An amazing adventure
My last cruise was a birthday treat for my sun loving wife - a Norway Northern Lights cruise in the arctic in February - not what I was expecting her to choose! The Hurtigruten ships do not feel like tradition cruise ships - more like a posh ferry, which in essence they actually are! There are many stops made on the cruise, some of which are for passengers to disembark for excursions, others are for locals who use these ships as local taxis or goods services. The staff are great on the services and provide many add ns like talks on destinations, historical background to places visited and even adult versions of bed time stories (based on myths and tales of the areas being visited). Also provided good advice on photographing the Northern lights. The food was good, but quite seafood based. The weather make the cruise so different to other cruises, with high winds and very cold conditions at times, which fitted well with the artic theme of the cruise. Cabins are small, outs had two single beds, one either side of the cabin. However are warm and functional. Our grade of cabin did not come with a kettle, tea / coffee making facilities (other grades do and a friend we met leant us theirs as they were not using), Seeing the Northern Lights on a number of occasions on the cruise was amazing. We did a couple of excursions, one to the North Cape (a must great scenery and about the most Northern point in continental Europe) and the Dog Sledding at Tromso (probably the best excursion I have ever been on!). At other stops we simply went ashore and did our own thing! Another great experience was the King Crab safari - the crabs were enormous! We ended the cruise with a stay at the Kirkeness Snow hotel the wife loved this I was not so sure. We also tried the warm Gamma cabins at the snow hotel and these were excellent. Make sure you take lots of warm clothes and a good camera with a tripod!
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