The name MS Nordnorge translates to “northern Norway,” the region generally above the Arctic Circle, leading up to the North Cape. The 623-passenger Hurtigruten ship travels a remote route where the sun shines almost 24 hours a day in the summer months — a sharp contrast to the winters, when passengers are getting up and going to bed in the dark. MS Nordnorge's style of cruising is more fast-paced than the classic coastal voyages, thanks to an onboard team of experts who create a learning environment with talks aboard and guided trips ashore. Originally outfitted in Art Deco and Nouveau touches, MS Nordnorge is slated for a complete refurbishment in late 2016.
What We Love
The Scenery: The staggering variety of landscapes you'll see journeying from the south (pastoral farmland that tumbles down to the sea) to the north (increasingly rugged coastline and isolated offshore islands) is simply amazing.
Invigorating Excursions: Forget about gazing out the window the entire day. Bird-watching safaris, mountain hikes, and fishing expeditions encourage cruisers to take to a deep breath of fresh air and step out into the great outdoors.
Best Known For
Authentic Norway: Hurtigruten shows you the real Norway from different perspectives. If you're lucky, you'll get a glimpse of the Northern Lights and a chance to promenade in small towns unspoiled by tourism. You'll even encounter locals on board who use the ship as point-to-point transportation along the coast.
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Who It's Best For
Active Cruisers Who Want to Get Around Easily: These voyages are for travelers who want to see fjord country without the hassles of renting a car and moving from one hotel to another. The expedition team adds an educational and outdoorsy dimension to the cruise.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Summer is High Season: The ships can be crowded in the height of the warm-weather months, and while that won’t affect meal times and cabin accommodations, you may find the lounges full of short-distance travelers hogging some of the best seats in the house for views.
Theodore W. Scull is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written several books on crossings.