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We wanted to celebrate my 70th birthday, to put behind us a challenging year, and to learn about a country and locality that we wouldn't normally see. The first thing to say is that if you like cruising with all the associated comforts and amenities of cruising, don't choose the Hurtigruten Atlantic Fiords trip. The business of Hurtigruten is to supply all of the large and small coastal communities between Bergen in the south of Norway and Kirkenes in the north with life's essentials and to enable Norwegians to move up and down the coast. The Kong Harald is a 'ferry with benefits' and up to 400 passengers that have subsidised the service for many years; there were from the UK, Germany, France, Australia and North America. That said the crew, food, and organisation of shore side activities were very good. What's more Mother Nature may let you see Aurora Borealis but be prepared for disappointment - take a good camera! We travelled on the round trip between 7 and 18 March. Our cabin was on the 6th deck and had a double bed, 'bijou' shower, toilet, wash room, coffee facilities and TV. We saw some of the other cabins on lower decks and were please we paid for up grade. It had the additional advantage that we weren't disturbed by the overnight docking and freight handling which can occur up to four times: some passengers on the lower decks said it could be noisy. Food was good especially the fish and self service for breakfast and lunch. If you have deep pockets there was a good selection of wine at £40-50/bottle and £10 for a half pint (Norway is notoriously expensive). We were very lucky with the weather. It was brilliant with clear skies, calm seas and snow capped landscape - but it was COLD and there was always a breeze so the outside temperature was much lower than the air temperature. We raided Trespass and Mountain Warehouse who were very helpful with what is meant by layering up - and we were glad of their advice. There was no 'entertainment' such as may be expected on a cruise but there were daily briefings about next day excursions. We had pre-booked six that would give an insight into the communities and ways of life of the residents but if you are into snow trekking and off-piste activities there were options but remember, the whole of the ships life is governed by its departure time from port. Would we repeat the journey in either winter or summer (more expensive)? The answer is no. For us there were too many passengers and it was difficult to get away without spending more time in our cabin. The scenery is spectacular in Winter and Summer if that is your thing. Norway is an interesting country with a total population half that of London. It has large oil & gas reserves that it sells and invests the income. The primary business of the coastal communities is fishing and processing, shipping and tourism. Look out for the spectacular bridges and some of the longest road tunnels in the world.

Not a cruise, more an excursion with benefits

Kong Harald Cruise Review by Stoichometric

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We wanted to celebrate my 70th birthday, to put behind us a challenging year, and to learn about a country and locality that we wouldn't normally see.

The first thing to say is that if you like cruising with all the associated comforts and amenities of cruising, don't choose the Hurtigruten Atlantic Fiords trip. The business of Hurtigruten is to supply all of the large and small coastal communities between Bergen in the south of Norway and Kirkenes in the north with life's essentials and to enable Norwegians to move up and down the coast. The Kong Harald is a 'ferry with benefits' and up to 400 passengers that have subsidised the service for many years; there were from the UK, Germany, France, Australia and North America. That said the crew, food, and organisation of shore side activities were very good. What's more Mother Nature may let you see Aurora Borealis but be prepared for disappointment - take a good camera!

We travelled on the round trip between 7 and 18 March. Our cabin was on the 6th deck and had a double bed, 'bijou' shower, toilet, wash room, coffee facilities and TV. We saw some of the other cabins on lower decks and were please we paid for up grade. It had the additional advantage that we weren't disturbed by the overnight docking and freight handling which can occur up to four times: some passengers on the lower decks said it could be noisy.

Food was good especially the fish and self service for breakfast and lunch. If you have deep pockets there was a good selection of wine at £40-50/bottle and £10 for a half pint (Norway is notoriously expensive).

We were very lucky with the weather. It was brilliant with clear skies, calm seas and snow capped landscape - but it was COLD and there was always a breeze so the outside temperature was much lower than the air temperature. We raided Trespass and Mountain Warehouse who were very helpful with what is meant by layering up - and we were glad of their advice.

There was no 'entertainment' such as may be expected on a cruise but there were daily briefings about next day excursions. We had pre-booked six that would give an insight into the communities and ways of life of the residents but if you are into snow trekking and off-piste activities there were options but remember, the whole of the ships life is governed by its departure time from port.

Would we repeat the journey in either winter or summer (more expensive)? The answer is no. For us there were too many passengers and it was difficult to get away without spending more time in our cabin. The scenery is spectacular in Winter and Summer if that is your thing. Norway is an interesting country with a total population half that of London. It has large oil & gas reserves that it sells and invests the income. The primary business of the coastal communities is fishing and processing, shipping and tourism. Look out for the spectacular bridges and some of the longest road tunnels in the world.
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