Winter landscape
Winter landscape along the Norwgian coast Photo: Backpack Foto

Travel Information for Norwegian Coastal Voyages

Practical information for travellers.

Activities on board

As a part of the travel experience, we offer some interesting on board activities, demonstrations and presentations during your voyage. The activities, which take place inside the vessels and outside on deck, are related to the seasons and areas we are sailing in. We invite you to join in all these activities, which we will announce in the day-to-day programmes or on board. 

À la carte menu

Our à la carte menu is a dining experience out of the ordinary - a dinner made from ultra-premium produce from our local suppliers. For those who are taking a classic voyage, full board is included in the price, and you can upgrade to our à la carte option for a small fee. Even if you don’t have full board, you are still welcome to order our à la carte menu. The à la carte menu is included if you book our Platinum package on voyages along the Norwegian coast.

On most of our ships, the à la carte menu will be served in separate areas of the restaurants. However, on board MS Midnatsol, MS Trollfjord and MS Finnmarken we reserve separate dining rooms exclusively for our à la carte guests. Enjoy two-, three, four- or five-course dinners, and choose from four different starters, five main courses, four desserts and our famous cheese, Additional wine and drinks packages are also available. You can only book the à la carte menu when you are on board.

MS Lofoten has its own dinner concept featuring a menu from the 1960s and MS Vesterålen does not offer the à la carte menu.

Cabins

For our Bergen-Bergen voyage, Bergen-Kirkenes-Trondheim voyage, and all suite bookings, you can choose the specific number of the cabin that you wish to stay in, at no extra charge (subject to availability).

If you are taking other voyages of five nights or longer, you can choose a cabin number, for a fee and depending on availability. Please see the applicable price panel for details of the fees.

For all other voyages, and if you decide not to pay the separate fee, we will assign you a cabin number when you board the ship.

Please note that passengers walking by may sometimes obstruct the view from cabins that are on decks with open access to outside areas. Please ask our reservations team for advice on the best cabin location for you.

Cafeteria

You can buy hot and cold drinks and snacks in the cafeteria on board, which is usually open 24 hours a day. During the winter, opening hours may vary - these are displayed on board. 

Changes to itinerary and excursions

The weather along the Norwegian Coast is unpredictable and might affect the itinerary or excursions. Our excursions may also be subject to a minimum or maximum limit in the number of participants. As Christmas approaches, itineraries may change, in order for ships to host dinners and celebrations for local communities.

Check in/out of cabins

Guest must check out of their cabins by 12:00, except at our major ports, which are listed below.

                            Check in from:             Check out before:

Bergen                          1500hrs                      10:00hrs

Trondheim                    arrival                        08:00hrs

Kirkenes                          arrival                       08:30hrs

 

Children's playroom

There is a small play area for children on the following ships: MS Trollfjord, MS Midnatsol, MS Finnmarken, MS Richard With, MS Nordlys and MS Vesterålen.

Correspondence

If you have made your booking with Hurtigruten through a travel agent, then you must continue to make all communication with us through that agent only. If you have booked your holiday directly with us, we will send all correspondence to the lead passenger. It will be helpful if you quote your booking reference number in all communications with us.

We will usually confirm your holiday at the earliest opportunity and inform you on current flight times, prices, including any applicable supplements or extras, etc. It can take slightly longer to confirm your holiday, if you book during the high season or within eight weeks of departure. This is because we might have to request your cabin, flight or hotel space. We will send you an invoice to confirm your arrangement.

If you are travelling with friends and would like to receive separate documents, please let us know at the time that you make the booking. We will usually send you your travel documents approximately 7–14 days before departure.

Credit cards/payment options/currency in Norway

Norwegian currency is used on board. Most major currencies may be exchanged. Visa, American Express, MasterCard and Diners Card are all accepted on board. You can also sign up for cruise card, which you can use to pay for your extras while on board, then settle the account at the end of your voyage. This may be subject to change.

We suggest that you take a small amount of local currency, the Norwegian Kroner (NOK) in cash. Major credit cards are widely accepted in Norway, except possibly at smaller businesses. You may be asked to provide identification when you pay by credit card or exchange money.

Drones 

Please note the use of passenger-operated drones are not permitted during your voyage. This is for general safety as well as the protection of other passengers' personal security. 

Electricity

The electric current supplied in the power sockets on board our ship is on the 220-volt AC standard, and requires a 2-pin continental-type plug. If you need power adapters or converters, please bring them with you.

Embarkation/disembarkation

In Bergen, the Hurtigruten ships sail from: Hurtigruten Terminal, Nøstegaten 30, N-5010 Bergen. If you are taking a taxi, you can simply ask the taxi driver to get you to "the Hurtigruten Terminal". Luggage lockers are available in the terminal and cost NOK 30 (3 x 10 kr.) The terminal is staffed and open for luggage check-in from 13:00 hrs. until 14:30.  Passenger check-in begins at 15:00 hrs and boarding takes place from 16:00 to 19:30 hrs. Cabins are available from 18:00 hrs. Please note that the latest check-in time in the terminal is at 19:30 during the entire year for all voyages.

Period

Departure

Embarkation

1 Jan - 31 May

22.30 hrs

From 16.00 hrs

1 Jun - 31 Oct

20.00 hrs

From 16.00 hrs

1 Nov - 31 Dec

22.30 hrs

From 16.00 hrs

 

There are no restaurant facilities in the terminal and passengers are free to explore Bergen until embarkation time. A buffet dinner is served in the evening of departure from Bergen, usually between 18:00-21:00 with open seating this evening only. Round Voyage guests will find their table assignment for the rest of the voyage in the envelope they receive at check-in. When disembarking in Bergen, luggage will be delivered to the baggage belt in the terminal. On the last day of the round voyage you will be asked to vacate your cabin a few hours before arrival. Information regarding luggage handling and disembarkation at other ports is available on board. 

Excursions

We recommend that you pre-book excursions, as they may be fully booked if you wait until you are on board. Excursions booked on board must be paid for in Norwegian Kroner, which means that the price may vary as a result of exchange rate fluctuations. You can pre-book shore excursions until 4 weeks before departure. If you choose to pay by credit card, you can make pre-bookings until 2 weeks prior to departure. Excursions and their contents are subject to limits on the maximum and/or minimum number of participants, sailing times and weather/local conditions.

Fitness room/gym

Some of our ships have Jacuzzis and a fitness room.

Flights

If you need help booking a flight to the starting and/or ending point of your voyage, our booking team is more than happy to help you with this. Some of our voyages are sold with flights included.

Gratuitypolicy

It is not common practice to tip on Hurtigruten ships on the coastal voyage.  However, if you feel that crewmembers should be rewarded for providing exceptional service, you will find tip boxes and envelopes in the restaurant on board.

Guide dogs on board

Guide dogs are accepted on board and can be booked in dedicated cabins. The guide dogs can stay in all public areas on board except for the restaurant, where the blind/visually impaired guest will be assisted by one of the crew members. Assistance by the crew is offered at all times when this is required by the blind or visually impaired guest.

Hotels

If you need help booking a hotel room before or after your voyage with us, please contact our booking team. They will be happy to assist you. The standard of the hotels we use is equivalent to 3 or 4-star. There is no official hotel rating system in Norway. All rooms have private facilities (except for the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes). Single rooms may be smaller and less conveniently situated. Some single rooms may be double rooms for sole occupancy, while others can be purpose built single rooms. Hotels may charge for some facilities e.g. saunas.

Insurance

An illness, an accident or an unexpected situation can arise before or during any type of vacation. Such an event might cause you to cut short your cruise, or cause your trip to be cancelled altogether. Because a cruise is a significant investment, Hurtigruten offers insurance to protect its passengers from financial loss in the event of an emergency. Details and prices vary, as do coverage limits and exclusions. If you decide to purchase insurance, you will have two options: Hurtigruten's insurance plan or one from an independent insurance provider.

Information meeting

There will be an information and safety meeting before departure from Bergen and Kirkenes. Each ship has an Expedition Leader on board who sells and provides advices on excursions, issues a daily programme and news bulletins, and makes announcements regarding places of interest, disembarkation, etc. Occasionally, the reception desk may provide this this service. All our expedition leaders speak Norwegian, English and German.

Internet

There is an internet café on board all our ships, except MS Lofoten. You will also find wireless networks to connect laptops, tablets, mobile phones etc.  Ships with coverage only in public areas are free. Ships offering full wifi coverage incurs a cost as per the table below. Please note that the bandwidth is limited and the strength of the wireless signal varies. It is suitable for use of social media, email and basic surfing. It is not suitable for streaming e.g.. Netflix and can be used on two devices. 

      Cost (NOK)
Ship Full coverage including cabins Coverage only in public areas 1 day 3 days 5 days 11 days
MS Finnmarken Yes No  50  125 200 400
MS Spitsbergen Yes No 50  125 200 400
MS Midnatsol  Yes No 50  125 200 400
MS Vesterålen  No Yes Free Free Free Free
MS Nordkapp Yes No 50  125 200 400
MS Richard With No Yes Free Free Free Free
MS Kong Harald Yes No 50  125 200 400
MS Trollfjord Yes No  50  125 200 400
MS Lofoten No Yes Free Free Free Free
MS Polarlys Yes No 50  125 200 400
MS Nordlys No Yes Free Free Free Free
MS Nordnorge No Yes Free Free Free Free

 

Languages

Norwegian and English are the official on board languages. The personnel at the reception and some of the service crew often also speak German. The Tour Leader speaks Norwegian, English and German.

Laundry

Laundry rooms with washing machines, dryers and irons are available on all ships. You can buy laundry payment tokens at the reception desk.

Local transport/travelling from port to port

On a short voyage, you can fly to one town, board the Hurtigruten and sail to another town, then fly back home again. This is the perfect solution for people who do not have the time to join us for the entire coastal voyage. Choose your point of departure and the number of nights you will spend on board, or ask us to compile a package for you. Many local residents use Hurtigruten to travel between our ports of call when they need to shop or visit friends or family. 

Luggage

Luggage handling is not included in the cost of your voyage.  You will need to carry your own luggage on and off the ship, except when in the port of Bergen.

Meals

Breakfast is usually served from 0730hrs (open seating), lunch from 1200/1300hrs (open seating) and dinner from 1830 (assigned seating). During the high season, there may be two lunch and evening meal sittings - the times will be displayed on board. The voyage begins with a buffet dinner on departure from Bergen, and ends with brunch on the arrival day back in Bergen. Breakfast consists of a wide selection of cold meats, cheeses, eggs, cereals and fruit, with fresh-baked bread, pastries and often “sveler” (small pancakes) and waffles freshly cooked in the restaurant. The all-inclusive package includes a mixture of buffets and set menus for lunches and dinners, while for those guests who wish to enjoy an enhanced dining experience, the à la carte menu available for a small additional charge. All vessels are fully licensed, and the prices on board are similar to those on the Norwegian mainland. 

Medical assistance and emergencies

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.  

Midnight Sun

The Midnight Sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the entire body of the sun is visible above the horizon 24 hours a day. This only happens north of the Arctic Circle. You can find the dates and locations for the Midnight Sun below.

LOCATION FIRST DAY LAST DAY
North Cape 13 May 31 July
Hammerfest 16 May 28 July
Vardø 16 May 28 July
Tromsø 20 May 25 July
Harstad 24 May 20 July
Svolvær 28 May 17 July
Bodø 03 June 11 July

Mobility

We welcome passengers who are not fully mobile, and all our ships (except the MS Lofoten) have at least one cabin equipped for travellers using a wheelchair. Our sales consultants will also try to book appropriate hotel rooms for you, if necessary. Passengers who use a wheelchair must bring their own, standard size, foldable chair. Guests who are able to navigate around the ship unaided in a wheelchair do not need to have a travel companion. Passengers who need assistance may need to be accompanied by a helper. Please discuss this with your booking agent.

In Norwegian ports, there is a ramp or gangway for embarkation/disembarkation. The excursions we offer have not been adapted specifically for passengers with walking difficulties. Please talk to your booking agent or the expedition leader on board, for advice on excursions that could be suitable for you.

It is extremely important that you inform us of special requirements when you book, so that we can make the necessary arrangements to serve you.

Noise on board

Our ships function as working ships, calling at ports around the clock. You can expect some noise and vibration in some cabins during docking and loading of goods. This varies depending on the location of your cabin and the type of ship. 

Pets

Pets and other animals, except for service animals, are not allowed on board our ships.  

Polarnights

The polar night is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the night lasts for more than 24 hours, which means the sun is below the horizon. This only occurs north of the Arctic Circle. You can find the dates and locations for the polar nights below. 

Location

First day

Last day

North Cape

18. Nov

23. Jan

Hammerfest

20. Nov 

21. Jan

Vardø

21. Nov

20. Jan 

Tromsø

25. Nov

16. Jan 

Harstad

30. Nov

11. Jan 

Svolvær

04. Dec

07. Dec 

Bodø

15. Dec

28. Dec 

 

Ports

From Bergen to Kirkenes, all our coastal ships visit 34 ports. See Ports for more information.

Rail

The Norwegian State Railways operates an excellent, though limited, system of lines connecting Oslo with Bergen, Trondheim and Bodø. Most long-distance day trains have first- and second-class seats and a buffet car or refreshment trolley service. Public phones are available in all express trains and most intercity trains. The train doors are wide and there is space for bulky luggage, such as backpacks or skis.

Safety and welcome meeting

It is a safety requirement that all Hurtigruten passengers attend a compulsory safety briefing in Bergen before the ship leaves port. After check in and before embarkation, please go to the first floor of the terminal building, where the safety briefing will be given at intervals by Hurtigruten staff.

The briefing will last between between 10 and 15 minutes, with the first taking place at 15:45 (embarkation is from 16:00, also from the first floor). The talk 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. All passengers must attend this briefing, including those who have travelled with Hurtigruten before. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, if you have any concerns. When you have completed the safety briefing, please embark straight away. The last briefing will take place at 19:30. Guests who arrive after this time will be required to attend a safety meeting on board at 20:00 before the ship leaves Bergen.

Please familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures as shown in the cabins (there are diagrams on the cabin doors and in public areas). Please ask at the reception if you have questions about this. 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. Be careful during winter months when it is icy underfoot, particularly on the outside decks and when disembarking the ship or alighting from coaches. You can buy ice spikes and other winter clothing in the ship's store.

Schedule

All our ships operate on a set timetable and schedule. When visiting ports along the route, please make sure that you are back on board in time. The departure time is displayed at the gangway. Unfortunately, because of our schedule, our ships cannot wait for delayed passengers. If you miss your ship's departure, you will need to travel to the next harbour by yourself and at your own expense.

Shops

All our ships have a shop on board. The shops sell local products, souvenirs, knitwear, books, postcards, postage stamps and a limited supply of toiletries. On MS Lofoten, the cafeteria handles this service. 

Smoking

Smokers are welcome to smoke in the designated areas on the outside decks. However, smoking is not permitted when the ships are in port and fuelling. The staff will inform you when smoking outside is not allowed. Smoking in the cabin is prohibited and anyone who does so will be fined.

Special requests

If you have any special requests (e.g. dietary or medical), please inform us at the time of booking. We will do our very best to meet such requests, but cannot guarantee to do so. Therefore, we cannot accept such requests as a part of our contractual agreements.  

Stabilisers

With the exception of MS Lofoten, all of our vessels are equipped with stabilizers.

Telephones/mobile phones

You can use your mobile telephone on board, although the quality of the signal may vary. Check with your provider for costs when using your phone abroad.

Transfers

Transfers may be operated by private coach, scheduled airport coach or train, minibus or private car and are usually unaccompanied. We will forward the full details with your travel documents, including the “Arrival and Departure Information” brochure.

In Bergen, Oslo, Kirkenes, Trondheim and Tromsø, transfers are included in your package, if you have booked our arrival and departure package. If your booking doesn't include any transfers, you may still be able to book some of the transfers before departure or buy the ticket from the bus driver.

Valuables

Do not carry large amounts of cash and keep valuable items, including mobile telephones and cameras, out of sight.

Vehicles/cars

The ships can accommodate cars. This means that you can combine a coastal voyage with a road trip by travelling with us. Also, if you want to take a break from driving and are considering booking hotel accommodation, Hurtigruten is an excellent alternative. Please refer to the relevant ship pages for maximum vehicle dimensions. 

What to wear/dress code

The dress code on board our ships is casual, although some passengers choose to change for dinner. The weather in Norway can vary during the course of each voyage, or even during the day. To cater for these variations, we recommend a layered dress approach, so that you can easily adapt to changes in temperature, wind and precipitation conditions. For all voyages, you should bring along breathable rain and windproof clothing. A warm hat, gloves, scarf and thermal clothing can be useful, together with thermal underwear, during the winter months. On land where it may be icy, sturdy shoes are important for shore excursions. A walking stick/trekking pole may also be useful.

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