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About kaisatsu

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Oslo, Norway
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    Travel, Literature, Food, Wine, Craft Beer
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  1. I would also miss having more space on the bow deck, but I'm curious to see how she holds up in the rough Drake crossings. If she performs as well as hoped, this could be a boon for people who are especially prone to seasickness. (Glad I don't have that issue!)
  2. "Ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær" A traditional Norwegian saying: There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.
  3. We talked it over and couldn’t really come up with much that had physical requirements. You do need to be able to stand behind the sled for a long period (though it was possible to trade off between musher and passenger). Being out in the cold for a long time could be a concern for some. Maybe if you accidentally fell into deep snow and needed to get out? On our tour there wasn’t a lot of walking or other activity. While it may be a bit tiring for our parents in their 70s, we’re pretty sure they’d still manage without much problem.
  4. https://www.visittromso.no/en/book/dog-sledding We booked a tour very similar to this one: https://www.auroraalps.no/winter-buy-2-activities-get-northern-light-basecamp-for-free/dog-sledding-0930-1500-aurora-alps I think it’s actually the same company, but they’ve changed names.
  5. We had rain pants with us, because we had a few day hikes planned, but we quickly realized how useful they were for visiting waterfalls! I’d throw them on whenever we stopped to visit one, and it was so nice not having to worry about wind direction and spray!
  6. When are you planning to visit? What cruiseline are you looking at? I just did a quick check for cruises with calls to Geiranger, and most of them have scheduled mid-day or late-morning arrivals. All of the ones that include Hellesylt (the most popular scenery is between Hellesylt and Geiranger) have viable scheduling for the scenic reposition: Crown Princess 10:00-12:00, Norwegian Star 9:00-11:00, Carnival Legend 13:00-15:00. Roayal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas doesn’t stop in Hellesylt but calls at Geiranger from 10:00-19:00, so both sail-in and sail-out are during daytime hours. I did find one with a 22:00 departure, but it had a 10:00 arrival so the sail-in would still be an option. As for Flåm, I see plenty of early arrivals, but most of those calls have afternoon departures around 16:00.
  7. I agree that staying near the airport is probably not the best choice. Even if you choose to stay outside of the city center, staying out towards the airport adds an extra 30-45 minutes of driving to anything you want to do (besides the Blue Lagoon). Additionally, since there aren't a lot of places to stay and many people overnight before early flights, the accommodation prices in the area out towards the airport can be higher than elsewhere. If you really don't want to stay in Reykjavik, you can find guesthouses and farm stays outside the city. I've also stayed in Mosfellsbær before, which is actually a bit closer to the popular Golden Circle attractions. Although it's touristy, I actually quite enjoyed the Blue Lagoon and think it's a fun (albeit somewhat expensive) activity if you know what you're getting into. Don't expect a local experience, and be aware that it's not a natural phenomenon (a lot of people aren't aware that it's basically just the run-off from the nearby geothermal power plant). However, if you want a relaxing spa-like activity, it's a fun way to spend a few hours. It was our last stop on a 10-day trip around Iceland, and we enjoyed it even though we'd already been to the Mývatn Nature Baths (similar geothermal run-off pools, but with a bit more of a local atmosphere) and the natural hot spring pool at Hveravellir. The Blue Lagoon was still impressive given its size and infrastructure, and I was particularly happy we booked an in-water massage (performed from below while you're lying on a semi-submerged floating mat). Not the greatest massage of my life (especially given the noisy surroundings) but certainly among the most unique!
  8. Expanding a bit... I’d plan to be up on deck for the sail-in and save the aft balcony for a leisurely scenic sail-out, when you’ll have the end of the fjord with the port and mountains receding in front of you. A great time to kick back with a drink and enjoy the beautiful scenery!
  9. Unless your balcony has quite a bit of uncovered area, you’ll want to be up on deck. Most of the dramatic scenery comes from looking up, so you need an unobstructed overhead view. And even if you have a very large terrace, it’s still worth getting up on deck for the sweeping panoramas. As for the waterfalls, even if the ship slows down, you won’t really be able to see them from an aft balcony until they’re past. And only at a sharp angle then.
  10. I’ve never seen the pier assignments posted before the current season ends, so if you check back later (probably this winter), you can find out where you’ll likely be berthed: https://oslohavn.no/no/cruiseanlop/ You can actually walk to the pier from any of the piers. It’s simplest from Akershuskai (https://goo.gl/maps/LvynWBwNizevT1Kg8) and the slightly farther Vippetangen (https://goo.gl/maps/eg7KXGaE9QvNaq6s8). Revierkaia is pretty much a straight shot across the Akershus peninsula (https://goo.gl/maps/jEFbN5yzr7LvEyUy6)And Filipstad is not that much farther (https://goo.gl/maps/TubHXnKBM5144ueX8), especially if you ignore that 90° jog around Aker Brygge (Google Maps doesn’t always understand you can cut through the fully pedestrianized areas of the city).
  11. Ah, I see! I had assumed that since it says “The Best Things to Do in Oslo” you’d been back on a subsequent visit to establish rankings.
  12. Very interesting! Why don't you think the Folk Museum is worth considering for a multi-day visit? Most people seem to rank it among their favorites.
  13. Am I the only one who assumes that unless it's explicitly mentioned, missing a port is not covered by most cancellation policies? In ports where cruise traffic is a vast majority of some of the operators' companies, it makes sense to consider refunds for missed calls, since many people would be weary of booking otherwise. However, in places where cruises make up only a small percentage of tourism, I would expect to lose a deposit for canceling after the allowed cut-off. For comparison, if you were scheduled to arrive that day by plane, and your flight was canceled due to weather conditions at the departure airport, would you also expect it to be covered under the tour operator's policy? If the tour could have gone out in the local conditions, the reserved spots were left empty, which is precisely what bookings and deposits are meant to guard against.
  14. Could you please advise me what airline and aircraft model this was on? I would very much like to include this toilet on a future trip.
  15. I prefer uninsulated rain pants so that I can adjust the layering more easily, and I’ve been able to use them for other purposes after (visiting waterfalls in Iceland, open-air theater in the rain, etc). I usually wear a merino wool base layer, and then depending on the temperature or activity I can use a fleece midlayer.
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