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We put your questions to Hurtigruten

14 Nov 2016 | by Sarah Clarke

Updated November 2017

We put your questions about winter cruising, cruises to Norway, and chasing the northern lights to Hurtigruten. Find out what they had to say, and start planning your extraordinary winter adventure today. 

Does the ship slow down for good photo opportunities of the northern lights?

Yes - the ship will make an announcement when the northern lights are showing, and the ship will slow down as much as it can - whilst keeping on schedule - to make sure cruisers get the best sighting. However, even if the ship is moving this does not necessarily mean you are sailing away from the light and will miss a photo opportunity.

What sort of temperatures can you expect mid-February?

Average temperature in Tromsø (Norway) in February is -2.9 degrees Celsius, but of course the weather is changeable so this can be both higher or lower. It is worth noting that the Norwegian coast is very long, so the temperature is normally colder the further north you cruise.

Is there a 24 hour area for food and drink on MS Spitsbergen?

Ms Spitsbergen does have a café, but opening times can vary throughout the year. The best thing to do is to check the opening times once you have embarked on your trip.

Will there be ice cruising up to the north of Norway around February?

It is very hard to predict the weather and the ice conditions, however due to the Gulf Stream, the Norwegian coastline tends to be free of ice even in winter.

How many hours of daylight are there in February?

Average daylight hours in February depend on where along the coast you are. There are just over 7 hours in Trondheim, and about 5 in Tromsø.

Any wildlife to see in winter?

Wildlife sightings are hard to predict, and can never be guaranteed at any time of the year. But yes, some wildlife is active in wintertime - such as the arctic fox and reindeer.

What choice is on offer for food and drink, when meals are not included ashore?

Depending on which port you are visiting, there is normally a good choice of restaurants to choose from. The larger the town, for example Tromsø, the more restaurant choices there will be.


When is the best time of year to see the northern lights?

For northern lights season, cruise between October and March. Pre-Christmas, the area does not tend to have as much snow as the months after Christmas, so it will depend on your preferences.

How does the Hurtigruten fleet compare to other cruise lines for things like food and entertainment?

The food is 5 star, very fresh, and locally sourced – a real treat. There is no entertainment in the traditional sense, as Hurtigruten believe that what’s outside your window is the real entertainment; the sights, magnificent coastline, and beautiful nature. Some voyages do have lectures and gatherings on deck, plus a great number of optional excursions to choose from.

How rough is the sea on this type of trip? (Norway, northern lights cruises)

Roughness of seas can vary, and it is difficult to predict the weather or how rough the seas will be. You will be travelling on a ship, so of course you should expect to feel some movement. Due to the route, most travel is along the coast and very close to land, which means you will not cross any open sea. Additionally, most ships now have stabilisers to minimise movement.

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