The 11,200 ton MS Kong Harald, launched to commemorate Hurtigruten’s centenary in 1993, was the first of the line’s new larger and more technologically advanced cargo-passenger ships, designed for its year-round daily service up and down the Norwegian coast, and which also serves as a cruise ship. It calls at 35 ports between Bergen in the south of Norway and the Arctic port of Kirkenes in the far northwest near the Russian border, linking many of northern Norway’s more remote island settlements.
The ship features a series of luxuriously decorated public rooms, each named after a Norwegian explorer and featuring some fine examples of Norwegian art. The upper deck Panorama Lounge, with its wrap-around picture windows, allows passengers to enjoy the passing scenery of fjords, mountains and islands in perfect comfort. There is also a long gallery joining the restaurant in the rear of the ship and the public deck areas that acts as another enclosed observation deck.
There are four cabin decks on the Kong Harald, with some inside cabins, although most are twin-bedded outside cabins with large picture windows. Cabins have an extra sofa-bed, while the twin beds can be folded up to create more space. Some cabins have bunk beds. All have a shower, TV, mini-bar, safe, fridge and hairdryer. There are also several suites that include a seating area and private balcony. All cabins also come with blankets to keep you warm when sitting outside. Despite the economy of space, all cabins have ample closet space.