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Norwegian Coastal Voyage -
Continued from "Cruise Experience"

NCV Hurtigruten ship and scenery photo

ABOVE: Open decks provide fresh air with Norwegian coastal scenery.

Finnmarken Cruise Comments

Jana Jones is a professional travel and cruise writer. She has written for Cruise Critic and publishes a site about hotels, resorts, spas, and cruises at

General observations

"The voyage itself was lovely. The weather was nice all the time. It did rain a wee bit but not much, making it easy to take advantage of the scenery. The ship is beautiful and the cabins are extremely functional.

"Since it is a new ship I am sure there are some kinks that need to be worked out, but in all, the trip itself was great.

"The shore excursions were priced very well; no one felt gouged by the cost of the excursions.

"Where the line fails is in customer service.  There is very little. Even the person who would be called a 'cruise director' on a regular cruise line had a sneering disrespect for the passengers."

The cabins

"The tube cabins [outside cabins near the bow with deeply recessed portholes] are so dark that if there is a substantial difference in price between one of those and an inside, I'd say take the inside cabin. Avoid the aft area at all costs.

"The cabins on the 7th deck forward are tiny for some reason.

"The mini-suites feel cramped because there is a wall between the bedroom area and the sitting area.  The grand suites are really lush, with full baths, lovely bedding, lots of space."

"It's appalling on a new ship to have such terrible thruster vibration and noise. Those on the 3rd deck aft were punished on a daily basis with belongings flying off shelves...and since the ship stops to either drop off or pick up provisions and passengers all down the coast, there were several stops in the middle of the night. The noise and vibration literally threw passengers out of bed. Those on the 6th deck aft complained about it too."

Editor's note: To be fair to NCV, the Finnmarken began service in April, 2002, and it isn't ususual for new ships to have growing pains.

Food and drink

"[The lunch menu included] herring in all of its manifestations (the one in ketchup or barbecue sauce was just too much for me) and pots and pots of roe too. Lots of cold cuts and a couple of hot dishes daily, mostly fish and potatoes, although we had reindeer and lamb (goat, I think) a couple of times.

"Supper was served, and alternated between fish and meat. Most of the food was very good. Not gourmet, but very good.

"Unlike regular cruise lines, you cannot get snacks, drinks, or coffee between formal meal times. You have to purchase coffee and sodas. I don't drink the latter but the coffee was a rip-off at NOK 18 for a tiny cup of instant. Two sips later, another NOK 13 for a refill.

"Cabins have refrigerators, so you can purchase cold drinks and snacks to keep in your cabin."

Editor's note: Norway is an expensive country where a beer in a local tavern can easily cost the equivalent of US $7.00, so NCV's beverage prices aren't necessarily out of line by Norwegian standards.

Final thoughts

"This cruise isn't for everyone. Traditional cruisers might, depending on pricing, prefer a 'Norway Cruise' that stops in many of the major ports along the coast, such as Tromsø, Bodø, Trondheim, and Bergen. Traditional cruise ships also go into the Sognefjord, which was wonderful. If that hadn't been on our [non-cruise] agenda, I really would have missed out on some lovely scenery."

- Jana Jones, Great Getaways

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