MS Queen of Scandinavia
DFDS Seaways ship the MS Queen of Scandinavia can travel at 21 knots and can accommodate up to 1760 passengers. This vessel serves routes between the UK, Holland and the Norway.
We used this route two years ago when it...
"We used this route two years ago when it was run by FjordLine (Fjord Norway) so my comments are in comparison with then.
The ship itself seemed to be in better condition that the Fjord Norway, but in reality that's the only good point.
Staff seemed ok, but the food, oh dear! And so expensive. Some of it I wouldn't have fed to a dog. Nok 270 in the restaurent or Nok 240 in the Buffet. Per Person! So we tried the cafe on deck 4. Poor selection, tasteless, and out of stock. And that was on embarkation at Newcastle. Cheesy sausage in a lump of doughy bread. Atrocious.
Interestingly, the cost of the ferry crossing was cheaper than with Fjordline - same car, same people. Possibly slightly cheaper because of the inboard cabin this time. But the Fjordline food was far better, much more variety, better organised and cheaper.
In conclusion, I'm not surprised DFDS are giving up this route at the end of August. "
- Travel date: Mon 11th of August 2008
travelled with 3 friends to celebrate a...
"travelled with 3 friends to celebrate a special birthday (now wishing we had chose something else). cabins were tiny , 2 hangers to hang clothes for 2 for 3days!!! suprsingly the shower was hot and powerfull. food very expensive and unless you were a fish lover very limted in buffet resturant. breakfast again in buffet style was very scant and i am not a fussy eater. arrived in bergen a beautiful place but once aga in expensive. we went back to the ship about 11 pm to find everything closed , we were under the impression there would be entertainment when we docked overnight as were other passengers we spoke to. our opinion and also the opinion of others is that this is not a cruise its a ferry crossing . if you are looking for a cruise this is not one to go for. would never do it again . "
- Travel date: Mon 14th of July 2008
Be warned that this trip is definitely n...
"Be warned that this trip is definitely not for the faint hearted. Myself and 3 friends were lucky as we were blessed with a relatively calm crossing from Newcastle to Bergen, the return journey was a little rougher and for this reason please be warned if you're prone to travel sickness!
Being tight university students we chose an inside cabin (without a window) between the 4 of us for the 3 nights and payed extra for orca whale spotting, a buffet meal and a Bergen walking tour (approx Â£73 for the 3 nights). Be warned that the beds are very hard- whilst I found this comfortable my friends really didn't. However, though the cabin was quite small there was plenty of space for all of us to get ready each day and we were pleasantly surprised by the excellent mirrors (perfect for 4 women!) and spacious bathroom, as well as being placed on the entrance deck 4, just around the corner from reception. We couldn't have picked a better location for our money if we'd tried!
The staff were extremely friendly and helpful and spoke flawless English. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble for them.
A particular highlight was the wonderful piano player in the piano bar, a very friendly musician who really loves what he does and is keen to befriend travelers.
There were however one or two problems that you should be aware of. One of these being that I wouldn't strongly recommend the trip to people who are claustrophobic and choosing a cheaper cabin as we did. I found the lack of a window in a small enclosed space somewhat overbearing, so be prepared.
I would also advise that whilst the Bergen walking tour is only Â£1, it actually isn't worth it! Our guide was friendly enough and pointed out some areas of interest but didn't actually take us into/ around them! As a result my friends and I quit the tour and went around the city ourselves which is BEAUTIFUL! I highly recommend walking up into the hills where there's a couple of lovely hidden cafes.
You should also be aware that it's a very good idea to take your own food and drink if you can as the ship prices are very expensive and much like those we found that we paid in Bergen. Expect to pay a minimum of Â£10.00 (for the buffet), up to over Â£50.00 for a more lavish dinner, whereas alcoholic bar drinks are a minimum of Â£4.00. I got wise to this however and paid for cups of herbal tea (Â£1.40). Even the cafe on deck 4 is quite expensive. We probably should have taken a travel kettle, but instead took cereal bars/ fruit etc which is enough to get by but hardly a substantial meal.
Overall it was a very enjoyable trip, and there seems to be excellent provisions for children's activities should a family wish to go. The staff and the views of the Norwegian coastline are what really make the trip, but expect to get what you pay for. "
- Travel date: Tue 24th of June 2008
I hated the trip from start to end. the...
"I hated the trip from start to end. the food was very expensive and not very good with limited choices.
If I had known it was going to be so expensive, I would have taken some of my own food.
I felt very miserable and took it out on my boyfriend because he had travelled with dfds in the past and did not warn me about how expensive it was. In fact because I did not want to pay the high price for food, we went into the shop and I was amazed because all they had was crisps, nuts and sweets to eat and thats what we ate the first night and the second night we had the over priced low quality buffet bacause I felt so terrible after just eating junk.
I could not get a decent cup of coffee on a morning and that made me very irritable!!
If I had to do the trip again, I would be fully prepared with travel kettle etc and save a fortune.
I feel sorry for how much it would cost for a large family.
- Travel date: Thu 24th of April 2008
Firstly, a few facts about the ferry. S...
"Firstly, a few facts about the ferry. She was built originally in 1981 and has been rebuilt (two new bows and extra flotation devices called sponsens) twice since due to stability problems. This has cut the number of car spaces dramatically, whilst leaving a large number of cabins available. These excess cabins are the reason 'minicruises' are so heavily promoted on this ferry.
We travelled out from Newcastle on a very windy day. The boat did pitch and roll quite a bit; several big waves making loud slapping noises on the hull woke us up at night.
We took the standard class cabins on both journies, these were clean and big enough for two people easily. The window cabin we had on the way back (number 5208) was especially roomy. The en-suite was big enough to easily accomodate my pregnant wife and the shower was very powerful.
We ate in the 7 seas buffet restaurent both ways for both lunch and dinner. The food supplied was very good indeed, if a little fish heavy. Nice smoked slamon, crayfish, langoustines, herring, beef, duck, chicken etc, but a little light on vegetables if anything. It did become quite repetative though, all four meals being very similar. Service from the waiting on staff was fine.
The entertainment on board was adequate if a little smokey in places - something that UK travellers are no longer happy to put up with. The pianist in the piano bar on the way out was really something else (v. v. good), the guy on the way back was also really something else (v. v. bad).
Stavanger itself is a pleasant small city with a nice small town feel to it. Not a lot to do but relax - which was fine by us. Hotel Thon Maritim was a good 3* hotel, but without the advertised pool. The transfers between ferry and hotel were efficient, but really not needed for the 300m.
Overall I would reccommend this to my firends. I would also recommend not booking all the meals - you simply cannot eat that much food. We took our own breakfasts and this was plenty!"
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of April 2008
I have just returned from a coastal crui...
"I have just returned from a coastal cruise to Bergen in Norway from Newcastle and had a great time.
It's a lovely big ship, much posher than I expected, and having been told the cabins would be tiny, i was pleasantly surprised to find it bigger than I imagined.
The staff were very pleasant and there was lots to do, I couldn't fault the ship at all.
The only thing i can winge about, if anything, is that after leaving beautifully clear and sunny weather in Newcastle and crossing the North Sea which was like a duck pond (in february!), Norway was really cloudy and you couldn't see much of the apparently gorgeous Norweigan coastline. Bergen was great tho, I only wished I'd stayed a couple of nights in this lovely town. "
- Travel date: Thu 21st of February 2008
Food is awful, service is even worse; sh...
"Food is awful, service is even worse; ship is nothing like rest of fleet. Took over 40 minutes since ordering food to tell us the item the menu was not available, refused to pay and was nearly arrested onboard. It also happened again the night after to the couple sat next to us in the restaurant. In the end we just paid for the wine. Avoid eating on this ship! I have sailed on the King of Scandinavia and there was more choice in the restaurant and could not fault the service. Itâs like DFDS does not really care about their Norway route. On a previous sail on the Queen to Amsterdam we tried the around the world buffet and found it to be mass catered rubbish and not worth the price, if the price was halved it would reflex the quality of the food. Please sort it out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
- Travel date: Mon 11th of February 2008
Well... me and my boyfriend went to Stav...
"Well... me and my boyfriend went to Stavanger for the night travelling there and back on the Queen of Scandinavia - in total we were away for 3 nights.
We have travelled on The king before the Queen and we both preferred the King. We stayed in the commodore deluxe which was very comfortable but what got to me was the fact that the commodore deluxe cabin is the same cabin as the commodore on the King. I just felt that if I was upgrading the cabin I was getting more for my money! (Â£350per person). We even had to share the mini bar with everyone else in the commodore deluxe section.
So no, you donât even get your own mini bar like you in the commodore. The ship itself was fine. Maybe needed a bit of a touch up.
Anyway Stavanger is a really nice place. We stayed in the Thon Maritim hotel and the location was spot on. My advice to you would be to have fun on your break and donât take things seriously if you donât get what you paid for! The ship is really not that bad, I just prefer the King because of the more tidiness and class!
- Travel date: Tue 18th of December 2007
Just arrived back following a three day...
"Just arrived back following a three day Coastal Cruise trip from Newcastle (actually North Shields) to Bergen. For two the trip cost Â£226, this included individual insurance (which seemed expensive at Â£11 each for 3 days) and a Commodore Class (double) room with sea view on a B&B basis.
We would definitely recommend paying the extra for the Commodore class, as we feel without it our rating score would be significantly lower. The room was on the whole clean and well presented. The free mini bar consisted of two small bottles of wine (one red and one white), 4 small cans of beer; this gets replaced each day as do towels and beds are made, nothing special here but the fridge in the room came in very handy. Knowing that evening meals were going to in excess of Â£20 each (Breakfast and lunch around Â£15 each) we packed some 'supplies'. Not wanting to feel like complete cheap-skates we booked in for an evening buffet, which was plentiful and actually quite good.
Although there was a full programme of entertainment, for those who did not want to opt in for this (as we didnât) there really isnât much to do at all. Having a TV in the room with a film channel certainly came in handy and having access to the Commodore lounge (quite, comfortable, free tea and coffee, internet access).
The cruise first goes to Stavanger from Newcastle (North Shields) the sun was just going down at this point which made the place look quite nice although there is not an option to alight, as the boat spins round and goes on to the next stop, then on to Bergen to arrive at around 23:00. Nothing much to see out of your window at night so we looked forward to getting up early for a quick walk into Bergen - highly recommended a spritely walk after an early breakfast will get you there in ten minutes (be sure to explore the colourful wooden world heritage buildings on the left by going up the alleyways, impressive). The views coming back (the same way we came) were very nice although not completely 'Fjordy' as we hoped, but still nice.
All in all a positive experience and we would use DFDS again (perhaps another trip which would include more 'Fjordy' views and staying on dry land for a few nights).
Oh yes...the cinema was good with a good range of newish films (Â£5 each). The drinks in the bar are Â£5 each and Norwegian Duty Free is about the same price as M&S!
- Travel date: Tue 30th of October 2007
We travelled on the Queen of Scandinavia...
"We travelled on the Queen of Scandinavia for a 3-night mini-cruise to Bergen departing the Royal Quay, Tyneside on October 16th 2007.
My last DFDS experience was in 1986 and 1987 (a couple of days after the great storm - the crossing was "interesting"!) sailing on the Tor Britannia and the Tor Scandinavia respectively. The accommodation and service was very good then and even better this time.
We were welcomed with a smile by the shore-based staff of both the Port of Tyne and DFDS Seaways. The only grouch was that the travellator which carries your luggage to the ship wasn't working. One against Port of Tyne. Shame, because everything else was just fine.
The ship was very clean - a whole army of staff engaged in cleaning, especially the acres of brass trim on virtually all the deck levels. Must be like painting the Forth Bridge. The stewards, restaurant staff, guest services and the like were all - without exception - warm and polite and spoke very good english.
We asked permission to visit the bridge during the crossing and this was welcomed with a smile by the steward we first asked, the delightful young lady who escorted us to the bridge and the officer who gave us a guided tour of the bridge and its myriad of electronic workings. He thanked us for our interest!
We had, by coincidence, booked the week that the Norwegian Uni students have their break and probably a third of all the 1000 or so travellers on the outward leg were students and they were generally pleasantly disposed to engage in conversation and at no time were they rowdy or drunk in the public areas.
Our cabin - albeit a Commodore de Lux - was clean, towels changed every day and yes, it cost extra, but hang on a second - the total cost of our mini-cruise was about the same as the supplement that we pay to travel Club Class on British Airways!
DFDS 1 - BA nil.
The matter of having to disembark on arrival in Bergen was a pain. Well, perhaps only a slight twinge really. We wouldn't have been in bed at 11pm and most of the passengers remaining on board and returning to the ship after midnight, seemed to head off to whatever they had been doing prior to docking.
The overall enjoyment factor, the service, cleanliness, cost and not least the spectacular scenery, architecture and the sheer presence of the Queen of Scandinavia sailing through some of the narrow channels separating islands between Stavanger and Bergen added up to a truly memorable experience.
In the years that I was driving coaches to the continent on a regular basis, I have experienced just about every sea condition on most sizes of ship. On some very rough crossings I have seen the cafes and restaurants virtually deserted and have been the only customer in the cafe on at least one occasion and once when I presented the girl on the check-out with a corned beef and pickle sandwich for my lunch, she asked me "was I sure?", turned green, took my payment and ran for her pride!
The sea conditions can't be helped. You take your chance. The kaput travellator at Tyne Port spoilt a full 10/10 for what is an excellent facility and the unfortunately bonkers arrangement for disembarkation on arrival is of the Norwegian Immigration demand - not DFDS.
This review is at odds with some previously submitted. We are very normal. Usually sober, but like a drink. We don't wear rose tinted specs. We usually holiday in Switzerland and have high expectations regarding comfort, cleanliness and service, which the Swiss, by their nature, oblige to a fault. DFDS did not disappoint in any respect.
For that reason DFDS get 10/10 and we will be back.
Soon. Maybe very soon.
- Travel date: Thu 25th of October 2007
If you aren't expecting a 5 star, dine w...
"If you aren't expecting a 5 star, dine with the captain-type of cruise, and then this is good fun.
The cabins are small and basic, but clean. Take the 'sleeps 4 persons' with a pinch of salt, we had two cabins for a family of 4 and fit fine.
The food on board is good but very expensive and the service is variable, we had 3 good evening meals, but one with terrible service. The buffet is very good if you like fish, but avoid the hot buffet as it is mediocre compared to the fish. The a-la-carte restaurant is good.
There is a cafe on one of the lower decks which was outrageously expensive (7 quid for a sandwich). The shop is dear too.
There is a reasonable amount to do on board, good views on deck, a disco, and cinema and 'casino' area. There is also a swimming pool on the lower deck, but it's tiny and only good for amusing smaller children.
We took a trip to Bergen, advertised as 'ample time to explore the city'. However, we got into port at 11pm, had a couple of hours to walk around in the dark, with everywhere shut and left port the following morning, so we don't actually feel like we've been anywhere. Better to get off and see Norway for a few days, catching a later ship back.
My two teenagers were a bit short of things to do.
So overall, a bit pricey, but relaxing.
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of October 2007
This was a mini-cruise from Newcastle to...
"This was a mini-cruise from Newcastle to Bergen. It was very good value in that children were free. Two breakfasts and an evening meal were included, and I believe the total cost was Â£170.
Unfortunately, as I booked at the last minute, all the cabins with sea view had gone, as had all the more luxurious cabins. Our cabin was fine...and was, apparently, en suite, but we didn't notice it! My husband is not on the small side and he managed to wedge himself into the bathroom several times during the course of the voyage! Next time, a Commodore Cabin will be a necessity!
Meals on board are good, but quite expensive. We dined, most of the time, in the buffet restaurant which served an impressive array of cold Scandinavian delicacies (mainly fish), but the hot buffet lacked imagination and variety. There was also a more exclusive restaurant (but still with a limited menu) and a steakhouse (very good, but still expensive).
The only other eating establishment was a cafe selling cakes and Paniniâs. This was often overcrowded and was a bit depressing as it was situated on a lower deck with no view of the sea.
There is a children's club, and the best thing about this was the entertaining children's disco that it provided. The swimming pool on board is a joke, and most people were of this opinion, as I did not see anybody in it!
There are two cinemas on board...we didn't see any films because the weather was lovely and the views of the fiords, once you cross the North Sea, are great! However, both cinemas were showing the latest releases, and there was a good selection for all ages.
Entertainment on board was excellent...especially the Bulgarian dancers! The shop on-board was well stocked, but expensive. I was under the illusion that all ferries offer cheap duty-free goods. Not so! Our ferry had an impressive array of vodka (though not cheap), plus some expensive wines.
The weirdest part of the cruise was when we arrived in Bergen. This was at 22h30, but everybody had to disembark and go through Norwegian customs. We also had to pay an environment tax of 6 Euros! People had the opportunity of staying on land until 1am, but as nothing much was open, this wasn't a popular option.
All in all...the cruise was very pleasant. Next time, I'll book one that gives you a couple of nights in Norway, and a more upmarket cabin!"
- Travel date: Sun 16th of September 2007