MS Nordlys

MS Nordlys current position

MS Nordlys current location is at North East Atlantic Ocean (coordinates 69.68357 N / 19.02789 E) cruising at speed of 14.6 kn (27 km/h | 17 mph) en route to Kirkenes. The AIS position was reported 42 seconds ago.

Current Position

Specifications of MS Nordlys

Year of build1994  /  Age: 29
Flag state Norway
BuilderVolkswerft Stralsund GmbH (Stralsund, Germany)
Classcruiseferry (Ro-Pax ship)
Ferry route / homeportsBergen-Kirkenes
Speed18 kn / 33 km/h / 21 mph
Length (LOA)122 m / 400 ft
Beam (width)19 m / 62 ft
Gross Tonnage11204 gt
Passengers-to-space ratio23
Decks with cabins4
Last Refurbishment2019
OwnerHurtigruten AS
OperatorHurtigruten Cruises

MS Nordlys Review

Review of MS Nordlys

The 1994-built MS Nordlys cruise ship is one of the six “contemporary” Hurtigruten ships, together with Kong Harald, Nordkapp, Nordnorge, Polarlys, Richard With. Together with her fleet mates, Nordkapp serves Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Voyages (NCV) program for cruiseferry travel by cargo-passenger ships.

The vessel (IMO number 9048914) is currently Norway-flagged (MMSI 259139000) and registered in Tromso.

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.

MS Nordlys cruise ship

The 700-passenger ship Nordlys (Norwegian for "Northern Lights") was named after the spectacular phenomenon visible in northern waters between October and March. MS Nordlys was launched in 1994 and its colors, art, and decor are all inspired by this magnificent natural phenomenon. The unique environment on board was created by Norwegian artists. Nordlys’ guests are encouraged to unwind and relax in the elegant maritime atmosphere, including comfortable reclining chairs and panorama lounges.

Decks and Cabins

MS Nordlys staterooms (223 total, in 8 grades) include 6x Suites, 184x Outside, 30x Inside, Cabin sizes vary from 55 to 325 ft2 (5-30 m2). Wheelchair-accessible cabins are 3. Most staterooms are outside and sized 85-140-ft2 (8-14 m2). There are no balcony cabins.

Standard cabin amenities include lower and upper bunk beds, bedside reading lamps, foldable table with chair, LCDTV, radio, phone, mini-fridge, electronic safe box, wardrobe with dressers and cabinets, en-suite bathroom (WC-shower, bath products, hairdryer), individual air-conditioning, blankets (for sitting outside).

The boat has 7 decks, of which 6 are passenger-accessible and 4 with cabins.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

MS Nordlys features some qualities which separate her from the traditional cruise ships. The everyday conveniences are offered in a large ship setting. The main restaurant offers a relaxed informal atmosphere in the evenings, and all menus use locally-sourced fresh ingredients. Hurtigruten dining boasts authentic Norwegian specialties and international cuisine.

MS Nordlys cruise ship

Follows the complete list of ms Nordlys restaurants and food bars.

  • Torget Restaurant (Deck 4) is the Polarlys ship’s 240-seat Dining Room with floor-ceiling windows and a large buffet station in the middle. Here are offered buffet-style Breakfast (7-10 am) and Lunch (11:30 am - 2:30 pm). Dinner is waiter-served, with 4 seatings, a 3-course menu (plus a la carte menu with light snacks). In the Torget Restaurant are also sold Hurtigruten wine packages.
  • Multe Bakery (Deck 7 midship) is a patisserie/ice cream bar with a knitting corner and jigsaw puzzles. It offers freshly baked cakes and pastries along with a range of local ice creams. Guests can try the stockfish, brown cheese, and cloudberry ice cream.
  • Brygga Bistro (Deck 4) offers cafe-style food and is perfect for a light lunch. It serves beverages, sandwiches, and burgers throughout the day.
  • Kysten Arctic Fine Dining (Deck 4) offers a more private, intimate setting. This exquisite restaurant serves some of the world's best seafood, exotic meat and other produce directly sourced from the Arctic.
  • Unlike most Hurtigruten ships, Nordlys has no 24-hour open Cafe Restaurant (Cafeteria with a la carte menu for hot/cold meals, snacks, beverages). The only 24-hour open venue is the Reception, offering guest assistance and information, along with a reduced variety of beverages, packed snacks, and sandwiches.

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

The onboard entertainment is low-key as most of the time is spent in discussions with fellow passengers. Occasionally, there may be live music performances in the evenings at the Bar Lounge. The ship has a small Fitness (gym room), two spa pools (outdoor jacuzzies), Infirmary. However, the small hospital is not served by a resident doctor/nurse. In cases of emergencies, the crew asks among passengers if there is medical personnel, and the ferry is always navigating close to land to deliver sick passengers to a hospital if needed.

MS Nordlys cruise ship

Follows the complete list of ms Nordlys lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.

  • The Car Deck (capacity of 45 cars)
  • The Car Deck (capacity of 26 cars / reduced from 45)
  • Two Lecture Halls / Conference Rooms (Deck 4) host multimedia presentations, lectures by scientists/wildlife experts, Norway-themed films. A show program is not offered.
  • Explorer Lounge and Bar (Deck 7 forward) is a Panorama Lounge (with scenic bow views from floor-ceiling-windows) that also serves as Library (shelved books, board games and cards playing).
  • The Shop (sells Norwegian souvenirs, Hurtigruten logo merchandise, jewellery, toiletries, clothing)
  • Promenade Deck (full-circle open-air deck space)
  • Observation Lounge and Bar
  • TRIM Fitness (equipped with exercise bikes, treadmills, free weights); 2 Saunas (separate for men/women)

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.

The cruise ship doesn't have Kids Playroom (indoor playground), Nursery (babysitting facility), Video Games Arcade, Internet Cafe.


MS Nordlys itinerary program is based on Norwegian Coastal Voyages. Ship's routes include the beautiful Norwegian fjords.

Havila-Hurtigruten ferry route (Norwegian Coastal Express cruise ship itinerary map)

Nordlys is mostly used as a ferry for both passengers and cars. However, some guests stay on board for roundtrip 12-day itineraries out of Bergen and Kirkenes.

MS Nordlys - user reviews and comments

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MS Nordlys Wiki

The cruise ship Nordlys was christened on March 22, 1994, in Oslo Norway, and sailed to Stavanger, across the North Sea to the UK (stopping in Newcastle upon Tyne and London). On April 4, it started the Hurtigruten service on the Bergen-Kirkenes route. The ship is named after the natural phenomenon in these waters, seen each year between October and March. Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) is the meaning of "Nordlys" in Norwegian. The unforgettable phenomenon appears in the Northern Hemisphere's sky as green, sometimes red "waves".

Nordlys' onboard experience is marked by delicate interior design including only natural art, and inspired by the Northern Lights, with beautiful brass fittings and woodwork. Passenger cabins as sizes vary from 86 to 323 ft2. Three of the staterooms are designed for disabled guests. Cruise passengers are primarily 50+ Europeans. There might be some Americans as well. Announcements are made in English, Norwegian, German and any other language that is spoken by large groups on board.

MS Nordlys cruises along Norway’s coast departing from Bergen to Kirkenes (and the reverse) and stopping at 30 picturesque ports along the route. Many use the vessel as transportation (ferry). Cruise passengers stay onboard for full round trips booking it as a cruise ship. 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).

Drydock refurbishments review

By 2023-Q4, Hurtigtuten's all 7x "Norwegian Coastal Express" ferryboats (Nordlys, Richard With, Kong Harald, Nordnorge, Polarlys, Trollfjord, Nordkapp) were scheduled to complete drydocks for powerplant conversions (from diesel-only to diesel-electric / battery-hybrid), during which new low-emission diesel engines and large battery packs were installed.

  • For this project (budgeted ~EUR 100 million), on May 11, 2021, Hurtigruten Group signed a contract with Kongsberg Maritime to deliver the hybrid equipment packages for the boats.
  • Each ship was fitted with 2x SAVe Energy storage systems (1120 kWh lithium-ion batteries) controlled via SAVe CUBE (drive switchboards that control the thrusters) and 2x Bergen B33:45V diesel engines (diesel generator sets with SCR-Selective Catalytic Reduction to optimize CO emissions control).
  • Kongsberg's equipment also included re-blading of the propellers, installing new thruster motors (retractable stern 360-degree azimuthing thruster), AC (switchboards/current switches), new safety and communication systems, new gears, bulbous bow (the hull was optimized to reduce drag), new boilers (improving heat recovery from the engines), new wastewater treatment plant.
  • The drydocks were conducted by Myklebust Verft AS (shipyard in Gursken, Norway's Gurskoya Island).

All Hurtigruten ships now have shoreside-power capabilities (plugs for electricity supply at port berths).