MS Lofoten Review and Specifications
Specifications of MS Lofoten
|Year built||1964 / Age : 56|
|Builder||Akers Mekaniske Verksted (Oslo, Norway)|
|Class||cruiseferry (Ro-Pax ship)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Bergen-Kirkenes|
|Speed||16 kn / 30 kph / 18 mph|
|Length (LOA)||87 m / 285 ft|
|Beam (width)||13 m / 43 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||2621 gt|
|Decks with cabins||4|
Current position of MS Lofoten
Review of MS Lofoten
Launched in 1964, ms Lofoten is the oldest and smallest of all Hurtigruten vessels. The ship was last refurbished in 2015. Together with her fleet mates, Lofoten serves Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Voyages (NCV) program for cruise and ferry travel by passenger-cargo ships.
History - construction and ownership
The shipowner Hurtigruten is a Norwegian passenger shipping company specializing in cruise and ferry services. The "Norwegian Coastal Express Route" (Bergen-Kirkenes) is a cargo-passenger ferry service along Norway's western and northern coast. Hurtigruten's cruise ferries sail nearly the entire length of Norway and complete this roundtrip itinerary in 11 days. The route also includes Lofoten Islands and Vesteralen Islands.
The 2,621-ton, 400-passenger cruise ship Lofoten was launched in 1964 and is currently operated by Hurtigruten. This extraordinary ship operates cruises around Norway’s coast, sometimes also in Svalbard archipelago. In 2000 she was protected by the Norwegian Director General of Historic Monuments in order to preserve the cultural heritage of Norway.
MS Lofoten has docked 75,000 times and travelled around 3 million nautical miles so far. 1.25 million passengers have boarded the vessel. Another curious fact about the ship is that ms Lofoten has been sailing with its original name since entering service on March 5, 1964. Although the cruise ship is the smallest and the oldest in Hurtigruten's fleet, it remains popular.
Cruise itinerary program
MS Lofoten itinerary program is based on Norwegian Coastal Voyages. Ship's routes include the beautiful Norwegian's fjords. Lofoten is mostly used as a ferry for both passengers and cars. However, some guests stay on board for round-trip 12-day itineraries out of Bergen and Kirkenes (with some departures from Tromso).
MS Lofoten has a total of 91 cabins (of which 68 Oceanview, 23 Inside rooms) in 5 grades. Most ms Lofoten staterooms are 75-140-sq. foot Oceanview rooms. The largest aboard ms Lofoten is the Outside cabin cat.N (140 ft2). The ‘old lady’ is incomparable. Her cabins are plain, but cosy, with lower and upper berths. Less than a half provide private bathrooms, and slightly more than a half are outsides, featuring portholes.
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
All meals in Lofoten's restaurant, which spans the width of the vessel, are included in fare if booking the full one-way sailing between Bergen and Kirkenes or a complete round-trip cruise. The food is good mid-level cooking, with choices including standard international cuisine and Norwegian specialities. The restaurant is a cosy room with original Norwegian paintings. Reservations apply to dinner only. There is only one sitting unless the ship is full.
Follows the complete list of ms Lofoten restaurants and food bars.
- The Restaurant (offers buffet-style Breakfast 7:30 - 9:00 a.m., Lunch 12:30 - 2:00 p.m., Dinner 7:30 p.m. - reservations-only, waiter-served, with one fixed sitting)
- The Cafe (aft of the dining room, 24-hour open cafeteria with a la carte menu for hot/cold meals, snacks, beverages).
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
MS Lofoten attracts her passengers with an intimate informal atmosphere, panoramic decks and unique lounges. This extraordinary vessel is a perfect choice if you want to sail the Antarctic in a small ship with well-trained crew and pleasant accommodations. The vessel was given her name after Lofoten Islands, just north of the Arctic Circle, which are known for their dramatic scenery.
Follows the complete list of ms Lofoten lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.
- The Bar (after-dinner spot for cocktails)
- The Shop (sells Norwegian souvenirs and Hurtigruten logo merchandise)
- Saloon Deck’s Lounge (with 270-degree views)
- The Panorama Lounge (with 270-degree panoramic views and comfortable seating)
- Infirmary (Hospital and Pharmacy)
- Self-service Laundry Room (complimentary)
- Hall/Lobby area with Reception Desk (guest services, assistance). At the Reception, guests can also book Hurtigruten tours/shore excursions, among which dog sledding, bus tours to small towns (embarkation in the next port along the Lofoten itinerary), “Northern Lights” and “North Cape” themed excursions
- Luggage Room (storage lockers)
- Gangway (ship entrance) is a narrow passage used for crew/passenger boarding and disembarkation
- Navigation Bridge (bow location) and officers' quarters are inaccessible for passengers
- The Sun Deck is the place for Hurtigruten’s special ceremony “Arctic Circle baptism”, including a Neptune-costumed crewmember, icy seawater, and a shot for warming up.
MS Lofoten - user reviews and comments
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MS Lofoten Wiki
Lofoten cruise ship belongs to the fleet of the Norwegian coastal voyage operator Hurtigruten (cruise and ferry services). This is the second oldest vessel in the fleet - after MS Nordstjernen (built 1956). The ship was built in Oslo Norway for the company "Det Vesteraalske Dampskipsselskab". In 2014, Lofoten celebrated 50 years of service on its March 2 commemorative anniversary itinerary set out from Bergen.
Fun fact is, that over the past 50 years, ms Lofoten has travelled 3 million nautical miles (~3,5 million land miles), transported 1,25 million people, docked over 75,000 times.
After the 2003 major drydock refit, most of the ship's original style was preserved (incl the panoramic deck and unique lounges). Despite its age, MS Lofoten is spotlessly clean and only the black hull is battered, as a result of many dockings at stone-hard wharves.
Hurtigruten's Lofoten has very few onboard spots for relaxation or conversation. All meals take place in the restaurant, located on the "Saloon Deck”. There is also a Cafe for snacks and drinks, bar and two lounges, including the "Panorama" (on the Boat Deck). The ship's interior boasts brass railings and wood panelling, wooden floors and plush carpets, comfy sofas and armchairs, original oil paintings. The Lofoten cruise ship is cosy and even charming, but her cabins are quite small.
The vessel was delivered to VDS (Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab) on February 27 and christened on March 5, 1964. Celebrating ship's 55 anniversary in 2019, Hurtigruten announced that the original B&W engine manufactured by Burmeister & Wain (Copenhagen- headquartered diesel engine producer / 1865-founded, 1980 defunct) has passed the record 325,000 hours of operation.
On March 2, 2014, the Lofoten ship (named after Norway's Lofoten Islands) celebrated its 50 years of service with an anniversary cruise leaving from Bergen. Although without an identical sister, the vessel is similar to dimensions and decks arrangement to the 1960-built MS Harald Jarl.
The crew and staff are all Norwegians, most of them speak excellent English. The Lofoten ship attracts an international mix of guests. Norwegians sail point-to-point along the coast of Norway between Bergen and Kirkenes, using the vessel as transportation (ferry). International cruise passengers (Germans, Brits, Australians and Americans) book longer itineraries. Most are sophisticated and well-travelled, yet unpretentious. The average passenger is 50+.
The ship is powered by Burmeister&Wain marine diesel engines (7-cylinder), generating a total power output of 2500 kW.
According to the Hurtigruten's official announcement, the Lofoten ship's itinerary schedule parallels that of the MS Spitsbergen, having the same dates of departure. The ship visits all the regular Norwegian coastal route ports. Follows the list of all ports of call:
- 7-day (northbound itinerary) leaving from Bergen (day 1), Alesund (day 2), Trondheim (day 3), Arctic Circle & Lofoten Islands (day 3), Tromso (day 5), North Cape (day 6), Kirkenes (day 7)
- 6-day (southbound itinerary) leaving from Kirkenes (day 1), North Cape, Lyngenfjord & Tromso (day 2), Lofoten Islands (day 3), Arctic Circle (day 4), Trondheim (day 5), Bergen (day 6)
- 11-day (one-way combined itinerary) leaving from Bergen and Kirkenes
- 12-day themed "Northern Lights Promise" itinerary
- 11-day "Classic Round Voyage" - ends in Trondheim, with included Dovre Railway travel to Oslo
- Norwegian coastal cruise passengers can opt for 5-11 nights stays, with the full 12-day sailing from Bergen to Kirkenes, then going back southbound. In most ports of call are offered Hurtigruten-sponsored excursions and tours. A ceremony "Crossing the Arctic Circle” welcomes newcomers.
- On Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal voyages, the line offers flight-cruise package deals. Bookings are protected with ATOL Certificate. ATOL stands for "Air Travel Organisers' Licensing" (Civil Aviation Authority, UK).
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