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Cunard in Norway

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We're considering a Norway fjords cruise, and would like it to be on Cunard (based on our westbound TA on QM2 last year, which was an experience to remember that we would love to repeat).  Our questions have to do with what the ever-popular Cunard website means by a "Cruise By":

Do the ships sail at least partway up into the fjords, or just "cruise by" the mouth of the fjord?

Is the answer different for QM2 vs. QE and QV?

 

If I recall correctly from our Alaska cruise a few years ago (on Regent), the ship sailed pretty far up into a couple of fiords, until it came as close to the glacier at the head as the captain was willing to venture.

 

A phone inquiry at Cunard (presumably the US  call center, by the agent's accent) was answered by "They go up as far as they can, slowly rotate 360 degrees, and retreat."  Taking this at face value, it really tells one nothing.  Can anyone shed further light?

 

If anyone can speak to what Cunard's competitors in Norway do (Oceania, Azamara, Regent, Silversea), that information would be most welcome too.

 

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Posted (edited)

Which fjords in particular are listed as "Cruise By" for the itinerary you are considering?

 

In the case of a cruise that calls at Flaam, the itinerary typically lists "Aurlandsfjord" and "Sognefjord" as cruise-by calls. In that case, it means the ship sails those fjords on its way into and out from Flaam. The Sognefjord is the main fjord between the sea and Flaam, and the Aurlandsfjord is the final branch of that fjord leading into Flaam. So in that case, "cruise-by" means you do actually sail down those fjords on the way into the port call at Flaam and then you sail those same fjords again on the way back out to sea after the call to Flaam.

 

The situation is similar for calls to Olden, where the itinerary typically lists "Innvikfjorden" and "Nordfjord" as cruise-by calls. Those are fljords that lead to Olden. So again, in that case you do actually sail those fjords to reach Olden and then sail those same fjords on the way back out to sea.

 

Likewise, "Geirangerfjord", "Sunnylvsfjorden", and "Storfjorden" are the fjords that lead to Geiranger, and those are typically listed as a cruise-by calls for itineraries that include Geiranger. You do sail those fjords on the way into and out from the port call at Geiranger.

Edited by bluemarble

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Bluemarble is correct... you can see this on a map...

So using Olden as an example... you go into the fjord and sail all the way down to Olden... then after your day in Olden (enjoying your excursions) you sail back out through the fjord...

 

49FEF855-D9F3-4C35-9A04-462107E8A437.jpeg

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This is really embarrassing.  Yes, "When all else fails, read the instructions (or look at the map)."  We haven't yet picked up a decent-scale Norway map, and just assumed the ports of call were on the sea not inland up the fjords.

 

So, thanks to both responders for their patience and their information.  Speaking of information, would either responder (or anyone else) care to nominate their favorite fjords?  We have a choice of iteneraries, and will have to decide on some basis.  Also, are there any cities of notable beauty  or architectural distinction we should try to include?  How about Trondheim?  Is that a must-see?

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I believe each fjord has its own personality... what are your choices?

 

I love the Nideros Cathedral in Trondheim and it was a nice walkable town... 

Some might say it is not a must see... but I liked it very much.

 

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My favorite fjord ports are first-and-foremost Geiranger and then Flaam. I haven't been to Olden yet, but it looks like it is also at the end of a lovely fjord.

 

Now the trouble is I'm only seeing one Cunard cruise that will be calling at Geiranger. That's Queen Victoria voyage V107 on May 31-Jun 7, 2020. And that voyage doesn't call at either Flaam or Olden. So, unfortunately there's no way to see both Geiranger and Flaam (or Olden) on a single Cunard cruise based on the current schedule.

 

I do see one Cunard itinerary that calls at both Flaam and Olden. That's QM2's voyage M021D (out of Southampton) or voyage M022 (out of Hamburg) in July 2020.

 

So either scratch the idea of seeing both Geiranger and Flaam on a Cunard cruise or (heaven forbid :classic_wink:) take a look at some of the other cruise lines that do include both of those calls in a single cruise itinerary.

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You could be doing some of the "cruise by" in the early hours of the morning. 

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5 minutes ago, Lanky Lad said:

You could be doing some of the "cruise by" in the early hours of the morning. 

 

Very true. I can't say I was ever up for any of the early morning "cruise-by" calls on our Norway cruises. That's probably why they usually list the fjord "cruise-by" calls on the way back out to sea and don't bother to mention that you will also be doing "cruise-by" calls of those same fjords in the early morning on the way in to port. For example:

 

Day 1: Southampton, Departs 04:30PM

Day 2: At sea

Day 3: Stavanger, 08:00AM - 05:00PM

Day 4: Flaam, 08:00AM - 05:00PM

Day 4: Aurlandsfjord (Cruise-by), 05:30PM - 07:00PM

Day 4: Sognefjord (Cruise-by), 07:00PM - 08:30PM

Day 5: Alesund, 08:00AM - 05:00PM

Day 6: Bergen, 07:00AM - 03:00PM

Day 7: At sea

Day 8: Southampton, Arrives 07:00AM

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14 hours ago, bluemarble said:

...

 

So either scratch the idea of seeing both Geiranger and Flaam on a Cunard cruise or (heaven forbid :classic_wink:) take a look at some of the other cruise lines that do include both of those calls in a single cruise itinerary.

 

Now that cruise itineraries are set about two years in advance changes can be made, even close to the departure date. A few years ago we were hoping to find a cruise on the QE that included both of the ports mentioned above. We settled on one that had Geiranger but not Flaam. About a month before the cruise Cunard substituted Flaam for Olden. Needless to say, we were delighted.

 

A change in itinerary can work against you if you have your heart set on a particular port. I"m referring to changes made in advance. Of course, emergencies can occur at any time.

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Trondheim is lovely. The cathedral is interesting and is a pleasant walk from the dock. On the way back to our ship we crossed the river and walked alongside it amongst the pictureque buildings. Recommended.

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