Chosen for the Northern Lights, the cruise became more about the scenery and overall experience on MS Maud. The boat was less than half full due to covid restrictions which no doubt helped as we didn't have to worry about queuing for excursions and received amazing service and support from all the crew. The excursions were well described and organised and mostly we were able to join everything we wanted, although some of the treks were over subscribed. The on-board lectures and workshops were very well presented and professionally run, and extra sessions were added if necessary to accommodate demand. They were also streamed to cabins and lounge to enable Covid prevention measures to be implemented in the lecture theatre, and this proved very popular. The food was exceptional in both main restaurants (so I didn't feel it necessary to pay for the a la carte upgrade offered) and the staff in restaurants and bars attentive and friendly. We chose a larger cabin (Artic Superior QJ) which we were pleased about as we were easily able to watch lectures from there as well as enjoy a cuppa in peace and stability in stormy seas.
One of the highlights of the trip was the navigation around the coast line and weather, and one of our favourite days came unexpectedly when our expedition day was interrupted by an iced over fjord - it was an amazing experience to push through the ice and everyone was spellbound by the beautiful scenery clearly visible in day light (instead of travelling past at night as originally planned)
One small niggle is the cabins - it is a bit like posh camping with narrow beds, wobbly furniture and small windows. I know Hurtigruten had planned to upgrade them prior to Covid and I hope they still plan to do so, as soon as they can afford to.
There are only 2 cabins in this category on this boat. They provide twin beds and a separate seating area with a small movable table plus a standard shower room. There was plenty of storage room including under bed storage. The beds are narrow and one folds up if necessary. One duvet each and two pillows are supplied and the linen is nice and crisp. Duvets are heavy and it would have been nice to have the choice of a lighter one. Heating is slow to respond and not very cool but the heated shower room floor was relatively quick and gave enough heat for the whole cabin most days. The cabin was clean and daily servicing is offered. Tea and coffee facilities are provided. There are two large round portholes, one mostly blocked by a lifeboat but one has clear views, albeit inset, and due to the short daylight hours these were sufficient to provide daylight and some sea views. We felt it was worth the extra expense to have the seating area as the other Artic Superior had very little floor space.