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The Norwegian coastal voyage: one sip at a time

by Nicky Gardner

Picture above: On board the MS Mitnatsol: Arctic luxury, Hurtigruten-style. Only the champagne is missing (photo © hidden europe).


Full marks to Hurtigruten for an imaginative and varied wine list. The caveat, and it's a big caveat, is the price. For those who are not inclined to smuggle a few bottles on board as they embark on a Hurtigruten voyage, we review the company's wine list.

The Norwegian coastal shipping route between Bergen to Kirkenes is one of Europe’s finest slow travel journeys. It is the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of fine wine. In this article we review the choice of wines on Hurtigruten ships. We have lots more information on Hurtigruten in the Notes section of our website.

What better way to mark rounding the northernmost cape on the European mainland than by cracking open a bottle of Armand de Brignac Rosé champagne? It comes of course at a price. 3160 Norwegian kroner to be precise. That’s not far short of 400 euros.

At least, that’s what you’ll have to pay if you are minded to buy a bottle on a Hurtigruten ship on the Norwegian coastal voyage. Armand de Brignac is in the premier league of champagnes and their Brut Rosé comes with the company’s trademark pewter Ace of Spades on a fetching pink bottle.

Now we have to come clean here and admit that not a drop of Armand de Brignac champagne has ever crossed our lips. We’ve just seen the empty bottle. It is, let’s face it, a bit above the regular hidden europe price range. It is the most expensive wine (and the sole rosé champagne) to feature on Hurtigruten’s current wine list. The two other champagnes on the list are both white — and both very much cheaper.

But if you’re keen to try that top-of-the-range Armand de Brignac Rosé, then a Hurtigruten boat is not a bad place to do it. That’s because this is a wine that typically sells in the retail market for about 375 euros a bottle, so the percentage markup that you pay for the ice bucket and slick service on a smart ship at 71 degrees north is actually pretty modest.

The Hurtigruten wine list: the basics

The ships that ply the Norwegian coastal sea route from Bergen to Kirkenes and back all have the same wine list. Of course not every choice will be in stock on every vessel at all times, but the basic structure of the list is as follows.

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