The difference between the ships in the Hurtigruten line and a cruise ship is very simple – the Hurtigruten ships are working boats. And work they do. The Kong Harald has a huge hold packed with all manner of goods, that are offloaded at the ports we dock at – and goods are also taken on. First port of call today was Maloy, one of the biggest fishing ports in Norway, at 7.15. Just 15 minutes and we are away, then about half an hour later we begin the crossing of the Stadhavet, an open stretch of sea that takes 2 hours to cross. The swell is quite large and the boat chugs iway through solid waves, making crew and passengers walk as if they are very much under the weather. Some are, but not us!
The ship docked at some ports for barely 10 mins, such as Heroy-Bolandet in the first photo and reached Alesund at midday. A small town of around 440,000, it is know for the Art Nouveau architecture in the main part of town, which was the result of a huge re-build after a fire in 1904.
Kong Harald moored right in the heart of town which made it easy to explore and we walked from the shopping mall pictured, through the Art Nouveau heart and into the shanty-still area on the other side of the bay. A sunny afternoon well-spent working up an appetite for the first of our local dinners which was roasted salted lamb, slow roasted, and a delicious raspberry crumble.