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Sognefjord Scenic Express Boat and Nutshell

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Hello,
I'm having trouble figuring out the best way to do the "Nutshell" tour, starting in Bergen and ending in Oslo. Is it better to do the usual route of a train from Bergen to Voss and then bus to Gudvangen and boat from Gudvangen to Flam or should we take what's described as the "Sognefjord Scenic Express Boat" from Bergen to Flam and then take the train to Myrdal and then on to Oslo? Which way would be more scenic? Where would we get tickets for the express boat, if we decide to go that way? Do we need to reserve in advance? (We're two adults and two children.)
Also, I know this kind of question has been asked quite a few times, but I'm still having trouble with a few things. I understand that the tickets for the whole Nutshell tour, with connections, can just be bought at the Bergen train station. However, in the Rick Steves Scandinavia book, he recommends getting a seat reservation for the Bergen-Oslo portion several weeks before the trip. Do I get that seat reservation before actually getting the train tickets? If I miss a connection between boat, bus, train, is my reservation fee lost and will I be without a seat for the remainder of the Bergen-Oslo trip?
Hoping you can help me figure this out!
Thanks.

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