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hallasm

Everything Hurtigruten - question answered!

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2 minutes ago, peppajay said:

 

 

Has to be a personal decision. Coming from Australia we did the round trip as thought we may never get that way again ( now going to Svalbard in August!).

Breakfast at the North Cape was wonderful. We had a night in Bergen before and after and did the Norway in a nutshell round trip from Bergen after the cruise.which I highly recommend. Can never have too much Norwegian scenery IMO.

 

We did the same, but from a lesser distance (USA), thinking that this would be our one trip so we should do the RT.

But no matter what, we would have hated to end the cruise after just one direction, although we hated to end it after the RT, too.  (We *always* hate when a cruise is ending!)

 

But we loved seeing "more" rather than "less" of that gorgeous landscape.  We were there in early/mid March, so there was lots of snow, which looked beautiful.  We couldn't get to the North Cape for breakfast, as there were avalanche warnings.  Fortunately, our Captain left (temporarily!) those who got off the ship, and sailed around so we could see the large marker from the sea.  Then we sailed back and picked up the others.  Very nice!

 

Now, because of the date, we may have had less daylight than in September (not sure about that).  But even so, one can't stay away around the clock, not day after day.

 

One suggestion is to take the train from Oslo.  That was special.  At first, it didn't seem so special, but then we got to one area where it seem like it could be the end of the earth.  We're glad we still had daylight then.  It was definitely worth it.

 

We loved everything about it, including the one very rough evening when we were passing through more open sea.  It was "exciting" :classic_wink:

 

GC

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7 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

We did the same, but from a lesser distance (USA), thinking that this would be our one trip so we should do the RT.

But no matter what, we would have hated to end the cruise after just one direction, although we hated to end it after the RT, too.  (We *always* hate when a cruise is ending!)

 

But we loved seeing "more" rather than "less" of that gorgeous landscape.  We were there in early/mid March, so there was lots of snow, which looked beautiful.  We couldn't get to the North Cape for breakfast, as there were avalanche warnings.  Fortunately, our Captain left (temporarily!) those who got off the ship, and sailed around so we could see the large marker from the sea.  Then we sailed back and picked up the others.  Very nice!

 

Now, because of the date, we may have had less daylight than in September (not sure about that).  But even so, one can't stay away around the clock, not day after day.

 

One suggestion is to take the train from Oslo.  That was special.  At first, it didn't seem so special, but then we got to one area where it seem like it could be the end of the earth.  We're glad we still had daylight then.  It was definitely worth it.

 

We loved everything about it, including the one very rough evening when we were passing through more open sea.  It was "exciting" :classic_wink:

 

GC

Lots of good suggestions thankyou everyone

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Sallyandtex,

 

I did the RT, but getting off at Trondheim, one stop before Bergen. I didn't feel I was getting the same thing at all. And there were different excursions only offering going North vs South and vice versa. I would highly recommend doing the RT. I did stay in Bergen one night before my trip, and in Trondheim 2 nights after. Then I flew to Oslo instead of taking the train b/c of time constraints. In Oslo I loved the Fram museum, which I enjoyed SO much after learning so much about the Norwegian explorers through lectures I attended on Nordnorge. I also enjoyed the Viking museum as well.

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20 hours ago, mcpepe said:

Sallyandtex,

 

I did the RT, but getting off at Trondheim, one stop before Bergen. I didn't feel I was getting the same thing at all. And there were different excursions only offering going North vs South and vice versa. I would highly recommend doing the RT. I did stay in Bergen one night before my trip, and in Trondheim 2 nights after. Then I flew to Oslo instead of taking the train b/c of time constraints. In Oslo I loved the Fram museum, which I enjoyed SO much after learning so much about the Norwegian explorers through lectures I attended on Nordnorge. I also enjoyed the Viking museum as well.

 

I couldn't agree more about the FRAM museum - rarely have I seen an exhibition curated with so much exhaustive detail.  Completely fascinating.  We, too, did the round-trip -- two days in Bergen before, four days in Oslo afterwards - and, aside from two very rough days in the Barents Sea, we loved it.  Oslo was a revelation - wonderful, compact museums, eminently walkable (even in sub-freezing temperatures), and good restaurants.  

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4 hours ago, Hunding said:

 

I couldn't agree more about the FRAM museum - rarely have I seen an exhibition curated with so much exhaustive detail.  Completely fascinating.  We, too, did the round-trip -- two days in Bergen before, four days in Oslo afterwards - and, aside from two very rough days in the Barents Sea, we loved it.  Oslo was a revelation - wonderful, compact museums, eminently walkable (even in sub-freezing temperatures), and good restaurants.  

Thanks again, lots of great tips!

I have been looking at a package thru 50 degrees North that includes land bookings and transfers. Thinking maybe I should try booking myself but worried I would put us in the wrong areas and worried about language barriers.

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26 minutes ago, Sallyandtex said:

Thanks again, lots of great tips!

I have been looking at a package thru 50 degrees North that includes land bookings and transfers. Thinking maybe I should try booking myself but worried I would put us in the wrong areas and worried about language barriers.

50 degrees North was founded by a Norwegian and the company is partnering with Hurtigruten - I do not know their pricing but always difficult to directly compare a packet price with just the price of the voyage. At the end most important to have a successful holiday. Please keep us updated on your progress.

Edited by hallasm

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21 minutes ago, hallasm said:

50 degrees North was founded by a Norwegian and the company is partnering with Hurtigruten - I do not know their pricing but always difficult to directly compare a packet price with just the price of the voyage. At the end most important to have a successful holiday. Please keep us updated on your progress.

Will do, but I  will have to wait until 2020 prices come out for September 😑 only have upto May, unless I go this year but it's not looking that way 😉

In the meantime I have much homework to do, like glean fabulous tips from all of you lovely people. 😆

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2 hours ago, Sallyandtex said:

Thanks again, lots of great tips!

I have been looking at a package thru 50 degrees North that includes land bookings and transfers. Thinking maybe I should try booking myself but worried I would put us in the wrong areas and worried about language barriers.

 

NEVER - EVER - be daunted by so-called language barriers in Norway, if you speak English.  One of the glories of the country is that at the age of one (1), every child n Norway begins to learn English, so that by the time they enter school at the age of 6, they are already bilingual - Norwegian and English.  Several years later, all students are given the option to study/learn a third language.  It is simply extraordinary, and puts the nation way ahead of any other country I can think of.  We had occasion to interact with a guide who was fluent in Norwegian, English, and Japanese!  The most common third language, from our limited observation, was German (which we found odd, given the history of the nation)...but almost everyone speaks gorgeous, colloquial English.  Fear not!

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18 minutes ago, Hunding said:

 

NEVER - EVER - be daunted by so-called language barriers in Norway, if you speak English.  One of the glories of the country is that at the age of one (1), every child n Norway begins to learn English, so that by the time they enter school at the age of 6, they are already bilingual - Norwegian and English.  Several years later, all students are given the option to study/learn a third language.  It is simply extraordinary, and puts the nation way ahead of any other country I can think of.  We had occasion to interact with a guide who was fluent in Norwegian, English, and Japanese!  The most common third language, from our limited observation, was German (which we found odd, given the history of the nation)...but almost everyone speaks gorgeous, colloquial English.  Fear not!

Thanks Hunding!

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21 hours ago, Sallyandtex said:

Thanks again, lots of great tips!

I have been looking at a package thru 50 degrees North that includes land bookings and transfers. Thinking maybe I should try booking myself but worried I would put us in the wrong areas and worried about language barriers.

 

I travel solo, in Norway I never had any problems with being in the wrong place. I research the area that I am traveling to, the internet has a lot of info on anywhere you want to go. With transfers make sure that you double check them. In my month long trip only one transfer didn’t happen and left me at Helsinki airport in Finland, looking for the airport Hotel after 9 pm. The signs didn’t help. This happened in October and I eventually got to the hotel. If you don’t know something when you are traveling in an area, ask questions. No one will leave you stranded. 

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On 2/11/2019 at 2:30 PM, Sallyandtex said:

Thanks again, lots of great tips!

I have been looking at a package thru 50 degrees North that includes land bookings and transfers. Thinking maybe I should try booking myself but worried I would put us in the wrong areas and worried about language barriers.

I also went solo on my trip. I used advice from this CC forum, and info I found on the internet to book my flights (Norwegian LAX to Oslo and return), took the train from the airport to Oslo, booked an AirB&B in Oslo, train travel from Oslo to Bergen, a hotel in Bergen, then my 11 day Coastal Voyage on the MS Trollfjord. I didn't book any shore excursions until I got on the ship, but would recommend pre-booking some of the more popular ones if you want to be sure to get a ticket. I walked around many of the towns where we stopped on my own. Everyone spoke English, including the Norwegian passengers I met aboard ship. I also booked an AirB&B in Bergen, and then my return train trip to Oslo (with a side trip to Flam) on-line. I bought the Oslo Pass (48 hour pass) for my last 3 days in Oslo and took the excellent buses and trolleys to everything I wanted to see in Oslo, including all the museums on Bygdøy (Norwegian Heritage, Viking Ship, KonTiki, and Fram) and visiting a friend there, and took the train back to the airport when I flew home.  Probably one of the easiest countries in Europe for an English speaking tourists (although not the cheapest!).

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There is a Facebook page called Hurtigruten Insiders which also has a lot of questions and answers and many beautiful photos for those of you researching.

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On 11/13/2018 at 2:56 PM, GeezerCouple said:

 

"No problem", as they say.

The train ride was spectacular, but that was before the cruise, which was SO amazing... every day.

I've never seen DH running around taking so many photos as he did on that cruise.  By the last few days, he had sort of "calmed down" 🙂

There's not really duplication, not during night-and-day seasons, as the day ports north tend to be night ports south.  I guess in summer, one would see it all (but when to sleep!??!)

 

Hope you see some Northern Lights.

Remember (we learned it here on CC): The lights tend to be much more subdued to the naked eye than what is captured on photos.  It was good that we knew that, so we weren't disappointed. It doesn't always appear in startling "cinema-color", etc.

 

Enjoy everything!

 

GC

We're returning next spring and will do the northbound only.  We'll start in Oslo and take the train to Bergen.  Everyone says the scenery is amazing.  From Kirkenes we'll likely fly to Copenhagen before returning home.  BTW we flew Norwegian Air Premium and it was super.  And a pittance compared to business on other carriers.

 

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On 6/14/2019 at 1:49 PM, clo said:

We're returning next spring and will do the northbound only.  We'll start in Oslo and take the train to Bergen.  Everyone says the scenery is amazing.  From Kirkenes we'll likely fly to Copenhagen before returning home.  BTW we flew Norwegian Air Premium and it was super.  And a pittance compared to business on other carriers.

 

 

We had heard so much about that Oslo to Bergen train, as have you.

 

Just a minor warning, based upon our experience.  For some time after leaving Oslo, the countryside is nice enough, but certainly nothing "spectacular".  After a while, we were wondering what all the hubbub was about...

 

And then.......... the terrain began to get very interesting indeed.

And THEN... at one point, we sort of felt like we were on another planet or such.  SUCH a remote area!  SO beautiful!

We were there in early March, so it was still all covered with a lot of snow, and it was really special.

 

Despite our concerns very early in the train ride, it definitely did *not* disappoint.

We wouldn't mind taking that train again, but there is still a lot on our "list".

 

GC

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1 minute ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

We had heard so much about that Oslo to Bergen train, as have you.

 

Just a minor warning, based upon our experience.  For some time after leaving Oslo, the countryside is nice enough, but certainly nothing "spectacular".  After a while, we were wondering what all the hubbub was about...

 

And then.......... the terrain began to get very interesting indeed.

And THEN... at one point, we sort of felt like we were on another planet or such.  SUCH a remote area!  SO beautiful!

We were there in early March, so it was still all covered with a lot of snow, and it was really special.

 

Despite our concerns very early in the train ride, it definitely did *not* disappoint.

We wouldn't mind taking that train again, but there is still a lot on our "list".

 

GC

Thank you so much for sharing your experience.  We just kept hearing one good thing after another.  And, yes, so much planet and not early enough time.  xoc

 

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18 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

We had heard so much about that Oslo to Bergen train, as have you.

 

Just a minor warning, based upon our experience.  For some time after leaving Oslo, the countryside is nice enough, but certainly nothing "spectacular".  After a while, we were wondering what all the hubbub was about...

 

And then.......... the terrain began to get very interesting indeed.

And THEN... at one point, we sort of felt like we were on another planet or such.  SUCH a remote area!  SO beautiful!

We were there in early March, so it was still all covered with a lot of snow, and it was really special.

 

Despite our concerns very early in the train ride, it definitely did *not* disappoint.

We wouldn't mind taking that train again, but there is still a lot on our "list".

 

GC

Thanks for the heads up.  We're going next early April.

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Posted (edited)

I am thinking of doing the Astronomy Cruise around Norway October 29 2019, and wondered what time embarkation was.  I would be flying from LAX, and wanted to know what time I should try to get to Bergen.  Is this like most cruises where it is better if you get there the day before?  What time is Disembarkation also for flight times?

Edited by Saffy2yrs
more info

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10 minutes ago, Saffy2yrs said:

I am thinking of doing the Astronomy Cruise around Norway October 29 2019, and wondered what time embarkation was.  I would be flying from LAX, and wanted to know what time I should try to get to Bergen.  Is this like most cruises where it is better if you get there the day before?  What time is Disembarkation also for flight times?

I personally believe in arriving at least a day before...or more.  We found a hotel we loved.  

https://citybox.no/

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4 hours ago, Saffy2yrs said:

I am thinking of doing the Astronomy Cruise around Norway October 29 2019, and wondered what time embarkation was.  I would be flying from LAX, and wanted to know what time I should try to get to Bergen.  Is this like most cruises where it is better if you get there the day before?  What time is Disembarkation also for flight times?

 

I did the Astronomy Cruise in October 2018. Embarkation starts at about 4 PM and sails at 8 PM. I would get in the day before, what happens if your plane is cancelled, or you didn’t make one of your connections. On my trip I went to Denmark and Finland before Norway. I went out of JFK, my original KLM flight, was cancelled, I was protected and I was put on a Delta flight a couple of hours after my original flight. I saw many people in JFK who didn’t have a flight after the cancellation. In Amsterdam, I had 55 minutes to get from the International gates which I think was E gates and had to get to B gates, to get to Denmark. 

 

Debarkation is at 2 PM, I wasn’t able to make a flight to go home until the next day. 

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5 hours ago, Saffy2yrs said:

I am thinking of doing the Astronomy Cruise around Norway October 29 2019, and wondered what time embarkation was.

Departure October 29 is 9:30 pm. You’ll arrive in Bergen after the round trip at 2:30 pm - taxi to/from airport is no more than 30 minutes.

I do not think you can find direct flights fro LAX to OSL or CPH - so you will need to have a two stop flight - a bit risky however you can always catch the ship in Ålesund the following Day if problems.

Bergen is a very nice city - you can easily spend two days there.

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12 hours ago, hallasm said:

Departure October 29 is 9:30 pm. You’ll arrive in Bergen after the round trip at 2:30 pm - taxi to/from airport is no more than 30 minutes.

I do not think you can find direct flights fro LAX to OSL or CPH - so you will need to have a two stop flight - a bit risky however you can always catch the ship in Ålesund the following Day if problems.

Bergen is a very nice city - you can easily spend two days there.

We stayed at Citybox in Bergen, pre and post cruise and liked it a lot.  We'll be back next spring and will stay at their hotel in Oslo.

https://citybox.no/

And, yes, Bergen is quite nice.

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Does anyone know if the Roald Amundsen has sailed yet? I believe it was scheduled to depart today on its first commercial cruise. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/23/2019 at 12:44 AM, hallasm said:

I do not think you can find direct flights fro LAX to OSL or CPH - so you will need to have a two stop flight - a bit risky however you can always catch the ship in Ålesund the following Day if problems.

 

Norwegian Air flies non-stop from LAX to Oslo and Bergen. I used them for my Hurtigruten cruise in 2015. Flew in and out of Oslo, and took the train to Bergen and back.

Edited by Splinter

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4 hours ago, Splinter said:

Norwegian Air flies non-stop from LAX to Oslo and Bergen

Norwegian does have a connection via London with layover of 8h:25m  - no direct flights LAX - BGO as well as too late arrival into BGO.

My answer is for that specific sail day in October 29

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On 6/16/2019 at 5:46 AM, GeezerCouple said:

 

We had heard so much about that Oslo to Bergen train, as have you.

 

Just a minor warning, based upon our experience.  For some time after leaving Oslo, the countryside is nice enough, but certainly nothing "spectacular".  After a while, we were wondering what all the hubbub was about...

 

And then.......... the terrain began to get very interesting indeed.

And THEN... at one point, we sort of felt like we were on another planet or such.  SUCH a remote area!  SO beautiful!

We were there in early March, so it was still all covered with a lot of snow, and it was really special.

 

Despite our concerns very early in the train ride, it definitely did *not* disappoint.

We wouldn't mind taking that train again, but there is still a lot on our "list".

 

GC

We loved that train journey, especially in winter it's stunning. Just a recommendation: when booking, book Comfort Class - not much more money, nicer seats, free tea and coffee. Sells out quickly.

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