Hurtigruten in Norway

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

Scandinavia lovers might've already heard from Hurtigruten. This Norse company schedules tens of boats, which navigate over the arctic waters daily. Beautiful landscapes, great luxury and a relaxed atmosphere. That is what Hurtigruten stands for.
I have to admit that I'm not too keen on cruiseships, but I did want to sail on the wild waters of Norway for at least once. And I have to say... I did enjoy it quite a bit!

Sam Van den Haute CheckoutSam

Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!

Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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Tromsø hurtigruten boat

Before we went to bed, we couldn’t resist to take a sneak peek on the top deck of the ship.

Hurtigruten cruise to the Lofoten

After an exhausting Husky safari we still had plenty of time to enjoy Tromsø and think back to the last days.

Tonight we were taking the famous Hurtigruten boat to the Lofoten Islands. The most beautiful islands of Norway, and according to some even of the world.

Hurtigruten is a Norwegian company that has transported passengers around the arctic circle for  decades.
I’ve only heard good things about it. And so I immediately got the perfect excuse to sail on this luxury cruise ship myself!

The ship only arrived at the port of Tromsø at midnight and because the last two days were quite active, we were very tired.

From Tromsø we were accompanied by other people who had already been on the boat for several days. They had sailed all the way from the North Cape to Tromsø, and once we were dropped of at Svolvaer they would keep going to Bergen.

For me a week or twelve days seemed a bit too long, and so I chose the trip from Tromsø to Svolvaer. With a ship this distance takes about seventeen hours. For $150 per person you get an overnight cabin and a delicious breakfast. That’s long (and expensive) enough for the first time!

Hurtigruten cabin

Our cabin on the Hurtigruten boat. Plenty of space and a very comfortable bed!

It was already getting later and later, but we couldn’t resist the urge to go and explore this huge ship. With eight floors very many passengers could climb aboard this giant.

On the internet I read that you could set up an ’aurora alert’, and once the the magical lights danced in the night we would be woken up.

The procedure was quite simple. We only had to press a button at our phone in our cabin. Easy does it!
Dressed in warm clothes we took the elevator to the deck. We arrived at a gigantic viewing platform from where you can look over Tromsø, but where you can also see the size of this mastodon.
Our nightly investigation didn’t go much further, because the last few days had been very tiring.

Tomorrow we would have plenty of time to inspect the rest of the Hurtigruten boat, and so we decided to jump onto our very comfortable king-size bed.

hurtigruten aurora alarm

The Aurora Alarm on the Hurtigruten boat. Now, THIS is an alarm that can wake me up any day!

Luxurious breakfast, jacuzzi’s and amazing views

After a little more than six hours of sleep in the silky, heavenly bed we were abruptly awakened by a loud alarm.

I woke up and immediately got sparkles in my eyes. Could it be? Was this the aurora alarm?
The squeaky noise stopped and I quickly glanced at the TV screen. Then there appeared a disappointing message: “automatic wake-up call.”

Damn. No northern lights. Only a way too early alarm clock!

Groaning and sighing we tried closing our eyes for a little longer, but the boat had clearly woken up. Calls to passengers, an overview of the excursions today, … Yeah… You get the picture. There was no way we would fall asleep again.
After a refreshing shower we got to the restaurant. The breakfast here was served from seven o’clock until ten o’clock.

hurtigruten breakfast

I never saw a breakfast this extensive! On the other side there is even more food!

Our mouths dropped open. Such an extensive breakfast we had never seen before!
Three types of eggs, bacon, kötbullar, two kinds of salmon, a variety of other fish, dozens of breads, pastries, a variety of cheeses and other toppings, energizing drinks and vegetable juices, … And I could go on for a lot longer. I think it’s impossible to try all of this huge breakfast table, but at least I did my best!
The boat regularly anchors to drop off passengers or pick them up and
occasionally it also brings in some local specialties from the best quality!

After my third plate (Greedy, me? Of course not!) The boat started sailing in more difficult waters. My eggs gently turned around in my stomach a couple of times.

Fortunately, the turbulence didn’t last long, and so we could just continue to enjoy the delicious breakfast.

hurtigruten norway breakfast

About the breakfast you can’t complain. On the left you see all kinds of eggs, on the right all kinds of fish.

Once we couldn’t put one more bite in our bellies, we got back to our cabin. We still had a few hours left before we needed to check out, but we decided to already pack our suitcases. There is indeed much too be discovered on the ship!

When we dressed warmly, we took the elevator to the upper deck to view the beautiful scenery of Norway in daylight.

The rocks, hills and mountains were all sprinkled with a little, or a lot, of snow. The beautiful wooden houses that occasionally appear in the desolate landscape fit there so well that it seems like they are part of this beautiful nature!

upper deck hurtigruten norway

From the giang upper deck you get the best views around the ship.

Outside it is of course cold, but temperatures get even a tad cooler when the boat sails at full speed.

Still, that didn’t scare us and we stayed outside for a while to admire all that beauty, together with a dozen or so other people. Almost everyone had a camera in his hands, and everywhere you looked someone seemed to make a picture.

hurtigruten lofoten

The closer we sailed near the Lofoten, the more of these gorgeous houses you see.

Before we went back inside to warm up, we took a quick look at the back of the ship. There is a small deck with a bar, where a little later pancakes and hot chocolate milk was offered. But more interesting was the surprising view we got at the complete back of the boat.

Of course you still see the gorgeous scenery passing by, but right below us, we saw two jacuzzis bubbling.

Four people were sitting and enjoying the fizzy hot tubs with the relaxed atmosphere of the boat and the Norwegian landscapes slowly gliding by.
I wish I had brought my swimsuit! I had certainly jumped in.
But now, let’s be honest… Who even thinks about bringing a swimsuit when you’re traveling to Lapland?

hurtigruten jacuzzi

Don’t forget your swimsuit when you book a cruise with Hurtigruten!

Doing nothing is exhausting!

At eleven o’clock we were expected to check out. We could place our luggage in a room on the ground floor. After all, we still had six hours to spend on the ship.

If you’d like you can purchase internet on the boat, but I found it a bit expensive. Instead, I spent my time more useful, by editing my photos and writing down some blog posts.
The comfortable chairs and seats nearly all stood facing the windows so you could enjoy the lovely views nonstop.

sundown hurtigruten

Behind the ship, the sun slowly disappeared in the sea. And that gave us even more spectacular views!

When we sailed through a fjord or docked in one of the many small picturesque towns, we were given all information through the speakers.

If an announcement happened, everyone started to dress up once more to return to the upper deck, where they took some photos and then again hid in the warmer parts of the boat. When we arrived in the Trollfjord, everyone seemed to be awake because the entire boat seemed to climb up the stairs to see this gorgeous cove.

Unfortunately we could not sail through the fjord itself, because there was a risk of avalanches. However, the scenery which we saw now was probably the most beautiful of this whole Hurtigruten day cruise.

Hurtigruten lofoten

The beautiful Trollfjord confirms what we were all thinking. We’ve arrived in the Lofoten islands!

I had looted a chair on the upper deck, just behind a glass enclosure. I pressed myself down as deeply as I possibly could in order to avoid the wind a little. Mom had long been vanished, because it was clearly too cold here.
As we sailed around in this amazing setting, the sun was starting to disappear already. And as you know, sunsets make landscapes even more beautiful!

With dozens of seagulls and a few eagles flying above us this all had something magical. Although the journey to Svolvaer lasted quite long, I enjoyed every moment of it to the fullest. A bit of rest after the busy days full of things to do in Tromsø during winter certainly weren’t hurting!

norway hurtigruten

Posing with the Norwegian flag is a must when you’re on a ship!

The evening meal was incredibly expensive on the boat ($80 per person) and since we were still half full from the delicious breakfast, we decided to stuff ourself completely full once again with some delicious knäckebröd.

Once it started to get dark outside, I started to get a little bored. Luckily I had taken my precautions and downloaded some Netflix series offline on my phone.

Just after six in the evening we finally arrived in Svolvaer, the largest city of the Lofoten islands.
Here we would spend the next five days.
I’m curious! Because my expectations are high!

hurtigruten voyage norway

Idyllic landscapes during our Hurtigruten voyage weren’t that hard to spot.

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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