This cruise was booked as part of a 40 day holiday from Australia. My husband and I had initially booked the MS Spitsbergen wanting to experience a smaller expedition ship, however, we received an email whilst in Iceland that the cruise had been cancelled and what could have been a potential travel nightmare turned into a blessing in disguise! The 24hr Hurtigruten emergency hotline was able to get us on the Kong Harald 2 days earlier. Fortunately this suited us as we had arranged 2 days in Bergen before our initial cruise. We had Arctic Superior: Outside cabin. Double bed. Situated on upper/middle decks.
Cabin Number 566
Breakfast (x11), Lunch (x11), Dinner (x11) for 2 passengers included
Tea & Coffee Package for 2 passengers
Complimentary Wi-Fi for 2 passengers keep the printout withe your wifi details as it logs off every now and then. You can register 5 devices however only 2 can be used simultaneously. My husband and I both had different log in details.
The cabin had a queen bed, next to the bed a desk 1 chair with large mirror on the other side a shelf with room to put your personal items and underneath hand luggage plus a power point above the shelf. Individual bed lights. There is plenty of storage under bed to stash your large suitcases, we had 28kg and 23kg bags plus 2 x 7kg hand luggage. Built in Storage shelves above bed. Built in above the coffee making and telephone shelf plus cupboard shelves below this plus a slim wardrobe with top shelf and enough room below hanging clothes. Don’t be put off when you enter the cabin with 2 large suitcases and hand luggage as it will all fit. I had booked a larger cabin and was initially disappointed but it all worked well! I do use packing cubes so my clothes and shoes fitted perfectly on the shelves in the cupboard. The cabin has a TV. Hooks to hang your jacket for those run out the door Northern lights announcements! Clean comfy queen bed with soft pillows plenty of them, a doona each. The bathroom floor has floor heating and the room has adjustable heating. Bathroom has hand wash body/shampoo wash and conditioner lovely fragrance and small shelf, also a clothes line across the shower. You do need to step up into the bathroom. There is also a handheld hairdryer. It is a bit tight to move around the bed you have to side step against the wall, however, plenty of room once your on the window side of the bed. Large window with block out blind with great views you can lay in bed and watch the scenery! Yes it is on a walkway however I did not find this annoying as most people are respectful so wasn’t an issue for us. The cabin was in an ideal position as it is on the starboard side and close to the back exit doors to the 5th deck walkway the stairs to the 6 deck spas and the 7th deck viewing stairway. Also lift and stairs one floor down to deck 4 and dining room. The staff were very very friendly and accommodating and extremely helpful. The dining room experiences were fast and efficient and plenty of food selection buffet breakfast, lunch and occasional dinners had plenty of selection for all diets including I noticed an extra toaster for those who are gluten intolerant. If you did not like a meal ie you don’t eat fish from the set menu which is displayed every day on your breakfast table and on the wall outside the dining room you can ask for a different one. I would set this up before your journey.
As with any cruise liner drinks are expensive. If you don’t like the set dinner menu or time you can eat at the other restaurant 3 course for an additional fee. Selection was lovely and food beautifully cooked we ate here 4 nights.
We booked 4 tours Northbound RIB safari to Saltstraumen which was fun, your well suited up and warm. The bus trip to Nordkapp Honningsvåg. Southbound Midnight concert in Tromso and the overland taste of Vesteralen. Well worth the investment.
This is a working ship/ferry and it is fun to watch it pull into the little 15mins ports, if your awake and watch the efficiency of the little fork trucks and people get on and off. You may be disturbed in the night by the ship shuddering as it pulls into port in the middle of the night, my husband sleeps through anything, I used earplugs from the plane flight so was not disturbed. We walked around the other small ports and explored time allowing. As it was oct it was slippery you are warned by announcement you can buy shoe grips in the shop I found they were the same price as in Aus.
There are announcements and information sessions if you wish to attend so you are kept up to date. The announcements are in Norwegian English French and German. You can turn this off in your room. The passengers are from all countries and all ages above 20. I only saw 2 toddlers.
Embarking and disembarking was quick and efficient in Bergen also when you are getting on and off in each port.
We were blessed with good weather and sighting the Norther lights faint northbound but much more spectacular coming southbound from Kirkenes, your eye will pick up the white and if you rug up and stay out long enough you will be lucky to see the green and purple ribbon swirls, tubes and patches!
On deck 7 are a large viewing lounge with swing adjustable seats large windows front of ship with a bar. On this same deck is another area for cards, reading, bossed games, puzzles and another cafe. Deck four has tables chairs large windows to sit and watch the view or read. This also has a bar and light meals can be bought. Go in 1 of the spas it is warm and wonderful to be in it as you pull out of ports, as I said we were in the ideal cabin as it was not to far to get cold! There is a small fitness room and a sauna as well.
I thoroughly recommend this cruise, you make your own entertainment. I hope you enjoy it just as much as we did! Bonvoyage!
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