Northwest Passage

Always in search of a new cruise to replace the 35 day Tahiti to FLL one we had booked on Princess but they canceled, my wife thought it would be nice to take one of these rare "Northwest Passage" cruises. She got the idea since our daughter and husband, who are now retired, have invested in a small shore excursion outfit that caters to cruise ships visiting Nome, Alaska.

They just recently traveled up to Nome to work the MS Roald Amundson which had cruised there from the Atlantic side. The Hurtigruten cruise line operates that ship. She understood that the cruise originated in Iceland. Since it only takes about 7 hours flying time from Anchorage to Reykjavik (we did that once) she wanted me to look into a similar cruise. Which I did.

I found that next August the Roald Amundson does to the Northwest Passage, but not from Reykjavik but Halifax. I also found that the cruise goes from Nome to Halifax, not the reverse. I also found that the voyage actually begins in Vancouver B.C. but you get on the ship in Nome after flying on chartered aircraft to Nome. The voyage is 29 days, which includes the day of flying from Vancouver.

I also found that the Roald Amundson is a fine first class vessel. Relatively new as having entered service last year. It carries only 530 guests and has a shallow draft which allows it to get close to shore at Nome instead of having to anchor far away like most cruise ships do there as there are no large docks at Nome. The tender operations for the larger vessels are difficult at Nome and quite often, when the wind picks up, they have to leave early or terminate the port operations right from the start.

I was impressed with the ship and decided to tentatively book a balcony cabin in order to get a handle the on the costs. What I found was that the 29 day voyage was going to cost us over 80 K. I didn't bother trying to find out what sort of reduction we would receive if we boarded in Nome without having to fly to Vancouver in order to fly back up to Nome on their charters, or if they would even allow for such. It was actually about 76 K but that didn't include air transport from Halifax back home or to Vancouver, or shore excursions in Greenland, Nova Scotia and elsewhere, nor did it factor in insurance. It did include port fees and the booze on board is free.

She gasped, thus the northwest passage cruises have been eliminated from our bucket list. However, you (Yankee are you listening?) might be interested, so I post this for your perusal.

Tags: World Cruise

3 Answers

Hurtigruten is definitely expensive, that's for sure! I've thought it would be really neat to sail Roald Amundson someday, because not only does it seem to be a beautifully designed ship but also for the interesting scientific work that they're doing onboard. But with their prices, I determined a while ago that I may never sail them. Although starting at $30k for 29 days seems even more outrageous for them than usual.

Yep Im here...killing time til this afternoons MD appts and Mex dinner...yep I read it, so I had to decide whether to book it or get a new car next year..oh is full of choices.....I AM somewhat disappointed you didn't book it...pocket change no? hehehehe j/k....its the kind of thing I watch on TV when they have those weird niche cruise ships to equally weird places some folks seem to specialize in.... way past the usual beachie/cabana lounging kind of thing eh

BTW and some what o/t, I happened to notice a link "HAS ANYONE CANCELLED A CRUISE OUT OF FEAR?"...looked interesting, so I clicked it and discovered yet another superb read of yours. It applies even today. Especially today. Sometimes cruise ships remind me of really fat turkeys on a giant platter...

Wow. Certainly out of my league.


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