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Coastal Steamer for Seniors

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My husband and I are seniors (82 and 66), and are planning one last trip to Norway sometime in 2017, including a 1-way trip on the Hurtigruten. We sailed on the Kong Harald in 2003 (?) but were much spryer then. We probably would not do any excursions, as hubby has some mobility issues. I see from the Hurtigruten website that several of their ships are described as newer and modern. Does anyone have info on cabin sizes and amenities and onboard accessibility?

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    We sailed on the Trollfjord. There were elevators you could take between the decks.
    As far as amenities, the food was excellent and we always had a table for two. The lounges are nice, a singer or pianist plays in the evenings. There is a large indoor observation area. We only took the excursion to Nord Kapp but thought it wasn't worth the cost. Otherwise, we did all the ports on our own, using local buses where necessary such in Tromso to visit the Arctic Chapel.. There washers and dryers available.
    Cabins vary from small to large. I assume they must have photos online.

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    Even the older ships, including the Kong Harald have elevators in them, and rooms for people in wheelchairs or with limited mobility.
    I have been on the Vesteralen twice and the Kong Harald once, and on all three trips there were people in wheel chairs, on crutches, and with other mobility problems.

    Some excursion could be enjoyable for you, if only to get off the boat. They don't have to involve a lot of walking, and if you book them ahead of time they will be a bit cheaper. As returning passengers you should also get a discount on your fare, ad if you book it early enough can get a further discount.

    AS I said I have been three times, but would go again tomorrow. If you are not doing the full 12 day trip maybe do the southbound trip and the coach tour of the Vesteralen and Lofoten islands. There are not as many stops and excursions during the day southbound but you do get to go through the islands during daylight (assuming you are not there for the midnight sun). Also the ships tend to be a bit quitter on the southbound as most people do the northbound trip if only going one way. Southbound is slightly cheaper too.

    Book direct with Hurtigruten, and let them know of your mobility issues and concerns, also if you want the first sitting at dinner if the ship is full. Have the details of your last trip handy - the dates or better yet the booking number - so you can get your discount.

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    The only ship you should avoid is MS Lofoten which doesn't have elevators. Maybe also MS Vesteraalen, which does have elevators but has a bit of a tricky layout which can involve a fair bit of walking as you try to understand how to connect the various spaces.

    Most of the other ships are of the similar generation as MS Kong Harald, and some of them still have the same interior design and layout as you experienced. However, MS Kong Harald itself, MS Polarlys and MS Nordkapp have undergone extensive interior renovation with a newer, more modern design, however the cabin size and amenities have not changed much. MS Nordnorge will also be renovated this winter.

    And then there are 3, bigger ships. MS Finnmarken is similar in concept/layout than the previous ships, but is just bigger. MS Trollfjord and MS Midnatsol are sister ships and are slightly different inside, with more of a "cruise ship" feel (a bit more "bling", while MS Finnmarken has a sober design inspired by Art Deco movement). All three of this ships have slightly bigger cabins and more inside lounges.

    I think any of the ships (apart from the initial 2 I mentioned) would be suited for someone with mobility issues, so maybe have a look at some pictures and decide based on which size of ship and which type of design you would be comfortable with.

    Unfortunately it might be a bit too late since your previous trip to claim the "previous customer" discount, but it's worth asking. I think you need to apply for the membership card three years at the most after your first trip.

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