Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic UK Managing Editor
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Cabins

Although all cabins on Richard With got a refresh (November 2018), not all cabins are created equal, and the upper deck cabins vary significantly from the ones in the lower deck, with the former having more of a "cruise ship" feel. If you're staying in a room on the lower decks, you're going to feel more like you're on a car ferry. The upper deck (Decks 5 and 6) cabins and suites look and feel modern, with smart dark wood decor, new fixtures and fittings, and large prints on the walls. The lower cabins, though boasting new carpets, are small, with pull-down beds and sofa beds rather than regular beds and old fixtures and fittings. Also, the aft ones are affected by the juddering engine. To get a double bed, you'll have to book a cabin on Deck 6.

If you're doing the whole or half of the Coastal Voyage, it's worth getting an upper deck cabin.

What they all have in common are: wardrobe(s), safe, fixed desk (varies in size), beds (although these can be a fixed single, a pull-down or double), flat-screen TV showing a variety of European TV programs, Northern Europe plug sockets, fixed lights and a phone.

There are no interconnecting cabins. If you are traveling as a family of three or four, we recommend a suite or a mini-suite; the lower cabins can, in theory, sleep four but it's very cramped.

Only four wheelchair-accessible cabins are available on the ship: three ocean views and one suite.

It's also worth noting that if you do opt for a cabin on Deck 5, this is also the Promenade Deck and people will -- and do -- look into your room.

With the exception of the mini-suites, all bathrooms are the same: All have a shower stall with clingy curtains, a toilet and a basin. Hurtigruten has removed all single-use plastics from its ships; as a result, bathroom products are dispensed via fixed containers above the basin and in the shower. However, unlike most cruise ship generic gels, we recommend the Arctic Pure brand hand wash, shower gel/shampoo and conditioner -- made with cloudberry and birch. Two things we also loved: nonsteam mirrors and heated floors -- so lovely on a chilly polar night.

Interior: There are 17 interior cabins across Decks 3 and 5, which are all 54 square feet. You really want to avoid the ones at the aft of Deck 3 as these are directly above the engine; you're better off opting for one of the four at the front of Deck 3 or the four on Deck 5. All insides sleep two people on pull-down beds, rather than standard beds. (In other words, if you want a double, you will need to opt for a higher grade cabin.) The rooms also have collapsible surfaces, which act as makeshift tables when you stow the beds. 

Oceanview: There are two different types of outside cabins -- Polar Outside and Arctic Superior -- which make up the bulk of the cabins onboard.

Polar Outside: These make up the majority of cabins on Decks 2 and 3, with a number on Decks 5 and 6. Note that they vary quite significantly within this category, sometimes on the same deck -- so make sure you ask at time of booking.

You really want to avoid the ones midship on Deck 2 (numbers 202 to 220); these are beside the car deck and above the engine, and are noisy and judder. (To be fair, the ship does its best to move people booked in these if there are other cabins available.) They are also tiny at just 54 square feet. Windows are oblong. Most sleep three people in single or pull-down beds, but it gets awfully crowded with three.

The Polar Outsides on Deck 3 are much the same in terms of layout but are bigger at 75 square feet. All have an oblong window, except for the ones toward the front of the ship, which have porthole windows.

Note the ones on Decks 5 and 6 only sleep two people, and the majority are, in fact, the same size as those on Deck 3, at 54 square feet (a handful are 75 square feet). The best of the bunch are the three on Deck 6 (611, 613 and 615), which have double beds; these also only have restricted views.

Arctic Superior: These feature double beds and come in at 118 square feet. They have a fresh, Nordic feel with light woods and a large black and white print of a polar landscape on the wall. They also have kettles, mugs and sachets of tea and coffee.

Mini-suites: These are the best cabins on the ship, as they have the most modern look and feel and are private (i.e., people can't look through the windows). All are on Deck 6 -- four toward the front, 14 at midship and toward the aft). These were radically redesigned in late 2018, with dark woods, thick carpets and a stylish, modern feel. They vary in size and layout, so the ones at the aft (648 to 653) are long and thin with lovely bay windows where you can sit and watch the passing scenery. There is a bed near the door and a living area, complete with sofa and a chair at the other end. These come in at 236 square feet.

The ones midship are more square-shaped with the advantage of having huge floor-to-ceiling windows, one in the living room and one in the bedroom. There is ample wardrobe space -- one in the living room and one in the bedroom -- as well as a chest of drawers and a desk. A huge TV, or more accurately, TVs, as there are two, back-to-back, split the room in half, resting on a low bookcase. The living area has a sofa bed, a coffee table and a stocked mini-fridge; the bedroom has a supremely comfy double bed, bedside tables and fixed bedside lamps. There are ample plug sockets and four USB sockets -- two by the bed and two above the desk. There's room under the bed for storing luggage and a bedside table with reading lights on both sides of the bed. The large picture windows have blackout blinds.

The bathrooms are the best onboard -- twice the size of regular ones and completely redesigned, with glass doors, large Hansgrohe showerheads, heated floors and square basins. These suites are 258 square feet.

The four toward the front are a slightly different design, with no sofa and two chairs instead. These are 236 square feet.

Suites: Due to their positioning right at the front of the ship, it is difficult to structurally change these suites, so post-refurb they still have oblong windows and a small bathroom with clingy curtains. They are both 322 square feet, the largest by far in terms of space, with two distinct rooms with a door to separate them. In the living room area, you will find a couch, a TV and a set of drawers, as well as a wardrobe and a surface for a kettle. The bedroom features a double bed and a chest of drawers. The bathroom is small and features a shower area. There are ample plug sockets in both rooms.

What they (and indeed all the cabins on Deck 5) suffer from is lack of privacy. As they are in the best position on the ship in terms of wildlife viewing, people tend to congregate in front of the windows here (which look out over the Promenade Deck), thus inviting other cruises to look into the room and also effectively blocking the view when the deck is crowded.

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