ABOVE: A cabin aboard one of Hurtigruten's "New Ships" from the 1990s. The couch converts into a bed; note the folded bed on the opposite wall.
The cruise experience
Hurtigruten promotes its journeys as "an alternative to the traditional cruise experience." The word "alternative" is worth noting, because a Hurtigruten itinerary is both more "real" and less resort-like than a voyage on a mainstream cruise line.
If you travel with Hurtigruten, you'll enjoy more than great scenery--you'll also have a distinctly Norwegian experience on a working ship that stops at dozens of small ports.
In summer, many of your fellow passengers will be well-heeled tourists from the U.S.A. and other countries, but you'll also encounter residents of Norway's coastal towns, school groups, backpackers, and business travelers--and you can leave your suit or cocktail dress at home.
You'll dine on Norwegian cuisine, feel clunks and vibration as cargo is loaded and unloaded during the night, and--if you wish--book affordably-priced shore excursions.
In short, a Hurtigruten cruise is a chance to travel along the western and northern coasts of Norway as Norwegians do.
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