Photo: Simon Skreddernes Photo

Travel Information for Norwegian Coastal Cruises

Practical information for your travels along the Norwegian coast with Hurtigruten

Correspondence / Communications

If you make your booking through a travel agent, all communication between you and Hurtigruten must be via that agent. If you book your holiday direct with us, all correspondence will be sent to the Lead Passenger. Please quote your booking reference number in all communications. When you or your agent first contact us, we will usually confirm your holiday at the earliest opportunity and advise current flight times and prices, including any applicable supplements or extras, etc. For high season dates, when demand is greater, or if you book within eight weeks of departure, we may have to request your cabin, flight or hotel space and it may take slightly longer to confirm your holiday. An invoice will be sent to confirm your arrangements. If you are travelling with friends but would each like to receive separate documents, please advise us at the time of booking. Travel documents are generally sent approximately 7–14 days prior to departure.

Changes to Itinerary & Excursions

All routes and excursions are provisional and subject to change – weather and sea conditions may affect the itinerary. Excursions may also be subject to minimum/maximum numbers of participants. Please take care that you are back in time on board, especially when your ship arrives with a delay but departs on time to keep the schedule. The departure time is displayed at the gangway. Please note that ships cannot wait for late passengers. If you miss your ship, you will need to arrange by yourself and at your own expense the trip to the next harbor. 

Limited Mobility & Wheelchair Access

We are happy to welcome passengers who have limited mobility or use a wheelchair, and all ships have at least one cabin equipped for travelers using a wheelchair. Our Cruise Sales Center will also try to book appropriate hotel rooms. Passengers who use a wheelchair must bring their own standard-sized, foldable wheelchair. Guests using a wheelchair who are able to navigate around the ship unaided do not need to travel with a travel companion. Guests using a wheelchair who need assistance will need to be accompanied; please discuss with your booking agent. Please note that when the ship stops at ports on the Norwegian coast, there is a ramp or gangway for embarkation/disembarkation that may not be easily navigated without assistance. Excursions have not been adapted specifically for passengers with limited mobility. Please contact us, or the tour leader when you are on board, to advise you which excursions are suitable for guests using a wheelchair or have limited mobility. It is essential you advise us of this special requirement at the time of booking to enable us to make the necessary arrangements for you.

Minimum Numbers on Excursions

Some excursions are subject to a minimum number of participants to enable them to take place. Should the minimum number not be reached, we will advise you at least 60 days prior to your departure, when we reserve the right to cancel the excursion. We reserve the right to cancel the excursion and to refund all monies paid to us. Alternatively, you may choose another excursion with us, but if the new excursion is at an additional cost, the difference will be payable by you.

BEFORE YOU GO

Passport

All guests must present a valid passport when they check in to a cruise starting in Norway. For all cruises starting or ending outside of Norway, a passport that is valid six months after end of the trip is required.

Vaccinations

At this time, there are no compulsory vaccinations or health requirements for traveling to Norway. It is, however, the responsibility of all passengers to ensure they comply with any health requirements at the time of travel. We suggest you consult with your doctor or relevant health provider about any precautions you should take in regard to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

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.

We suggest that you take a small amount of local currency (Norwegian Kroner – NOK) in cash. Major credit cards are widely accepted although perhaps not in some of the smaller businesses. You may be asked to provide identification when you pay by credit card or exchange money. Please also see ‘Payment options’ section.

GENERAL

Wildlife & Natural Phenomena

Hurtigruten often shares pictures and descriptions of wildlife, which may be seen from the ships and during excursions. Spending time on outside decks increases your chance of spotting wildlife and natural phenomena, but there are no guarantees of sightings. 

Environmental Commitment

Hurtigruten’s environmental efforts are tied to our strategic six-point policy:

  1. That environmentally-oriented measures are identified and implemented in day-to-day operations.
  2. That focus is directed specifically at the marine environment.
  3. That we specify requirements for subcontractors and contractual partners.
  4. That our communications concerning our own environmental performance are open and complete.
  5. That we ensure continuous monitoring and improvement of our environmental work.
  6. That we do not leave any permanent traces behind us in vulnerable areas.

As a traveler with Hurtigruten, your contribution to environmental care is welcome. We have garbage sorting aboard all ships, and we encourage you to turn off lights when leaving the cabin and pull out the plug from electrical outlets not in use. In 2018, we banned all single-use plastic on board our fleet. When ashore, bring your litter back to the vessel or dispose at a designated place. We are often near wildlife on our cruises. Please heed the advice of our tour leader/expedition leader and excursion guides and strive toward acting in a way that does not alter the wildlife’s natural behavior.

Flight Information

We may book your flights to and from Norway in coach class, first class, or premium class, with airline partners such as Delta, KLM/Air France, Norwegian Air, Norwegian Air Shuttle, SAS (Scandinavian Airlines), or other International Air Transport Association (IATA) airlines. Please note that direct flights are not always available and you might need a connection in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, or Amsterdam, or a major North American hub. Your flight arrival and departures times will align with the cruise schedule. Depending on the flight operator, snacks and drinks are included in your coach-class booking, or may be purchased for a fee. Generally, one piece of hand luggage at a weight of 17 lbs is allowed on board the plane. Please check the airline’s website for more information about the meals on board and the maximum size and weight of your hand luggage. Generally, free checked luggage is restricted to one piece with a maximum of 51 lbs, but this may differ depending on the air connection. You will receive the details of your flights’ itinerary with your travel documents.

Hotel Accommodations

There is no official hotel rating system in Norway. The standard of the hotels we use is equivalent to 3 or 4 stars, and they are centrally located. All rooms have private facilities (except the Snowhotel in Kirkenes). Single rooms may be smaller and situated less conveniently, and may be double rooms for solo occupancy or purpose-built single rooms. Hotels may charge for some facilities, such as sauna usage. The price for the overnight stay includes breakfast, if not stated differently on your confirmation.

Norwegian National Railroad (Vy)

As part of Hurtigruten’s arrival and departure packages, we can schedule train transport between Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim. On the train ticket provided with your travel documents, you will find information about your reservation including the class in which you will be traveling. Additional timetable information can be found at www.vy.no.

Time in Norway  

Norway acknowledges Central European Time (CET) from late October through late March, and Central European Summer Time (CEST) from late March through late October. Norway is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST), however, there is a short period of time when Norway is only 5 hours ahead of EST, depending on when Standard Time ends in March and begins in October.

Tour Arrangements

Special tours are based on independent travel, however all ships and many of our featured hotels have staff who will advise you on excursions and offer general assistance. Some of our special tours are partially escorted.

Transfers

If transfers are indicated in your travel documents, they are usually unaccompanied. Hurtigruten offers bus transfers from the airport to the pier and some hotels in connection with the embarkation and disembarkation in Bergen, Trondheim, and Kirkenes. In Oslo and Tromsø, bus transfers are offered from the airport to the city center. The transfers will be operated with chartered buses (at fixed times) or by the official airport express bus (per the official schedule). The fixed times comply with the daily ship arrival and departure times, about every 20 minutes. The airport transfer takes between 20 and 45 minutes, depending on the city. Please review the Arrival/Departure Handbook with all transfer times contained in your travel documents.

For our Platinum-fare guests, we offer a private transfer from the airport to the ship or hotel, and vice versa, in Bergen and Trondheim. For guests with limited mobility, we offer wheelchair-accessible transfers on request in Bergen and Trondheim. 

Midnight Sun

The midnight sun occurs when the entire sun is visible above the horizon for 24 hours a day. This only occurs inside the polar circles. Midnight sun dates are shown below. 

  LOCATION     FIRST DAY     LAST DAY  
North Cape May 14 July 29
Hammerfest May 16 July 27
Vardø May 17 July 26
Tromsø May 20 July 22
Harstad May 25 July 18
Svalvær May 28 July 14
Bodø June 4 July 8

Polar Nights

The polar night occurs when the sun stays below the horizon 24 hours a day. This only occurs inside the polar circles. Polar night dates are shown below.

  LOCATION     FIRST DAY     LAST DAY  
North Cape Nov 20 Jan 22
Hammerfest Nov 22 Jan 20
Vardø Nov 23 Jan 19
Tromsø Nov 27 Jan 15
Harstad Dec 2 Jan 10
Svalvær Dec 7 Jan 5
Bodø No polar night No polar night

AVERAGE DAYTIME TEMPERATURES IN °C / °F

  MONTH     OSLO     BERGEN     TRONDHEIM     BODØ     TROMSØ  
January -2.3 / 27.9 2.7 / 36.9 -1.6 / 29.1 -1.3 / 29.7 -3.8 / 25.2
February -1.3 / 29.7    3 / 37.4 -0.7 / 30.7 -0.9 / 30.4 -3.1 / 26.4
March 2.4 / 36.3 4.9 / 40.8 2.1 / 35.8   -1 / 30.2 -1 / 30.2 
April  7.3 / 45.1   8 / 46.4  5.1 / 41.2  3.8 / 38.8   1.7 / 35.1
May  14 / 57.2 12.9 / 55.2  10.5 / 50.9  8.5 / 47.3  6.1  / 43
June  17.6 / 63.7 15.1 / 59.2  13.2 / 55.8  11.8 / 53.2  11 / 51.8 
July  19.9 / 67.8  16.6 / 61.9 15.3 / 59.5  14.1 / 57.4  13.7 / 56.7 
August  18.7 / 65.7 16.3 / 61.3  14.9 / 58.8  13.8 / 56.8  12.5 / 56.7 
September  13.7 / 56.7 13.3 / 55.9  11.3 / 52.3 10.7 / 51.3  8.4 / 47.1 
October  8.1 / 46.6 9.8 /  49.6 6.7 / 44.1  6 / 42.8   3.3 / 37.9
November  2.3 / 36.1 5.8 / 42.4  1.8 / 35.2  1.7 / 35.1  -1 / 30.2 
December -1.4 / 29.5 3.3 / 37.9  -1.1 / 30  -0.5 / 31.1  -3 / 26.6 

ONBOARD INFORMATION

Activities On Board / Hurtigruten Guides

All Hurtigruten ships that travel along the Norwegian coast have Hurtigruten guides who undertake special activities, such as lectures and presentations, on-deck guiding, and offer hikes and outdoor activities in many ports. Onboard activities take place both inside the vessel and out on deck, and have relevance to the season in which we are sailing in. Our goal is to get close to unique environments and share the experience with our guests. The Hurtigruten Guides also sell and advise on excursions, issue a daily program, and make announcements regarding places of interest, disembarkation, etc. 

Cabins

Select- and Platinum-fare guests can choose a cabin grade and cabin number at no extra charge (subject to availability). Basic-fare guests will be assigned a cabin grade and cabin number at check-in on board. Please note that cabins on decks with guest access to outside areas may sometimes have an obstructed view due to other guests walking past. Our ships function as working ships that call at ports around the clock. You may experience 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. Please ask our Customer Sales Center for advice on the best cabin location for you.

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. 

Dietary Requests / Requirements

Special dietary requirements may be accommodated if requested well in advance. We now offer an extensive vegetarian menu option for the evening meal. We cannot accommodate kosher or halal preparations. 

Electric Current

All cabins have 220V (50hz) electrical outlets. The plugs are continental two-pin plugs, for which an adapter is required. If you need an adapter/converter, please bring your own with you.

Embarkation / Disembarkation

In Bergen, Hurtigruten ships sail from the Hurtigruten Terminal, Nøstegaten 30, N-5010 Bergen. Taxi drivers will understand if you ask to be taken to the Hurtigruten Terminal; it is sign-posted as such locally. Luggage lockers are available in the terminal for a fee. The terminal is staffed and open for luggage check-in from 13:00 hrs. Passenger check-in begins at 15:00 hrs and embarkation takes place from 16:00 hrs. Cabins are available from 18:00 hrs.

PERIOD

DEPARTURE

EMBARKATION

Jan 1 – May 31

21:30 hrs

From 16:00 hrs

Jun 1 – Oct 31

21:30 hrs

From 16:00 hrs

Nov 1 – Dec 31

21:30 hrs

From 16:00 hrs

 

There are cafe facilities in the terminal and passengers are free to explore Bergen until embarkation time. When disembarking in Bergen, luggage will be delivered to the baggage belt in the terminal. On the last day of your cruise, you will be asked to vacate your cabin a few hours before disembarkation. Information regarding luggage handling and disembarkation at other ports is available on board.

Gratuity Policy

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

Internet

Select- and Platinum-fare guests have complimentary wireless Internet. Basic-fare guests can use wireless Internet on board for a small fee. See Reception on board for more information.

Languages

Norwegian and English are the official onboard languages. Some Hurtigruten Guides, personnel at Reception, and some of the service crew often also speak German. Most of our excursions are guided in two or three languages. Please contact the Hurtigruten Guides for more information.

Laundry

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

Meals

Norway’s culinary tradition has a lot in common with the scenery of the coastline. It is always fresh, distinctive, and full of variety. We have always strived to give our guests a truly unique and authentic experience, and our food traditions are incorporated into every element of the culinary experience you’ll experience on board as well. We are proud to present Norway’s Coastal Kitchen, where we use many local suppliers and ingredients from all along Norway’s coast and offer fresh, authentic cuisine. Full board includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Breakfast is usually served from 07:30 (open seating) and consists of a wide selection of cold meats, cheeses, eggs, cereals, and fruit, with freshly baked bread, pastries, and often freshly made sveler, which resemble pancakes, and waffles. Lunch can be a buffet or set menu (usually served from 12:00, with open seating), and set dinners (fixed seating) are usually served from 18:00.

A buffet dinner with open seating is served the evening of departure from Bergen. On evenings with fixed seating, Select- or Platinum-fare guests can request their preferred dining time when booking, although this is subject to availability. Basic-fare guests will be assigned their dining time at check-in on board.

The 12-day cruise begins with a buffet dinner upon departure from Bergen, and ends with brunch upon arrival back in Bergen.

For Basic- and Select-fare guests who want to enjoy an enhanced dining experience, we offer Norway’s Coastal Kitchen’s à la carte menu, which is available for a small additional charge on all ships (except MS Lofoten, MS Vesterålen, and MS Spitsbergen).

The cafeterias on board our ships offer hot and cold drinks and snacks for purchase. Cafeteria hours will be posted on board.  

Medical Assistance

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.

Payment Options

Norwegian currency is used on board. Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Diners Card are accepted. A cruise card can be obtained and used for payment for all onboard purchases, and will be settled at the end of your cruise.

Porterage

Luggage handling is not included in the cost of your cruise. 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.

Port Visits

At each port stop, the departure time is displayed at the gangway. Please ensure that you are back on board in time. Even if the ship’s arrival was delayed, the ship will depart on time to keep to the schedule. Please note that ships cannot wait for late passengers. If you miss your ship’s departure, you will need to arrange on your own, and at your own expense, the trip to the next harbor. The Norway coastal ship schedule is posted here.

Safety

It is a safety requirement that all Hurtigruten 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 briefing at intervals; this will last between 10 and 15 minutes. 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 another emergency during the cruise. The briefing is mandatory for all passengers, including those who have traveled with Hurtigruten before. There will be an opportunity to ask questions if you have any concerns. 

Please familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures shown in the cabins (there is a diagram on the cabin door) and in public areas, and ask Reception if you have any questions. In many ports, there may be a great deal of activity on the quay with cars embarking/disembarking the ship and/or goods being loaded or unloaded. Please be alert to such traffic when embarking and disembarking. Take care during winter months when it is icy underfoot, particularly on the outside decks and when disembarking the ship or exiting coaches. Ice cleats and winter clothing can be purchased in the ship’s store. Do not carry large amounts of cash with you, and keep valuable items, including mobile telephones and cameras, out of sight. 

Shops

All our ships have a shop carrying 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.

Shore Excursions

Pre-booking of shore excursions is possible up to 4 weeks prior to departure at the rates presented. If you choose to pay by credit card, pre-bookings can be made up to 2 weeks prior to departure. 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 because of exchange-rate fluctuations. 

Smoking

Smoking is only permitted in designated areas on outside decks. Smoking is strictly forbidden when the ships are in port and fueling. The staff will advise you when you cannot smoke outside

Stabilizers

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 about costs when using your phone abroad.

What to Wear

Onboard dress is informal. Although some passengers may choose to change for dinner, the dress code is casual rather than formal. The weather in Norway can vary during the course of each cruise and throughout the day. To cater for these variations, we recommend the layered-dress approach that enables you to adapt to changes in temperature, wind, and precipitation conditions easily. For all cruises, we advise you to take 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 and a walking stick/trekking pole may be useful.

.