I wanted a winter getaway and had enjoyed a previous cruise (on Balmoral) to this area. Because of other commitments, I was limited on dates and this cruise met my availability and offered a chance to see the Northern Lights again. The itinerary was a bit thin and the cruise was not cheap but I decided to book.
I had a few pre-cruise issues with errors on Fred's website, which I fortunately spotted. As I was a late booking there were understandably limited cabin options. As a solo traveller, prices were interesting with my Balcony Suite cheaper than the smaller Junior Balcony Suite and only £500 more than an Ocean View cabin with restricted views.
Embarkation at Southampton was quick and efficient.
A good size cabin with good facilities. Perhaps some of the decoration is not to my taste (wall pictures displaying varieties of sea creatures) but there is plenty of storage space, a good sitting area and a variety of sockets and charging points. I would have liked a little more room lighting. The bathroom was clean and of adequate size. The balcony is of adequate size for two with table and chairs.
The extra benefits of the Suite Dreams package (a bottle of Prosecco, fresh fruit and daily canapes plus others) were enjoyable although delivery of canapes at 5:30 pm when dining at 6:15 pm does not leave much time to enjoy them.
An attractive location with much of interest within walking distance of the harbour. I took an excursion outside the main city area which took in a number of suburban and rural areas, giving a broader impression of the city and its surroundings. The tour was well organised with a good guide and allowed sufficient time at various stops to enjoy the views and other points of interes.
The Northern Lights Cathedral and the Museum (a bus ride from the town centre) seem to be the only points of interest in the city. Many of the reasons for winter visits here relate to external activites such as Northern Lights evenings, dog- or reindeer sledding, visits to Sami locations or the Ice Hotel. To enjoy these would mean more than one day in port. This is the only city I have visited where I feel the need to put crampons on my shoes most of the time in winter.
An attractive city with many points of interest, most of which are easily accessible on foot around the central area or by the public transport system. Several of my fellow passengers expressed an interest in returning for a weekend City Break in order to visit more of the city than was possible on a single day in port.
An architecturally interesting city with interesting and scenic outlying areas. Much of the Art Nouveau architecture can be visited on foot from the harbour with excellent views from Mount Aksla. The viewing area can be reached on foot via a path of 420 steps or by taxi.