MS Midnatsol
MS Midnatsol Photo: Martin Keega Photo

Practical Information: Expedition Cruises with MS Midnatsol

From passport and VISA requirements to general on-board information - get to know the MS Midnatsol before you embark on your expedition.

Voyage information: MS Midnatsol

Accuracy

The information and descriptions have been checked by our staff and/or local agents to ensure they are correct. However, changes may occur after the date of publication and there may be occasions when Hurtigruten or local suppliers may withdraw some facilities. Should we become aware of any significant change, which may be considered to have an effect on the enjoyment of your holiday, we will do our utmost to advise you.

Public holidays and religious festivals may also affect the availability of resort and hotel   facilities. Tourist offices can provide details of such events. Many areas we visit are very remote and affected by prolonged cold weather or difficult terrain. Provision of facilities will be subject to local conditions, and customs and lifestyles may differ from those to which you are accustomed. 

Communication to the ship

All cabins on MS Midnatsol have a telephone. Buy a phone card in the reception to call from the ship. Wi-Fi is available in most areas at additional cost. Both Wi-Fi and telephone lines will from time to time be out of range due to the vessel’s location.

Changes to the itinerary and excursions

Every voyage is unique. All routes and excursions are provisional and subject to change as weather, sea and ice conditions may affect the itinerary. Excursions may also be subject to minimum/maximum numbers. Hurtigruten AS reserves the right to change the itinerary and the content of excursions without prior notice (see terms and conditions). 

 Children

Hurtigruten AS cannot allow 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 for participation on each landing. It is entirely at the Captain’s discretion to allow children on shore landings. 

Disabled cabins/Mobility

MS Midnatsol is suitable for wheelchairs. Persons in need of special assistance must travel with a companion. Please note that the gangway must be used in order to embark/disembark wheelchairs. MS Nordstjernen has no handicap cabins and is not suitable for wheelchairs. In ports where tidal conditions or other circumstances require use of a portable gangway, or during landings with tender boats, it is not possible to use/take wheelchairs. Embarkation and disembarkation in Kangerlussuaq/ Greenland and Cambridge Bay/Canada is by tender boat, and therefore we regret that any voyages starting and ending in Kangerlussuaq and Cambridge Bay are not suitable for wheelchair users. 

Drones 

Please note the use of passenger-operated drones are not permitted during your voyage. This is for general safety as well as the protection of other passengers' personal security. 

Environment and green navigation

Our Captains take pride in route planning that minimises the load of the engines and reduces emissions. All waste is stored on board until it is deposited for treatment ashore. We never deposit waste in the sea and we ask you not to leave any waste when you are on shore excursions. In populated areas there are containers for depositing litter, please use them. We ask you to respect the saying: “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures”. 

Expedition Team

The on board Expedition Team is composed of an Expedition Leader, an Assistant Expedition Leader, an Expedition Coordinator and several lecturers and experts. Your Expedition Leader will regularly update you on the progress of the trip as well as the different points of interest and wildlife sightings that may occur. Biographies of the Expedition Team can be found close to their information desk. At the Expedition Desk you will be able to find information regarding the trip and book optional excursions.  

Medical questionnaire mandatory

In accordance with Hurtigruten AS requirements, all travellers to Antarctica, North East Greenland and on all voyages crossing the Atlantic Ocean must complete a confidential medical declaration form, signed by a doctor, stating that they are fit to travel. This form will be sent to you in advance of travel, and the form must be filled out, brought on board and personally delivered to the doctor upon embarkation. Boarding may be denied if these forms are not presented at time of embarkation. 

Medical facilities

There is an English-speaking physician and nurse on board MS Midnatsol at all times. The ships have a small medical facility with the necessary equipment and medication to handle small emergencies. In the event of a serious emergency, the nearest hospital will be contacted. Medical consultations as well as medication will be charged to the passenger affected. It is compulsory to carry sufficient travel/health insurance. If you depend on medication, remember to bring sufficient supplies to last through any unforeseen delays. We also recommend that you keep your medication in your hand luggage properly labelled and with clear instructions for its use. If you depend on vital drugs, please inform the ship’s doctor upon arrival. Illness on board can lead to quarantine and orders from the ship’s physician and captain must be followed. 

Mobile phone

Mobile phones will function in most places on shore. Check with your carrier for details. Guests may use their own GSM telephones on board as long as we have connection at an international price level. Please check with your carrier for rates and if your subscription is valid on the MCP Satellite System on board. 

Passport and VISA requirements

Please take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the required travel documents you will be asked to provide prior to boarding the ship. It is the sole responsibility of the guest to identify and obtain all required travel documents and have them available when necessary. A passport is the only valid identification. For some destinations your passport must be valid for more than six months after you return to your home country. At check-in on board passports will be collected on board the vessel, in order to clear immigrations and customs. They will be kept throughout the whole voyage. We regret that we are unable to accept any liability if you are denied access to a flight or entry into a country or are otherwise affected by difficulties or costs resulting from your passport not being approved or if you have not obtained the required documentation. It is the responsibility of each passenger to ensure they comply with any visa travel document requirements at the time of travel. 

Safety on board

The ships comply with all safety requirements and our vessels traveling in icy waters are suitable for this. Upon arrival on board all passengers will be instructed in safety procedures and the use and location of the safety equipment. There is a safety plan situated on the inside of each cabin door. We stress the importance of becoming acquainted with the ships’ safety plans.

Special safety regulations will apply on landings with the tender boats. Please follow the instructions given by the Expedition Leader and crew. Special lifejackets for use during landings will be handed out to all passengers before first landing. A mandatory briefing regarding the safety guidelines will also be given. 

Ship’s security

Hurtigruten complies with the ISPS-regulations (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code) where all luggage is subject to X-ray/metal detector inspection at a facility or ship. The ISPS regulations also include hand baggage scans in all ports of call throughout the course of the voyage. 

Special requests

If you have special requests please inform us at time of booking. We will do our best to meet such requests but can not guarantee to do so and under no circumstance will any such request be accepted by us so as to form part of a contractual agreement.

 Tender boat landings

These sturdy boats enable water based exploration and safe landings in otherwise inaccessible areas. On all landings in PolarCirkel boats guests are required to wear proper footwear. In Antarctica it is mandatory to use provided rubber boots for all landings. For all other destinations boots can be useful. You are welcome to bring your own boots. 

Vaccinations

On some voyages vaccinations are required. All passengers are responsible for ensuring they comply with any requirements at the time of travel. 

What to wear

On board dress is informal. Although some passengers choose to change for dinner the dress code is casual rather than formal. The weather 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 and weather conditions easily. For all voyages we advise you to bring breathable rain and windproof clothing. A warm hat, gloves, scarf and thermal clothing can be useful, together with thermal underwear, during the winter months. Sturdy shoes are important for some shore excursions and a walking stick/trekking pole may be useful. 

Flights, Transfers and Hotels

Scheduled Flights

The airfares offered are special package tour fares, which cannot be altered or cancelled without charge. All flight package prices are based on specific booking classes; if the relevant booking class is not available a supplement may apply. In economy class, you will be served snacks or sandwiches per airline. If these are not included in the airline's service, you can purchase drinks and snacks for a fee. On intercontinental flights this is usually included. We can offer upgrades to business class on some routes. Depending on the airline, this may also include seats with more legroom. Please note that upgrading may not apply to all sectors. Luggage allowance varies between airlines and charges may apply if you exceed this, or carriage may be refused. As a rule, each guest can carry a piece of hand luggage weighing approx. 6-8 kg (dimensions and weight depend on the respective airline) on board. Your baggage allowance is set to 1PC (23 kg), but may vary depending on the flight connection; please check with your airline. Further transport guidelines can be found in the respective terms and conditions of our flight partners. If you are planning to take a wheelchair or need assistance at the airport please advise us at the time of booking. Flights may be made early in the morning or in the evening, but they are always adapted to our travel arrangements. Please note that some flights may be transfer or stopovers. Time and/or route changes as well as a change of the machine type are reserved. Our common flight partners are Lufthansa, British Airways, KLM/Air France, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Scandinavian Airlines, LATAM, Iberia and Iceland Air. Please note that rebooking or reimbursement of an already issued ticket will be charged before departure. A transfer or refund of a ticket after travel is not possible. Any flight times advised at the time of booking are provisional and subject to change; please check before you travel.

Included flight Buenos Aires-Ushuaia

The flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia and vice versa are operated by LATAM airlines and usually depart early in the morning and arrive at Buenos Aires in the afternoon or early evening upon return. Please note that the airline will confirm the final flight times between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia only a few days prior to the day of departure. For final flight times and your boarding pass please contact our hospitality desk at the hotel in Buenos Aires one day prior.

Only economy class is available on these flights, no upgrades in higher booking classes is possible. A light meal and non-alcoholic drinks will be served during the flight. You can travel with checked luggage with maximum weight 23 kg and bring one carry-on bag on board with max 8 kg.

Please note that this luggage allowance can differ from the airline you use for your long-haul flight to/from Buenos Aires. We kindly ask you to check your flight baggage conditions and make sure you do not bring more.

We do recommend planning an overnight in Buenos Aires at the end of your voyage due to connecting flights. If you decide differently, please do not book your international flight before earliest 20:00. We are unable to accept responsibility if you miss your own booked return flight in the event of a delay of the flight between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia.

Please note that the flight to/from Ushuaia is planned to depart/arrive at the Jorge Newberry National Airport, the national airport of Buenos Aires. You need at least 4 hours to change airports in Buenos Aires for your connecting flight from Ezeiza, the international airport of Buenos Aires. The airport set-up is subject to change but we will inform you with the latest information with your travel documents.

Hotel

The standard of the hotels we use is equivalent to 4-stars, centrally located or if more convenient for your booked arrangement, close to the airport. There is no official hotel rating and local hotel categories apply. All rooms have private facilities. Single rooms may be smaller and less conveniently situated and may be double rooms for sole occupancy or purpose-built single rooms. Hotels may charge for some facilities, e.g. saunas. The price for the overnight includes breakfast, if not stated differently on your confirmation.

Transfers

Transfers are included as shown in your booked arrangement. Hurtigruten offers bus transfers from airport to the pier and some hotels. The transfer times comply with the ship arrival and departure times and your flight arrival and departure time. Waiting times at the airport are possible. The duration of the airport transfer can vary depending on the destination but it takes usually between 20 and 45 minutes. Exceptions are possible where a longer transfer time is needed due to a greater distance between airport and port. With your travel documents you will receive further information on your transfer.
For guests who are not fully mobile, wheelchair-accessible transfers are on request.

Land Adventures

Hurtigruten offers a choice of optional Land Adventures that can be added to your Hurtigruten journey. This can be a half or full-day excursion or an overnight tour. A minimum number of participants applies. For guests who are not fully mobile, land adventures are on request.

On board information 

Alcohol Policy

Guests are respectfully reminded that only beverages purchased from the ships’ restaurants and bars can be consumed on board. Alcoholic drinks purchased in ports-of-call and from our on-board shops will be stored by the ship and delivered to your cabin on the last day of the sailing.

Announcements

Announcements will be made over the public address system. The announcements are also available on the cabins telephone by dialling a specific number.

Bar service

All ships have a bar with an excellent selection of spirits, wines, beers and soft drinks and a lounge with coffee service. 

Cabins

There is a wide range of comfortable cabins on board. All Explorer ships have cabins with private facilities. SPlease note that check-in at reception may open before your cabin is ready for use. You will be informed at check-in when your cabin is ready for use. You may expect some noise and vibration in some cabins. This varies depending on the location of your cabin. Please note that cabins on deck 6 of MS Midnatsol have passenger access to outside areas, which may sometimes lead to  obstructed views due to passengers walking past. 

Cruise card

A cruise card will be issued upon arrival on board as part of the check-in procedure in accordance with ISPS regulations. The card serves as a control system on the gangway. This card, in addition to being the key card for your cabin, is also your payment card on board. To activate the cruise card account you must have a Visa, American Express, Diners or Mastercard. The credit card must be valid for more than three months after your stay on board. Please note that when using your credit card on board the ship, your account will be debited in NOK. The rate of exchange will be the one validated by your credit card company. The evening before the voyage ends the account will be totalled and settled on board, and a receipt brought to your cabin. We regret that there is no facility for cash withdrawals or currency exchange on board.

 Electricity

The plugs in your cabins are all 220V/50hz. Suites have 110V for shavers. The plugs are continental two pin plugs, which may require an adapter. 

Entertainment

The emphasis on board is on relaxation and discovery, not on commercial entertainment, which is often a part of conventional cruises. During the voyages, a variety of social events, such as gatherings with the Expedition team, presentations held on deck, lectures, and workshops will be arranged. Occasionally there may be some musical entertainment on board in the evenings. Please review the program on board for detailed information.  

Fitness room, sauna, pool and hot tub

On MS Midnatsol deck 9 you can find a modern fitness room and comfortable sauna with a fantastic view of the landscape passing by. There are two outdoor hot tubs on all Explorer ships except Nordstjernen.  

Gratuity Policy

Many of our guests wish to give special thanks to our service crew on board. Of course, how you wish to honour the service given by the crew in bars, restaurants and cabins is at your discretion. In order to provide some guidelines, we recommend 70 NOK (approx 9 Euro, 12 USD) per guest per day as an average gratuity. Whatever amount you decide to give, please fill in the form you will find in your cabin and give it to the receptionist two nights before the end of the cruise. The amount will then be debited from your cruise card account.  

Information and services

There are Reception and Expedition desks, where our staff are available to answer your questions. 

Language

Announcements are given in English and German. Lectures are in English with simultaneous translation to German and Mandarin. In some occasions lectures will be given in German and translated simultaneously to English and Mandarin. Daily Programmes will be in English and German. There will be Mandarin, English, German and Nordic speaking staff on all explorer ships, except MS Nordstjernen where there will be English, French, German and Nordic speaking staff on board.  

Laundry

A laundry service is available on board the MS Midnatsol for an additional cost. Self-service laundry is available on  MS Midnatsol. No dry-cleaning is possible on any ship.

Lectures

The ships’ experienced lecturers command in-depth knowledge of the areas in which we sail. They will conduct, on a regular basis, lectures on topics such as biology, history and geology throughout the voyage. The lecture schedule will be announced every day in the on board daily programme.  

Library

The ship has a small selection of books that are available to guests while on board. 

Observation Lounge

The Observation lounges offer large panoramic windows with ample and comfortable seats. On all MS Midnatsol there will be binoculars for sale in the on board shop.  

Outdoor decks

Enjoy the views from the front or back of the ship. Both are perfect vantage points to sit back, relax and watch the world go by. 

Mail

You can hand in your mail at reception, and, for a  service fee and stamp costs, we will forward the post in every port where it is possible. The time from sending the postcard to when it gets to the recipient may be relatively long. Hurtigruten has no responsibility for lost mail.

Resident photographer

Our resident photographer on MS Midnatsol will invite you to photography workshops and practical sessions out on deck to enable you to take the best possible pictures from your voyage.

Restaurant & cuisine

Your voyage includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. The open seating for the breakfast and lunch buffet creates a relaxed atmosphere. Dinner varies between buffets, set meals and barbeques. The type of dinner is announced in the daily programme. Our headwaiter will assign tables prior to arrival. Information about table number and meal times will be in your cabin upon arrival. Please provide information regarding special requests for seating arrangements. On some voyages we may serve the dinner divided into boat groups.

Where possible, we plan our menus around seasonal ingredients, taking advantage of local produce to satisfy healthy appetites stimulated by the fresh sea air. Regular coffee/tea is complimentary throughout the whole voyage. Still and sparkling water by carafe is complimentary together with your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other beverages and refreshments during the day are not included, but may be purchased on board in the restaurant, cafeteria and bar.  

Room service

Cabins are cleaned daily on board MS Midnatsol. Fresh towels are available at all times. Food and beverage can be delivered to the cabin upon order for Arctic Superior and Suite cabins. Subject to charge: Service fee plus price per item (Exception: continental breakfast for suites, free of charge).  

Rubber boots

On board you may borrow a pair of high quality boots free of charge to wear during landings and hikes. We also offer binoculars and walking sticks for rent. 

Seasickness

Seasickness pills are available to buy in the reception. If you are prone to seasickness it is recommended that you bring pills that you are familiar with. 

Shop

In our on board shop you may buy clothing suitable for Explorer voyages. Our Expedition team will be happy to give you expert advice on how to dress properly in polar areas. We offer a range of both warm and practical clothing, using fabrics with natural fibres. We also offer souvenirs, handicrafts, and postcards. In addition, we also stock a small selection of soap, toothpaste and other personal effects. 

Shore excursions

A wide selection of shore excursions are available to pre-book. Where available, we will supply you with excursion information in advance, otherwise you will receive full details and prices on board.

Smoking

On board, smoking is only permitted in designated areas on deck. All cabins are non-smoking. To show respect for the environment, please use the provided ashtrays when smoking. Throwing cigarette ends overboard is strictly prohibited. A cleaning charge of 1,500 NOK will be applied for smoking in your cabin, to cover the cost of cleaning linen and curtains to return it to a non-smoking standard. 

Water

The tap water in your cabin is drinkable. Filtered water by the carafe is available at your table during meals, while bottled water is available for purchase. 

Walking on board

We kindly remind you to be careful walking on board while at sea, especially venturing out on deck. Look out for the signs for warning of wet and slippery decks. Be aware that some doors leading to the outer decks are difficult to manage in windy conditions. Please adhere to the signs and announcements when it is not advised to go outside. While walking inside, hold on to railings but not to doorframes to avoid injury. 

Welcome meeting

Upon arrival on board, there will be a mandatory passenger safety drill before departure. There will also be a welcome meeting where security information as well as practical information about the cruise will be given, along with an opportunity to meet some of the crew and be introduced to the key personnel on board.

 

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