MS Vesterålen is one of the oldest and smallest ships, named an archipelago in Nordland country, to the north of Lofoten. Vesterålen was also the name of the first Original Coastal Express steamship from 1893.
Fresh and lightly refurbished in 2019 and again in 2022, MS Vesterålen has bright, informal public areas and lounges throughout. The last refurbishment included upgrading 32 outside cabins to Arctic Superior standard with double beds, rebuilding 4 cabins into 2 mini suites, upgrading the restaurant, the café, the reception area, and the gym, in addition to giving Trollfjord lounge a new look and feel.
On a journey with MS Vesterålen, we will have a "behind the scenes" focus where the guests will get an opportunity to get closer to the Hurtigruten heritage, emphasizing maritime operations, logistics and hotel operations. With a focus on edutainment and engaging activities, we will provide guests with an in-depth knowledge of the different departments and the interaction between them.
MS Vesterålen provides passengers an authentic heritage experience. In its exciting programme you will learn more about the ship´s maritime operations, logistics and hotel operations. You will get an opportunity to get closer to the Hurtigruten operation and to learn more about the operation along the Norwegian coast. The programme includes the following:
We recommend pre-booking excursions to avoid disappointment. You can pre-book excursions up to four weeks prior to departure (2 weeks if paid by credit card) at the rates presented.
Any remaining excursion places will be sold on board. All bookings on board will be charged in Norwegian Kroner at the ship’s exchange rate. The price in local currency may differ due to exchange rate fluctuations.
Please note that all excursions are provisional and subject to change – current weather and sea conditions may affect the viability of certain excursions. Excursions may also be subject to minimum/maximum numbers.
We offer complimentary Wi-Fi on board our ships. Guests on a Select fare will first need to register on our 1893 Ambassador loyalty programme to access the Wi-Fi. It’s free to sign up and you’ll also have access to discounts and a range of other benefits.
Please note that the Wi-Fi signal varies depending on different locations on the ship. As the ship sails in remote regions of Norway, speeds may also be slower and not suitable for streaming services.
Special diets (e.g. vegetarian) can be catered for if requested in good time. Passengers on strict diets may ﬁnd that there is a limited choice.
We now offer a 3-course vegan menu option for the evening meal on our 12-day voyages.
On board, dress is informal. Although some passengers choose to change for dinner, the dress code is casual rather than formal. The weather in Norway can vary during the course of each voyage or even during the day. To cater for these variations, we recommend the layered-dress approach that enables you to adapt to changes in temperature, wind and precipitation conditions easily.
For all voyages, we advise you to take breathable rain and windproof clothing. A warm hat, gloves, scarf and thermal clothing can be useful, together with thermal underwear, during the winter months. On land, where it may be icy, sturdy shoes are important for shore excursions and a walking stick/trekking pole may be useful.
We also warmly welcome guests with reduced mobility. If needed, our sales consultants will also search for and book suitable hotel rooms for you. You will have to bring along your own standard-sized collapsible wheelchair. If you’re able to get around the ship in a wheelchair unaided, you do not need to travel with a companion. Guests who require assistance will most likely need to travel accompanied. Talk to your travel agent about this.
When the ship stops in a port along the Norwegian coastline, there is always a ramp or a gangway to get you on and off the ship. The only exception is Urke, where we do not dock. Access to this town is only for guests who are going on an excursion. Disembarkation takes place by tender boat, and is therefore not suitable for wheelchair users.
These excursions are not specifically adapted to guests with reduced mobility. Ask our coastal experts when you are on board and they’ll be able to advise you as to which excursions are suitable.
It’s important that you inform us of any mobility challenges when making your booking, so we can make the best possible arrangements for you.
You will need to bring along your own standard-sized collapsible wheelchair, which should be stored in your cabin when not in use. If you’re able to get around the ship in a wheelchair unaided, you do not need to travel with a companion. Guests who require assistance will most likely need to travel accompanied. Talk to your travel agent about this.
Hurtigruten ASA cannot accept children under the age of 5 to travel with us to Antarctica. There is no age restriction∘ on our other destinations. For safety reasons, children under 12 years of age will be considered on each landing. It is entirely at the Captain’s discretion to allow children on shore landings.
Norwegian and English are the official on-board languages. Some Hurtigruten Guides (or the Tour Leaders on board MS Vesterålen), personnel at the reception and service crew often also speak German.
Most of our excursions are guided in two or three languages. Please contact the Hurtigruten Guides or Tour Leader on board for further information.
It is a safety requirement that all Hurtigruten passengers attend a compulsory safety briefing in Bergen and Kirkenes before the ship leaves port. After embarkation, the crew will greet you and conduct the mandatory safety brief at intervals. This will last between 10-15 minutes.
The briefing will include a demonstration of how to put on a life jacket and the instructions to be followed in the unlikely event of an evacuation or other emergency during the voyage. The briefing is compulsory for all passengers including those who have travelled with Hurtigruten before. There will be an opportunity to ask questions if you have any concerns.
Please familiarise yourself with the emergency procedures as shown in the cabins (there is a diagram on the cabin door and in public areas), and ask at reception if in doubt. In many ports, there may be a good deal of activity on the quay with cars joining/leaving the ships and/or goods being loaded or unloaded. Please be alert to such traffic when embarking and disembarking.
Take care during winter months when it is icy underfoot, particularly on the outside decks and when disembarking the ship or alighting from coaches. Ice spikes and other winter clothing can be purchased in the ships store. Do not carry large amounts of cash and keep valuable items, including mobile phones and cameras, out of sight.
Hurtigruten’s environmental efforts are tied to our strategic six-point policy;
As a traveller with Hurtigruten, your contribution to environmental care is welcome. We have garbage sorting aboard all ships, and we encourage you to turn off lights when leaving the cabin and unplug electrical transformers when not in use.
In 2018, we banned all single-use plastic on board our fleet. When ashore, bring your litter back to the vessel or dispose at designated places. We are often near wildlife on our voyages. Please heed the advice of your Tour Leader/Expedition Leader and excursion guide and strive to act in a way that does not alter the wildlife’s natural behaviour.
Vehicles onboard coastal voyages must fit the following dimensions:
Campervans, minivans and trailers cannot be accepted.
These standard outside cabins for up to 2 people on the middle decks have bunk beds, one of which converts into a sofa, and a chair.
These comfortable outside cabins for up to 3 people on the middle decks have separate beds, one of which doubles as a sofa.
The emphasis onboard is on relaxation and discovery, and not the commercial entertainment that is so often a part of conventional cruises. Hertigruten’s aim is to get you closer to unique environments∘ and to allow you to share the experience with your fellow travellers. Occasionally there may be some musical entertainment onboard in the evenings.
Trollfjord Lounge can be found on Deck 5.
Vesterålstuen Lounge & Bar can be found on Deck 4.
Selling souvenirs, knitwear, books, postcards, postage stamps and a limited supply of toiletries.
The books are in a variety of languages including Norwegian, German and English, also there are game tables available to play cards and chess.