Nordlys is a Norwegian word which, in English, means “northern lights.” The name is a reference to the spectacular natural light show known as both the northern lights, and the aurora borealis, which appears most prominently in the winter months. The lights appear in the sky in the very north of the northern hemisphere, and the MS Nordlys’ name, as well as her décor and art, celebrates these memorable displays—and rightly so, as the star of these voyages is the spectacular scenery, both day and night. While the winter months offer up the opportunity to see the northern lights, summer is just as unforgettable for cruising Norway’s coastline, with its extended daylight hours providing plenty of time for enjoying the sights.
The MS Nordlys travels the length of the stunning Norwegian coast, with cruises of 5 to 11 nights. The full-length 12-day cruise is a voyage from the southern city of Bergen to Kirkenes in the north, and the return journey. The itinerary provides for stops in several port cities along the way, including Alesund, Trondheim, Bode, Tromso, and Honningsvag, each with something special to offer visitors—from the Arctic Cathedral Midnight Concert in Tromso, to the tiny fishing villages of the Lofoten Islands. The MS Nordlys carries up to 622 passengers, and offers both interior and exterior cabins, as well as suites and mini-suites. With its smaller size, it provides the perfect intimate atmosphere for a relaxing and unforgettable Norwegian experience.
With a full-length 12-day voyage stopping in more than two dozen different ports, it’s no wonder that fresh, tasty food is the mainstay of the MS Nordlys menu. The menu changes with the seasons, but its focus is always on fresh food that looks good and tastes even better, with a menu that includes a buffet-style morning and midday meal of both cold and cooked foods, with a three-course dinner in the evening.
A typical evening meal might include a hot, satisfying soup or a crisp salad, followed by free-range chicken and risotto, or baked trout—caught that very day—served with fresh vegetables. With a dessert such as chocolate fondant or panacotta, and your choice from a selection of wines and other beverages, each meal is more memorable than the last. Passengers with special dietary requirements can request alternative meal options.
While the focus for Hurtigruten cruises is less on ship-board activities and more on the Norwegian voyage experience, the MS Nordlys does provide a range of amenities for passengers’ use, including a gym and sauna, library, an internet café, and a couple of conference rooms. The bar provides entertainment in the evenings, a perfect place to sit and relax inside, while still enjoying great views. Again, however, the focus is on the cruise experience—there are no glamorous Vegas-style shows or formal parties, but you can arrange for a phone call to wake you in the middle of the night to view the Northern Lights.
An MS Nordlys cruise also provides the opportunity for several different on-shore excursions, depending on your itinerary and the time of year. Whale-watching, dog sledding, hiking, bird-watching, or traveling to a tiny fishing village might be part of your cruising experience, or you may wish to spend your excursion time exploring the port cities. Either way, you’re sure to have some great stories to share with your fellow passengers on those evenings in the MS Nordlys bar!