Hurtigruten -- the fleet has been serving the coast of Norway for 100 years, carrying goods, cars, and people. Many of the ports are not connected by road and these ships are the lifeline for the necessities of life and transportation. They've made room for tourists, so you can cruise with them to visit towns and villages and see the magnificent scenery. Some cruises include Reykjavik, Iceland, or Lofoten Islands. Some have winter excursions for dog-sledding. New cruises include Greenland's Disko Bay with stops in Iceland; Norwegian Fjords and Scotland and Western Europe - British Isles Explorer ending in Hamburg during its lively harbor festival.

NORWAY'S FLEET

 

MS MIDNATSOL
         
Year of Construction: 2003 Passenger capacity: 1000 Length: 135.75
Ship yard: Fosen Mekaniske Verksteder, Norway Car capacity: 45 Beam: 21.5
Beds: 638 Gross tonnage: 16151 Speed: 15
 
MS TROLLFJORD
         
Year of Construction: 2002 Passenger capacity: 822 Length: 135.75
Ship yard: Fosen Mekaniske Verksteder, Norway Car capacity: 45 Beam: 21.5
Beds: 640 Gross tonnage: 16140 Speed: 15
 
MS FINNMARKEN
         
Year of Construction: 2002 Passenger capacity: 1000 Length: 138.75
Ship yard: Kvaerner Kleven, Norway Car capacity: 47 Beam: 21.5
Beds: 628 Gross tonnage: 15690 Speed: 15
 
MS NORDNORGE
         
Year of Construction: 1997 Passenger capacity: 623 Length: 123.3
Ship yard: Kvaerner Kleven, Norway Car capacity: 45 Beam: 19.5
Beds: 451 Gross tonnage: 11384 Speed: 15
 
MS NORDKAPP
         
Year of Construction: 1996 Passenger capacity: 622 Length: 123.3
Ship yard: Kvaerner Kleven, Norway Car capacity: 45 Beam: 19.5
Beds: 458 Gross tonnage: 11386 Speed: 15
 
MS POLARLYS
         
Year of Construction: 1996 Passenger capacity: 619 Length: 123
Ship yard: Fosen Mekaniske Verksteder, Norway Car capacity: 35 Beam: 19.5
Beds: 473 Gross tonnage: 11341 Speed: 15
 
MS NORDLYS
         
Year of Construction: 1994 Passenger capacity: 622 Length: 121.8
Ship yard: Volkswerft, Germany Car capacity: 45 Beam: 19.2
Beds: 469 Gross tonnage: 11204 Speed: 15
 
MS RICHARD WITH
         
Year of Construction: 1993 Passenger capacity: 623 Length: 121.8
Ship yard: Volkswerft, Germany Car capacity: 45 Beam: 19.2
Beds: 464 Gross tonnage: 11205 Speed: 15
 
MS KONG HARALD
         
Year of Construction: 1993 Passenger capacity: 622 Length: 121.8
Ship yard: Volkswerft, Germany Car capacity: 45 Beam: 19.2
Beds: 474 Gross tonnage: 11204 Speed: 15
 
MS VESTERALEN
         
Year of Construction: 1983 Passenger capacity: 510 Length: 108
Ship yard: Kaarbo Mek. Verk., Norway Car capacity: 35 Beam: 16.5
Beds: 294 Gross tonnage: 6261 Speed: 15
 
MS LOFOTEN
         
Year of Construction: 1964 Passenger capacity: 340 Length: 87.4
Ship yard: Aker Mek. Verk., Norway Car capacity: 0 Beam: 13.2
Beds: 153 Gross tonnage: 2621 Speed: 15
 

MS Fram (Expedition ship)

As well as offering numerous lounges in which to relax, more active guests can use the well-equipped gym. Meanwhile, on deck is a Jacuzzis guarantying real memories when passing the towering icebergs of Antarctica or Greenland.

MS Fram is designed for sailing in polar waters, holds the highest safety standards and is the perfect size for optimum nautical maneuverability and guests' comfort. With space for only 256 guests you are sure to get to know many of your fellow travellers. You will share stunning sights and memories of a lifetime long after returning home.

NORWAY

  • Itinerary: All of the ships follow the same itinerary close along Norway's fjord-filled west coast. for 1,250 miles. They travel daily either north from Bergen to above the Arctic Circle to Kirkenes in a 7-day cruise or south from Kirkenes to Bergen in a 6-day cruise. Some voyages go to Trollfjord, Geirangerfjord or Hjørundford. There are many different stops on each leg so the two cruises can be combined into a 12-day cruise that goes to 34 ports. In some places the ship stops only long enough to pick up or unload cars and fish and people, and at other ports the ship stops long enough for passengers to have several hours for sightseeing and shopping. At every port, the local villagers are there to watch the loading and unloading, greet visitors, and wave bon voyage to friends. In Bergen you can explore the harbor and visit Edvard Grieg's home and studio and hear a concert in the hall there, where you can listen to his music being played at the same time you gaze on the studio where it was composed. There is also good scenery to be seen taking the train between Bergen and Oslo with a side trip to Flam to see fjords and waterfalls. From November to February there is a wildlife expedition cruise between Ushuaia, Argentina and Puerto Montt, Chile, via Cape Horn and the Drake Passage to Antarctica.
  • Cabins: The double cabins have two lower berths that fold up during the day to create a small sitting room. Most outside cabins have a window allowing you to view the scenery, but cabins on decks 2 and 3 only have a porthole. Cabins have individual air-conditioning and heat control. Some cabins have a third berth. Junior suites, located on decks 5 and 6 have a queen bed. Suites have TV, telephone and a queen bed. Most cabins have a private bath with shower, but some have washbasin only. A large cabin for wheelchair passengers is on the same deck as reception.
  • Dining: During high season there are two sittings for dinner, at regular designated tables. Lunches are buffet. Many of the dishes are Norwegian specialties. Light meals, snacks, sandwiches and pizza are available in a cafeteria. Special diets accommodated.
  • Dress: Casual and comfortable, smart casual in the evening; never dressy. Bring clothes that can be layered so that you can bundle up with extra layers when the wind blows. Bring something waterproof for when it's drizzly.
  • Facilities and Activities: The ships have space for cars and freight. There are lounges with panoramic windows, a library and a bar. The newest ships have a playroom for children, conference center, small fitness center, washing machines and saunas. Lounges are also used by day travelers going from one local port to another. There are smoking and non-smoking lounges. The ships are decorated with art work from regional artists. There is no entertainment. Shipboard announcements are made in Norwegian and English. Passengers are mostly European. Ships do not have the usual toiletry amenities, so bring your own. You can walk around the villages while the ship is loading and unloading cargo, or you can take optional shore excursions. For many excursions, you leave the ship by motorcoach and catch up with it at the next port. One excursion goes to the Lofoten Islands. Another is a bus to the North Cape Plateau to see thousands of reindeer. On a shore excursion to the top of the mountain overlooking Tromso you can usually see the midnight sun.
  • Fares: Outside cabins $844 to $1,621 per person double occupancy for seven-day northbound voyage, $715 to $1,372 for the six-day southbound voyage, and $1,295 to $2,491 for the 12-day round trip. Suites are (of course) a higher price, inside cabins lower. There are discounts on some voyages for passengers age 67 and older and for groups of 15 or more. A Christmas voyage features church services ashore on Christmas Eve and a traditional Norwegian holiday feast. The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) is most often seen during winter months. A Midnight Sun air/sea package is available from April through October. 15-day Antarctica cruise $5,115 to $8,840 including roundtrip air from New York and hotels.

MIDNATSOL; NARVIK; VESTERALEN; FINNMARKEN, TROLLFJORD

Passenger Capacity: 302-1000
Built: 1980-2003
Length: 356-365 ft.
Beam: 54 ft.
Elevator: 1
Officers: Norwegian
Staff and Crew: 40; Norwegian
Wheelchair Access

  • Itinerary: The ships go along the west coast of Norway between Bergen and Kirkenes, leaving either for the southern or northern journey every day.
  • Cabins: Cabins are outside and inside, some with windows, some with portholes, some with queen bed, some with two lower berths, some with bunks. There is one cabin for wheelchair passengers.
  • Facilities and Activities: The ships have dining room, cafeteria, panoramic lounge, and space for 40 cars.
  • Fares: $539 (one night) to $4,133 depending on time of year and length of voyage. A typical 11-day program including airfare from New York, hotels in Oslo and Bergen, train between Oslo and Bergen, and the cruise: from $1,990 to $3,245 depending on cabin category and time of year. A 15-day program featuring a roundtrip voyage: $2,500 to $3,945. Senior reductions available on a few voyages.


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