What are the differences between a classic coastal Norway cruise and an expedition cruise to Norway? What is included in my Expedition cruise fare?
Hurtigruten classic coastal Norway cruises are not like conventional cruises. A selection of ships sails the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Kirkenes and return to Bergen over 12 days. Hurtigruten call at 34 ports, providing a transportation lifeline between cities and villages. This mixture of local encounters, spectacular scenery, and additional optional excursions provides opportunity to experience and interact with the beauty and charm of Norway and its people.
Expedition cruises to Norway build upon Hurtigruten's extensive sailing heritage dating back to 1893, and add exciting new comforts, services, and opportunities:
- Explore more – known highlights and the hidden pearls of Norway
- Stay longer – more time to explore in the ports
- A professional Expedition Team of handpicked experts – topic specialists lecturing on the natural sciences, culture, history and photography
- Science Center, wellness areas, and indoor/outdoor gym
- Hybrid-electric propulsion aboard newly refurbished ships
- Explorer concept shore side with a wide range of excursions led by the expedition teams
- Year-round sailings with distinct seasons
- House beer and wine included at lunch and dinner
- Flexibility in schedule to explore natural phenomena and wildlife
- A rich program of included shore activities
What is not included in my Expedition cruise fare?
Your Hurtigruten expedition cruise fare includes all you need for your adventure:
- Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Afternoon treat, such as a serving of sandwiches and pastries*
- House wine, beer, soda and mineral water with lunch and dinner in the onboard restaurants
- Complimentary coffee and tea throughout the day
- Wind and water resistant expedition jacket*
- Re-usable water bottle*
- Wi-Fi (depending on location and internet connectivity)*
- Loan of equipment needed for activities
- The guidance of an Expedition Team, and opportunity to engage with and dine with Expedition Team
- Activities designed to immerse you in your destinations, including small expedition boat cruising and select shore excursions
- A rich program of onboard activities including lectures, science program, and educational sessions
* Except for MS Nordstjernen
What is included in my Norwegian Coastal Voyage cruise fare?
There are some benefits your cruise fare does not include, such as:
- Dining in a la carte restaurant Lindstrøm* (included for Expedition Suite guests)
- Laundry service* (included for Expedition Suite guests)
- Room service* (included for Expedition Suite guests)
- Turn-down service* (included for Arctic Superior and Expedition Suite guests)
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Optional excursions
- International Flights except where included in the Air Package Holiday Price
* Not available on MS Spitsbergen or MS Nordstjernen
What is not included in my Norwegian Coastal Voyage cruise fare?
Your Norwegian Coastal Voyage 'Basic' cruise fare includes the following:
- Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from Norway's Coastal Kitchen
- English-speaking Tour Leader/Guide Team on board
- Engaging onboard activities including lectures and presentations to help you understand the destinations you will experience
- Port presentations providing destination insight, excursion presentations, and point of interest presentations out on deck
In addition, 'Select' fares include:
- Expedition Suites available for booking
- Choice of preferred dining time, subject to availability
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
'Platinum' fares include all 'Select' inclusions, as well as:
- Speciality dining in the a la carte restaurant every night as desired (not available on MS Vesterålen and MS Spitsbergen)
- Inclusive drinks package with dinner
- Dining with the Captain
- Platinum breakfast (a la carte)
- Two exclusive shore excursions (you may choose between all offered excursions. Excursions marked 'exclusive' are available for prebooking only for Platinum guests)
- Activity outdoor clothing package
- Turn down service
- Norway's Coastal Kitchen welcome basket with Champagne
- Priority embarking/disembarking
- Late check-out (check out at disembarking)
- Private airport transfers in Bergen and Trondheim
- Airport transfer in Kirkenes
- Visit to the ship's bridge (at the discretion of the captain and subject to safety restrictions)
- Complimentary use of binoculars
What is Hurtigruten's gratuities policy?
- Flights and transfers
- Travel insurance
- Optional excursions
- Luggage handling
- Hikes with the Hurtigruten Guides
I have limited mobility. Can I cruise with Hurtigruten?
Expedition Cruising: Many guests wish to give a special thanks to the service crew on board. It is at your discretion to honour service rendered by the crew in bars, restaurant and cabins. To give you some guidelines, Hurtigruten recommend 80 NOK (approx. 9 Euro) 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.
Norwegian Coastal Voyages: 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 are placed in the restaurant together with envelopes.
I am prone to seasickness. What should I do?
Hurtigruten are happy to welcome guests who are not fully mobile. All expedition ships, except MS Nordstjernen, are suitable for wheelchair users. On expedition cruises, guests in need of special assistance must travel with a companion. Please note that the gangway must be used by wheelchairs users to embark/disembark. In ports where tidal conditions or other circumstances require use of a portable gangway, or during landings with tender boats, it is not possible to use/take wheelchairs. Extension cruises to Machu Picchu and Galapagos Islands are not suitable for wheelchair users.
On Norwegian Coastal Voyages, guests who can navigate around the ship unaided in a wheelchair do not need to have a travel companion. Those who need assistance need to be accompanied. When the ship stops at ports on the Norwegian coast, there is a ramp or gangway for embarkation/ disembarkation. Excursions have not been adapted speciﬁcally for passengers with walking difﬁculties. The Tour Leader on board will be able to advise which excursions are suitable.
Guests who use a wheelchair must bring their own, standard size, foldable chair on both Expedition Cruises and Coastal Voyages. It is essential you advise your Global Journeys Cruise Advisor of special requirements at the time of booking to enable Hurtigruten to make the necessary arrangements for you.
What are the passport and visa requirements for my Hurtigruten cruise?
Seasickness pills are available for purchase at the reception on board expedition ships. If you are prone to seasickness, it is recommended that you bring pills that you are familiar with. On Norwegian Coastal Voyages there is no pharmacy on board, so it is recommended that you bring any medication you may need with you. For guests prone to seasickness, Hurtigruten suggest reserving a cabin with a window on a low deck in the middle of the ship. You might find this article on seasicknes helpful in planning your cruise.
Do I need any vaccinations for my cruise?
A passport is the only valid identification and is required for all guests. For some destinations your passport must be valid for more than six months after you return to your home country. At check-in on board, passports will be collected in order to clear immigrations and customs. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for your itinerary and to ensure that you are in possession of all required visas and travel documents prior to sailing. You will need to contact the Embassy (Consular Services) of each country on your sailing itinerary for specific visa requirements, information, forms and fees for your nationality. More information can be found here.
Can children cruise with Hurtigruten?
On some expedition cruises, vaccinations are required. On specific cruises a vaccine against yellow fever is required. All passengers are responsible for ensuring they comply with any requirements at the time of travel. Please consult your doctor and/or relevant authorities for more information on the vaccinations you will need once you have chosen your itinerary.
Can Hurtigruten accommodate my special requests or dietary requirements?
Yes, children are welcome on Hurtigruten cruises. Hurtigruten cannot allow children under the age of five to travel to Antarctica and South Georgia. For safety reasons, children under 12 years of age will be considered for participation on each landing. On all other routes, there is no minimum age restriction.
Are small boat landings physically demanding?
If you have special requests (e.g. dietary or medical) please inform your Global Journeys Cruise Advisor as soon as possible. Hurtigruten will do their best to meet such requests but cannot guarantee to do so.
Will there be changes to my planned cruise itinerary or excursions?
On expedition cruises you will participate in small boat landings to showcase the destinations visited. These small rubber boats enable both water-based exploration and safe landings in otherwise inaccessible areas. You will need to be reasonable agile to board these but there is otherwise no need to worry about travelling in them. The crew will show you what to do and as long as you follow their instructions, after a few times it will become second nature. On all landings in small boats guests are expected to wear proper footwear. In Antarctica it is mandatory to use rubber boots for all landings. For all other destinations, boots can be useful. You are welcome to bring private rubber boots, or you can borrow a pair on board free of charge. Landing operations depend on favourable conditions.
Can I choose my cabin number for my Norwegian Coastal Voyage?
All routes and excursions are provisional and subject to change as weather and sea conditions may affect the itinerary. Excursions may also be subject to minimum/maximum numbers. Hurtigruten reserves the right to change the itinerary and the content of excursions without prior notice. Weather conditions can make landings and tender cruises with small boats more difficult or sometimes impossible. Remember that unforeseen twists often turn out to be the highlight of a trip. Hurtigruten invite you to be open to the unexpected and flexibility is important on expedition cruises.
On Norwegian Coastal Voyages, please take particular care that you are back on board on time, 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 transport by yourself and at your own expense to the next harbour.
For guests travelling on a Select or Platinum fare, you will be able to choose a cabin grade and cabin number at no extra charge (subject to availability). Guests travelling Bergen-Kirkenes or Kirkenes-Bergen on a Select fare can choose their cabin number for a fee. For guests on a Basic fare, your cabin grade and number will be assigned to you at the onboard check-in.
Please note that cabins on decks with passenger access to outside areas may sometimes have an obstructed view due to other passengers walking past. Hurtigruten ships function as working ships calling 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.
When will I receive my cruise documents? What is the Ship Manifest Information Form and Medical forms and why do I need to fill them in?
Travel documents are generally sent electronically approximately between 2 – 3 weeks prior to departure. If you are departing on your holiday in advance and require your documents earlier, please notify your Global Journeys Cruise Advisor.
When can I book my shore excursions?
The Ship Manifest Information Form is necessary for immigration offices, flight tickets and customs. You will be sent the Hurtigruten questionnaire after booking, which you will need to complete and return immediately after your booking is confirmed. Please note that Hurtigruten are unable to release your travel documents until the completed form is received.
A Medical Certificate needs to be submitted by all passengers joining 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 eight 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.
Do I need to book my expedition activities?
For both Expedition Cruises and Norwegian Coastal Voyages Hurtigruten offer a selection of excursions that can be pre-booked up to two weeks prior to departure (if paying by credit card). Only remaining places or excursions which are not pre-bookable may be booked on board. It is advised that you book well in advance to avoid disappointment. Excursions are subject to cancellation due to weather conditions and dependent on number of participants. On MS Nordstjernen it is not possible to book optional excursions on board.
How are the excursions organised for Norwegian Coastal Voyages when the ship is only in port for a short time and sails on?
Along with the optional excursions available to book, the Expedition Team also arrange a variety of activities during your expedition voyage. These will depend on location and season, but may include hiking, snowshoeing and kayaking. A limited amount of kayaking is available for booking prior to select voyages, but all other activities are booked on board and subject to availability. In Antarctica, all expedition shore landings and small boat cruising are included.
Can I go to shore in every port on my Norwegian Coastal Voyage?
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 guests to fully immerse themselves in enjoying their excursion stress free.
Yes, with some recommendations. If the ship is in port for 30 minutes or longer, Hurtigruten encourage guests to take a look around all of the ports. However, in some ports the ships only dock for 15 minutes. In this case, Hurtigruten ask that guests who are not disembarking stay on board, just to avoid any risks.
Are there medical facilities on board? What communication is available to and from the ship?
Hurtigruten expedition ships have a small medical facility with the necessary equipment and drugs to handle small emergencies. Medical consultations as well as medicines will be charged to the passenger affected. All guests must have personal travel/health insurance. If you depend on medication, remember to bring sufficient supplies to last through any unforeseen delays. Hurtigruten also recommend that you keep your medication in your hand luggage properly labelled and with clear instructions for its use.
On Norwegian expedition cruises 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. On other expeditions there is an English-speaking physician and nurse on board, except on MS Nordstjernen. In the event of a serious emergency, the nearest hospital will be contacted. 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.
On Norwegian Coastal Voyages there is no doctor or pharmacy on board. However, ofﬁcers are trained in ﬁrst aid and can provide emergency medical assistance. These ships are also close to land should urgent medical assistance be required.
Can I bring my own alcohol on board?
All cabins on expedition ships have a telephone. Both Wi-Fi and telephone lines will from time to time be out of range due to the vessel's location. Mobile phones will function in most places on shore. Check with your carrier for details. On MS Nordstjernen, there is no mobile or internet connection on board, except while at port in Longyearbyen and Barentsburg. On Norwegian Coastal Voyages private mobile phones may be used on board although reception may vary. Check with your provider for costs when using your phone abroad.
What currency is used on board?
Guests are respectfully reminded that only beverages provided by the ships' restaurants and bars can be consumed on board. Alcoholic beverages purchased in ports of call will be stored by the ship and delivered to your cabin on the last day of the sailing.
Can I pay with cash and credit card on board?
All Hurtigruten's Coastal Fleet (including MS Spitsbergen and MS Nordstjernen) use Norwegian Krone (NOK). All expedition ships have Euro as the official currency on board.
What is the Hurtigruten Cruise Card?
You can pay as you go on board Hurtigruten ships with cash or credit card on Coastal voyages. Hurtigruten accept Visa, American Express, Diners or MasterCard. Only credit card is accepted on board expedition voyages however, MS Nordstjernen does not accept American Express. Your 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 (Norwegian Krone). The rate of exchange will be the one validated by your credit card company.
What electrical outlets can I expect on board?
For your convenience, Hurtigruten also offer a Cruise Card system on board all their ships. This system allows you to charge all on board purchases to your cruise card. Cruise card accounts can be created at all points of payment on board the ship. Hurtigruten accept Visa, Master Card, Diners, American Express or cash (NOK, EUR, GBP, USD) as deposit. The itemised statement will be sent to you for settlement by email. Please contact the reception if you require a printed version. For your convenience, your cruise card charges will be billed automatically to your credit card which must be valid for at least another three months after your cruise. Your cruise card account needs to be settled by 22:00 on your last night on board and any discrepancies must be reported before disembarkation.
What language/s is spoken on board?
The plugs in your cabin are 220V/50hz. The plugs are two pin European plugs, which may require an adapter.
Is there a laundry service available?
Expedition Cruises: The working language on board expedition cruises is English. Announcements and written information are also given in German. On selected voyages a third language is offered when needed. Announcements may be given in French and Chinese on selected departures. In order to be able to accommodate lectures in another language than English, Hurtigruten will offer an option for an "in ear" translation to German.
Norwegian Coastal Voyages: Norwegian and English are the official onboard languages. Some Hurtigruten Guides, personnel at the reception and service crew often also speak German. Most excursions are guided in two or three languages. Please ask your Hurtigruten Guides for further information.
Will I have my own bathroom and WC?
Expedition Cruises: A laundry service is available on board expedition ships, except on MS Nordstjernen. The service is included for suite guests. No self-service or dry cleaning is possible on expedition ships.
Norwegian Coastal Voyages: There are laundry rooms with washing machines, dryers and irons are available to use for a fee. Tokens can be purchased at reception.
Can I smoke on the ship?
In almost all cases, yes. The only exceptions are a few cabins on board MS Nordstjernen where guests have use of a wash basin in the cabin and share facilities with a few other guests.
Can I drink the water on board my expedition ship?
On board, smoking is only permitted in designated areas on outside decks. You cannot smoke in your cabin. Smoking is strictly forbidden when the ships are in port and fuelling. Staff will advise when such times are. To show respect for the environment, please use the provided ashtrays when smoking. Throwing cigarette butts overboard is strictly prohibited. A cleaning charge of 1,500 NOK will be applied for smoking in your non-smoking cabin, to cover for the cost of cleaning linen and curtains to return it to a non-smoking standard. E-Cigarettes, according to Norwegian law, are the equivalent of tobacco cigarettes and therefore smoking these is also only permitted in the designated smoking areas.
Is there Wi-Fi available on my ship?
The tap water in your cabin is safe to drink, and safe drinking water is also served by the carafe in the restaurant. Complimentary sparkling and still water are available for all meals on your expedition cruise. Water refill stations are also available on board.
Are there gym and wellness facilities on board?
Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship (except MS Nordstjernen). Note that it is limited connectivity, and that both internet and telephones from time to time will be out of range due to the ship's location.
Expedition Cruises: On expedition cruises to remote destinations, coverage and speed will be very limited. Internet will mainly be available via satellite, except when the ship is close to land and 4G coverage via mobile is within range. Due to capacity limitations the included Wi-Fi on expedition ships is limited to browsing and not streaming. On MS Nordstjernen, there is no internet connection on board, except while in port at Longyearbyen and Barentsburg.
Norwegian Coastal Voyages: Wireless internet is available on board for a small charge, unless already included in your Select or Platinum fare.
Is room service available?
Expedition Cruises: All expedition ships (except MS Nordstjernen) offer a gym, sauna and outdoor hot tubs, available for all guests. In addition, select expedition ships have a wellness centre where guests may purchase treatments.
Norwegian Coastal Voyages: All ships undertaking Norwegian Coastal Voyages have a fitness room, and most also have a sauna and hot tub/s.
What kind of activities/entertainment can I expect on board?
Expedition Cruises: On expedition cruises food can be delivered to the cabin upon order, subject to charge of a service fee per order. For suite guests, room service is included, and a specialty menu is offered. Room service hours will be announced onboard. Room service is not available on MS Nordstjernen.
Norwegian Coastal Voyages: There is no room service on Norwegian Coastal Cruises.
What can I expect from the Expedition Team?
Expedition Cruises: Activities on an expedition cruise with Hurtigruten are focussed on maximising your experiences of the places your cruise visits. Join educational talks and lectures at different locations on board. A travel experience is often much richer if you have knowledge and understanding about the nature, wildlife, culture and history of your destination. The Expedition Team will make sure you are well prepared for the experiences ahead of you. They will also re-capitulate and answer questions in hindsight. You will not find bingo, arcade games and entertainment theatres often found on conventional cruise ships. Hurtigruten's aim is to get you closer to unique environments and to allow you to share the experience with your fellow travellers. Occasionally there may be some light entertainment on board in the evenings. There is no entertainment on board MS Nordstjernen.
Norwegian Coastal Voyages: Hurtigruten ships sailing the Norwegian Coastal Voyages have Hurtigruten Guides who undertake special activities on board like lectures and presentations, on-deck guiding, photo activities and offer hikes and outdoor activities in many ports. Onboard activities take place both inside the ships and out on deck, designed with relevance to the season you are sailing in. Hurtigruten's aim is to get closer to unique environments and share the experience with fellow passengers. It is up to you if you want to join in. The Hurtigruten Guides also sell and advise on excursions, issue a daily program, and make announcements regarding places of interest, disembarkation and so forth. Please note there is no Hurtigruten Guide Team on MS Vesterålen. Instead, services will be carried out by the Tour Leader and/or by the reception.
What is the Hurtigruten Guide Team?
The Expedition Team is comprised of the Expedition Leader, the Assistant Expedition Leader, the Expedition Coordinator plus several lecturers and experts. Your Expedition Leader will regularly update you on the progress of the trip as well as the different points of interest and wildlife sightings that may occur. Biographies of the Expedition Team can be found on board. In the Science Centre, you will be able to find information regarding the trip and book optional excursions and activities. On MS Nordstjernen, there is no Expedition Desk, it is not possible to book optional excursions on board and lectures are mainly given on shore.
Hurtigruten Guides help bring the Norwegian experience to life. All ships undertaking the Norwegian Classic Coastal Voyages (except MS Vesterålen) have a team of Hurtigruten Guides on board, with a leader and team members who are experts on nature, guiding, culture and history. Together with the ship's hotel manager and service crew, they are your hosts on board. Every day they provide 'edutainment' such as lectures, on-board guiding, a photographic program in cooperation with Canon Academy, storytelling and evening gatherings – all included in the voyage price. On shore, Guides lead hikes to see the best and most interesting spots and sites along the coast. These hikes are pre-sold, sold on board as a package, or can be booked on board (subject to availability). On board MS Vesterålen, this service will be carried out by the Tour Leader or by the reception.
You'll get your own Cruise Advisor to look after your booking You can combine tours and cruises together
When you make an enquiry with us, one of our team is assigned as your personal Cruise Advisor. You're provided with her contact details so you can email or phone her directly, and if you book with us again, she'll be your Advisor the next time too!
Why haven't I heard of Global Journeys before?
Global Journeys are the only online travel agency in the world where you can search, book and combine guided land journeys, river cruises and ocean cruises into one unified reservation, all with the help of your cruise advisor, the lowest fares in the industry and from the comfort of your sofa!
Do you charge any service fees?
Join the thousands of other satisfied clients of ours that we've helped to book amazing journeys around the world for the last 10 years. Don't take our word for it - read our reviews here. All our past clients also receive a loyalty saving that can be applied to their cruise booking.
Do you belong to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)?
Unlike almost all high street travel agencies, we do not charge service fees. We provide the level of service we'd expect if we were booking a cruise for ourselves. As a specialist tour and cruise operator we take a personal interest in all our clients and take great pride in the loyalty our customers have shown us since our inception.
Yes we do - our Membership Number is 80102248. Every Cruise Advisor at Global Journeys is also CLIA certified. CLIA endorses accredited cruise agents to the public as being the most qualified to service their cruising needs, having passed all the necessary knowledge components as set out by the official body of the cruise industry. Therefore, the accreditation sets CLIA specialised cruise consultants apart from other travel agents.