 

It is not common practice to tip on our ships, 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 offer complimentary Wi-Fi on board our ships. Please note that the signal varies depending on different locations on the ship. As the ship sails in remote regions of Norway, speeds may also be slower and not suitable for streaming services. 

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.

While on board, all guests are asked to maintain good hand hygiene, and to wash hands regularly. You are required to wash or sanitize your hands before all meals. Hand sanitizer is available all over the ship.

We use air-conditioning systems that provide constant air supply - the air is not recycled.

All guests must have personal travel/health insurance. If you depend on medication, please remember to bring sufficient supplies to last through any unforeseen delays. Such delays, while rare, can and do happen. We also recommend that you keep your medication in your hand luggage, properly labelled, and with clear instructions for its use.

If you need to bring a prescription, Norwegian pharmacies require this in paper format with a doctors' signature. Mobile, email or app prescriptions will not be accepted.

Norwegian and English are the official onboard languages.

Some members of the Coastal Experience Team (or the Tour Leaders on board MS Vesterålen), reception staff and service crew also speak German. On board MS Richard With, some members of the Coastal Experience Team speak French.

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

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

All of our ships feature fitness rooms and outdoor deck hot tubs for your enjoyment. Please note, the MS Trollfjord and MS Vesterålen are equipped with fitness rooms, but no hot tubs.

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.

All ships have at least one cabin equipped for travellers using a wheelchair.

It is a safety requirement that all 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. The briefing lasts between 10-15 minutes and is mandatory for all guests, including those who have travelled with us before. 

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. 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.

All our ships have a shop stocked with 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.

We recommend pre-booking excursions to avoid disappointment. You can do this up to four weeks prior to departure.

Any remaining excursion places will be sold on board and will be charged in Norwegian Kroner at the ship’s exchange rate. 

Please note that all excursions are provisional and subject to change – weather and sea conditions may affect the viability of certain excursions. Excursions may also be subject to minimum/maximum numbers.  

Smoking, including e-cigarettes and vaping, is only permitted in designated areas on the outside decks. However, all forms of smoking are strictly forbidden even in designated areas when the ship is in port and refuelling. The crew will advise guests when this is the case.  

A cleaning fee of approximately NOK 1500 will be charged for smoking in the cabin. This is to cover the cost of washing bedding and curtains to bring the cabin back to a non-smoking standard.

Our voyage prices are based on two people travelling together and sharing one cabin. A guest wishing to travel solo will be expected to pay a percentage of the cabin rate. However, we occasionally offer no single supplement. Please refer to our special offers for the latest specials. 

If you are travelling alone, you will have a whole cabin for yourself and won't be sharing with another traveller. 

All our ships are equipped with stabilisers for smoother sailing. However, please be aware that the ship may still sway when winds and waves are high. 

Bringing a vehicle on board The Coastal Express

We highly recommend pre-booking a spot on the car deck. You can show up on the day, but there's no guarantee we'll have a free space.

Please be ready to drive on board at 18.00 in Bergen and no later than one hour before departure in Trondheim, Bodø, Tromsø and Kirkenes. For all other ports, please arrive no later than 30 minutes before departure. 

In most ports, you park your car, walk on to the ship, check in, and then return to your vehicle. Our crew will then inform you when it’s your turn to drive on board. In Bergen, please walk into the terminal and check in.  

We ask guests embarking at ports where we dock for 15 minutes or less to drive onto the ship before checking in. A member of our car deck crew will hand you a transit card. Please show this card to reception staff during check-in. Check our sailing plan to see how long we stay in each port.

Please provide reception staff with the following information during check-in: 

  • License plate number 

  • Type of vehicle 

  • Colour of vehicle 

You will receive your vehicle access pass during check in, which must be shown to the crew on the car deck.

In Bergen, there is  a car park near the terminal marked with ‘Kystruten and FjordLine’.  

In Trondheim and Bodø, there is a car park close to the pier. 

In Tromsø, vehicles must be parked in public car park near the terminal building.  

In Kirkenes, there's a marked parking lane on the pier. 

Our smaller ports do not usually feature a car park. However, you can park in a suitable place close to the pier.  

Please note: The order vehicles enter the ship depends on their port of disembarkation. You’ll receive further information during check-in.   

In many ports, our crew can drive your vehicle on and off the ship. However, please note that we cannot guarantee this service. 

Yes, except for our seasonal stops in Geirangerfjord in summer and Hjørundfjord in autumn, as we don’t dock in these two locations. Instead, we anchor offshore, and guests are brought on board by tender boats. 

The following dimensions apply to vehicles: 

 Max length in metersMax width in metersMax height in metersMax weight in kilos

MS Kong Harald

6.4

2.4

2.25

5000

MS Nordkapp

6.5

2.4

2.1

5000

MS Nordlys

6.5

2.4

2.2

5000

MS Nordnorge

6.5

2.4

2.3

5000

MS Polarlys

6.5

2.45

2.2

5000

MS Richard With

6.4

2.4

2.3

5000

MS Vesterålen

5.4

2.3

1.9

2800

For safety reasons, we will not be able to board vehicles with LPG or CNG gas. This applies even if the tank is empty.

Unfortunately, no caravans or trailers are allowed on board. 

Guests must take any luggage they need with them for the trip and embark via the terminal in Bergen and via the Hurtigruten pier in the other ports. Luggage must not be transported through car decks.

Please be aware that luggage handling is not included in your voyage, unless embarking or disembarking the ship at the terminal in Bergen. You’ll need to carry your own luggage on and off the ship at all other ports. 

No, as guests aren’t allowed on the car deck while the ship is sailing. Therefore, please take the luggage you require from your vehicle and board via the terminal in Bergen and via the pier in other ports.  

The car deck only opens when the ship is docked. Therefore, you can enjoy the views right up until we reach land. The crew will show you to your vehicle, and you can start your engine when notified.

Please note: On southbound sailings, the crew drive all vehicles off the ship in Trondheim due to the early hour (06.30) of our arrival. You can collect your keys in reception.