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Aliyah17

Tourism in the dark?

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We are booked on 2 December out of Bergen. I was told, and I thought I read somewhere there would be sunlight during midday at least. Now I'm looking at is seems there will be essentially no daylight. How are you enjoying the vistas and the ports if it's dark? What about excursions? You can't hike in the dark. I'm not feeling happy right now.

 

And BTW, we have been unable to book the train from Oslo to Bergen. The site will not allow us to buy the tickets, using any method. I've called and got no help. I'm really upset about that at this point because the price has gone up literally 250% in the last few days. Not feeling great about the trip's prospects. 😞

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2 hours ago, Aliyah17 said:

I read somewhere there would be sunlight during midday at least

Yes, Bergen sunrise December 2nd is 9:20 and sunset 15:40 - so daylight in Bergen - will be polar night inside Arctic Circle but never completely dark - still twilight - I have made a short video “sailing into the Polar Nigh” - see below 

Also just be aware that it can be rather cold and snow or rain in December. 

Also see my excursions videos in my review. 

2 hours ago, Aliyah17 said:

unable to book the train from Oslo to Bergen

Which portal did you use - vy.no?

2 hours ago, Aliyah17 said:

price has gone up literally 250% in the last few days

Do not believe that Norwegian Rail Tickets for Oslo to Bergen does sell out - Which day ?- I did check days prior to December 2nd and found available trains. price does vary based on train and class. 

Personally I enjoy the Polar Night and the Northern Lights. My review from January Including Bergen, Polar Night and Northern Lights. 

 

Polar Night - Hurtigruten

 

Edited by hallasm

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2 hours ago, Aliyah17 said:

We are booked on 2 December out of Bergen. I was told, and I thought I read somewhere there would be sunlight during midday at least. Now I'm looking at is seems there will be essentially no daylight. How are you enjoying the vistas and the ports if it's dark? What about excursions? You can't hike in the dark. I'm not feeling happy right now.

I'm surprised this comes as a surprise, because daylight conditions in Norway in winter are not a well-kept secret and could be found out before booking. Here are the daylight hours for December in Bergen : https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/norway/bergen?month=12&year=2019  and in Tromso : https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/norway/tromso?month=12&year=2019

Indeed in Northern Norway at this time of year the sun does not come above the horizon. It's not 24/7 darkness though, because the sun is not far below the horizon and you have a few hours of light at mid-day (roughly between the hours indicated by "civil twilight"). It's like a long sunrise followed by a long sunset. If the sky is clear the colors and light during that time is spectacular.

 

I've done my second trip with Hurtigruten over Christmas and brought quantities of book because I thought I would be bored, and I ended up reading about 10 pages of the first book. I did not get bored one minute. Those mid-day lights were spectacular, and on the plus side more darkness means more chance for Northern Light! You can see the pictures on my blog starting here if you want : https://voyageterremer.blogspot.com/2010/12/bergen.html  (I haven't finished the whole translation but the pictures say it all).

 

Excursions will happen, life goes on for Norway in winter even in darkness. Hiking at this season can be difficult anyway because of the snow. Many excursions are seasonal, you cannot hike in winter but you cannot do dogsledding or snowmobile in summer. At those date you are getting towards a full moon so there can actually be some light especially if there is snow on the mountains, but of course the darkness does impair the sightseeing. If you go to Norway in winter you need to embrace the reality of the conditions at that period. I found it quite an interesting experience and I really fell in love with the winter lights and atmosphere. But yes, it will not suit everybody.

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Right, so I barely slept and when I was looking this morning, I panicked a bit but I realized I was looking at Kirkenes. So that's a bit different.

It would be a surprise if it was totally dark because it won't be. That timeanddate website is the one I looked at earlier. The one disappointment is that excursions are extremely limited. We are hikers, so we'll see what our options are. 

Hallasm-- yes, the vy.no site. I'm not so worried about not getting tickets; I'm not understanding how the site is just not working and really annoyed that the price has almost tripled. 

Thanks for posting that neat video. I'm sure it will be beautiful. Everything in life has its tradeoffs. I would certainly prefer more daylight. A few years ago, we did Alaska in August; there is a lot to see from the ship. Like this cruise, it's a bit less about the ports.

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28 minutes ago, Aliyah17 said:

bit but I realized I was looking at Kirkenes.

Not completely dark even in Kirkenes - the start of my North Cape video is 11am - however quite dark at 3pm. 

Right , Norway is not for hiking in Winter - enjoy dogsledding and if time in Kirkenes the King Crab safari and Snowmobile. Also visit North Cape and possible the snow hotel - and the real adventure is this voyage is the Northern Lights. 

North Cape, Hurtigruten

 

 

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Yes, not total darkness. But not exactly light either. Like I mentioned before, no dog-sledding, no crab anything for us. It's funny, we decided not to go to Italy because it's too cold in December, and we didn't have time in the Fall. Haha. I'm sure it will be a great trip, and I get to use all my cold-weather gear from when we lived in Boston. Good times.

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1 hour ago, Aliyah17 said:

'm sure it will be a great trip, and I get to use all my cold-weather gear from when we lived in Boston. Good times.

I’m sure too - but you need to be well prepared for a different experience - you haven’t yet mentioned Northern Lights.

You’ll definitely need your cold weather gear. 

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I didn't know I needed to mention the Northern Lights! We will leave that loudspeaker on in the cabin to be alerted, not to worry. I'm an experienced traveler, and a former skier, so I'm always ready for different! Really not worried about the cold too much. I have Arcteryx gear, well below-zero rated boots and all.  

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10 hours ago, hallasm said:

you haven’t yet mentioned Northern Lights.

This was in March so I can only imagine December 🙂

IMG_6756 - Edited (2).jpg

IMG_6756 - Edited (1).jpg

IMG_6755 - Edited.jpg

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On 9/22/2019 at 9:54 AM, clo said:

This was in March so I can only imagine December 🙂

IMG_6756 - Edited (2).jpg

IMG_6756 - Edited (1).jpg

IMG_6755 - Edited.jpg

Which week in March did you go, we're thinking of booking for March 2021?

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March and October are the best months for Northern Lights. Theses are the months with highest sun activity. Also in general less clouds I’m March. 

Edited by hallasm

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1 hour ago, hallasm said:

March and October are the best months for Northern Lights. Theses are the months with highest sun activity. Also in general less clouds I’m March. 

Thank you 👍

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4 hours ago, Drumbeat16 said:

Which week in March did you go, we're thinking of booking for March 2021?

Mid-March.  They guaranteed if you didn't see them you'd get a free one-way cruise the following season.

Edited by clo

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1 hour ago, clo said:

They guaranteed if you didn't see them you'd get a free one-way cruise the following season.

That offer is still regularly on, but it's not "if you don't see them", it's "if there isn't an official sighting", ie an annoucement from the bridge that there are Northern Lights in the sky. Even if it's just a faint cloud-like formation at 4 in the morning and you personnaly don't see them, they have been officially sighted and the free cruise is off the table. I think Hurtigruten is taking very little risk with this offer (and I would really like to know how many people actually were able to take advantage of it?).

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23 minutes ago, SarniaLo said:

That offer is still regularly on, but it's not "if you don't see them", it's "if there isn't an official sighting", ie an annoucement from the bridge that there are Northern Lights in the sky. Even if it's just a faint cloud-like formation at 4 in the morning and you personnaly don't see them, they have been officially sighted and the free cruise is off the table. I think Hurtigruten is taking very little risk with this offer (and I would really like to know how many people actually were able to take advantage of it?).

Wow.  I don't consider myself a Pollyana but I choose not to live my life as a cynic.  The announcement came about 1030.

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35 minutes ago, SarniaLo said:

That offer is still regularly on, but it's not "if you don't see them", it's "if there isn't an official sighting", ie an annoucement from the bridge that there are Northern Lights in the sky. Even if it's just a faint cloud-like formation at 4 in the morning and you personnaly don't see them, they have been officially sighted and the free cruise is off the table. I think Hurtigruten is taking very little risk with this offer (and I would really like to know how many people actually were able to take advantage of it?).

 

Last year on my trip, the Lecturer mentioned that the lights hadn’t been seen 3 times. I thought that was interesting.

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6 hours ago, clo said:

Mid-March.  They guaranteed if you didn't see them you'd get a free one-way cruise the following season.

Yes, I 've seen that offer but as we live in Australia and going to Norway is a big expense for us it's not something we could really take advantage of.

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36 minutes ago, Drumbeat16 said:

Yes, I 've seen that offer but as we live in Australia and going to Norway is a big expense for us it's not something we could really take advantage of.

We went for the astounding beauty of the Norwegian coast and had we not seen the lights it wouldn't have detracted one iota.

 

IMG_6772 - Edited.jpg

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10 hours ago, clo said:

We went for the astounding beauty of the Norwegian coast and had we not seen the lights it wouldn't have detracted one iota.

 

IMG_6772 - Edited.jpg

 

Our last trip was in Aug/Sept, I was amazed how many people asked us if we were going to see the Northern Lights!

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On 9/21/2019 at 4:35 AM, Aliyah17 said:

We are booked on 2 December out of Bergen. I was told, and I thought I read somewhere there would be sunlight during midday at least. Now I'm looking at is seems there will be essentially no daylight. How are you enjoying the vistas and the ports if it's dark? What about excursions? You can't hike in the dark. I'm not feeling happy right now.

 

And BTW, we have been unable to book the train from Oslo to Bergen. The site will not allow us to buy the tickets, using any method. I've called and got no help. I'm really upset about that at this point because the price has gone up literally 250% in the last few days. Not feeling great about the trip's prospects. 😞

Regarding the sun, the website that others have posted can give you the exact sunrise/sunset times and hours of daylight for each day and each port. We already charted it out for our Nov 22, 2020 sailing. Yes, for the northern parts of the voyage, you'll be in Polar Night (which is what gives you the better chances of seeing Northern Lights). It's not total darkness, though. There are many pics I have found online of the beautiful midnight blue color the sky will be. We're very excited about experiencing Polar Night on our cruise.

Regarding booking the Oslo-Bergen train, It's probably just too early to book the train. Check back 60-90 days out.

Edited by tothemall&beyond

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Yes, I've looked at the website with the times. It is what it is right?  I will be excited to see the Northern Lights, but for me too, it was not at all the impetus for the trip.

It's not too early to book the train. There is a problem with the site and wow the national train company has ZERO customer service. We waited on hold until we finally gave up. I waited 40 minutes for the "chat" and she told me she was really busy and couldn't do anything. (uh thanks?) I wrote to corporate and also got a 'sorry' and I should try Paypal. Which I wrote in the letter was what we had done. So that is really really annoying.

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1 hour ago, Aliyah17 said:

It's not too early to book the train. There is a problem with the site and wow the national train company has ZERO customer service

Correct, not too early to book train for early December - zip have not experienced any problems booking - did you manage to book the tickets? Could be a browser problem - did you try different browsers?

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