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    Cool Cruiser

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    Travel, History, Art
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    Alaska, Mediterranean

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  1. Thanks Bella0714 and hallasm; between searching for the lights and looking over the very detailed daily programs; when will we rest? Finding a good place on deck and watching the scenery go by; perfect!!
  2. Thanks Bella0714 for the info; the time spent traveling through the Lofoten/Vesteralen region was one of the deciding factors for us choosing the SB trip. We'll make the best of any weather thrown at us! Also, We'll set aside some additional $ for extra excursions offered, very excited to experience Torghatten if offered. Did you get to see the Lights? Hallasm; thanks for the link. Are these provided in your cabin daily? They'd make great additions to my travel journal!
  3. Good to know; how was information related to the team-lead hikes communicated?
  4. The views look incredible and reviews of the hike itself point to it not being to difficult. We are looking forward to the information the expedition team members will provide; We're hoping there are additional hikes offered by the team like Torghatten!
  5. We are looking at various excursions out of Kirkenes; the Snowhotel isn't open yet but still offering husky encounters. We're looking at hiking opportunities as well.
  6. We'll start looking at airfare over the next couple of months. SAS appears to be offering the most direct flights from the States as well as the best prices including Oslo to Kirkenes. Hope we're as lucky with the lights as you!
  7. In fact, we fly out to Oslo one from year from today; quite a count down! We are planning on two nights in Kirkenes prior to boarding, don't trust arriving the day before. Maybe we'll catch a glimpse of the lights before we even board.
  8. Thanks Hallasm...we will be on the Trollfjord which I believe has an onboard Expedition Team. Having a Team was an important aspect when booking as we both wanted this extra experience. We'll definitely take advantage of any additional treks/tours offered!
  9. My husband and I will be traveling on the cruise South in October of 2020. We have already pre-booked two excursions but was wondering if a hike up Torghatten was available? It is not listed as an excursion but mentioned in the itinerary (Hurtigruten website); "participate on a hike up the mountain". Any info from others with "Southbound" experience is welcome!
  10. Homerody, To start, everyone is so welcoming on this forum! I discovered Hurtigruten when my husband decided our 30th anniversary will be spent in Norway; a very large country to explore with only two weeks of vacation time to utilize. Hurtigruten will allow us to see the entire coast. We also liked the idea of, for lack of a better term, a "non-cruise" experience. So, this lead me to Cruise Critic (an old friend from previous cruises). I pored through the posts on this forum and reached out with basic questions along with reading the reviews. I also got my hands on the Norwegian Coastal Cruises Hurtigruten 2019/2020 brochure; packed with 91 pages of info including ship itineraries, ship layouts, maps and excursion details. Our trip has essentially been shaped by the experiences posted here. Below are some of the great suggestions I've used; We only have two weeks and therefore are doing the Southbound in October 2020. I've consulted the "moon phase" calendar and it will not be during a full moon; better for seeing the Northern Lights we hope. We plan on spending a couple nights in Oslo and flying to Kirkenes prior to sailing. We've been giving recommendations on hotels, restaurants and sightseeing. I have also received recommendations for excursions during our cruise based on what will be available; note that certain excursions are only available during various seasons and many on this forum have included stops that can be explored on your own. Not on our radar but now included in our itinerary will be the train from Bergen (after a spending a couple days) back to Oslo rounding out our two weeks. Lastly, we are using a TA who we have worked with forever. As soon as the bookings came available, we knew the ship and cabin we wanted. We like having a TA back in the States, ready to help if needed, while we're abroad. So, that's our journey to date; have a while prior to traveling but will enjoy the continuous posts!
  11. Homerody, I cannot speak first-hand to the questions you've asked but can assure you that this forum is a wealth of information! My husband and I have booked our first Hurtigruten cruise for 2020; this forum has helped us in choosing a ship, cabin #, assisted in our search for the can't miss excursions (to stops we can explore on our own) as well as reading about the food, drink and overall experience to come. Keep reading, enjoy planning and keep asking the questions (it helps all us first-timers).
  12. Grayjay....thanks for the food update! In our travels, we have always strived to embrace the culture, including the regions food specialities; yep, that included guinea pig in Peru! We'll embrace the total experience; everything tastes great with a good glass of wine!
  13. Thank you Grayjay! I will keep this on my to-do before departing. As for meals, I'm picturing all kind of sea creatures with legs....I always thought I would be up for any kind of seafood!
  14. Thanks...we have always preferred late seating so this would be fine with us!
  15. Thanks Splinter; our trip keeps getting bigger! We are planning on adding on this side trip . Since we will be traveling mid- October, I'll need to check what sight-seeing options will be available to us.
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