Travelogue from the NTT Hurtigruten group cruise 2018
The Nordic-Team-Travel travel group, accompanied by our tour guide Klaus, was allowed to experience the diverse Norwegian coast and its exciting ports on board the MS Trollfjord. In memory are fantastic panoramic views, grandiose fjords and the fresh delicacies offered on board. The mainland was explored via booked activities and "on your own". The evenings were enjoyed together at the stern with delicious food and we always had a lot to talk about. Dive into Klaus` travel reports and let yourself be inspired.
Voyage report day 1-3
When welcoming the German cruise participants on the day of arrival, the captain of MS Trollfjord introduced his management team and later left it to the expedition team to talk about the weather. Yes, the word Friluftsliv – simplified: experience movement with and in nature – had been heard or practiced by many before. This includes the realization that there is no such thing as bad weather – only inappropriate clothing!
And when our second day of travel literally fell through, it was a matter of course for young and old that all planned excursions took place. And after return there were really only satisfied faces!
In the evening, the Nordic-Team-Travel travel group sat at the lovingly set tables at the panorama window of the stern, with a view of the official mail ship flag and the open sea. Fantastic views! A very tasty 3-course meal and interesting conversations rounded off the day.
For the 3. Travel day, with a stay of about three hours in Trondheim, we were loosely for an "exploration on your own" to at 08:45 am at the pier arranged. A Norwegian couple had given us some tips for the shore excursion for it. So we sat – almost complete – after a few minutes walk in the line bus 46 and enjoyed the cheap city tour with a tour/retour group ticket. We still entered Nidaros Cathedral together – after that Trondheim was "roughed up", alone or as a couple or so.
Anyway, all participants were back on board in time – with group ticket, but also on foot.
After the tasty lunch we met again "by chance" on the sun deck. A tasting of freshly caught mussels was offered, together with a glass of fine wines. The sun called for peeling off onion-skin clothing in the process – pure jet set! A great sunny day!
Trip report day 4
This morning at 07:13 we crossed the Arctic Circle to the North. The sun deck was not yet sunny (many clouds in the sky), but well attended. Scandinavian loosely the baptism was simply shifted on after the breakfast and sunbeam time! So the sea god Njord came at 10:15 o'clock, our captain told him about the christening party and the funny spectacle was a lot of fun for the international guests in best travel weather!
Over and over again passing beautiful coastal scenery. We can't get enough of the sunny play of colors and the wide spectrum of sea blue either!
In Bodø there were several excursions, as always well explained and arranged by the Hurtigruten-Expedition-Team. Most of our Nordic-Team-Travel group went to the famous Saltstraumen, a smaller group explored the nearby city center on their own and later had coffee at the fishing and marina.
In the evening we will reach the Lofoten and who wants, drinks still another beer in the brewery in Svolvær. Party on deck then against 23:00 o'clock with the entry of the MS Trollfjord into the Trollfjord!
Travelogue day 5
Four ports of call during the night and early morning: Stokmarknes, Sortland, Risøyhamn and Harstad. A bit used to the related rumbling in the ship, turn to the other side and better feel sorry for those who have to work now – and just sleep on! – In the morning we listened to a lecture of the Hurtigruten Expedition Team; Topic: Survival in the Arctic – Flora and Fauna. At least: 5 stars!!
In the capital of the northern lights, Tromsø, the MS Trollfjord docked punctually at 14:15, so to speak in the center of town. Again several interesting excursions were offered by the expedition team. We decided to visit the huskies – and met a professional and very caring guide/animal care team in an area with about 300 Alaskan huskies. Great guidance and "all-round care for man and beast" – all well and good!! But the many short chained dogs have caused a stomach ache with me nevertheless. "Alright", commented another participant, "on floor in the big city huskies surely have it much worse". Reflecting on the aftertaste….
Yes – those of us who went out on our own again in sunny weather had a very nice day too! Footpath to.B. from the pier over the bridge to the Ice Sea Cathedral: just 25 minutes! At the delicious dinner at our tables in the panorama deck we had a lot to tell each other. And whoever wanted to had a good night drink with us later at the bar on deck 8.
Voyage Report Day 6
At the always rich and delicious breakfast buffet, an elderly British lady remarked this morning as she passed by the captain's table: "I've been around the world a lot, very often on cruise ships, and now at about the halfway point of this tour I can confirm it to you – without question, this is for me the most beautiful sea voyage in the world! Also your crew is simply top!"Hooray – and we are there!
Hammerfest was a bit too early stop in the morning for most of the passengers. But in Honningsvåg we had to stay for three hours. The majority of the Nordic Team Travellers had signed up for the trip to the North Cape – and despite limited visibility, everyone was pleased and satisfied on their return! It was worth it, one is richer by an experience!
From the excursion "Sami Autumn" there is unfortunately only tomorrow a feedback.
And Honningvåg on our own? The small town was quickly explored, impressive the small Nordkapp Museum directly at the pier. Since it was drizzling at noon, they opened especially for us and also waived an entrance fee!
On the way to Kjøllefjord we passed Norway's most elegant rock formation, Finnkirka, once again. At 19:15 we reached Mehamn and another short stop will be at 22:00 Berlevåg.
Travelogue day 7
Vardøy and Vadsøy were rather stops "before getting up" on the trip to Kirkenes. Punctually at 09:00 o'clock the MS Trollfjord moored in Kirkenes. Here we had a good three hours time for excursions and own undertakings to the end of the northbound route.
A small group of the Nordic Team Travellers had decided for an additionally offered hiking tour. As was reported later, one should be already physically fit as a participant with these and similar projects! The experience as such was highly praised – the guides from the expedition team are really just top-notch! Oh yes, there was still the feedback of the previous day's excursion " Sami Autumn" pending: Our participating anthropologist found it to be very informative and therefore good!
The not quite cheap king crab expedition I had imagined, like little Fritzchen, as a passenger on a historic crab cutter. Was therefore surprised when a professional fishing team quickly dressed us weatherproof and then brought us aboard their highly motorized RIBs. A rapid loop on the fjord led us very close to our floating hotel, further to a large buoy, where then immediately the catch basket was pulled out of the water.
Everything was explained and demonstrated in several languages – and we were already sitting in the heated shed at the water's edge, using the time for souvenir pictures – and could marvel at the tables lovingly set with snow-white linen. The procedure for "killing the pairs of legs" was literally celebrated at the table – and then eaten "to the bone". Conclusion: An all around great excursion! Even if not exactly on special offer. And please still another remark: If one looks at oneself in the port of Kirkenes the gigantic piles of hundreds of these "Kamchatka crab fishing baskets" as well as the oversized fishing boats in addition, one does not understand, which one must put several net hourly wages for a meal at home for it on the table.
In the afternoon one hour was planned for the stop in Vardøy. Right at the railing the representative of the historical fortress was already standing in uniform and "flagged. Short walk, soldiers of the army collected the NOK 50,00 entrance fee – and then there was a lot to see! Have a look at the pictures!
Trip report day 8
Honningsvåg at 05:30 o'clock – the busses were ready at the pier for the departure of the excursion "Breakfast at the North Cape. Many had already looked at the North Cape yesterday and reported that both the North Cape Hall as well as the cave of light and the St. St. John's Chapel were contrary to expectations not overcrowded. The big cruisers dock less frequently in autumn.
Our group had arranged today for the next stop in the "most northern city of Europe" – the emphasis is on city – thus on a common walk in Hammerfest.
Only a few steps from the pier and you are already in the Arctic Ocean Club. There is an exhibition about the history of the city, the Arctic Ocean and whaling. And with a one-time contribution one can become a lifelong member of "The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society"!
A little hurry must, who would like to regard the place from the 80 m high viewpoint "Salen. But also the reconstruction museum, the church St. Michael as well as the Lutheran Church of Hammerfest are always worth a visit.
In the afternoon we listened to a short lecture about Svalbard (Spitzbergen) on board. Julian from the expedition team has studied there and was also a guide. A next destination on a Hurtigruten expedition trip?! Hardly anyone can avoid the Norway virus!
After the delicious dinner – always with a view of the sea – we want to meet for the fashion show on deck 8. The sky is supposed to stay clear tonight – so we hope to be able to watch the northern lights from deck 9 after the show. And some of the Nordic Team Travellers go later in Tromsø by bus to the midnight concert in Nidaros Cathedral.
Tomorrow morning at 08:00 we will reach Vesterålen – and a mountain hike with the expedition team is possible. Will say, the offer is manifold – it is better to have or make a personal plan…..
Voyage report day 9
Early at 08:00 o'clock some of our Nordic Team Travellers left for the offered mountain hike. After about three quarters of an hour by bus we hiked the beautiful landscape of Vesterålen, until then only to be seen from the window. Feedback: A very recommendable excursion with the Hurtigruten expedition team!
"All hands on deck 9"! The trip through the 3 nautical miles long "Risøyrenna Channel" was impressive! The captain and his crew steered the big ship quite safely past all the small islands that reach close to the narrow shipping channel. This is certainly not possible with larger "pots"!
In the early afternoon we reached Stokmarknes. Our travel group had arranged to take a group photo at the welcome entrance. Afterwards we had planned to visit the Hurtigruten museum – and this also fitted perfectly to the uncomfortable rainy weather. A lovingly designed place awaited us – should have been seen!
Again "all hands" on deck 9! After weighing the weather/wind risks, the captain of MS Trollfjord decided that we enter the famous Trollfjord. On the left and on the right the steep rock faces rose up. And in spite of or maybe because of the dirty weather this new "maritime feat" of the captain was another impressive experience! Also this is not possible with big "pots". The pictures are not so clear now, but that's how it is!
In the evening in Svolvær there was enough time to set foot on the Lofoten Islands. A break in the rain even allowed a dry tour of the city. In order to relieve the time pressure for all travelers and excursionists, the dinner, which was fixed in time and also to the table number, was changed into an unbound buffet, extended from the time frame to 17:30 to 20:30 o'clock. One has always thought of everything on board!
Every day we welcome a southbound Hurtigruten ship, today it was the MS Nordkapp. And every day from 5:00 p.m. on deck 8 at the information desk of the Hurtigruten expedition team you can pick up a two-page info sheet about all planned events of the next day for free.
Travelogue Day 10
During the night the MS Trollfjord, going further south, called at Bodø and Ørnes. So at the breakfast table we could greet the MS Finnmarken sailing on the northbound Hurtigrute with a strong signal when it passed by.
Around 09:20 o'clock spectacle on deck 9: The polar circle was crossed now in the direction of the south! The captain with parts of the crew and the expedition team administered a spoonful of cod liver oil! Yes, everyone got their own spoon, could also keep it as a souvenir. And you could take a picture of the captain in his arms, which he obviously liked to do! Suspicion: a confidence-building measure – because he surely already knew about the upcoming stormy weather!?
And that came then with all its power. Nevertheless no one on board was getting down! Panorama seats were all occupied to watch the spectacle. The "Seven Sisters" – with hazy view thus unfortunately only veiled to regard. But expert Julian from the expedition team has again multilingual and excitingly recited the corresponding saga and thus "put us all in the picture" after all! One does not forget!
The MS Trollfjord was delayed, so the stops were shortened and planned excursions as well as possible walks were canceled. And so, unfortunately, we could not have a look at Torghatten – Troll King Sømna's thrown hat, which intercepted the arrow shot by the Hestermann on Lekamøya.
The hole is 160m long, 35m high and 15m wide. What a troll hat! And what an arrow!
Farewell Dinner in the evening – especially the ladies were dressed up. Probably because the sun was not shining, there were also a few trolls to watch.
The menu was again delicious – always praise for this great cuisine!
In a relaxed round, but complete, the Nordic Team Travellers said goodbye to the participants traveling on from Trondheim in the bar on deck 8. The outside window in the bar area, which had been demolished by the storm, had been secured by crew members in the meantime and already repaired – just great!
Travelogue day 11
MS Trollfjord called at Trondheim this morning with a delay of about one hour. Our "dropouts" were understandably a bit worried about reaching their transfers and connections on time. But I can say it in advance: everything worked out – without haste! The cabs and bus transfers already pre-ordered on board were ready, the traffic situation in the city was manageable and calm.
After the punctual departure according to schedule we sailed past the monastery and later fortress island of Munkholmen. Julian from the Hurtigruten expedition team described on deck 9 the history of the island off Trondheim, which was quite scary in some periods of time.
It was already dawning when we approached Kristiansund in the late afternoon. What a panorama! And that despite the gray haze caused by the weather!
Due to the continuing delays – the captain probably didn't want to shake us up too much – the time for a shore excursion was unfortunately too short here as well.
This was also true for the sea of lights of the city of Molde, which was obviously built in a mighty and high semicircle around the big harbor.
With the departure we met the northbound MS Richard With, named after the founder of Hurtigruten.
The "shrunk" travel group of the Nordic Team Traveller had received in the meantime at the cabin door the clear, also comfortable, expirations for the last travel day with arrival in Bergen. There all could lean back; ok – everybody still had to pack by himself.
Trip report day 12
Måløy was still before the presumable sunrise. But the cute Florø showed later at least a little color in the rain haze. As on the northbound rod, unfortunately no time to set foot on land. The two places certainly "deserved" to be explored!
The MS Trollfjord stomped further across the sea, the captain had set the goal to reach the Hanseatic city of Bergen on time, which was then also the case.
The disembarkation as expected perfectly organized and the waiting time after leaving the cabin until the deck-wise call to the gangway we Nordic Team Traveller have all comfortably "sat out" at the many panoramic seats. At the luggage belt there was a little international crowd, but if you wait calmly until the storm is over, the luggage will come again…. In the end, we quickly boarded the waiting buses and cabs, and there were only the many "newcomers.
Another feedback: The hotel rooms booked by Nordic Team Travel near the harbor rounded off the feeling of well-being! Strolling at the Brygge and more was announced due to the short ways. Staying one more night was considered and recommended.
Everyone got their plane or so later and promised to be in touch again. You were a great travel group! Many, many thanks!