MS Vesterålen - Photo Tour
One of the more unusual members of the Hurtigruten fleet is MS Vesterålen. She operates on the 11-day round trip from Bergen, calling at 34 ports along the coast of Norway. The route is popular with cruise tourists keen to experience 'the most beautiful voyage in the world', and also serves as a lifeline for many smaller communities in Norway's more isolated north.
Take a look inside her passenger decks with this full photo tour.
|Hurtigruten's MS Vesterålen alongside in Bergen, Norway|
Built in Norway in 1983, Vesterålen has undergone a number of refurbishments during her career, including a substantial rebuilding and extension in Germany in 1989. These have left her with a slightly awkward profile, and a disjointed interior layout. With a gross tonnage of 6,261 she can accommodate up to 510 passengers, with berths for 294.
|Vesterålen refuels whilst alongside at the terminal|
|Several modifications throughout her service life have given Vesterålen a distinctive appearance|
|Almost there - A glass walkway leads to the ship|
|Passengers board Vesterålen via an open deck area midships on Deck E|
Head down one deck from the boarding area brings you to Deck D, where the majority of Vesterålen's public rooms are located. Immediately off the central stairwell is the on board Cafe, which serves a selection of hot and cold food in an informal setting throughout the day.
|The on board Cafe is Vesterålen's casual dining venue|
|A selection of hot and cold food and drink is available here|
|Vesterålen's main Dining Room|
|Tables in the restaurant are laid ready for dinner that evening|
|This odd interior passageway was originally part of Vesterålen's open decks|
|The Vesterålstuen Lounge|
|The Trollfjorden Lounge|
|The Fyret Panorama Lounge and Bar|
As with her interiors, Vesterålen's open decks are a little disjointed and could take a while to get used to. The upside of this is that there is always a quiet, tucked-away spot to be found to sit and enjoy the journey. One nice feature is the view down into the ship's navigation bridge from the open deck area forward on Deck G.
|An interesting view into Vesterålen's Bridge|
|The selection of open decks includes a sheltered conservatory-like area|
|Welcome on board - This sign guides new passengers through the unusual layout|
The accommodation on board Vesterålen consists predominantly of standard 1- and 2-berth cabins. These vary considerably in layout and design, depending largely on where in the ship they are situated (i.e. in the original sections or more recent extension). All standard cabins have fold down twin or bunk beds, a small writing table, cupboard areas and an en suite shower room.
|A selection of standard cabins|
Standard rooms are clean and practical, but are certainly showing their age by way of design.
|This slightly larger cabin has enough space for an armchair and small table|
|The private seating area in the Family Cabin|
|The Family Cabin features a large double bed and two additional bunks|
As an 'odd one out' in the Hurtigrtuen fleet, MS Vesterålen struggles somewhat to find her place, with MS Lofoten offering the charm of a classic ship voyage and the remaining vessels providing a higher standard of design and facilities.
That said, Vesterålen's own comfortable atmosphere soon shines through once on board. I would certainly not be quick to recommend her to anyone looking for a cruise ship experience (for that try Midnatsol, Trollfjord or Finnmarken), but any shipping enthusiasts will get a lot from the experience on board this one-of-a-kind ship.