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I have a dream!

Old Mar 13th, 2017, 12:31 PM
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I have a dream!

I am a healthy young feeling 65 y/o widow who has always wanted to do a once in a lifetime trip to Norway. I am not afraid to travel alone, as long as I can handle my own baggage! Here's my dream.

Fly into Oslo, where I have been before, and stay a couple of days to revisit some of my favorite sights and then take "Norway in a Nutshell" to Bergen, stopping overnight, wherever it stops! Then when I get to Bergen, I'd like a day there and then board a Hurtigerten Ship on a 7 day Fjord coastal cruise, or whatever it's called.

So here are my questions. Does this sound like a (sound) idea, or too much for 1 trip? When would be the best time of year to go? I have always researched and booked my own travel, but it usually is a cruise with private excursions or 1 or 2 cities where I book day trips as needed once I'm there. This is something none of my friends have done, or want to do, so going on Fodors, which I have used before in planning always seems like a great place to begin. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance. Mary
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Old Mar 13th, 2017, 12:37 PM
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Sounds like a great trip. Why would you think it was too much for one trip, sounds like less than two weeks total. I'd actually give Bergen more than one night. I spent 4 nights and wasn't bored (I did do Norway in a Nutshell as a day trip within that time - from and back to Bergen so maybe 3 days would be enough). I was there in late June which I thought was perfect but I would think anytime from about May to September. I was also solo on that trip.

Here's my trip report. http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...r-four-day.cfm

And here are the photos - http://andiamo.zenfolio.com/p84019624
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Old Mar 13th, 2017, 12:39 PM
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Sounds like an excellent plan to me. Decide which ship suits you best - smaller with less comfort middle sized or bigger - the comfort level goes up with the size.
Choose a Starboard cabin if you can - the boats stop during the night at various ports and starboard is quieter then.
Any time would be good - it depends somewhat on whether you like snow and ice - if you do go in February/March. Enough daylight to enjoy the scenery and a good chance of Northern lights.
If you want to actually sail into some of the Fjords then summer/autumn is better as many are frozen in winter/spring. Autumn still gives a chance of the Lights. Summer you have the Midnight Sun.
Make sure you check flights back from Kirkenes to Oslo. Hurtigruten does offer transfers to the airport.
My first Hurtigruten trip was a solo one, and I soon made friends with people onboard.
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Old Mar 13th, 2017, 01:18 PM
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Thank you, you guys! I just needed someone who's done this to give me a thumbs up! A few follow up questions.
Should I book Norway in a Nutshell online or wait until I get to Oslo? I think I want to go in summer so my luggage will be a carryon and backpack. That way I only need a very warm jacket for going north, right? So you are saying a larger ship is more comfortable? Any other tidbits of advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Mar 13th, 2017, 11:07 PM
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Norway in a Nutshell has become hugely popular and in high season you need to book early.
You underestimate the climate in Norway - on a ship if you want to be outside then there is a 25 knot wind blowing and temperatures even in mid summer can be under 10degC.
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Old Mar 14th, 2017, 02:46 AM
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The larger ships are more like mini cruise ships.
I prefer the smaller ones for a more authentic feeling trip. Have a look at the Hurtigruten website and see which appeals most.
Luckily even on the bigger ships you don't have to get dressed up.
Make sure you have something wind and waterproof with you.
There are clothes washing facilities on board.
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Old Mar 15th, 2017, 04:09 PM
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Thank you again. I am getting more of an idea of what I want to do, from your answers! A few more questions and a few explanations. I haven't even looked at Hurtigrutens web site yet, leaving it as desert! I don't think I need to spend the night on NIN. But does the train stop for periods of time, say a few hours, so I can look around or is the trip just enjoyed as I pass the scenery while the train is moving? I think spending a couple of days in Bergen makes sense. Now this is where my lack of knowledge will really shine. Does Hurtigruten go through the Fjords, or do I have to book a day trip to see them separately? I'm sure when I buy my Norway travel book, some of my questions will be answered, but hoping some of these are quick answers. Also, I don't get the whole Hurtigruten Ferry service. I book a cabin, but it's like a bus service, where it stops up and down the coast carrying passengers and cargo? So if I get off to see something, what happens? Do they stay in 1 spot for X amount of hours? I really don't understand. I've only been on the Staten Island Ferry, and it stopped, we got off and then took either waited for it to return for us or took another one. I don't even know how ferries work! If this sounds too complicated or I sound to dumb, will the web site explain it all to me? Cause right now, it seems like the ferry stops , I get off to see some sites, and I bettertake my belongings , cause they move on to there next stop! Hope I'm wrong. And sorry this sounds so odd. It's been a looong day for me! Thanks again for any enlightenment!
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Old Mar 15th, 2017, 11:10 PM
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When are you travelling?
Timetable for Hurtigruten shows how long you get at each place - bigger ports often a few hours. There are excursions too - expensive though. You could do port to port voyages and get off for a day or two anywhere. It's cheaper to book through Norwegian language site - use Chrome browser for translation. Port to port may not be bookable, just turn up and pay if you don't need a cabin. In summer the Hurtigruten takes a detour to Geirangerfjord, otherwise it's a coastal voyage in and out of islands along the coast.
Trains obviously don't stop for a few hours here and there - it's public transport. The views are on the travel - there is nowhere to stop. Flåm train stops at a waterfall for all to get off and photograph. You get a couple of hours in Flåm, but that is a terrible touristy cruise port and no good views from there, though you could take a trip to view point Stegastein if you stayed overnight. https://www.visitflam.com/en/ The ferry is slow travel anyway.
If you have good time break the journey at Finse - http://finse1222.no/en/ will cost you extra in train travel too.
https://www.norwaynutshell.com - give them a call if you want to tailor the tour.
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Old Mar 16th, 2017, 01:49 AM
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Did you read the trip report I posted the link to above? I describe in detail the NIN and the options, what there is to do, how long each segment takes, what your options are for stops. Can't help with the cruise part but the trip report should answer your questions about the NIN part.
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Old Mar 16th, 2017, 04:10 AM
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On board the Hurtigruten will be mostly people like you, do the coastal voyage, either the half voyage or the full 12 day voyage. They will be a mix of mainly Germans and British, with a few Dutch probably, plus other nationalities. For those guests there are excursions you can buy, depending on the time of year. In a few places, such as Trondheim and Tromsø, the ship is there long enough to go off and explore for yourself. Some places it only stops for a short time, but you can always go ashore. However if you are not back on board at sailing time it will go without you, since it has a strict schedule to keep. If an excursion is late they may wait a short while, but then sail and the excursion has to get you to the next port to get you back on board.
Some people will get on and off along the route, cars and cargo will be loaded and unloaded along the route, even at night - hence my advice to choose a starboard cabin if you can.
When we went in October we sailed into Hjørenfjord rather than Geirangerfjord on the way north. It was beautiful and deserted, unlike Geiranger which can be full of big cruise ships, especially in the summer. On the way south we went into Trollenfjord. Neither are open in the winter.

My photos of two of my trips can be found here: http://www.buckphotos.garafiano.nl//...ten/index.html and http://www.buckphotos.garafiano.nl//...013/index.html click on the thumbnail for a bigger picture and on the i top right on the second set for the info.

My second trip was in March and we took the train from Oslo to Bergen without doing the NIN. That was a beautiful train journey. For some reason we never put the photos of that trip online.

Have a look at the Hurtigruten website, and maybe contact them directly, in Norway, to see if they have any deals on no single supplement trips. The Dutch agents often have special deals. The first trip I took was such a deal, and the last one we did was also a deal.
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Old Mar 16th, 2017, 02:13 PM
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Thank you all so much! I do plan on going in summer. And I will check Dutch travel web sites! Yes, Isabel, I read your trip report and that is why I decided I probably don't need to spend the night in Flam. I really loved your photos and will be checking out Hetismij2 also. I guess I have over a year to plan this. I know in the months to come I'l have more questions so be on the look out for me! I appreciate all your help!
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