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    Oslo, Norway
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kaisatsu's Achievements

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Cool Cruiser (2/15)

  1. I live in Norway, so I am well aware of this. However, unless the trip is timed to cross the Antarctic Circle exactly on the solstice, you’re not going to see the midnight sun. (The December trips tend to sail to the Circle and turn back, rather than going far enough south to reach 24-hour daytime.) Based on the consideration of going later in the season, it doesn’t sound like the OP is interested in seeing the midnight sun. In which case, crossing the Circle is about reaching a particular latitude; not about experiencing the solar implications of that latitude.
  2. They probably aren’t on the IAATO schedule for the Deception landing sites, or they may be en route to a site where they actually have landing permissions, which the EL would likely prioritize over cruising the outside of the Deception caldera. It’s also possible that the sea conditions make it too risky to pass through Neptune’s Bellows and a planned landing needs to be canceled. I doubt any EL would skip over either destination if they have the permissions, schedule, and sea conditions to make it happen.
  3. For the December circle crossings they will often head out to open water to be able to make it farther south. If you’re interested in actually seeing anything south of the Circle, I’d do a later season trip. But if you just want to reach the arbitrary latitude, doing the early trip where they may prioritize that over landings and wildlife is probably the better option.
  4. Ah, I see! My comment was more about the actual act of landing rather than just visiting the area. To me the biggest benefit of landing over zodiac cruising was just being able to say I’d done it.
  5. The port website doesn’t have the 2025 list posted yet. But I don’t think it’s a time zone issue. I looked up the Aug 2025 sailing on a travel agent site and it also shows those port times.
  6. How long were you able to stay ashore? Did you feel you got to really absorb the environment? My impression is probably impacted by the incredibly short time we spent ashore. I felt that I got a much better feel for the environment from cruising offshore in the zodiac for a while than from the limited time we spent on land.
  7. I would pay attention to “Tips are appreciated” as is often the case for free tours. If the tours are through any kind of international tour booking site, I’d just assume the “Tips not included” text is just standard. Or added as a disclaimer so that people can’t complain later and ask for a refund due to misleading information. If the tip information is included on a Norwegian company’s website, I’d probably side-eye it as a money grab. Maybe I would be prepared to offer a small tip if the guide was really great, but I don’t think I’d tip more than 50 NOK per person for a full day tour. And since I don’t carry cash ever, I wouldn’t feel at all guilty if tipping wasn’t possible. I definitely wouldn’t bother finding currency for it.
  8. Trollfjord is quite a distance from Leknes, so you'd need a particular long port day and perhaps be ready to meet the ship at its next port. The RIB boat would almost certainly need to depart from closer to Trollfjord, since you'd need to sail around 75km each direction to get there from Leknes. I think the most realistic option would be to rent a car, drive an hour to Svolvær or somewhere else offering RIB tours, and join a tour from closer to Trollfjord. Having sailed through Trollfjord, I personally don't think it's unique enough to warrant that kind of effort. For me, the fjords of the southern Norwegian coast (especially the UNESCO-listed fjords) have a lot more scenery to enjoy and are more rewarding. If you're not visiting any of the fjords, I can see the appeal, but I might just save it for another trip that does include the iconic fjord region. My own recommendations for a Leknes port call would be to visit the colorful fishing village at Nusfjord and/or the dramatic mountain-to-sea views around Reine. Both of these are among the most popular scenery in Lofoten and much easier to reach from port.
  9. The local advisory for the TBE vaccine is a for people in the affected areas, mainly along the southern coast: If you’ll be hiking predominantly on the west coast around the fjords, just follow normal precautions and be aware of the potential symptoms. The advice from FHI (health institute) is: • When traveling in areas with a lot of ticks, it is recommended to wear long trousers and to be well covered at the ankles when traveling in areas with a lot of ticks. • It is recommended to walk on paths rather than in places with tall grass, heather and scrub. • Using insecticides with diethyltoluamide on skin and clothing reduces the number of ticks that attach. • After traveling in areas with a lot of ticks, one should also inspect the skin, especially in children. You should also look for ticks on the fabric, also on the wrong side. Showering is recommended to wash off any ticks that have not attached.
  10. In the Oslo area, Ruter and Vy have an agreement. If you’re going to be buying a 7-day zone 1 pass, I would plan to buy it using the Ruter app upon arrival and then just pay for an extra-zone supplement for the Vy train in from the airport, rather than buying a wholly separate ticket. If you’re at the Clarion Folketeatret, you can take the 11, 12, 17, or 18 tram one stop, but if there isn’t a tram coming right away, it’s only a five minute walk. The 11 and 12 depart from the stop directly in front of the station, but the 17 and 18 are across the street over in front of Clarion The Hub (a minute or two closer to Folketeatret).
  11. Geographically, Oslo fits better into a Baltic Sea cruise than a Norwegian coastal cruise. Whether it's a "must" is subjective. The dramatic western fjords are probably the only given. I'd personally want to include Lofoten and Tromsø. Bergen is also pretty iconic. Including the Arctic plateau and North Cape (accessible from Honningsvåg) ticks yet another box. I'd choose the Viking itinerary for the diversity of Norwegian landscapes. The Oceania trip is mostly just fjords and southern coastal cities, which aren't the most exciting. Ålesund is nice, but I wouldn't consider a must. In my opinion, Stavanger and Kristiansand are easy to skip as they have far less to offer tourists. I really like hallasm's suggestion to fly into Oslo and take the "Norway in a Nutshell" route overland to Bergen. That lets you include a day or two in Oslo depending on your interests and another fjord with the detour to Flåm, including both the famous Flåmsbana railroad and the Nærøyfjord cruise. When my sister came to visit, this is almost exactly what we did, though instead of a Viking cruise, we were sailing the Hurtigruten coastal ferry. The traditional Norway in a Nutshell itinerary can be done as a single (long) day trip from Oslo to Bergen. Depart Oslo by train in the morning, passing through suburbs and into forest before eventually climbing above the tree line to the rocky inland plateau. You can get a glimpse of the Hardangerjøkulen glacier in the distance from the train. At Myrdal (a remote rail junction), you switch to the Flåmsbana mountain train, which descends 800 meters in a serious of switchbacks to the valley and the coastal fjord village of Flåm. From there, an electric sightseeing boat cruises through part of the Sognefjord to the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord (literally "narrow fjord" which is too narrow for most cruise ships to pass) to Gudvangen, where a bus brings you back up to Voss to rejoin the train line to Bergen. This is an extremely popular tourist route and the tickets can be booked individually yourself or as a complete package through fjordtours. If you have a lot of luggage, there is a porter service that can transfer your bags from Oslo to Bergen separately. And as mentioned, it's possible to stop off in Flåm if you want to break up the trip (I wouldn't recommend staying in Myrdal as the Vatnahalsen hotel is pretty much the only thing there).
  12. Even when the temperatures in Norway are quite warm (highs up around 25°C) it's often much cooler in the morning. Since one of the main draws of a fjord cruise is the scenic sail-in through the fjords themselves, it's recommended to be out on deck for the scenery. A 15°C air temperature combined with the wind from the moving ship can drop the effective temperature well into the single digits. If you plan to take photos, that can mean long periods with your hands exposed to the breeze, which can become very uncomfortable. For this reason, I usually recommend bringing along a thin pair of liner gloves to keep your hands comfortable during these extended periods of scenic cruising. If you don't plan to take photos and have stable footing and good balance, you could of course keep your hands in your pockets most of the time. But unless you're traveling ultra lightweight, the space required for a thin pair of gloves seems like trivial savings.
  13. It would depend a bit on where you’ll be hiking. Are there any more details in the tour description? It’s 12 miles back to Flåm from the other end of the train, so presumably you aren’t going to be walking the initial steep slope. Maybe you take the train back partway and then walk from there? If so you probably wouldn’t need the poles, especially since they describe the path as even surfaces.
  14. Definitely have some light layers that you can wear alone. The temperature varies a lot during the day. This week it has been 16°C (61°F) when I leave for work and 27°C (80°F) when I come home. The sun is hot, but as soon as there’s a breeze or some cloud cover, the temperature drops. If it’s partly cloudy, I nearly always carry an extra layer to add and remove. That said, when it’s sunny and hot for a long period, it can be very uncomfortable since many places aren’t built for the heat. Luckily for you, there are some mixed forecasts of rain coming this weekend, so temperatures could be a lot lower next week.
  15. If you’re looking for landings in Antarctica, you’ll need to be on a smaller ship with less than 500 passengers. If you want to land more than once per day, that goes down to 250. And if you want as much time ashore as possible, the closer to 100 passengers the better. I’ve traveled with Hurtigruten, G Expeditions, and Oceanwide and would recommend any of them. Quark and Lindblad also have long histories and good reputations. Expedition cruises (those with landings) usually depart from Ushuaia or Punta Arenas. Some companies include a charter flight from a larger city (typically Buenos Aires). If you’re looking to combine Antarctica with more of South America, you would need to look at the first or last trip of the season or book them separately. Large-ship cruises that include Antarctica on a South America sailing will not include landings, and the only option (if any) would be an expensive and very weather-dependent flight excursion from Chile that carries people down to a short stop in the South Shetlands and back.
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