In 2006, I sailed on this very same vessel to Antarctica. When I heard the ship had been refurbished in 2016 and was now sailing in the Arctic, I was anxious to experience "having sailed to the ends of the Earth" on the same ship. My expectations were exceeded on this cruise! Although the weather was a little bit less than cooperative, the sights of the Norwegian Coast were stunning, and the crew made the trip all the more enjoyable. From the Officers to the housekeeping staff, the passengers were treated like valued guests. Especially impressive was the menu and presentation of the food - all sourced locally.
At one point - in Trondheim, I missed the ship and the reception staff was very helpful in trying to help my friend and I catch up with the ship in a different port. Missing the ship was an adventure to say the least, but all turned out well.
My trip actually began in Copenhagen, then we flew to Bergen, Norway to catch the ship. When we docked in Kirkenes at the end of the north-bound cruise, we stayed the night in Bergen and flew to Oslo the next day. If I had it to do over, the only thing I would change on my itinerary is to have flown to Oslo sooner because there is not much to do in Kirkenes.
The beds in the cabin were very comfortable - even on nights when the seas were a little higher. It was a little cumbersome to try to get items out of our suitcases, but we managed by putting the beds up every morning after we woke up. Also, the hairdryers were ancient and really only provided a whisper of air. Otherwise, the entire ship was very clean and well-appointed. Hand sanitation stations were in multiple locations. The public areas - especially on Deck 7 - were quite nice!