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Photo: Jeannine Deckx Gielen/Guest image Photo

Practical Information for Explorer Voyages with MS Nordstjernen

From passport and visa requirements to general onboard information, get to know MS Nordstjernen before you embark on your upcoming expedition.

MS NORDSTJERNEN HANDBOOK

MS NORDSTJERNEN CONTACT INFORMATION

Phone  + 47 46935568
E-mail  : [email protected] 

Alcohol Policy

Only beverages purchased from the ship’s restaurants and bars can be consumed on board. Alcoholic beverages purchased at ports-of-call will be stored by the ship and delivered to your cabin on the last day of the sailing. According to Norwegian law, only people over the age of 18 are allowed to purchase beer and wine. Only people over the age of 20 are allowed to purchase spirits. 

Announcements

To hear announcements in your cabin, the TV has to be set to a channel number, which will be listed in the folder placed in the cabin. Important updates to our programs and emergency information will be announced via separate speakers that will override all other audio in the cabin.

Bar Service

The ship has a bar with a wide selection of spirits, wines, beers, and soft drinks and a lounge with coffee service.

Cabins

There are a wide range of cabins on board, all with private bathrooms. You will be informed at check-in when your cabin is ready. You may expect some noise and vibration in some cabins. This varies depending on the location of your cabin. Please note that cabins on deck C with passenger access to outside areas may sometimes have an obstructed view due to other passengers walking past. Please ask our Reservations Team for the best possible cabin location when booking so that we may suggest the most suitable cabin for you.

Changes to the Itinerary & Excursions

All routes and excursions are subject to change – weather, sea, and ice conditions may affect the itinerary. Excursions may also be subject to minimum or maximum number of guests. The operators reserve the right to change the content of excursions without prior notice.

Children 

There is no age restriction on our voyages, except for those to Antarctica (minimum age of 5, required). For safety reasons, it is at the captain’s discretion for children under the age of 12 to participate in shore landings.

Please note: MS Nordstjernen does not have high chairs for babies in the restaurant.

Cruise Card

A cruise card will be issued upon arrival on board as part of the check in procedure in accordance with ISPS regulations. The cruise card has multiple purposes. It will be required for disembarkation in all ports of call and landings. This card will also be used as a charge card to make all onboard purchases. To activate an onboard credit card, guests must have a Visa, American Express, Diners Club, or MasterCard that has an expiration date no earlier than three months after the date of the voyage. All onboard purchases will be finalized the night prior to disembarkation. The amount reflected will be in Norwegian Krone (NOK). The rate of exchange will be the one validated by your credit card company. Hurtigruten is not responsible for any foreign transaction fees from the guest’s credit card company. All onboard purchases will be finalized the night prior to disembarkation. Lastly, the cruise card is the key to the guest’s cabin. Please note that there is no currency exchange or cash withdrawal on board.

Electrical Outlets

All cabins have 220V (50hz) electrical outlets. The plugs are continental two-pin plugs. Please bring an adapter with you.

Environment & Green Navigation

Our captains take pride in route planning that minimizes the load of the engines and reduces emissions. All waste is stored on board until it is deposited for treatment ashore. Do not to leave any waste when you are on shore excursions. In populated areas, use the containers for depositing waste. We ask you to respect the saying: “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures.”

Expedition Team

The onboard Expedition Team is comprised of an expedition leader, an assistant expedition leader, and several expedition guides. Your expedition leader will regularly update you on the progress of the voyage and point out locations of interest and wildlife sightings.

Gift Shop

The onboard gift shop offers a small selection of clothes suitable for our voyages. Guests may also purchase souvenirs, local crafts, postcards, and toiletries.

Gratuity Policy

We have learned that many of our guests wish to acknowledge the service provided by our crew on board. It is at your discretion to honor service rendered by the crew in bars, restaurant, and cabins. In order to give you some guidelines, we recommend 80 NOK (approx 9 Euro, 12 USD) per guest per day as an average gratuity. Whatever amount you decide to give, please fill in the form you will find in your cabin and give it to the receptionist two nights before the end of the cruise. The amount will then be debited to your cruise account. 

Language

Announcements are given in English and German. Lectures are in English with simultaneous translation to German and Mandarin. In some occasions lectures will be given in German and translated simultaneously to English and Mandarin. Daily Programs will be in English and German. On this ship, there will be English, French, German, and Nordic speaking staff on board.

Library

The ship has a small selection of books on different topics that is available to guests.

Mail

You can hand in your mail at reception, and for a limited amount covering service fee and stamps, we will forward your mail in every port where it is possible. The time it takes for postcards or other mail to reach the destination varies and may be relatively long. Hurtigruten acccepts no responsibility for lost mail. 

Meals

Your voyage includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Coffee/tea is complimentary throughout the voyage. Other beverages and refreshments can be purchased in the restaurant, cafeteria, and bar. Complimentary still water is served at all meals.

Medical Emergencies & Medication

For your safety there is an English-speaking physician and nurse on board at all times. The ship has a small medical facility with the necessary equipment and drugs to handle small emergencies. In the event of a serious emergency, the nearest hospital will be contacted. Medical consultations as well as medicines will be charged to the passenger affected. We strongly recommend carrying sufficient travel/health insurance. If you depend on medication, remember to bring sufficient supplies to last through any unforeseen delays. We also recommend that you keep your medication in your hand luggage properly labeled and with clear instructions for its use. If you depend on vital drugs, please inform the ship’s doctor upon arrival. Illness on board can lead to quarantine and orders from the ship’s physician and captain, must be followed.

Onboard Meals & Dietary Restrictions

Any special requests such as vegetarian, diabetic, or gluten-free should be noted at time of booking and guests should contact the head waiter about their special request when on board. Hurtigruten does its best to accommodate such requests.  We serve a buffet breakfast and lunch. Dinner varies between buffets, set meals, and barbeques, and is announced in the daily program on board.   Information about seating assignments will be available upon arrival. Beer, wine, and soft drinks are sold in the restaurant during lunch and dinner. Complimentary still water is served at all meals.

Onboard Safety

Hurtigruten complies with all safety requirements suitable for sailing in polar regions. Before departure, there will be a mandatory passenger safety drill. Guests will be instructed in safety procedures, including the use and location of the safety equipment. A safety plan is located on the inside of the cabin door.  Special safety regulations apply to tender boat landings. The Expedition Team will provide a mandatory safety briefing describing the tender boat guidelines. Life jackets are required during landings and will be provided prior to embarkation.

Passport & Visa Requirements

Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the required travel documents you will be asked to provide prior to boarding the ship. It is the sole responsibility of the guest to identify and obtain all required travel documents and have them available when necessary. Passports are the only valid identification for all of our voyages aboard MS Nordstjernen; ID cards are not accepted. The passport needs to be valid for more than six months after you return to your home country. At check-in, passports will be collected by the crew on board the vessel, in order to clear customs and immigration. Passports will be kept throughout the whole voyage and returned at the end of the trip. Please bring a photocopy of the passport with you. It is the guests’ responsibility to identify and to obtain the necessary visas before commencing their cruise. Based on nationality, many countries still require an entry visa. We regret we are unable to accept any liability if you are denied access to a flight or entry into a country or are otherwise affected by difficulties or costs resulting from your passport not being approved or if you have not obtained the required visa or other documentation. 

Small Boat Landings

Sturdy boats allow water-based exploration and safe landings in otherwise inaccessible areas. Guests will need to be agile to board the boats, and the boats are safe and comfortable to travel in. Guests are expected to wear proper footwear on all landings.

Room Service

There is no room service available onboard MS Nordstjernen.

Seasickness

Seasickness pills are available for purchase at the reception desk. Guests who have experienced seasickness in the past should consult their physician prior to departure and bring any necessary medication. There are also sea bands available for purchase.

Ship Secruity

MS Nordstjernen complies with the ISPS (International Ship and Port Security System) regulations. All checked and carry-on luggage are subject to x-ray and metal detector inspection upon arrival to the ships and port facilities throughout the voyage.

Smoking

All cabins are designated non-smoking. Guests are allowed to smoke on designated outside decks where ashtrays are provided. Throwing cigarette butts overboard is strictly prohibited. Smoking inside a cabin will result in a 1500 NOK (approximately $180 USD) cleaning charge.

Telephone / Internet

Cabins on MS Nordstjernen do not have telephones and the ship has no Internet connection when it is outside Longyearbyen and Barentsburg.

Water

Tap water is potable in the cabins; complimentary still water is served at all meals.

Weather Conditions

The planned itinerary may change and landings may be canceled due to changeable weather conditions. We reserve the right to change the itinerary due to weather conditions or other unforeseen events.

Walking 

Guests should be careful while walking on the outside decks and also aware of the doors toward outer deck C in windy conditions. Surfaces may be slippery and wet. While inside, guests should hold onto railings and not the door frames.

What to Wear

The dress code aboard our ships is relaxed and casual; guests are not expected to dress formally for meals. We suggest wearing several layers as the temperature and weather conditions may vary during the day. Breathable and windproof clothing are highly recommended, as well as a warm hat, gloves, scarf, and thermal clothing. Sturdy shoes are important for shore excursions and a walking stick/trekking pole may also be helpful. The gift shop has an assortment of clothing for every climate.

Welcome Meeting

There will be a welcome meeting where security information and practical information about the cruise will be presented. This is also an opportunity to be introduced to the key personnel on board and meet some of the other crew members. Before departure, there will be a mandatory passenger safety drill.

Wheelchairs & Limited Mobility

The ship is not suitable for wheelchair users. Persons in need of special assistance must travel with a companion.  

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