Hurtigruten Cruises FAQs

General

What is the difference between coastal and explorer voyages?

Hurtigruten Coastal voyages are not like conventional cruises. Our 11 Coastal ships sail the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Kirkenes and return to Bergen. We call at 34 ports and depart Bergen everyday, providing a transportation lifeline between cities and villages while exploring stunning fjords and UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the more than 1,000 miles of Norway’s pristine coastline. This mixture of local encounters, spectacular scenery, and additional optional excursions provides an unmatched opportunity to experience and interact with the beauty and charm of Norway and its people.

Our Explorer voyages build on our unique explorer heritage dating back to 1893, appealing to those who value life experiences and personal growth over excessive luxury. On an Explorer voyage you will be accompanied by a highly skilled crew and expedition team on one of five intimately-scaled expedition ships (MS Fram, MS Midnatsol, MS Nordstjernen, MS Spitsbergen, and MS Roald Amundsen). These expedition-style voyages will take you on breathtaking nature-based experiences in remote corners of the world: Antarctica, Svalbard, Greenland, Iceland, Europe, North America, South America, the Caribbean and Central America, Northwest Passage, and across the Atlantic Ocean.

Pricing and Booking

What is flexible pricing?

Flexible pricing is where all prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability. Prices may change at any time before departure date, the applicable price will be quoted at the time of booking.

Why am I getting a higher price than the ‘from price’ online?

We offer a flexible pricing policy, similar to that an airline if you were booking a flight. This means the from price is an indication of the lowest price you could expect to pay for an I -grade (inside) cabin. Prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability. Prices may change at any time before departure date, the applicable price will be quoted at the time of booking.

Do I need a pin code for credit card payments?

You do not need a pin code for your credit card when making payments online or over the phone. You will be required to provide the credit card type, card number, expiration date, and Card Verification Code (CVV).

When will I receive all travel documents?

You should receive your travel documents approximately 2-3 weeks before departure, provided full payment is received.

Why am I not getting separate flight tickets?

Your flight tickets are electronic; you may check-in by showing your passport to the agent at the check-in counter.

How can I book excursions and when are they available?

Most excursions are pre-bookable and can be added on to your voyage during the online booking process. The excursions offered on your Coastal or Explorer voyage are listed on the relevant voyage page under the ‘Experiences’ tab.

If you are booking over the phone, excursions can be added at any point from the time of booking until four weeks prior to departure for Coastal voyages (two weeks if you pay by credit card). Please note that Explorer excursions have limited capacity and can only be booked four weeks before departure (two weeks if paid by credit card).

All excursions are subject to availability and sold on a first come, first served basis. We recommend pre-booking online or over the phone, where possible.

Excursions which are not pre-bookable may be booked from the tour leader on the ship. Excursions booked on board will be payable in Norwegian Kroner (NOK) and the price may vary as a result of exchange rate fluctuations.

Please bring your drivers license if you have pre-booked or are planning to go on any of the snowmobile or ATV excursions. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum numbers, sailing times, and weather and/or local conditions. If pre-booked excursions have to be cancelled, you will receive a refund on board in NOK.

PDF handbooks and order forms with full descriptions are ready approximately three months before your voyage and will be sent by our Reservations Team to all booked guests.

Please note, you do not have a choice of hotel for excursions that include an overnight i.e. excursion that include a set hotel.

Can I change full board into half board on a Coastal or Explorer voyage?

Unfortunately, no you cannot change to half board on a Coastal or Explorer voyage. Explorer voyages only have full board excluding drinks. On Explorer voyages our suite guests will be entitled to additional services.

Why do I need a passport?

All guests checking in at the Hurtigruten terminal or on board our ships have to present a valid Passport or government approved ID Card. Explorer voyages only accept passports that must be valid 6 months after the voyage. Please send us your passport details immediately after booking.

Why do I need to pay a single supplement if I am travelling alone?

Our voyage prices are based on two people traveling together and sharing one cabin. A guest wishing to travel by themselves will be expected to pay a percentage of the cabin rate. However, we occasionally offer no single supplement.

Ships

Can we pay with cash and credit on board?

You can pay as you go on board our ships with cash or credit card on Coastal voyages. We accept Visa, American Express, Diners, or MasterCard and regret that our system does not support Maestro Card.

Credit cards are the only accepted form of payment on Explorer voyages however,  MS Nordstjernen does not accept American Express. The credit card must be valid more than three months after your stay on board. Please note that when using your credit card on board the ship, your account will be debited in NOK. The rate of exchange will be the one validated by your credit card company.

For your convenience, we also offer a Cruise Card system on board all of our ships. This system allows you to charge all onboard purchases to your cruise card. Cruise card accounts can be created at all points of payment on board the ship. We accept VISA, Master Card, Diners, American Express, or cash (NOK, EUR, GBP, USD) as deposit. The itemized statement will be sent by email. Please contact the reception If you require a printed version. The cruise card account needs to be settled by 10:00 pm on your last night on board. For your convenience, your cruise card charges will be billed automatically to your credit card. The credit card must be valid for at least another three months. Any discrepancies must be reported before disembarkation. This also applies if you want to pay part cash and part credit card. The currency used on board is Norwegian Kroner (NOK). Exchange rates are similar to those in a hotel. Please check with the reception for methods of payment. Please note that a PIN code is required when paying with your personal credit card on board.

Is WiFi available on all ships?

Yes, WiFi is available on all ships at a fee. If you have booked a SELECT* or PLATINUM package, WiFi is included in your cruise.

Please note depending on the vessel’s location, internet connectivity and telephone usage may be out of range or limited due to the remote locations in which we sail.

*If you book online, you automatically book a cabin in the SELECT package unless you have booked an unspecified cabin.

Are your ships wheelchair accessible?

We are happy to welcome guests who are not fully mobile and all ships (except MS Lofoten) have at least one cabin equipped for travelers using a wheelchair.

Which ships have fitness rooms and Jacuzzis?

Jacuzzis can be found on MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fram,  MS Spitsbergen, MS Midnatsol, MS Trollfjord, MS Polarlys, MS Kong Harald (please note the Jacuzzi is currently not in use), MS Nordkapp, and MS Finnmarken (MS Finnmarken has a pool as well). All ships with the exception of MS Lofoten have fitness rooms.

Which ships have children’s playrooms?

MS Trollfjord and MS Midnatsol have a play corner. MS Finnmarken, MS Nordnorge, MS Nordlys, MS Richard With, and MS Vesterålen have playrooms.

Which ships have pet cabins?

All Norwegian coastal ships have pet cabins with the exception of MS Nordlys, MS Midnatsol, and MS Kong Harald. Unfortunately, our Explorer ships (MS Midnatsol, MS Fram, MS Spitsbergen, MS Nordstjernen, and MS Roald Amundsen) don’t have pet cabins.

Will I have my own bathroom and WC?

In almost all cases, yes. The only exceptions are a few cabins on board the classic ships MS Lofoten and MS Nordstjernen where guests have use of a wash basin in the cabin and share facilities with a few other guests.

Will I need to share a cabin with a stranger if I am travelling alone?

No, we do not book individual beds but rather, entire cabins. If you are traveling alone, you will be booking a whole cabin for yourself.

Coastal

Can you go on shore in every port?

Yes, with some recommendations. If the ship is in port for 30 minutes or longer, we encourage guests to take a look around all of the ports. However, in some ports our ships only stop for 15 minutes. In this case, we ask that guests continuing their voyage stay on board, just to avoid any risks.

When do I have to meet up at latest at the different ports – both with and without vehicle?

Please be at the port 15-20 minutes prior to departure. For Bergen departures however, the latest check-in time is 30 minutes before ship departure. Check in at the terminal in Bergen is possible until 7:30 pm, after which check-in will take place on board.

I am taking a car on board. What time should I embark on the ship?

Please be at the quayside at the latest 1.5 hours prior to the scheduled departure in Bergen. When you are traveling from Bergen to a port north of Bodø, please be at the terminal no later than 2 hours before departure.

In Trondheim, Bodø, Tromsø and Kirkenes, please be at the pier latest 1 hour before departure. For all other ports, please be at the quayside 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. Please ensure to adhere to instructions and signage for cars at the ports.

Can I bring cargo on board?

Our ships may have space for cargo although there is no option to book it online or over the phone as it is generally not a service offered to our guests. We can, however, put in a special request if you send us an email detailing the dimensions of the cargo you wish to bring on board. Be advised that port fees and handling charges may apply depending on the size of the cargo.

How are the excursions organized when the ship is only in port for a short time and sails on?

If guests have booked excursions through Hurtigruten, then their excursion includes transfers to and from the ship. If during the time you are on the excursion, the ship has moved on to another port in keeping with the sailing schedule, the return transfer will be arranged to re-join the ship wherever it is currently docked. This allows our guests to fully immerse themselves in enjoying their excursion stress-free.

Can I choose a cabin number on a port-to-port voyage?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer guaranteed cabin numbers for port-to-port and short voyages (less than 5 nights).

Can I book a port-to-port voyage without a cabin?

It is possible to book deck space for a voyage that is shorter than 23 hours. Guests must book a cabin on any itinerary that takes longer than 23 hours. We’ll even include breakfast for adults and children, on us.

When do the transfers leave?

Transfer times vary depending on the pickup location. Exact times and locations will be confirmed when you are sent your travel documents.

Will my luggage go through automatically in Oslo and at the airports?

If you have a connecting flight from the US to Norway with an onward flight to another destination in Norway, you will need to collect your baggage from the carousel at the first arrival airport in Norway. You will then take your luggage through Customs even if your luggage has been labeled with your final destination. After leaving the Customs area, please hand in your luggage at the baggage drop desk and show your boarding pass along with your passport.

Checked-in luggage does not have to be collected if you are connecting through an airport outside of Norway, such as Amsterdam or Copenhagen. If you are holding separate tickets on  different airlines, it is usually not possible to check baggage through. Check-in staff will advise you whether baggage may be checked all the way through or not.

Will it be cold in Norway?

Norway is home to the most northern city in the world. Guests should therefore be aware that temperatures may be much chillier than they are used to.

What clothes should I pack for travel to Norway?

The best approach is to bring multiple layers of comfortable, durable, and warm clothing which can be piled on or stripped off depending on the weather.

During summer, we encourage guests to make the most of the sunshine to participate in hikes and city walks. Reliable walking shoes and a light jacket are therefore good items to include if traveling during the Midnight Sun season.

Winter is a spectacular time with the Northern Lights often appearing in the Arctic skies above. Guests should be fully prepared for cold weather with a water and wind-resistant/proof winter coat, thermal clothing, sturdy boots with a good sole, a scarf, gloves, and a hat.

As in many other countries, autumn and spring in Norway are a mish-mash of rain and sun. You should bring a few different types of clothing in expectation of diverse weather that can be hot and cold, dry and wet.

The Hurtigruten experience is about exploration and relaxation. There is no dress code or formal attire on board. Keep the tuxedo and evening gown at home and just enjoy the voyage!

What is the best time to travel if I want to see the Midnight sun?

Above the Arctic Circle you can experience the Midnight Sun season from May till end of July, depending on where you are. You can find dates and times of Midnight Sun in Norway 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

What is the best time to travel if I want to see the northern lights?

The Northern Lights season runs from October to the end of March, when there is the least amount of sunlight. The Northern Lights appear mostly above the Arctic Circle, so the more time you spend far in the North, the better your chances to seeing the lights.

Explorer Cruises

What are the Personal Questionnaire and Medical forms and why do I need to fill them in?

The Personal Questionnaire is necessary for the ship manifest, immigration offices, flight tickets and customs. Please fill in the Hurtigruten questionnaire (which will be sent to you right after booking) and send it back to us immediately at usbooking@hurtigruten.com  after booking is confirmed. Please note that we are unable to send your travel documents until we have received the completed form.

A Medical Certificate needs to be submitted by all passengers joining our voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, the North East side of Greenland, on the Northwest Passage and across the Atlantic Ocean, due to the remoteness of these areas. The Medical Certificate is to be completed and approved by your personal physician not more than 8 weeks before your departure date. The completed forms must be presented to the ship’s doctor upon boarding. Boarding will be denied if part III of the Medical Certificate is not approved by your personal physician. Even if the forms have been duly submitted and approved by your personal physician, the ship’s doctor and the captain reserve the right to deny the boarding of guests who do not seem to be sufficiently fit for travel. Please note that the medical form must be printed out. We do not accept digital versions of the completed forms. Note: Pregnant guests can only join through their 24th week of pregnancy.

How do the landings operate in Antarctica and Spitsbergen?

All landings are dependent on the weather and ice conditions. Unfortunately, with the unpredictable weather in these polar zones, we can make no guarantees that landings will occur each and every day of your voyage. For more information on Antarctica landings see here.

What time is the LAN chartered flight?

We cannot pre-advise the LAN AIRLINES chartered flight times. Please note that there will be different flight departures with LAN AIRLINES from Buenos Aires/Santiago De Chile down to Ushuaia/Punta Arenas. You will receive the information about your flight time at the Hurtigruten Hospitality desk one day before your voyage. Departure time is very early.  After the voyage our Expedition Team will inform you onboard about the flight schedule and flight number back to Buenos Aires or Santiago De Chile.

Please also note the limited luggage allowance on LAN Airline charter flights ( 1pc 23kg for check in luggage + hand luggage 8kg).

Must I bring my own boots?

Rubber boots are mandatory for all Antarctica and for North East Greenland expedition cruises. Rubber boots can also be required when visiting National Parks.

You may borrow a pair of high-quality rubber boots free of charge on all our expedition ships with the exception of MS Nordstjernen. On MS Fram we use Muck boots; on MS Midnatsol and MS Spitsbergen we use Hurtigruten rubber boots.

What size boots do you have on board?

MS Fram – Muck Boots

  • We have from EU sizes: from 32 to 48

MS Midnatsol – Hurtigruten rubber boots

  • We have from EU sizes: from 32 to 50

MS Spitsbergen – Hurtigruten rubber boots

  • We have from EU sizes: from 32 to 50

Will I see the Northern Lights on Explorer voyages?

  • Unfortunately not. Our Explorer voyages are mostly sailing under the Midnight Sun. For chances of seeing the Northern Lights we recommend to book Norwegian Coastal voyagesin winter or Spitsbergen Travel tours and activities.

Will there be Internet/Wi-Fi connection on Explorer voyages?

Wi-fi is available everywhere on board! Our internet relies on satellite signal and internet speed is dependent on signal strength received. Signal strength might be affected in remote areas.

  • For the 19/20 season WiFi is available and bookable on-board for an extra charge. Fees are announced on board. For suite guests wifi is included free of cost.
  • For the 20/21 season WiFi is available and free of cost for all guests.