Fridtjof Nansen Cabins

Editor Rating
Jeannine Williamson

The 265 outside cabins -- there are no interiors -- come in 13 different grades, which is narrowed down to three main categories: Polar Outside, Arctic Superior and Expedition Suites. Arranged over five decks, the difference in the categories is mostly down to their position on the ship. They range in size from 183 to 516 square feet and 50 percent of the cabins have balconies. The best suites have private hot tubs and spectacular views.

The cabins are very comfortable, with wool throws on the bed, an adjustable easy chair and some nifty design touches. For example, there is a small lip around the edge of the desk/dressing table to stop things from sliding off, with the exception of a small curved section that is level with the top so you can easily rest your arm if you're working on a laptop (and depending on where you sit, it can be used by left-handed people, too). In keeping with the line's green ethos, the waste bin is separated into three compartments for paper, plastic and cans, and general rubbish.

The cabins have a muted Scandinavian-style decor with extensive use of light wood. There is ample storage in two wardrobes, various drawers and bedside cabinets -- all soft closing. Beds can be configured as singles or doubles.

At the start of the cruise, passengers are each given a complimentary water bottle. MS Fridtjof Nansen produces its own fresh water and the tap water in the cabins is drinkable; however, it is recommended that passengers use the filtered water machines located on every deck next to the main stairwell.

Cabin lighting is excellent and includes individual bedside reading lights, a light over the desk area and a standard lamp. There is no shortage of conveniently placed sockets -- six in standard cabins and three with handy USB ports. The voltage is 220w and the sockets are European two pin, so passengers from outside mainland Europe need to bring adaptors.

Cabins are serviced twice daily; however, Hurtigruten operates a commendable "we stay green" option, where passengers can hang a sign outside their door to indicate they do not want the room cleaned, bed made up or any towels changed. Every time this is done, the line donates 0.50 euros to the Hurtigruten Foundation which supports local initiatives and communities in the destinations visited.

The bathrooms have a large mirrored vanity unit with shelving above and below, plus a magnifying mirror. There is also a shaving socket. The shower has a proper door and the shower head can be fixed at different heights or hand held. There are four fixed containers of Arctic Pure products which have a lovely fresh fragrance. Hand wash and moisturiser are by the basin and combined body wash/shampoo and separate conditioner are in the shower. There are ample rails, plus hooks on the door, to hang up towels. As Hurtigruten has a policy against single-use plastics, there are no shower caps, so you will need to bring your own. Robes and plastic slippers are provided. The bathroom floor can also be heated to a varying degree of toasty levels using the control panel outside the door -- another really nice touch.

The cabins have TVs, with an extensive free movie channel along with information about the cruise. Other standard amenities include a telephone by the desk, plug-in hair dryer, safe, mini-bar and kettle for making tea and coffee (aside from the Polar Outside cabins which don't have a fridge or tea and coffee making facilities). Laundry service is available. At the time of our sailing, shoe dryers were due to be added inside the wardrobes.

In an effort to cut down on the use of paper, Hurtigruten does not produce a printed daily programme. It can be viewed instead on the TV or through the Hurtigruten app.

Oceanview: The two categories of Polar Outside cabins, RS and RR, range in size from 183 to 247 square feet, are located on the lowest cabin decks, 4 and 5, and have fixed windows. Some of the larger cabins in this category have sofa beds. The TT category of Arctic Superior cabins are 200 square feet and come with a sofa bed and the TY grade are 290-square-foot accessible cabins situated next to the lift on Deck 5.

Balcony: There are three Arctic Superior-grade cabins that come with verandas. The two XY cabins on Deck 7 are accessible staterooms that measure 204 square feet. The XTD and XT-grade cabins, located on Decks 7 and 8, range from 161 to 204 square feet; some of them have sofa beds.

Suite perks include binoculars, free laundry, complimentary bottles of wine and a mini-bar, which becomes payable when the initial contents have been consumed. Suite passengers also have their own private restaurant, the Lindstrom, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they can order room service from the menu.

Suite: There are six grades of Expedition Suites, including two grades without balconies. There is one MF Suite without a veranda which measures 236 square feet and is situated in a great spot forward on Deck 7 next to the Observation Deck. It has a large seating area complete with a pretend "fire" in a glass box in the middle of the main room.

The highest number of suites fall within the ME category and are located high on Decks 8 and 9. They range in size from 215 to 301 square feet and, in addition to the usual tea and coffee making facilities, also have an espresso machine. The one MD stateroom is a big 376-square-foot wheelchair-accessible cabin on Deck 7 next to the Observation Deck, with a balcony and a door that opens straight out onto the Observation Deck.

The six MC suites are beautiful corner rooms located aft on Decks 7, 8 and 9 with wraparound balconies complete with a private hot tub. They range in size from 215 to 323 square feet. The pair of supersize 473-square-foot MB-grade suites are located aft on Deck 5. What they might lack in a balcony they more than make up for with panoramic windows and a separate lounge and dining area. Topping them all when it comes to space are the MA staterooms on Deck 9, which measure 495 to 516 square feet and occupy a prime spot overlooking the Observation Deck with balconies situated at the side and tubs in the bathroom.

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