Built over a half century ago, the 400-passenger MS Lofoten qualifies as a true time machine. Part of Hurtigruten's coastal fleet, it is a nostalgic reminder of the way ships once operated, mixing passengers and cargo on scenic voyages from Bergen to the Arctic Circle. MS Lofoten is also a ship enthusiast's favorite: Her interiors have been restored to their original state, and '60s style touches have been incorporated into the service. Dinner is delivered on silver platters and staff wear vintage uniforms.
What We Love
The Crew: The staff delights in serving people who genuinely want to be there —such as the many classic-ship fans who are repeat guests. The connection creates a warm and friendly atmosphere.
The Cozy Interiors: Cruising on MS Lofoten is akin to staying in an old-fashioned country hotel that has been impeccably maintained. The wood-paneled lounges and dining room are restful spots for the long voyage up the coast.
Best Known For
Varied Scenery and Small Towns: Said to be the world’s most beautiful voyage, the rugged Norwegian coast is made up of offshore islands, snowcapped mountains, deep fjords, picturesque villages, and farms that spill down to the sea.
Cargo Handling: MS Lofoten carries freight as well as passengers, and watching the loading and unloading of cargo is a major diversion. The shipments are stacked on pallets and swung aboard before being lowered into the hold or placed on the foredeck.
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Who It's Best For
Vintage-Ship Fans: Sixties-inspired menus and aperitifs, fishing off the deck, ice fishing excursions ... a range activities and amenities unique to MS Lofoten are intended to add to the feeling of a bygone era.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Most Cabins Share Hall Bathrooms: The two-bedded outside cabins with private facilities are limited, so book well in advance if you want to avoid staying on the upper and lower berths — or walking down the corridor to take your morning shower.
Staterooms Are on the Small Side: The cabins are tiny compared to those on the newer Hurtigruten ships. If you need more space, go with a different option.
Theodore W. Scull is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written several books on crossings.