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Norway D.I.Y Shore Excursions


joeecco
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Hi All,

 

Can anyone give us some help and advice for D.I.Y excursions for the following ports in Norway either independently or via private tour guides/websites.

Also, please let us know if there is any 'Must-Sees' for each port. Thanks!

Haugesund
Skjolden/Sognefjord
Olden
Trondheim
Honningsvag (For North Cape)
Tromso
Lofoten Islands (Gravdal), Water Shuttle Required
Alesund
Bergen

 

Please let us know if you have used any websites / private shore excursion companies that you would recommend too. Thank you

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At north cape we were part of a group that hired a van to take us to north cape. It was arranged through the roll call. About 8 of us. Timing was better than the ship's bus tour. Arrived when crowds were less. Note

 Wear warm clothing for North Cape.

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1 hour ago, Babr said:

When do you plan on going? Norway isn’t accepting American tourists yet. It is hoped that it will be open by summer, but I’m not going to pay final payment unless I know by then. 

You are wrong!

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Bergen - hop on/hop off bus or book the funicular to the top of the mountain for some great views and hiking trails.

 

Alesund - we rented a car and drove a route we found online that include the "Troll Road." On a second visit, we hiked the trail up to the viewpoint in the city.

 

Tromso - we hiked around town after doing a tour.

 

 

 

 

 

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This review is from our trip prior to covid, so all of the logistics may have changed.  You may also want to post your query on the Northern Europe board, as people there may also have suggestions for private tour operators (this is a bit more challenging in Norway than other locations, although we were able to do so in all of our ports, but had very little overlap with your cruise).  Best of luck to you.

 

We were extremely fortunate to learn that the Loen Skylift opened three days prior to our arrival in Olden. I was a bit anxious about the logistics of visiting a brand new attraction with small children, and the owner of Olden Adventures was very patient and reassuring about the logistics of reaching the skylift. As it turned out, the weather was a bit rainy on the day we arrived, so there were very few crowds. It was still a very beautiful location, with a gorgeous viewing platform. On nice days, paragliders take off from the mountain (that happened the day before we arrived) and that must be spectacular to see if you are lucky enough to get good weather. The food in the restaurant was excellent, especially the sample platter of local meat. It’s unsurprisingly expensive, but the view is outstanding and the food delicious. 

The Loen Skylift is only a 6 km bus ride from Olden, so it isn’t very difficult to get there. Olden Adventures ( http://www.oldenadventure.com/ ) is running shuttles to the Loen Skylift, right next to their buses to the Biksdal Glacier so it would be very easy to travel to both attractions through Olden Adventures. Both buses leave from the only petrol station in town, which is a very short walk from where your ship will dock. 

You can also take a cab to the Loen skylift. It is a 40 minute ride to the Briksdal Glacier, so a cab there would probably be quite a bit more expensive. Please note that cabs will refuse to transport children without car seats, and although they are required to provide them upon request we were unable to fill any taxi requests we made (we only emailed the taxi companies 2 days in advance; you might have better luck if you contact cab companies far in advance). 

The most economical option for getting to the Briksdal Glacier is a public bus that runs from June –August. The Norway tourist office stated that in the 2017 season the bus left Port Olden at 9:58 am, and departs Biksdal Glacier at 1:30 pm, and is currently listed as costing 132 NOK for each adult ticket. You might want to contact the tourist office to see if there is any way to purchase tickets ahead of time or if they can run additional buses if the first one is full.

The Briksdal Glacier has been hit hard by global warming, but the 40 minute bus ride there is quite scenic and lovely, as is the hike itself to the glacier so overall this excursion is a very good choice as long as you realize ahead of time that the most beautiful pictures online of the glacier showing lots of ice are not recent and don’t represent what you will see at the glacier. 

For travelers with young children or mobility issues, there are troll cars available for rent to reduce the length of your hike. These golf carts travel most of the way to the glacier, leaving you with a very pleasant and relatively flat 700 m walk. Since we didn’t expect my 2 year old to make it all the way to the glacier, my husband and 6 year old went ahead of us. To my surprise, my 2 year old slowly but steadily made the entire hike in the allocated time (they tell you what time to return to the platform to catch your return troll car). Reservations are required for troll cars in May and October, and recommended during the summer months (the troll car season runs from May-October). The only challenging thing is that they do request that you tell them what time you’d like to ride on the troll car, which is hard if you want to chose a time to do this excursion based upon the weather forecast (although it is completely understandable they ask you to pick a time, since otherwise there might be a lot of people trying to get on a troll car at one time and this would cause really long delays). I don’t know if the troll car operators are always flexible about the time of your reservation, but we changed our minds about what time to visit the glacier on the day we traveled since we wanted to visit the Loen skylift in the afternoon when the weather was scheduled to be better. I emailed the troll car operators at 9 am as soon as we got on the bus towards the glacier, and they had already switched my reservation by the time we arrived at the troll car office. We traveled in May, when things are less crowded so I don’t know if they will be able to accommodate a change in reservation time during the busy summer months. The troll car website where you can make your advance reservation is available at: http://www.oldedalenskysslag.com . 

Near where you pick up the troll car is a small café off the souvenir shop; they have excellent waffles. They are best freshly made, so if you have time keep an eye on the plate where they store the waffles and order them when everyone else bought up the older waffles. My family started off by ordering 4, and ended up eating 12 (the kids really loved them and since they’d just finished hiking to a glacier without a single complaint I wasn’t going to say no), so we were able to get a lot of fresh waffles. 

 

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