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Days at Sea

Hurtigruten Northern Lights Cruise - Week One

semi-overcast 48 °F
View 2022 Norway on pjburke's travel map.

22 December 2022

I'll preface this by saying that, other than two small ship cruises which were totally different, this is our first "cruise". I'm not sure how things go with other cruises but with Hurtigruten, boarding is a process.

We arrived at the terminal and encountered our 1st check-in and at this point our bags were taken. Then, we headed upstairs and were directed by the "head check-in lady" to sit. Seats (comfortable couches and chairs) seemed to be assigned by arrival time into the terminal, even though we had a boarding time assigned to our cabin number. That really didn't seem to matter.

The waiting Room

The waiting Room


As we were waiting for "phase two". Carolyn said that at their initial check in, their room was changed to 819. I was kinda of familiar with the room numbers and knew right away - they were upgraded. Carolyn is celebrating a big birthday on this trip - what a treat!!

Phase 2 check in - we were lead into the next boarding room and our first stop was the "health" check in desk where we handed in our Health Statements. They wanted to make sure we were healthy. Those that had been sick recently were taken aside and check. Then on to our room check in, where we were issued our, all important, passenger ID's. These little pieces of plastic are our lifeline on the ship. It is our key cards for both our rooms and for leaving and returning to the ship while we are in port. They are also connected to our credit card for any additional purchases at the bar and at ship shop.


On board and unpacked, we head for a little late lunch. The dining room "The Aune" (1200-1400) but there is a 2nd option "The Fredheim" a small restaurant which is open from 1200 -2030. We grabbed some dumplings which were quite good. This menu is much smaller but has the basics - hamburgers/fries, milkshakes, crab sandwiches, chicken sandwiches etc.


From there it is on to our mandatory safety briefing. We learned about safety and were also introduced to the humor of some of the expedition team.


It was also here that we learned that there are 242 passengers on board/max is 532. Seems like a very comfortable number.

After the safety briefing, the MS Maud is heading out to sea, past the White Cliffs of Dover and on to Harwick, England for a quick stop. I have to confirm why this has to happen but it does. Something about international cruise law. The stop used to be Calais, France but that wasn't working.


Our first dining at sea was a buffet but we were advised that on most evenings we would have a menu and served meals. Dinner was good and wine was plentiful and we chatted about our expectations on the cruise.

At our stop in Harwick, at about 2200hrs, we were going to be treated to the sounds of Shanty Singers. A group of men who sing local fisherman sea songs....Well, that almost didn't happen. The Captain advised us that there was a cargo ship moored where we were supposed to moor, so instead we would be treated to a Tiny Viking Tale by Magnus (who has proved to be a magnificent story teller). BUT...after our tale from the eloquent Magnus, the Capt. came back on and let us know that indeed the singers would be able to come aboard. So glad we had that chance. They were very good. (I have a video and I'm going to try and figure out how to post)

Moments after the singers left the ship we were on our way again.....out to sea...for TWO days into the Port of Loen (pronounced Lowen) on the 25th.

23 December 2022

It's always difficult to sleep in a new place on the first night, but when your room is bobbing and weaving - it can be a little more difficult. Woke up a little tired but not too cranky.

Then..a couple more mandatory briefings. It's good that they get these out of the way. The first one was for anyone that anticipated going on a hike. Jan gave us great information on the challenges of hiking in Norway. Then, immediately following was the mandatory meeting for those who might want to kayak. Now I can hear you say - Kayaking in Norway??? Yes...in dry suits. We did sign up but not sure we'll get the chance.

Next ...back to the Lecture Hall to pick up our city "crampons". See photo: these are used only when off the ship when the terrain is icy and/or snowy (remember we are in Norway).

One of the many advantages of Tom and Carolyn getting upgraded is that their room is HUGE and Hurtigruten has gifted them champagne which they are generously sharing. So Happy Hour is in their room.


Dinner and then another "Tiny Tale" from Magnus and its off to bed - hoping for a calm night.


During one of our "talks", the staff went over our Tentative Itinerary. At sea, all things are subject to change. Below is what we "think" will be our ports. Each stop has activities - some free and some we pay.

25 December - Loen - where we have opted for the Glacier Hike ($)
26 December - at sea heading north
27 December - Reina Visit to the Picturesque Fishing Village (free)
28 December - Alta - Visit to the Northern Lights Cathedral (free)
Visit to the Ice Hotel ($)
29 December - Tromso - PolarMuseum (free)
30 December - Narvich - a couple of museums (free)
- we might the Train trip ($)
31 December - at sea
01 January - at sea
02 January - Bergen - Funicular (free)
Village Walk ($)
03 January - Egersund - Town Walk (free)

There are a ton of activities that are available - snowshoeing, hikes, dog sledding, kayaking, SUP, northern lights chase, Viking village tour etc
We'll see how it actually turns out.

When we were introduced to the crew, the Captain did tell us - be prepared for change. We're traveling in northern Norway in December and the weather knows no schedule. We'll see at the end of the trip, how many changes will be made.

24 December - Christmas Eve

This was a day at sea

Before activities we have our "mandatory" ferry boat drill and then I hurried on to a photography class with the ships photographer - Geraldine.
I really do need to practice more with my camera.🙄

Dinner was quite nice and was a similar menu that was served on the MS Fram Christmas 1893 while the ship was froze in ice in the arctic. This expedition was lead by Fridtjob Nansen.


Again, wine flowed and with a little false courage we headed to the lounge for "Maud Trivia Night". I think we did fairly well since many of the questions are geared towards the Brits (who are in the majority).

With a "Merry Christmas" to all. We headed in for a nice sleep with sugar plums dancing in our heads...though I think it may have been more the hope of sighting the "Northern Lights"!!

Posted by pjburke 10:27 Archived in England Tagged #hurtigruten

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Happy New Year!
Thanks for the pix. You know I always love the food shots!

by Nancy A. peck

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