Help Center - FAQs

Read our most frequently asked questions

General

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, that 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 or with various degrees of difficulty on their terrain. The facilities on offer will be subject to local conditions.

We will send you a new updated travel itinerary.

A SMIF or Sailing Manifest Information Form is a document used in the travel and transportation industry, particularly for cruise ships. It is a form that passengers often fill out before embarking on a a cruise to help ensure passenger safety, security, and logistics during the journey. Additionally, it may be used for immigration and customs purposes.

The form typically collects important information about passengers, including:

  • personal information

  • emergency contact information

  • passport details

  • medical details

The SMIF only applies to MS Nordstjernen sailings.

Payment

You do not need your PIN code for using a credit card to make a payment online or via the phone. However, a lot of banks might send a confirmation code or security check to your mobile phone. You will also be required to provide the following information:

  • Credit Card Type

  • Card Number

  • Expiration Date

  • Card Verification Code (CVV)

Please have these to hand when making your booking.

You can make full payment online online here.

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, UnionPay, and JCB.

Please Note: Some card providers may charge a foreign transaction fee for cards issued outside your country when processing the payment, please check with your bank regarding these fees. Hurtigruten is not responsible for this fee and does not receive any portion or benefit from these fees.

It is also possible to make a payment via bank transfer. For details please see your invoice. Unfortunately, we don’t accept payment via cheque. If you are having trouble making a payment online, please call us. 

Some card providers may charge a foreign transaction fee for cards issued outside your country when processing the payment. Please check with your bank regarding these fees.

Hurtigruten is not responsible for this fee and does not receive any portion or benefit from these fees.

We can hold a booking for 7 days with an initial non-refundable 25% payment if booking more than 90 days before departure. Departures less than 90 days from booking, will require full payment. Any outstanding balance must be settled 90 days prior to departure. It is possible to make a payment on two separate cards - please visit the 'Make a Payment' page. If you are having trouble making a payment online, please call us as per the details above. 

We can hold a booking for 7 days with an initial non-refundable 25% payment if booking more than 90 days before departure. Departures less than 90 days from booking, will require full payment. Any outstanding balance must be settled 90 days prior to departure.

Unfortunately, we are unable to extend the final due date. To confirm your booking, payment is needed within 7 days.

Upon completion of your booking, you will receive a confirmation email to the email address supplied.

This also includes your booking reference number which will be needed if paying via deposit. 

We can hold a booking for 7 days with an initial non-refundable 25% payment if booking more than 90 days before departure. Departures less than 90 days from booking, will require full payment.

Any outstanding balance must be settled 90 days prior to departure.

We do not take any automatic payments for the outstanding balance. After placing a deposit, you will receive a payment link that is unique to your booking and where any outstanding balance can be settled.

It is possible to make a payment on two separate cards. Please visit the 'Make a Payment' page.

To make a payment online please visit the 'Make a Payment' page. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, UnionPay, and JCB. It is also possible to make a payment via bank transfer. For details please see your invoice.

Unfortunately, we don’t accept payment via cheque. If you are having trouble making a payment online, please call us as per the details above. 

If your payment has failed or struggling to make payment online through your debit/credit card, please contact your bank in the first instance.

FAQs: Flight delays and cancellations

Please go to the airport as planned. If you have multiple flights to your destination and the first flight is delayed, please board the flight. It is possible that your flight will still make it on time or the other aircraft will wait for the delayed passengers.   

If you miss a connecting flight, head to the airline’s service desk at the intermittent airport and ask for a new flight to your destination. Often, the airline has already rebooked you. While doing so, please also contact us.  

Please ask the service desk at the airport for an earlier flight if your new departure time will cause you to miss the ship's departure. You should arrive at the airport closest to your departure port at least 90 minutes before the ship departs. If this is not possible, please contact us for further arrangements. 

Please check your booking on the airline’s website using the reference number from the airline.  

If your flights are booked through us, you will find this reference (i.e. A1B2C3) on your travel documents. 

You may have already been rebooked to an alternative departure. If you have been automatically rebooked, please check that your new flight arrives in time to embark the ship. You should arrive at the airport closest to your ship’s departure port at least 90 minutes before the ship departs.

Please contact us if you have not been automatically rebooked or if your new flight times mean you cannot embark the ship on time.

Please contact the airline’s service desk at the airport. The airline should offer you new flights, and if necessary, a hotel stay. If you receive new flight times, please check if you will arrive at the airport closest to the departure port of the ship at least 90 minutes before the ship departs. 

Please contact us if the service desk at the airport is not able to help you or the new flight times are too late for making it onboard the ship. 

Please check the transfer timetable and take the next bus. If there are no more transfers that day or if the last transfer will not get you to the departure port of the ship on time, please take a taxi. If you are not able to arrive to the port on time, even with a taxi, please contact us. 

You will first need to register your missing luggage at the airport or online via the airline’s website. Missing luggage can take time to locate. Therefore, during the registration process, please add all the places you will stay during your trip, including the ship and any hotels, and the dates you will stay there. The airline will give you a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) receipt for the missing luggage. 

Please bring your PIR receipt to our onboard reception if your luggage has not been delivered to you before boarding the ship. Our staff will support you with getting the bags delivered onboard. In the meantime, we will assist you with how and where to buy necessary items. We will do our utmost to assist in acquiring medication, but we cannot promise results. It is therefore highly recommended that you place very important items that you need immediate access to in your carry-on case. 

Please make sure to keep all the receipts for your claim towards the airline.     

For return flights, you must register your missing luggage at the airport or online via the airline’s website. Your luggage will be delivered to your home address by the airline as soon as possible.

If you plan to skip any flights from your flight itinerary you need to let us know first about this change. This is due to Airline Flight Sequence requirement and your tickets needs to be updated so that not all flights are automatically cancelled by the airline.  

If you have booked your flights through us and you are informed either prior or at the airport that your airtickets are set to stand-by, this is mostly due to airline overbookings. Please be aware that we do not book any stand-by tickets and you have the right to demand a seat on the flight. Please note that the airlines are informed that you have booked a cruise and need to arrive on time to your destination.  

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. 

Choosing when to travel on The Svalbard Express and The North Cape Express

If your chosen departure date for The Svalbard Express or The North Cape Express is more than three months (90 days) from the date you are booking, your voyage may include flights and/or onshore hotel nights before or after your voyage.

Example:

You want to travel on The Svalbard Express on 19 August. The current date of you making the booking is 18 May. There are 91 days between the two dates.

As the date you want to travel is more than three months (90 days) from the current date of making the booking, your Svalbard Express voyage may include flights and/or hotels.

To benefit from the included package, please make sure you book your voyage early, by at least three months (90 days).

If your chosen departure date for The Svalbard Express or The North Cape Express is less than three months (90 days) from the date you are booking, your voyage will NOT include any flights or onshore hotel nights before or after your voyage.

Your voyage may therefore be shorter than the published voyage by a day or two. This will be reflected in the travel dates and price when booking.

Example:

You want to travel on The Svalbard Express on 19 August. The current date of you making the booking is 22 May. There are 87 days between the two dates.

As the date you want to travel is less than three months (90 days) from the current date of making the booking, your Svalbard Express voyage will NOT include any flights or hotels.

Your travel date will change by one or two days to be 20 or 21 August. The shorter itinerary will also be reflected in the price.

Information about life on board The Spitsbergen Adventurer

We clean your cabin upon request rather than daily, but fresh towels are always available. There is no laundry service on board, so please pack enough changes of clothes! 

During check-in, we provide you with a cruise card. This is linked to your cabin and can be used for purchases in the shop and for drinks in the bar during dinner. Shortly before the end of your voyage, your account will be totalled and settled by credit or debit card. 

We use Norwegian Kroner (NOK) for all transactions on board MS Nordstjernen. When using your debit/credit card on the ship, the exchange rate is stipulated by your bank/credit-card company.

If you have any allergies or dietary requirements, please let us know no later than eight weeks before your departure, and contact the Restaurant Manager when you embark. Our chefs will do their very best to meet your needs but, unfortunately, we can’t guarantee they will be able to do so. 

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. 

Every day of your voyage, your onboard Expedition Team distributes a daily programme with a list of port calls, landings, lectures, meals, and activities on the ship. As we note above, nature runs the show, so all published plans are subject to change.

As well as being experts at handling any last-minute adjustments, the Expedition Team know everything there is to know about Spitsbergen and the Svalbard archipelago. They are here to answer your questions and, during onshore landings, they will regale you with talks on topics such as nature, wildlife, history, and geology.

Your voyage includes three meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style, and dinner varies between buffets and set meals – your daily programme when on board will tell you what to expect.

Regular coffee and tea are complimentary throughout your voyage. Other beverages are not included in your voyage, but you can buy them in the restaurant during lunch and dinner and the bar at other times. You can safely drink the tap water in your cabin, too. 

Only beverages sold and/or provided in the restaurant and bar can be consumed on board. Any alcoholic beverages purchased in ports of call need to be stored separately on board by our crew. Your purchases will be delivered to your cabin on the last day of sailing.

Prepare for a total digital detox during your voyage. There is no internet connection or mobile signal on board MS Nordstjernen, though you will be able to connect while in Longyearbyen.

Our stable tender boats are ready to take you on onshore landings. You need to be fairly mobile to board these, but the crew will show you how to do so safely. Make sure you wear sturdy footwear with good grip for landings. Special lifejackets are provided, along with a mandatory safety briefing. 

Please note that landings are dependent on sea and/or ice conditions and may be cancelled at short notice. 

We have English, German, and Nordic-speaking staff on board, as well as French-speaking staff on some sailings. Announcements are given in English, and onboard lectures are held in different languages.

There is no doctor or nurse on board. There are basic medical supplies such as bandages, disinfectants, etc, but any medical issues will need to be treated on land. There is an emergency hospital in Longyearbyen.

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.

Our beautiful MS Nordstjernen was built in 1956. Although this splendid old Atlantic ship has been modernised, unfortunately it is not suitable for wheelchair users and has no accessible cabins or lifts. Longyearbyen is also not suitable for wheelchair embarkation or disembarkation. 

MS Nordstjernen complies with international safety requirements and was designed to sail in icy waters.  

When you arrive on board, expect a mandatory passenger safety drill before departure. A welcome meeting will give you security and practical information about the voyage, and an opportunity to meet some of the Officers, Crew and Expedition Team members. Please also take the time to read the Safety Notice on the inside of your cabin door carefully. 

Take care when walking on board while at sea, especially when venturing out on deck, which can be wet and slippery. Watch out for wind too – 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. 

As you would expect, your safety is always our top priority and the ship’s Captain will decide the final itinerary during the sailing. Each voyage is wonderfully unique, so please treat the published route as a guide rather than a given. 

You can buy seasickness pills in reception. However, if you know you are prone to seasickness, it’s wise to bring pills that you are familiar with. 

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.

We’re an informal crowd so our onboard dress code is to dress comfortably. What that means for you on your voyage mostly depends on the weather. Temperatures can vary a lot during the day, so we recommend wearing several layers and bringing a hat, scarf, gloves, and woollen underlayers – we are in the Arctic, after all! For most shore excursions and landings, it is also important to wear sturdy shoes. 

If you want to spend a lot of time on deck, ask about our thermal suits. We have a limited number available on board for you to borrow.