The Kong Harald, which is one of six contemporary ships that NCV brought on line from 1993 to 1997, is a small but comfortable cruise ship with a modest array of public rooms and facilities. Although this ship is formally named after the King of Norway, you’ll find other famous Norwegians on board: The bar is named after Nobel Peace laureate Fridtjof Nansen, the café after explorer Roald Amundsen. True to NCV tradition, many well-known artists have put their own individual stamp on this exquisite ship.
One main dining room, the nonsmoking Martha Salen Restaurant, hosts three meals daily. Breakfast and lunch, which features the famous Norwegian “cold table,” are self-serve, but the three-course dinner is served in two seatings. The 24-hour Roald Amundsen Café has snacks and light meals available for purchase.
Seven grades of cabin are available. Double beds are available in only the suites (with no balconies), and all the other cabins have fixed beds and berths. Some cabins also have a third upper berth. A number of cabins are available for single occupancy at a premium. Only 44 cabins are inside, and the remainder, 181, are oceanview. Suites feature televisions and mini-bars. The 220-volt outlets require adapters for U.S. appliances.
Cabins range from 86 square feet to 301 square feet.
An excellent way to experience the beautiful Norwegian coastline and its remote coastal towns, the Kong Harald is comfortable, and the crew provides attentive service. But the itinerary is the attraction here. Departing from Bergen, she sails roundtrip to Kirkenes, an arctic outpost near the Russian border, stopping at 34 uniquely picturesque ports along the way. A special “Crossing the Arctic Circle” ceremony welcomes newcomers to that latitudinal extreme. The journey can also be done one way – seven days northbound or six days southbound.