I have taken the Hurtigruten (or Coastal Cruise in English) about three times already. All of them in Norway. In this post, I will be focusing more on the last trip, from Bodø to Tromsø. The thing about Hurtigruten, even if you take only a short cruise, it gives you a feeling of being totally recharged after the tour. It is a cruise, but you get to be so close to nature and as we know, nature is the best way to recharge us. In fact almost all of their shore excursions revolve around being able to experience nature up close.
The food on board is based on local raw materials so you get to taste Norwegian cuisine. I am saying the Coastal Cruise can suite a moderate budget because you can choose to sail only short portions of it and that makes it more affordable. We were on board the MS Nordlys. The name and the interior design of this ship is inspired by the Norwegian Lights. So one is reminded of the beautiful natural phenomenon while on board. It is also one of Hurtigruten’s expedition ships.
The complete tour is Bergen – Kirkenes – Bergen which takes 11 nights. Your ship leaves at 22.30 from Bergen and sails northwards to Kirkenes. It then turns around back to Bergen on a southward route arriving at 14.30. Prices vary depending on the time of year you will be taking the cruise. To make it more affordable for you, you may choose to travel only on certain ports. There a lot of itineraries to choose from. For those of you looking for a unique meeting place, the Coastal Cruise is as unique as it gets. Everytime you have a break from your meeting and go on deck, a new and beautiful site awaits you. Talk about getting inspired.
For this trip, I took the northbound Hurtigruten from Bodø, arriving Bodø the day before departure. It gave me time to explore this city. The cruise ship departs Bodø at 15.00 and arrives Tromsø the next day at 14.30. The itinerary looks like this:
This is a great one night cruise because you get to see the Lofoten Islands. Hurtigruten have organised excursions which you can purchase. You do not have to purchase all of them.
The excursions available through Hurtigruten are among others (prices are correct as of this writing):
- Rib safari to Saltstraumen. It costs NOK 1.150 per person and this takes around 2 hours. You will also hunt for the sea eagle.
- Lofotr Viking Museum. You get to learn about the history of the vikings, and eat Viking food as in the olden days. It costs NOK 1.080 per person. Tour takes 1 hour and 50 minutes.
- Highlights of Lofoten. The tour takes you from Stamsund to Kabelvåg. Tour takes 2 hours and 40 minutes. Price is NOK 790 per person.
- Kayak padling in Tromsø. You need to be in good physical shape to take this tour. It takes 3.5 hours. You paddle your own kayak as you get to see the magnificent nature North Norway has to offer. Price is NOK 1.1350 per person.
- Exploring Arctic City of Tromsø. This is a 2.5 hours guided tour around Tromsø. You get to see the most popular sights the city has to offer. Price is NOK 650 per person.
We boarded the Hurtigruten and it was quite full. The staff are used to having a lot of guests so they have their usual procedures. We got a card with our name on it which we had to have on us the whole time. It functioned as an ID card, room key, meal validation, and ticket for when we go off and on again. This is for security reasons and it was also a nice souvenir. The cabins are standard. Nothing fancy, but it is clean and it has what you need. While waiting we saw the captain and the first officer. I just had to have a picture with both.
The day started with some wind and rain but the cruise was very stable. This tour may include a tour into Trollfjord (Magical Fjord). Because of the wind and rain, the captain announced it was not possible to do so.
The cruise stops in Lofoten and you have enough time to go around the port area and we did just that. It was a bit cloudy so the picture of Lofoten as we approached it is not clear. On my first trip to Lofoten I stayed a couple of nights. Please read more about my first trip to Lofoten. For this Hurtigruten cruise, we were just by the pier. That is enough to give you an idea how beautiful this area is. In fact it is a very popular place to hold conferences. You can even combine it with a conference on board the Hurtigruten and probably a night with workshops in Lofoten. Feel free to request for a quote for your meeting on board the Hurtigruten.
As we were approaching the Trollfjord, the captain said that the weather changed for the better and we are going to see the Trollfjord as well. Everyone was happy and got ready to transfer to the deck.
We got served some Nordlys beer and fish soup.
The staff were well trained to take care off guests on board. They happily served us fish soup and drinks on the deck while we were all eagerly awaiting to see the Trollfjord.
The Trollfjord is only 328 feet wide at the mouth so the boat turns around on its axle. Very impressive and competent captain on board.
See the video here.
As mentioned above we only did the Rib Safari to Salstraumen. Instead of taking us back to Bodø, we ended our tour at Tuvsjyen and took the bus back.
It was a short tour, but it felt like we were away for a long time. There is something about the beauty of the Norwegian fjords. It does recharges you. For help with groups, meetings, or incentive tours, please feel free to request for a quote.