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Photo: Simon Skreddernes Photo

2018 - 2019 Practical & Onboard Information for Coastal Norway

Practical information for travelers joining Hurtigruten along the coast in Norway

Activities On Board

As a part of the travel experience we offer interesting onboard activities, demonstrations, and presentations during your voyage. The activities take place both inside the vessels and outside on deck, and they have relevance to the season and/or the areas we are sailing in. Available activities will be announced in our day to day programs or announced on board.

À La Carte Menu

Our à la carte menu is an out-of-the-ordinary dining experience created from the absolute premium produce from our local suppliers. For guests on the Classic Voyage, full board is included in the voyage price, and for a small fee you can upgrade to our à la carte menu option. If you don’t have a full board, you are still welcome to order our à la carte menu. On most of our ships the à la carte menu will be served in separate areas of the restaurants, while on board MS Midnatsol, MS Trollfjord, and MS Finnmarken there are separate dining rooms that are used exclusively for our à la carte menu option guests. Enjoy 2-, 3-, 4-, or 5-course dinners, and choose from four different starters, five main courses, four desserts, and our famous cheese plate. Additional wine and drink packages are also available. The à la carte menu is only bookable on board. MS Lofoten has its own dinner concept with a menu from the 1960s. MS Vesterålen does not offer the à la carte menu.


For our Bergen-Bergen and Bergen-Kirkenes-Trondheim voyages and all suite bookings, you will be able to choose a specific cabin at no extra charge, subject to availability. For all other voyages 5 nights or longer, you have the option to choose a specific cabin for a fee, subject to availability. Otherwise, your cabin will be assigned upon embarkation. Please note that cabins on decks with passenger access to outside areas may sometimes have an obstructed view due to other passengers walking by. Please ask our Reservations Team for advice about the best cabin location for you.

Cabin Check In/Out Times

Check out time is 12:00 (noon), except for the major ports that are listed below.





15:00 (3pm) 

10:00 (10am)



08:00 (8am)



08:30 (8:30am)



Hot and cold drinks and snacks may be bought in the cafeteria, which is typically open 24 hours a day. During winter voyages, cafeteria hours will be indicated on board.


With the exception of MS Spitsbergen, the ships can accommodate cars, so you have the opportunity to combine a coastal voyage with a road trip. If you want to take a break from driving and are thinking of booking hotel accommodations, Hurtigruten makes an excellent alternative. Campervans, minivans and trailers cannot be accepted.


(in meters) 

(in meters)

(in meters)

(in kilograms)

MS Finnmarken   6.5 2.50 2.40 5000
MS Kong Harald 6.4 2.25 2.40 5000
MS Midnatsol 6.5 2.30 2.50 5000
MS Nordkapp 6.5 2.20 2.45 5000
MS Nordlys 6.5 2.20 2.40 5000
MS Nordnorge 6.5 2.40 2.40 5000
MS Polarlys 6.5 2.25 2.45 5000
MS Richard With   6.4 2.40 2.40 5000
MS Trollfjord 6.5 2.30 2.45 5000
MS Vesterålen 5.4 1.85 2.30 2800


Changes to the Itinerary and Excursions

The weather along the Norwegian Coast is unpredictable, and weather, sea, and ice might affect the itinerary and excursions. Our excursions may also be subject to minimum and maximum number of guests. Itineraries during the Christmas season may change in order for ships to host dinners and celebrations for local communities.

Correspondence and Communications

If you have made your booking through a travel agent, then all communications between you and Hurtigruten must be via that agent. If you have booked your voyage directly with us, we will send all correspondence directly to the lead passenger. Please include your booking reference number in all communications with us. If you are traveling with friends and would like to receive separate documents, please advise us at the time of booking. We will confirm your voyage at the earliest opportunity regarding current flight times, prices, and any applicable supplements. For high-demand season travel dates, or if you book within eight weeks of departure, it may take slightly longer to confirm your voyage. An invoice will be sent to confirm your arrangements. We will typically send you your travel documents 7–14 days prior to departure.

Electrical Outlets

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


In Bergen the Hurtigruten ships sail from the Hurtigruten Terminal, Nøstegaten 30, N-5010 Bergen. Luggage lockers are available in the terminal for an additional charge. The terminal is staffed and open for luggage check-in starting from 13:00 (1pm). Passenger check-in begins at 15:00 (3pm) and embarkation takes place starting from 16:00 (4pm). Cabins are available starting from 18:00 (6pm). Please see embarkation and departure times per date range in the table below.




Jan 1 –  May 31

From 16:00 (2pm)

22:30 (10:30pm)

Jun 1 –  Oct 31

From 16:00 (2pm)

20:00 (8pm)

Nov 1 – Dec 31

From 16:00 (2pm)

22:30 (10:30pm)

Please note that 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 (6pm – 9pm) with open seating this evening only. Roundtrip 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 Roundtrip Voyage, guests will be asked to vacate their cabin a few hours before arrival. Information regarding luggage handling and disembarkation at other ports is available on board.


Pre-booking excursions (where possible) is recommended as only the remaining places will be sold on board. Excursions booked on board will be payable in Norwegian Kroner and the price may vary as a result of exchange rate fluctuations. It is possible to pre-book shore excursions up until 4 weeks prior to departure. If you choose to pay by credit card, pre-bookings can be made up until 2 weeks prior to departure. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum number of guests, sailing times, and weather conditions. For more information, please visit our Excursions page.

Expedition Leaders

Each ship has an Expedition Leader on board who manages and advises on excursions, issues a daily program and news bulletins, and makes announcements regarding places of interest, wildlife, disembarkation, etc. All our Expedition Leaders speak Norwegian, English, and German.  

Fitness Room

Some of our ships have hot tubs and fitness rooms.


If you need help booking a flight to the starting and/or ending point of your voyage, our Reservations Team is more than happy to help you. Some of our voyages include flight packages.

Gift Shop

There is a shop on board all ships where guests may purchase knitwear, souvenirs, local crafts, postcards, stamps, and toiletries. On MS Lofoten the cafeteria handles this service.

Gratuity Policy

It is not common practice to tip on Hurtigruten ships on the coastal voyage, but if you feel that crew members should be rewarded for providing exceptional service, tip boxes and envelopes are available in the restaurant.


If you need help booking a hotel room before or after your Hurtigruten voyage, please contact our Reservations Team. There is no official hotel rating system in Norway but the standard of the hotels we use is equivalent to 3 or 4 stars. All rooms have private facilities (except for the Snowhotel in Kirkenes). Hotels may charge for additional facilities, such as sauna usage.


An illness, accident, or unexpected situation can arise before or during any vacation. Such an event might cause you to cut short your voyage or cause your trip to be cancelled altogether. Because a cruise is a significant investment, Hurtigruten offers insurance to protect their 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 plan or the plan offered by our independent insurance provider.


You will find wireless networks to connect laptops, tablets, mobile phones etc. Access to WiFi on Ships where it is available will incur a cost as per the table below. Please note that the bandwidth and strength of the signal varies and is not guaranteed at all times. It is suitable for the use of web browsing, checking Email and other basic online services. It is not suitable for streaming media such (i.e. Netflix, YouTube). The prices below include access to the WiFi network on two devices.

Cost (NOK)
1 day 3 days 5 days 11 days
50  125 200 400



Norwegian and English are the official languages on board. The personnel at the reception desk and some of the service crew also speak German. The Expedition Leaders speak Norwegian, English, and German.


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


Luggage handling is not included in the cost of your voyage. When disembarking in Bergen, luggage will be delivered to the baggage belt in the terminal.


Breakfast is typically served from 07:30 (7:30am) (open seating), lunch from 12:00/13:00 (12/1pm) (open seating), and dinner from 18:30 (6:30pm) (assigned seating). During the high season there may be two lunch and evening meal sittings, the times of which will be shown on board. The voyage begins with a buffet dinner upon 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 freshly-baked bread, pastries, and often ‘sveler’ (small pancakes) and waffles freshly-cooked in the restaurant. The all-inclusive package includes a mix of buffets and set menus for lunches and dinners. For those guests who wish to enjoy an enhanced dining experience, an à la carte menu is available for an additional charge.

Medical Assistance/Emergencies

There is no doctor or pharmacy on board, however, officers are trained in first aid and can provide emergency medical assistance. The ships travel close to land should urgent medical assistance be required.

Midnight Sun

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs north of the Arctic Circle when the sun is visible above the horizon 24 hours a day. The locations and date ranges you can see the midnight sun are shown below.




North Cape 

May 13 

July 31


May 16 

July 28


May 16

July 28


May 20 

July 25


May 24

July 20


May 28  

July 17


June 3

July 11



We are happy to welcome passengers who are not fully mobile, and all ships (except MS Lofoten) have at least one cabin equipped for travelers using a wheelchair. Please advise your Reservations Team of any special requirements/mobility issues at the time of booking to enable us to make the necessary arrangements for you. Guests who are able to navigate unaided in a wheelchair do not need to have a travel companion. Those who need assistance may need to be accompanied. Please discuss with your Reservations Team. Passengers who use a wheelchair must bring their own standard-size, foldable wheelchair. In Norwegian ports there is a ramp or gangway used for embarkation/disembarkation. Excursions have not been adapted for passengers with walking difficulties or mobility issues. Please talk to your Reservations Team or the Expedition Leader on board for advice regarding which excursions are suitable. Our Reservations Team will also try to book appropriate hotel rooms to accommodate guests with mobility issues, if needed.

Payment Options

Norwegian currency is used on board. Most major currencies can be exchanged. Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Diners Card credit cards are also accepted on board. A cruise card can also be obtained and used for payment and settled at the end of your voyage. (This may be subject to change.) We suggest that guests bring aboard a small amount of local currency (Norwegian Kroner-NOK) in cash. Major credit cards are typically accepted in Norway, although smaller businesses may not accept credit cards. When using credit cards or exchanging money, you may be asked to provide identification.


Only service animals are allowed on board the ship. Other pets and animals are not allowed.

Polar Night

The polar night is a natural phenomenon that occurs north of the Arctic Circle when the night lasts for more than 24 hours, meaning the sun is below the horizon. The locations and date ranges you can see the polar night are shown below.




North Cape 

Nov 18

Jan 23


Nov 20   

Jan 21


Nov 21

Jan 20


Nov 25 

Jan 16


Nov 30  

Jan 11


Dec 04 

Jan 07


Dec 15 

Dec 28



All our coastal ships visit 34 ports between Bergen and Kirkenes. For more information, visit our Ports page.


The Norwegian State Railways operates an excellent system 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 can be found on all express trains and most intercity trains. Doors are wide and there's space available for bulky luggage, such as backpacks or skis.


All Hurtigruten passengers must attend a compulsory 10 – 15 minute safety briefing in Bergen before the ship leaves port. The briefing is compulsory for all passengers including those who have traveled with Hurtigruten previously.  After check in and before embarkation, please go to the first floor of the Hurtigruten Terminal building, where the safety briefing will be given at intervals between 15:45 (3:45pm) and 19:30 (7:30pm) by Hurtigruten staff. Guests who arrive after this time will be required to attend a safety meeting on board at 20:00 (8pm) before the ship leaves Bergen.

The safety 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. After you have completed the safety briefing you will embark. Embarkation starts from 16:00 (4pm) from the first floor.

Please familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures shown on each cabin door and in public areas. Contact the reception desks if you have any questions. 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. Take special care during winter months when it is icy, particularly on the outside decks and when disembarking the ship or descending from coaches. Winter clothing and select gear can be purchased at the ship’s store. While on board, do not carry large amounts of cash on your person and keep valuable items, including mobile telephones and cameras, out of sight.


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 for departure. Even if your ship has a delayed arrival, it will depart on time to keep the schedule. The departure time is displayed at the gangway. Our ships will not wait for belated passengers. If you miss your ship you will need to get to the next harbor at your own expense.


Smoking is only permissible in the designated areas on the outside decks. Smoking is not permitted when the ships are in port and fuelling, and staff will advise guests when they are not allowed to smoke outside. Smoking in cabins is prohibited and subject to a fine.

Special Dietary Requests

Any special requests such as vegetarian, diabetic, or gluten free should be noted at time of booking. Hurtigruten does its best to accommodate such requests.


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

Telephone/Mobile Phones

Private mobile telephones may be used on board although reception may vary. Check with your provider for costs when using your phone on board.


Transfers may be operated by private coach, scheduled airport coach or train, minibus, or private car and are typically unaccompanied. Full details will be included with your travel documents. 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 can still book some of the transfers prior to departure or purchase a bus ticket.

Traveling from Port-to-Port

On a short voyage you can fly to one town, board the Hurtigruten, sail to another town, and then fly back home again. This is the perfect solution for those guests who do not have the time to join us for the entire coastal voyage. Choose your point of departure and determine how many nights you will spend on board, or ask us to compile a package for you. A lot of locals use Hurtigruten to go from one of our ports of call to another to shop, or visit friends or family.

What to Wear

The dress code aboard our ships is relaxed and casual and guests are not expected to dress formally for meals. We suggest wearing several layers as the temperature and weather conditions in Norway may vary during the day and throughout the voyage. 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.

 Working Ships

With the exception of MS Spitsbergen, our ships function as working ships that call at ports around the clock. You may expect some noise and vibration in some cabins during docking and loading of goods. This varies depending upon the location of your cabin and the ship you are on. Please ask our Reservations Team for the best possible cabin location when booking so that we may suggest the most suitable cabin for you.