Kong Harald Cabins

4.0 / 5.0
26 reviews
Editor Rating
Sophie Griffiths

The line’s decision to only renovate from deck four upwards means an incredibly varied standard -- and layout -- of the ship's 222 cabins. No rooms, apart from the suites, have minibars or fridges. Despite their small size, all have good storage space, with a small desk (or make-up station) with mirrors, as well as a reasonably large wardrobe, cupboards and drawers. Sockets are two-pin round plugs so international guests will need to bring a European adaptor.

Aside from the two suites, the tiled bathrooms in all the cabins -- whether refurbished or not -- tend to be cramped, with a small corner sink, above which sits mirrored cupboards. Space for the shower, which is tucked into the corner, is significantly limited. All the bathrooms have limited amenities, with only hand wash, and shampoo and body wash provided, both of which are affixed to the walls. All bathrooms also have under-floor heating, which can be controlled by a switch -- useful for drying our boots that were wet from the snow.

Due to its focus on sustainability, the line is keen to save energy where possible, and this is reflected in its key card slots, which require cards to be inserted in them for electricity to work in the cabin. No lights will work without this, and you must be in the cabin to charge your electrical items. The only exception to this rule is the bathroom light, which will work whether the key card is in the slot or not.

There are 471 berths onboard in total, with cabins divided into four categories: suites, Arctic superior, polar inside or outside and standard. Within these, the cabins are further divided into grades, which are determined by size of window -- rectangle or round -- and whether the view is clear or if it is obstructed, usually by lifeboats. It also takes into account previous reports of noise levels, with some refurbished cabins still falling under a lower grade as a result.

Interior: The lowest grade cabins (Grades L, I,N and J), are on decks three and two and have changed little since the ship launched in 1993. Why the line decided not to upgrade these is a mystery -- they are a far cry from their counterparts above them. The décor is dated -- think dark purple spotted carpets, beige walls, pink upholstery and multi-coloured curtains, but these cabins may perhaps be popular with those who have travelled with Hurtigruten before and prefer the older traditional style. There are a mix of twin and three-bed rooms, with sofas that pull out to form beds. Plug sockets in these rooms are not so convenient, and are placed at the end of the bed by the mirror and up near the shelves by the cupboards, making it difficult for those wanting to have their phone charging near them at night. The bed lights are also poorly placed, directly behind the head of the bed, meaning those who prop their pillow up to read will face difficulty as it covers the light. There are hairdryers in the cabins, which are affixed to bathroom walls, but they have little power, and there are no TVs.

Outside: These cabins (known as "Polar outside") can be found on decks five and six (grades J and K) and have undergone refurbishment. They have blue carpet and light wooden walls of the Arctic superiors, but are twins or three bed cabins. They do not offer any tea or coffee-making facilities. The beds pull out at different levels, which lend the room more depth, but with all three beds pulled out it feels like an incredibly tight squeeze, and would offer very little room for moving around or changing. These rooms have the same storage cupboards and wardrobes as the Arctic superior, but no desk or make-up station, although again there is a mirrored cupboard with lights in the bathroom. There is no artwork – there simply isn’t space -- but the rooms do also have a large 21" TV affixed to the wall. The cabins also have a small reading lamp in the corner, and a tiny reading light in the other, once the third bed has been pulled down. Plug sockets are positioned by a shelf above one bed, with another below the window in the middle, for those in the other bed(s) wanting their appliances charging near them at night. Those on deck five have an obstructed view.

Arctic superior cabins: These cabins (grades P, U and J) are also on decks five and six and have undergone refurbishment, with all featuring double beds. Unlike the cabins on the lower decks, they have a modern décor, with blue carpets and pale wooden walls. A huge photograph at the head of the bed is the main feature of the room, while on the opposite wall is a large TV. There are also large cupboards and a wardrobe for storage, as well as a small desk and mirror, while long shelves above the bed are perfect for storing toiletries or books. Thought has clearly been given to phone charging, with sockets placed either side of the bed and small lamps on both sides offer nicer reading lights than in the lower grade cabins. The one downside is the size of the bed -- while great for sleeping, these are cabins that were originally built as twins, and the new bed dominates the room, meaning little room for moving around if two are sharing the cabin. There is, however, plenty of space beneath the bed for storing luggage. Cabins on deck six have windows that look straight out to sea, but like with the suites, those on deck five have a walkway outside their window. The bathroom is still small, but the mirrored cupboard has its own lighting, which is a nice touch. These cabins also have their own tea and coffee making facilities -- an addition that is likely to be popular with British customers -- as well as separate hairdryers that are not connected to the wall, and are likely to be stronger than those in the lower grade cabins.

Suites: The two suites (M grades) are positioned at the front of the ship on deck five. Like others on this deck, they have undergone a significant refurbishment. They are spacious, with sofa, fridge, minibar and bath, but there is no balcony, and they have the disadvantage of being on the promenade deck, meaning that the window looks out on to passengers walking by. The shape of the windows, which are at a sloped angle, does mean, though, that visibility into the cabin is reduced from the outside.

Although families are not a huge market for the line, there are two cabins on deck three which have connecting doors for families that want to travel together.

There are also three wheelchair-accessible cabins on deck three -- 331, 333 and 335 -- which are twin rooms, and have larger bathrooms and more space for guests. They are also located close to the lifts.

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