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Cruise to Norway & Iceland -- Fjords?


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Hi,

 

We are considering a NCL cruise in late May 2022 that includes Bergen and Alesund, Norway and Akureyi, Isafjordur and Reykjavik Iceland.  Our interests are charming coastal towns and rugged scenery. 

 

Will we be able to do excursions to see the Norwegian fjords from these ports?  Are we making a mistake not booking a cruise with ports of call in Flam or Geirangerfjord? 

 

To further give you an idea of our interests, we did an inland passage tour of Alaska.  While cruising past the glaciers was beautiful, the part of the trip that blew our minds was hiking on the Mendenhall glacier. 

 

Thanks in advance for your help. 

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For details on what excursions NCL offers on their cruises you will get more info on the NCL board here at Cruise Critic.  Your travel agent should also have given you a catalogue from NCL that shows the excursion offerings or a link to online options.

 

We loved Geraingerfjord, but our cruise was more concentrated on Norway and didn't go to Iceland at all.  You will definitely want to get away from the crowds in Iceland. Book a rental car or a private guide so you can discover what it's like to be alone in nature.

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Thank you both for responding so quickly.  Nitemare, I am worried about crowds everywhere; it's the way of the world these days!  We do plan to rent a car in one port and hire a guide in another in Iceland.  Hallasm, thank you for the link.  They have some nice options.

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It is still pretty easy to be the only people in Iceland for miles around.  Get a car and pick a random road and just start driving.  The silence, other than the wind and a good chance of rain, is deafening.

 

We've been at the edge of multiple glaciers and waterfalls without another soul in sight.

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3 hours ago, Nitemare said:

Get a car and pick a random road and just start driving

In Iceland, there are good opportunities to arrange self-drive tours.  An obvious option is 'Golden Circle' from Reykjavik - most roads are of a good standard but especially in Northern and Central Iceland there are many roads that are difficult to access - for example the road to Selfoss waterfall west of Akureyi (road 862/864).  Pay attention to the quality of the roads when you plan a round trip - it can take significantly longer to drive the planned distance than anticipated.

Edited by hallasm
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  • 2 weeks later...

It's not the easiest thing to book private tours, but we did in several places and Norway never felt crowded on private tours (we had a 2 and 6 year old in tow, so private tours were really helpful for our family)..  Private transportation for the day could make it easy for you to see the highlights of both Alesund and Geiranger in one shore day, or there may be group tours available that combine both (we sailed to Geiranger so I don't know what tours are available in Alesund).  Just please be mindful of the fact that the road to the Geiranger Skywalk is seasonal, and cannot open until after the annual major avalanche (usually mid-May to early June). 

 

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Who would have thought that crowds would become a big issue in a place like Iceland!

 

We have a cruise planned for July 2022 that includes a bunch of stops in Norway--I've been to Alesund and drivne through the Geiranger area before, but I'm hoping in our case that we can see lots of scenery straight from the ship, since we're getting too old for much hiking, ha ha. Panoramic bus trips will work too.

 

Since it's a smaller ship (Regent), I'm hoping that there will be lots to see from the ship. Our Norwegian ports are: Hellesylt, Geiranger, Alesund, Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand (then on to Oslo, St. Petersburg, etc.)

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2 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

Since it's a smaller ship (Regent), I'm hoping that there will be lots to see from the ship. Our Norwegian ports are: Hellesylt, Geiranger, Alesund, Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand

Ship size doesn’t matter for this itinerary - same scenic cruising despite size. I assume Hellesylt is only a ‘technical’ stop for excursions.

You need to be up early for the scenic cruise - likely already 4 am. Same sailing in the evening but often ‘disturbed’ by dining. 
Several options for scenic view tours from Geiranger.

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31 minutes ago, PhillyTravelBug said:

Looks like I will be setting the alarm every day for this trip. Good thing I am not a night owl.

it's not to disappoint you - but i only think you need to set the alarm to 4am a single morning - as i see the itinerary, Geiranger is the only port of call with early entry into the fjord. Also be aware, if late August, sunrise will not be before 6 am.

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22 hours ago, hallasm said:

Ship size doesn’t matter for this itinerary - same scenic cruising despite size. I assume Hellesylt is only a ‘technical’ stop for excursions.

You need to be up early for the scenic cruise - likely already 4 am. Same sailing in the evening but often ‘disturbed’ by dining. 
Several options for scenic view tours from Geiranger.

 

You're right, the stop in Hellesylt is brief, to let passengers off to go to Geiranger.  Then a couple of hours of cruising to get to Geiranger itself.

 

I'm guessing you mean you can only do "scenic cruising" because the ships tend to be in port during the day. I'm sure you're right.

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7 minutes ago, hallasm said:

it's not to disappoint you - but i only think you need to set the alarm to 4am a single morning - as i see the itinerary, Geiranger is the only port of call with early entry into the fjord. Also be aware, if late August, sunrise will not be before 6 am.

Thanks, that's good to know.  That means we'll have two hours of scenic cruising from Hellysylt to Geiranger, from 9 - 11 a.m.  And since we dock at the former at 7, we should have an hour of daylight scenic cruising from 6 - 7 a.m. This sounds great, thanks.  (And then another hour coming into Alesund for a 7 a.m. docking.)

Edited by Wendy The Wanderer
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10 minutes ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

I'm guessing you mean you can only do "scenic cruising" because the ships tend to be in port during the day. I'm sure you're right.

Don’t miss Storefjord cruising. The scenic cruising is from the ship does enter the Storefjord at 4 am in the morning and then through Geiranger fjord from Hellesylt to Geiranger. 
in July sunrise is at 4 am.
you can also arrange a scenic sailing as excursion in Geiranger - but the same fjord - better to go to the view points.

 

Edited by hallasm
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18 minutes ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

Thanks, that's good to know.  That means we'll have two hours of scenic cruising from Hellysylt to Geiranger, from 9 - 11 a.m.  And since we dock at the former at 7, we should have an hour of daylight scenic cruising from 6 - 7 a.m. This sounds great, thanks.  (And then another hour coming into Alesund for a 7 a.m. docking.)

Just to clarify - sunrise in July is 4 am and Sunset is 11 pm - in August sunrise I 6am while sunset is 9 pm - depending on time of the month.

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  • 1 month later...

I have not done a lot of smart things in my life, but getting up early during our Norwegian cruise is one of them.  One morning I had more than an hour and of scenic cruising where I was the only one on the deck of a huge ship.....  It was magical.    We were there mid June so the sun was up very early.  This photo may have been around 4:30 or 5:00 am, I don't recall.

 

 

IMG_0858 mod.jpg

Edited by CCJack
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