Skip to Content

Everything you need to know about boarding a Havila Coastal Voyage

two women, two men and a teen boy stand in front of a ship

I already shared my journal about boarding the Havila Castor for our Norwegian Coastal Voyage. But since so many folks shared the same experience as me — wishing that Havila had provided clear-cut instructions for embarkation day — here’s a TL;DR version of everything you need to know for a smooth boarding process.

Note: All the info I share here is based on my trip in summer 2023. You should check with Havila before you board to make sure times, etc., have not changed!

After you book your cruise

A booking confirmation including a photo of a ship with snowy mountains in the background.
The confirmation we received included this plus a bit more information and an attached invoice.
  • You will receive an email announcing “You’re booked!” It will contain basic information including a booking number, dates, the city of embarkation and destination city. It should include a link to the MyVoyage portal as well as an attachment with a detailed receipt.
  • If you follow the link to the MyVoyage portal and sign in (using your date of birth and email address), you’ll find a few of the same details, plus several downloadable documents that are similar to the receipt that was attached to the initial email.
  • If you have any questions, like how to book excursions, etc., contact Havila. Their phone number and email address are at the bottom of the booking confirmation email. I used email, and usually received a swift response, always from the same agent, whose first name was Silje. (The only time I received a delayed response was when Silje went on holiday. I didn’t get any kind of “out of office” auto response during that time, so I was left wondering what happened for a week.)

As your cruise approaches

This is when most people would expect to receive follow-up emails or maybe a postal mailing from Havila, with instructions for boarding day. Unless things have changed, you won’t receive anything like that. While I’m glad they’re saving paper by not sending out brochures — after all they are marketing themselves as a more sustainable cruise line — a PDF would have been great.

Information about boarding Havila Castor.
This page was buried on the web site, but it would be great if Havila emailed it to passengers the week of the cruise. Confirm with Havila that this info hasn’t changed before you board!

In fact, they have created detailed PDF brochures (incuding the pag above) and shared them on the web site — they’re just not that easy to find. To find one, go to HavilaVoyages.com. Then click Our Voyages at the top of the page. Scroll down to the voyage you’re taking — the main ones are round trip, northbound or southbound. Click “read more” at the bottom of the short voyage description. Then scroll down until you see the word “Itinerary” and click that. Click the arrow at the right of the screen to advance one page. At last, you will see the address of the port in Bergen and the boarding instructions.

Note: Some passengers report finding boarding instructions on their MyVoyage portal. Unfortunately, this document never showed up on the portal for me.

How to board a Havila Coastal Cruise in Bergen

Historic row houses in Bryggen, part of Bergen, Norway.
A bustling Saturday in Bryggen, the historic district of Bergen. Note the fortress at the end of the street.

As with any cruise, arrive in Bergen at least one day before embarkation, in case of travel delays. You can spend that day checking out the UNESCO World Heritage Bryggen historic area. Also don’t miss taking the funicular to the top of Mount Floyen.

Arriving at the port:

  • Havila ships depart from the Jektevik Terminal, just like Hurtigruten ships.
  • Although Bergen has good public transit, there is no city bus or light rail that goes directly to the terminal. You can take the Flybussen from the airport, or take the city bus and walk about a quarter mile from the stop, or take a taxi.
  • You can store luggage in lockers at the terminal. However, as the umber of lockers is limited and they cost money, you may be better off asking your hotel to hold your bags until afternoon.

Checking in:

  • Check in begins at 3 p.m. You must be checked in by 7:30 p.m.
  • When you check in, you need to present your passport and a credit card. You don’t need to print out proof of your reservation — they know you’re coming.
  • Crew will take your bags, photograph you, give you your lanyard with cruise card, and if you don’t know it already, tell you your cabin number. We also received a piece of paper with basic facts about the cruise, like the time of departure.

Boarding:

  • You can now go up the escalators to the second floor. You must view a safety video here before you can board. If it’s after 4 p.m., you should be able to board as soon as you finish watching the video.
  • Crew may also begin taking dining reservations in this room. (Dining reservations are also taken on board, outside the restaurant on Deck 6.) You choose your breakfast, lunch and dinner times as a set. Then you will eat at those times during your whole journey. The sooner you sign up, the more options you will have for dining times. (Don’t worry too much about excursions or port times interfering with your dining reservation; the dining room staff can be flexible, and you can also opt to eat in the Havly cafe at any time.)
  • As you step onto the ship, you won’t have to submit to a bag search or an Xray machine. Just show your cruise card and step right on board!

What to do after boarding

  • If you haven’t already booked dining times, go to the restaurant on Deck 6 to reserve. If you like, you can also upgrade any of your meals to the Hildring Fine Dining restaurant at this point (when we sailed this was about $30 extra per person). You can also purchase a drinks package or add the Havila Gold upgrade at the same time.
  • You could book excursions now as well, if you haven’t already. Or you could wait and book them at any time during your trip, as long as there are still spots available.
  • Relax and explore the ship until your cabin becomes available, which should be at 6 p.m.
  • Attend the passenger orientation meeting in the converence room. The crew will hold multiple meetings in various languages and announce when they are happening. When we sailed, the English language meeting happened at 5:30 p.m.
  • Move into your room! Note that you can turn announcements in your cabin on or off, depending on whether you want to hear when something exciting is about to happen. You can also push a button if you want to be alerted of the Northern Lights at any hour.
  • Eat dinner. The first night is open seating, meaning that you can come any time after 6 p.m., instead of at your reserved seating time. If there is a line for a seating, consider coming back later.
  • Be on deck at 8:30 p.m. to say goodbye to Bergen!

More on our multigenerational Iceland + Norway Trip

Everything You Need to Know About Boarding a Havila Coastal Voyage

Day 7 Part II: Boarding the Havila Castor

Day 7: Last Day in Bergen

Day 6: Exploring Bergen

Bryggen Walking Tour Review

Moxy Bergen Hotel Review

Day 5: Reykjavik to Bergen

The Iceland Phallological Museum (NSFW!)

Reykjavik Airbnb Review

Reykjavik Lebowski Bar Review

Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

Day 4: Iceland’s Golden Circle

Day 3: Reykjavik in a Day

Day 2: Arriving in Reykjavik

The Blue Lagoon

Day 1: Traveling from Chicago to Reykjavik

My Iceland Recommendations

Overview: Multigen Trip to Iceland and Norway Cruise

Celia

Friday 17th of May 2024

Thanks so much for sharing your experience! The links were super-helpful.

Chris

Thursday 2nd of May 2024

thank's for alll this information. I search to make a costal cruise and discover a lot of useful info about Havila with all your message

Savita

Monday 16th of October 2023

Hi. Thank you so much for all the information. I am travelling with Havila in November and your write is so detailed and useful.

Meals on a Havila Coastal Voyage – The Miles Mom

Monday 2nd of October 2023

[…] Everything You Need to Know About Boarding a Havila Coastal Voyage […]

Our Havila Coastal Voyage, Part 2 – The Miles Mom

Tuesday 26th of September 2023

[…] Everything You Need to Know About Boarding a Havila Coastal Voyage […]