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Cruise Lines Cruise Reviews

Spitsbergen Cruise

MS Nordstjernen, Page 4
Continued from page 3


ABOVE: Looking aft in the ship's restaurant. INSET BELOW: A view through the windows of the main lounge.

Dining and public rooms

All of Nordstjernen's public rooms are located on the promenade deck, which includes an open afterdeck.


Your cruise fare on the MS Nordstjernen includes three meals a day in the ship's restaurant, a large U-shaped room with picture windows that offer good views from all tables.

Breakfast is served buffet-style, and you can sit wherever you like. You won't find breakfast pastries, but the usual Scandinavian repast of bread, herring, ham, cheese, porridge, cereals, etc. is supplemented with a variety of fruits, eggs, and breakfast meats.

Lunch is a generous buffet, with lines that can get unwieldy as passengers queue up for salads, cold cuts, fish, hot entrées, and desserts. Lunch is at your assigned table. (If you're picky about your seat location or companions, don't waste time in booking a table after embarkation.)

Dinner is a three-course set meal at your assigned table. The first course is usually soup or seafood, the second course is meat or fish (on our cruise, we had reindeer, pork chops, and Arctic char), and the third course is dessert. If you're a vegetarian or have special dietary requirements, let the cruise line know well ahead of time, and they'll try to accommodate you.

Drinks, except for coffee and tea, are billed to your shipboard account.


The main lounge is forward of the restaurant, just beyond the entrance hall, the public lavatories, and a closet with snowmobile suits that you can borrow if you get cold on deck.

photoThe lounge is a comfortable room with sofas, easy chairs, and a retractable screen for the guides' slide presentations. Large windows offer views of scenery and the forward deck (where you can see PolarCirkel boats being lifted into the water with a crane before shore landings).

Aft of the restaurant are a bar and café area where you can order drinks or enjoy free tea and coffee. You can also buy postcards, candy bars, etc. at the shop counter and browse through a selection of parkas on a nearby rack. Doors lead to the afterdeck, which is the only smoking area on the ship. (Fortunately, there's usually enough breeze to dissipate the smoke, and I was never bothered by cigarette smoke while lounging on the afterdeck.)

Next page: Crew and guides

Spitsbergen cruise review and photo diary:
The ship: MS Nordstjernen
Dining, public roooms
Crew and guides
Landings, port visits
Planning your cruise
Day-by-day photo diary

More about Spitsbergen:
Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Bird Cliffs of Spitsbergen (Fuglefjellet boat trip)