It is important to point out that this is not a cruise, but a working ferry that runs Daily from Bergen to Kirkenes, visiting some port in the early hours. If you are a light sleeper, you may find you awake several times in the night, especially when the side thrusters vibrate going into each dock. This ship had just been refurbished, so the decor was great with a lot of new technology, but had not been finished on time, so we had workman on board through to Christmas Eve, The outside cabins are small, so although expensive, we were so pleased we upgraded to a suite, which are fantastic, with large windows, TV, settee, chairs, fridge & blinds. No safe in the rooms, but you can borrow a hair drier from the reception. The first suite we were given had problems with the lights and after the 4th blackout, we insisted we were moved. I must emphasis that the staff on board this ship could not have been more obliging & helpful, despite suffering huge problems on a daily basis. Although a wine drinker, I must admit I went 12 days without a drop, because I refused to pay £50 for a bottle of wine. Excursions are also expensive, but well organised and easy to book on board. Some of the excursions have to be planned around sailing times, so you may start at one port but taken back on the ship a another port further down. The food on board was excellent and plenty of choice when served as a buffet. Some of the evening meals were served as a fixed menu, where you sat at a specific table with no choice of alternatives. I was a vegetarian, but knew that with such an abundance of fish . meat, my choices would be limited. I made sure I filled up during the breakfast & lunch periods. One evening, my meal was a bit of salad with a tomato. followed by a bowl of soup as my main course and a small bowl of ice cream for desert. If I had to highlight what was best, I would say the "Expedition Team of 3". They worked so hard, in such a friendly way to make sure we were informed, knew what was available & shared with us so much knowledge about Norway, Food, Culture & much much more. They spoke fluently in English, German & Norwegion. They were fun and it was like a big happy family event. I could moan about some issues, but all the staff did their best to make you happy. The country is beautiful, even with the limited light hours. I was amazed that if you came up to a road, the local drivers would always stop & let you cross. Shops were not crowded, you never saw any drunks (even at Christmas), no traffic jams, no homeless and Oh - no Northern Lights. Despite information about this ship, they did have two hot tubs at the back of the ship (deck 4). There is no evening entertainment, but they did bring on a pianist on board and although she could play the piano, her singing switched octaves on a regular basis and although she asked us to sing along with her, the words shoe sand was different to everyone else. They have a fitness room on board, but walking is limited ashore, especially on the southern journey back. You can walk around the ship (deck 5), but when you are on the open sea, it is very difficult to walk around the bow end, for fear of being blown along the deck.
The cabin had just been refurbished and this one had no technical problems. Loads of wardrobe space & drawers. space under the bed for cases. Plenty of hot water at decent pressures for the shower. A little surprised that an experienced ship refurbishment company would fit standard wardrobes, with out any means of securing the doors. I had to tie them when it was rough. Beds very comfortable with large pillows. By switching on announcements on the phone, you could pick up all the expedition messages & notice about the Northern Lights.