Sarah Tonks, Manager of our Lymington travel agents, had the opportunity to hunt for the Northern Lights on board Hurtigruten’s ship, MS Nordnorge. The cruise included lots of amazing shore excursions and memorable destinations.
Airline: Norwegian Air
(Hotel names/Ship name): MS Nordnorge, Clarion Edge Hotel - Tromso
Duration: 4 nights
The comfortable 737 had a reasonable amount of legroom and the chance to purchase snacks and drinks during the flight (sterling and NOK taken).
It’s worth noting that it pays to buy snacks on board the flight as Tromso and Oslo airports are very expensive.
We were allocated Polar Outside cabins on MS Nordnorge on deck five. My first impressions were that it was slightly cramped, but it did have everything we needed. There was a small wardrobe with drawers, night lights above the bed for reading, a shower and a toilet. Our cabin also had a TV but we noticed that some on deck three did not. Ours was a three-berth cabin with two lower fixed berths and one upper and additional storage under the beds. There were lovely toiletries provided in the shower room.
The Artic Superior cabins were slightly larger and had double beds. The suites were very nice, beautifully decorated and something I would definitely recommend if you can stretch to it.
MS Nordnorge is a beautiful ship that’s nicely decorated and very comfortable. I particularly liked the Observation Lounge, which had lovely recliner chairs looking out towards the scenery, a bar and coffee station. The lounge also had a fire feature, which made it lovely and cosy.
The food in the restaurant was outstanding. Breakfast was an extensive hot and cold buffet, lunch was also a buffet with lots of choice – the soup was amazing. There is a set dinner option with waiter service in the evening, but if you do not like any options offered, the chef will do his very best to cater for you. Wine, however, was very expensive and ranged from £10 a glass or £52 for a bottle.
Clarion Edge Hotel, Tromso
We spent our last night at this five-star hotel, just a short walk from the Hurtigruten terminal. It was a lovely property; very comfortable with large en-suite rooms. There was a hot and cold buffet breakfast the following morning and it was just a five-minute walk to the centre of Tromso to catch the airport bus.
Accommodation is full board on board MS Nordnorge and our one night at the Clarion Edge was on a bed and breakfast basis. Excursions were also included, as were flights and transfers.
North Cape Excursion From Honningsvag
We crossed the 71st parallel towards the North Cape, the northernmost point on the European continent. This excursion collected us from the terminal and took us by coach on a journey that took approximately 45 minutes. There were lots of photo opportunities and we got to see some porpoises. On arrival at the North Cape, we had the opportunity to visit the North Cape visitor centre, which tells of the history. I thoroughly enjoyed this excursion and we were very lucky with the weather.
Sami Autumn From Kjollefjord
We took an interesting excursion to meet with Sami people and learn about their culture and natural medicines. We tasted traditional Sami dishes and herbs.
Hike Up Langora From Kirkenes
This was basically a two-hour hike (roughly 6 miles) on which you can enjoy beautiful views of the Pasvik River and see the Russian border. We got some wonderful photos and the hike was made even better by the four-month old husky named Odin who accompanied us.
Mountain Hike From Hammerfest
We couldn't go on the hiking trail as it was too icy on this particular day. Instead, we had a walk around the town and lake to learn about the history of Hammerfest. The frozen food company Findus was founded here.
Arctic Cathedral From Tromso
The midnight concert in Tromso was very enjoyable. It was a mixture of classic and folk music enhanced by fantastic acoustics and definitely worth doing.
Cable Car From Tromso
We paid to take a bus to the cable car and went to the top of the mountain view point. There were amazing views and lovely photo opportunities.
My favourite part of the trip has to be seeing the Northern lights every evening. The North Cape excursion and hike to the Russian border were also highlights.
I would recommend this cruise to a variety of travellers. It’s a very relaxing way of seeing the Norwegian coast. I would recommend upgrading to an Arctic Superior cabin or a suite – these are bigger and have tea and coffee making facilities.
This trip would be good for holidaymakers who don’t want to dress up, as it’s very casual on board. Also, the food is exceptional.
Must see? Northern lights
Must do? North Cape experience, Arctic cathedral concert and Russian border hike
Must try? Reindeer meat
If you would like to take a cruise similar to the one that Sarah enjoyed, visit your local branch to speak to the team. We have travel agents in Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Felixstowe, Bury St. Edmunds and along the south coast.