Hurtigruten offers an amazing experience and adventure to such a remote, vast, and astonishingly beautify continent. The services they offer and the quality of the rooms, food, and information are unparalleled. The ship was beautiful and very comfortable. The seats everywhere onboard from the rooms to the lounge to the dining rooms were surprisingly comfortable and looked nice too. The decor of the ship was neutral and more in line with natural tones - appealing and blending in with nature through the use of light coloured wood and neutral colours reflecting a more Scandinavian design rather than sophisticated, flashy, or colourful designs. This lends well to representing the locales and itinerary of their voyages. The staff was topknotch - the staff all over the ship was friendly and helpful; knowledgeable and cheerful. The food was very visually appealing and delicious. The breakfast buffet was extensive and offered a large selection of breakfast/brunch type of food which is changed daily to some degree. The baked items are baked fresh and there is a large selection of baked goods. Surprisingly, the donuts were my least favourite, but the rest of the selection was amazing. Meals are always visually appearing. The chef staff go to great lengths to make the servings artistic and colourful. The choice isn't the best. You have a meat option, fish option, a vegetarian option and sometimes a pasta option. Sometimes you really didn't know what to expect from the description. Often nothing really seemed appealing. But when the meal arrived we were never disappointed. The food was always fresh and delicious. We often enjoyed Fredheim restaurant as well as the Aune which is the main restaurant. They do offer some different choices throughout the cruise. But the main staples are the hamburgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes. I had a lamb hot dog once. The problem was that the bun was way too big for the sausage. The buns are homemade and delicious but it would have been better if they were sized to the meat offered. We are also really looking forward to receiving our log of the ship which Hurtigruten sends out in 6-8 weeks. This includes a photograph/video prepared by the ship's photographer which turned out excellent. Although it can't replace your own personal memories via your own camera it is absolutely beautiful. Although we could not go to the Falkland Islands because of an active case or 2 of covid onboard, the cruise made up for it by sailing below the Antarctic Circle and providing more landing sites in Antarctica. Each landing site became my new favourite site and I couldn't imagine losing any of the sites despite the disappointment of not making Falkland. The sites were varied and offered different activities, sites, experiences, and wildlife.
Why not a 5-star rating you may ask? The only reason is the limitations set by covid restrictions - not the fault of Hurtigruten but I would advise against traveling during a pandemic - hopefully, coming to an end soon. Due to restrictions the science center and touch table were closed throughout the trip. For the lectures and presentations, we needed to watch live streaming in our cabin on the TV. Halfway through the trip the sauna and gym were closed as well. They did have an app to use for asking questions. And, of course, the never-ending wearing of masks even on the zodiacs isn't fun. But it is much better than being isolated in your room and missing out on the amazing Antarctic sites which would happen if you got covid. Can't blame Hurtigruten for this, but it did impact the experience we were expecting.
Exceptional and very comfortable. The room had a large window. The room itself is very roomy despite being the smallest capacity. The bed, by the window, had a night table with drawer on each side. In the center of the room is the seating area. 2 of the most comfortable chairs ever with a table in between facing a large TV. Then a bureau and desk. There are 2 closets at the entrance with hangers and shelves in one. 1 had a rubber bottom to keep your boots on when you return from landings. There is quite a bit of available storage. Across from the closets is the bathroom. Large tiled shower with a glass door. About the average space of most cruise ships apart from the shower. Chocolates are brought to your room each evening. It looks like the chocolates are homemade although I don't know this for sure.
We chose the cruise to be able to walk with the penguins in the continent of Antarctic and the experience did not disappoint. The scenery was wild and beautiful and cannot compare with anything else in the world. Each landing site became our new favourite as there was unexpectedly different sights, experiences, and things to see at each place. The expedition crew made the landings informative, enjoyable, and safe for all. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to walk amongst the penguins and seals and seabirds.