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Live from Viking Sky Iceland majestic landscapes

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Having a wonderful time on Viking Sky. I have already written a post regarding this ship and our excursions for the first 5 days of our trip on June 8th roll call starting at page 6.  I tried my best to paste below if you are interested in reading that and will continue my posts on this forum going forward per CC members request. . If you have any questions I will try to respond.

 

We have just left Seydisfjordour which was beautiful and quaint. We just walked around the town, cute little quirky shops. I would not waste your time taking the included tour in this town since it is simply walking around town with a large group and guide, you can do it on your own very easily. We were very lucky, the weather was beautiful , we were able to eat outside for breakfast and lunch. Temps have been in 60’s and sunny. 

 

Unfortunately they have just just informed us that we are skipping Torshavn, Faroe Islands due to rough seas, so they are extending the days at sea to 2 in a row and adding a stop in olden Norway with a cruise of the Norwegian fjords . So little disappointed missing the islands, but as long as we got to see all of Iceland with great weather, I am quite satisfied with the captains decision. 

 

Will post later, again if you have any questions, I will try to answer. 

 

 

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We certainly appreciate any commentary/input on your trip. We will be on the August 1st cruise beginning in Bergen. Such a shame you are missing Torshavn. We have a private tour scheduled for that port. Refundable if the ship does not show, I hope.

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52 minutes ago, bobolz said:

 

Unfortunately they have just just informed us that we are skipping Torshavn, Faroe Islands due to rough seas, so they are extending the days at sea to 2 in a row and adding a stop in olden Norway with a cruise of the Norwegian fjords .

 

It is the downside of these cruises in the northern climes, there is always a possibility of missing any one of a number of ports due to rough seas and intemperate weather. It is the nature of the beast and there is nothing you can do about it. At least the decision was made far enough in advance that they could add on another stop for you--and missing Torshavn is better than being stuck there for a few days and missing other ports.

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THANKS! I'm adding a link to this thread to the list of helpful threads that I am keeping for our 2020 roll call.

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Following along... sorry about The Faroe Islands... wondering what Olden, Norway is like... safe travels and I look forward to hearing more.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Liz Masterson said:

Following along... sorry about The Faroe Islands... wondering what Olden, Norway is like... safe travels and I look forward to hearing more.

 

 

Olden itself doesn't really have much to offer.  There's a 'tourist shop' right across the road from where you berth, and in our experience (having been there a couple of times) the best thing to do is to head for the Briksdal Glacier.  It's a very pleasant journey and you may be able to visit a local botanical centre en route (where they do very interesting film talks and there is a nice shop too).  At the Briksdal Glacier people have the choice of either walking up (which is what we have done) or  using a buggy transport thing.  Walking over the bridge halfway up means there may well be spray from the water which means you'll get a little damp, but a lightweight jacket sorts that out.  You might see the mountain goats, and the glacier itself - where again there might be a kayaking opportunity.  At the glacier you'll find those beautiful acqua coloured melt waters in the pool there, and pale pink granite gravel is the natural habitat.

 

At the bottom of the walk up/walk back down right by the car park is a building with a really great shop - and a truly great tea room too!  I'd go back in a heartbeat - again and again.  (Bye the way, the washroom facilities are really good too, in case you're wondering.  Once you're out on the walk path there's no facilities).

 

Despite what some people say, it's not a steep walk, but then it's definitely not flat.  Enjoy.  

 

Don't forget, in Norway - when you purchase stuff, look for the special TAX sticker in the shop and ask for the special TAX/VAT receipt.  Then you should be able to get your tax refund on the ship on the day of the departure from your last Norwegian port.  Sometimes it's worthwhile.  Also this can be done if you are flying home from Norway in the airport.

Edited by Parsley Cruises
addition

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Is anyone willing to photograph the price list of the tours that are being offered on your sailing and e-mail it to me? We are on this cruise next summer and I am trying to get an idea of how much I'm going to have to budget for tours. The list is among the paperwork that was in your cabin when you arrived. Thanks

 

peregrina651-cc6@yahoo.es

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Parsley for your comments of Olden . The ships price for the glacier tour with the troll car was $200 for a 3 hour tour that seemed ridiculously expensive. Not sure if we can pick up a tour when we arrive. From what I can see from pictures of that tour there is only a sliver of the glacier that is visible. If we are visiting geiranger, alesund and flam is it worth going on the briksdale glacier tour? 

 

Had a reallly good dinner last night at the restaurant, the short ribs were some of the best we have had. In regards to the food,  after 6 nights on board I would now say the food is good to very good. Although  there are still few items that we could pass on, overall the food met expectations. Note: we have yet to eat at chefs table nor Manfredis, (I have heard positive reviews of both) . tonight will be the first night for manfredis. This is where Viking falls short for us ( Compared to Oceania); the variety of restaurants is limited . we really only have 2 restaurants we can choose from each night, one being a casual buffet(having similar menu as the restaurant ) and the main restaurant. I found it quite difficult to get to reserve more than 3 nights in the specialty restaurants. 

 

So another day at sea, but arriving at 6 pm today In olden in which we will have an overnight.the boat was rocking  yesterday afternoon and evening, but believe we have moved  away from the rough seas finally. Looks like it will be quite warm tomorrow in Olden at 75degrees. 

 

Peregrina I’ll have to look for the shore excursion pricing guide. I don’t remember seein it in our room.Also if you have a way of posting only my comments regarding the ship from the June 8th (post 129 and 130) roll call, great, if not , no worries. Ido not want to post the entire roll calls comments which looks like my attachment above does just that. Thanks again for your assistance.

 

 

Edited by bobolz

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2 hours ago, bobolz said:

Thanks Parsley for your comments of Olden . The ships price for the glacier tour with the troll car was $200 for a 3 hour tour that seemed ridiculously expensive. Not sure if we can pick up a tour when we arrive. From what I can see from pictures of that tour there is only a sliver of the glacier that is visible. If we are visiting geiranger, alesund and flam is it worth going on the briksdale glacier tour? 

 

Had a reallly good dinner last night at the restaurant, the short ribs were some of the best we have had. In regards to the food,  after 6 nights on board I would now say the food is good to very good. Although  there are still few items that we could pass on, overall the food met expectations. Note: we have yet to eat at chefs table nor Manfredis, (I have heard positive reviews of both) . tonight will be the first night for manfredis. This is where Viking falls short for us ( Compared to Oceania); the variety of restaurants is limited . we really only have 2 restaurants we can choose from each night, one being a casual buffet(having similar menu as the restaurant ) and the main restaurant. I found it quite difficult to get to reserve more than 3 nights in the specialty restaurants. 

 

So another day at sea, but arriving at 6 pm today In olden in which we will have an overnight.the boat was rocking  yesterday afternoon and evening, but believe we have moved  away from the rough seas finally. Looks like it will be quite warm tomorrow in Olden at 75degrees. 

 

Peregrina I’ll have to look for the shore excursion pricing guide. I don’t remember seein it in our room.Also if you have a way of posting only my comments regarding the ship from the June 8th (post 129 and 130) roll call, great, if not , no worries. Ido not want to post the entire roll calls comments which looks like my attachment above does just that. Thanks again for your assistance.

 

 

The main question here is - do you want or need the troll car?  We simply got used to hills by purposefully walking up and down hills at home (and we've got plenty) - but in the end for Briksdal we felt on the day that all the training wasn't really needed.  Each of the ports you mention has a different 'emphasis' - Flam obviously has the railway (that's truly unmissable, especially if you get to enjoy the superb waffles and raspberry preserve at the top), and we felt that the Briksdal Glacier was absolutely worthwhile.  The 'hill' is not straight uphill, the path is sort of alternating hill then less gradient.  In Gerainger we found the best and simplest thing to do was to leave the ship and walk up to the top of the village and admire the views.  Because of the topography it looks as though the ship is on a pond, as you can see no way out of the fjord from many places.

 

However, Briksdal was our first of many glaciers, (best of which was in Iceland, when we did a glacier expedition).

 

If you are heading out for Briksdal, normal trousers and top will suffice, but do take a lightweight waterproof jacket.

 

Have a great time.

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7 hours ago, bobolz said:

Also if you have a way of posting only my comments regarding the ship from the June 8th (post 129 and 130) roll call, great, if not , no worries. Ido not want to post the entire roll calls comments which looks like my attachment above does just that. Thanks again for your assistance.

 

Live posts for the June 8 sailing begin with  #118.

 

Here are boboloz's posts 129 and 130.:

 

To Those with upcoming cruises to Iceland /Norway

 

we arrived on Friday at 6:10 am and used www.Hreyfill.com to arrange a taxi to pick us up at the airport (which as  described was very quick even the luggage collection) and used that same company to arrange a driver to pick us up at the Storm Hotel same day at 9 am and take us on a Golden circle tour for 6 hours(he also took us to a supermarket/apothecary/mall  to pick up some things we needed). The price for the Golden Circle tour was approx $630.00 and airport pick up was $140.00. This may sound expensive, but this is reasonable compared to the private tour prices I found. fYI, we had 4 people to split the cost which helped. 

 

So the first day we kept going had an early dinner and then showered and were in bed by 6:30 and slept through the night! Thank goodness Storm Hotel was close enough to the city, but far enough away to be quiet on Friday night.

 

the next day we took the hop on hop off bus in Reykjavik  (which was a rip-off, cost  about $32)you can walk easily and a cab would have been cheaper. We took a cab to port to board ship on Saturday at around 2. Check in was very easy and luggage was delivered to our room within 2 hours of us boarding . 

 

The ship is beautiful , so far probably the best overall design of any cruise line we have taken (Oceania and Silverseas), clean and modern. Multiple public spaces that looked comfortable and welcoming. Loved the retractable roof on the pool especially for a cold climate journey, it allowed for using of this space in any kind of weather as well as allowing you to traverse the ship from whichever location you find yourself without getting caught in a wind tunnel to go from one side to the other. The fitness is located on lowest level which is probably better especially for days at sea when there is much more movement. It has everything you need, including a section for your own aerobic exercise/stretching which works well for me.

 

However, a Deluxe Veranda is small and storage is limited so pack light, except for the bathroom, this is by far the best bathroom on any cruise, lots of storage and larger shower than the other aforementioned lines. TV /movie on demand selection is very extensive. 

 

I have mixed feelings about the food. Some good , some not so. Personally I find Oceania and Silverseas much better in this area.

 

so far enjoying the trip, will do the best to keep posting. Any questions, I’ll do the best to answer. 

 

 

AND

 

In regards to excursions, on the second day in Reykjavik, we took the Southern Coast tour with Viking. We did this with Viking only because we were due to set sail that day and this a long day trip . I preferred Vikings tour (although it skips The town of Vik ) because it was 8 1/2 hours while other tour cos are 11-12  hours which is standard, but too long for us. I thought the tour was good and comprehensive , stopping at the Lava center for late lunch, which also included an interesting exhibit and film about volcanoes. I spoke to other CC members at the meet and mingle and they rented a car to see Southern Coast and said they were happy they did. I think renting a car would have worked, I think it is 1 road that you take and signage is pretty easy to find each sight. 

 

In isafjourdor, we just took the included tour which was fine, saw some pretty scenery, a little fishing village and had a local girl perform a few songs at the local community center. 

 

In Akureyri, we took Saga Tours to Lake Mvatyn area and Godafoss falls. Well worth it since it was a small group (16 per bus) versus large bus tour with Viking. 

 

Tomorrow is Seydisfdjour(sp?) this one is a walk in town day. 

 

We we have been very lucky , the weather has been fabulous so far, sunny and temps in low 60’s most days.

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Thank you for your comments.  We are taking this cruise in August

 

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Thank you so much Peregrina for reposting my comments onto this forum post! That was so kind of you! I tried to take pictures of the excursion price list, but not sure how to post it now. I will try to post it when I return. 

 

Sorry for for my delay on posting, but here are my comments from the last few days. 

 

Olden was a very nice port and glad they added it as an alternative to Faroe Islands, (although I can’t compare whether one is better than the other , only someone who has gone to both can provide commentary) . We had beautiful weather, warm and sunny. We are glad we chose to take our chance and book with the company at the port ( the ticket office is right at the port, you can’t miss it). I think the company was called olden cruises/adventures. We paid much less than the ships tours (my parents went on the sky lift) and we went to bryksdale glacier which took us on  a beautiful ride along a lake with stunning views of a significantly reduced glacier peaking through the mountains( there has been significant erosion  thanks to global warming) . We did not take the troll cars, instead walked up , which was very steep, but very “invigorating”.

 

Yesterday we we arrived in geiranger and that was also a beautiful port, although extremely crowded with 3 cruise ships’ passengers converging on a very small town.. We just took the included panoramic tour which I think covers a good deal and and then had a walk in town and up the stairs/ path  along the waterfall. Great exercise and fantastic  views from all vantage points throughout the day. Although the weather was cloudy/cool, the rain held off  and were able to still see everything. 

 

Note: there have been complaints about the noise in rooms that are on the 4th floor right above the lifeboats. The complaints are spot on. That noise woke us up extremely early . So anyone considering traveling on any Viking ocean ship should keep that in mind if there are any tender ports. It will be loud if you are in these rooms. Luckily this cruise only had 2 tender ports. 

 

Today is Allesund.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bobolz said:

I tried to take pictures of the excursion price list, but not sure how to post it now. I will try to post it when I return. 

 

Depends on where the photo resides now (on your camera, on your phone, etc) and how you are connected to Cruise Critic (on your phone, on a tablet). If they are both on the same device, it shouldn't be too hard but if they are different devices then it can be complicated (even to simply e-mail it to me). So, when you get home will be fine.

Edited by Peregrina651

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bobolz said:

Note: there have been complaints about the noise in rooms that are on the 4th floor right above the lifeboats. The complaints are spot on. That noise woke us up extremely early . So anyone considering traveling on any Viking ocean ship should keep that in mind if there are any tender ports. It will be loud if you are in these rooms. Luckily this cruise only had 2 tender ports. 

 

Guess I'm in for some noisy mornings! Both sides of the ship on the same days or alternating or just one side?

Edited by Peregrina651

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Peregrina take a look at the attachments. Does that work for you?  I think they get the lifeboats from both sides, but it may nlybe certain rooms. Rooms 4050 to 4058 probably heard it on our side. 

 

 

4DAD9D4F-74EB-4362-9762-A7C24E31CD69.jpeg

8F631FAC-D424-4A40-B3AC-AC2665E9226F.jpeg

B2A07896-C54D-4DE9-9E65-306CE332FF7F.jpeg

8D6BBEBE-F475-4983-8930-536EDEF64DE6.jpeg

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1 hour ago, bobolz said:

Peregrina take a look at the attachments.

 

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!! Than you very, very much!!!!!

 

I know the prices will be different next year but this at least will give me an idea of the price range.

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15 hours ago, bobolz said:

Sorry for for my delay on posting, but here are my comments from the last few days. 

 

wrong "but"

 

I'm sure what boboloz really meant was "but off enjoying every single minute of this long awaited vacation"  --but was too polite to phrase it that way.

 

Again, thank you so much for taking time during your travels to report live and for letting your enthusiasm show through with every post. Those of us who have to wait a whole 'nother year to depart will be surviving on these words.

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Peregrina, we will be on the August 1st cruise. Booked it when I first saw the new itinerary sometime in September, '17. Talk about a wait! The time will pass quickly and you will have plenty of feedback to plan a fantastic trip! 

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39 minutes ago, retiredman said:

Peregrina, we will be on the August 1st cruise. Booked it when I first saw the new itinerary sometime in September, '17. Talk about a wait! The time will pass quickly and you will have plenty of feedback to plan a fantastic trip! 

 

 

Retiredman, I am looking forward to your first reports. By August, I should have plenty of questions about the various shorex.

 

I've done the two year wait before. We booked Midnight Sun when it first opened for booking in 2014 and didn't sail until 2016. That was before Viking had even sailed its first ocean cruises. There wasn't much information to be sharing at that point. Now I have done it again and booked for 2021.

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On 6/17/2019 at 8:02 PM, Peregrina651 said:

 

wrong "but"

 

I'm sure what boboloz really meant was "but off enjoying every single minute of this long awaited vacation"  --but was too polite to phrase it that way.

 

Again, thank you so much for taking time during your travels to report live and for letting your enthusiasm show through with every post. Those of us who have to wait a whole 'nother year to depart will be surviving on these words.

Thanks Peregrina, lol... yes could not have Said it better myself. Well we have disembarked from Viking Sky and spending one night in Bergen before our flight to Reykjavik tomorrow, one night there, then back home . 😕. So the ports that I have yet to report on we’re Alesund, flam, Bergen . For alesund we took the sunmore open air museum tour including a stop at Mt Askla and a tour drive by through Alesund which is known for its art nouveau architecture.The museum was interesting , but our guide was not that good. That was 3 1/2 hours , we also walked around the art nouveau district after lunch and which was very close by to the ship.. Other cruise critic members took the full day tour of stunning scenery in the countryside with Norway excursions which ended up being a small group tour. I heard they enjoyed. We decided against a full day tour since we felt we had experienced enough beUtiful scenery in the previous 2 ports.

 

The next day we we arrived in Flam, weather cloudy with a chance of rain, but rain was minimal and short lived  at best. We took the half day train with Viking since Flam is very small and not much else to do except fjord cruises or train. I was not that impressed since there was too many of us competing for seats in the reserved cars.  the right side had the majority of the views, although the left side had the huge waterfall that cascades under the tracks with an interesting 5 min show where a lady (she is called some Norwegian folklore name) comes out behind the waterfall and dances along with the music. We spoke to 2 other people, one who did not like the tour, another who thought it was fantastic. I have see better scenery on  scenic train rides. 

 

Last day on ship was Bergen, very nice day, mostly sunny and in the 60’s . We did on our own, walked up mt floyen (very long and steep ) and took funicular down. Then walked around bryggen area. My parents took the Grieg recital tour which they enjoyed. 

 

I hope one you all have a wonderful journey. I think you will enjoy traveling with Viking. Again if you have any questions, I will do my best to respond. 

 

 

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This forum was very helpful to me in preparing for the June 8 Iceland/Norway cruise, so I am happy to summarize our experiences on this wonderful cruise.  We are cruise veterans, but this was our first VO cruise.  We chose the cruise because of the itinerary and the good feedback on VO - and we dislike large ships.  The trip was great - probably helped by the good weather.  We chose a mid-ship cabin on deck 4, as I was concerned about rough seas in that area.  The cabin, a DV, was very comfortable and had sufficient space (I used a packing cube as an additional drawer on the shelf of the closet).  We found the bed to be very comfortable and I liked the pillows (I use 3 of them).  The cabin steward was excellent.  We had breakfast in the cabin most mornings - very prompt and good.  We also used room service two or three times - for afternoon refreshments - well done.

We went to Manfredi's twice, Chef's Table 3 times, and had dinner in the Restaurant 4 or 5 times.  We thought the food was very good and the service very good to excellent.  We do eat later than most, so that may explain the lack of crowds in the Restaurant.  We also ate dinner at the pool grill area a few times, and enjoyed it.  Our only meals in the World Café were two breakfasts, which were fine.  We enjoyed Mamsen's waffles twice and a couple of late night snacks as well.  We ate lunch at the pool grill area, and liked it a lot.

We spent time in the Living Room area and Explorer's Lounge and found the service to be excellent and the crew very friendly and helpful everywhere.

Entertainment - most of our entertainment was watching the fabulous views late into the sunny evenings.  We enjoyed the guitarist, piano player and duo.  We saw only one of the production shows, which was good.

The Meet and Mingle was very nice - held the evening we sailed from Reykjavik.

In summary, the cruise was excellent.  The ship is beautiful, the officers and crew are impressive and we met some very nice fellow explorers.

I will comment on ports and excursions in a separate post.

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We took the pre-cruise Reykjavik extension.  It was well done - we were transported to the Grand Hotel upon our early arrival, had breakfast at the hotel, and early access to our room  After freshening up we went on an independently booked Express Golden Circle tour with Extreme Iceland.  We were picked up at Noon and returned to the hotel around 6:15 p.m.  The tour, with about 9 people from various hotels, was very good, and did not feel rushed.  We had dinner at the hotel, which was fine.

On Day 2, we went on the a.m. included Blue Lagoon tour.  Much to my surprise, we both loved it.  On the way back to the hotel, we toured the Reykjavik peninsula and the City Center area, which was nice.  That afternoon, we walked to the City Center, a well needed walk, and enjoyed the sights.  At 5:00 p.m., we joined a Free Walking tour of the City Center.  It was worthwhile.  We had a really nice dinner at Le Bistro, in the City Center.

On Day 3, we left for the ship around Noon.  After having lunch at the pool area, and checking out our cabin, which was available early, we took the ship's shuttle to the City Center, and finished up our exploration of Reykjavik's City Center.

On Day 4, we took the optional Panoramic South Coast excursion.  It was very good.  We learned a lot about volcanoes and saw beautiful waterfalls.

On Day 5, Isafjordur, we took the Included excursion in the morning and enjoyed it.  In the afternoon, we took the optional Vigur Island excursion.  It was excellent.  It involves a boat ride to the island, a walk around it, ducking arctic terns who think you want to attack their nests, and pastries and coffee at the end.  I saw a puffin sitting on a rock, so I was happy.

On Day 6, Akureyri, we took the optional  Northern Iceland Natural Treasures excursion.  It was very good.  Such an interesting island and starkly beautiful.

On Day 7, Seydisfjordur, we took the Skalanes Nature Center excursion, probably my favorite.  It involves a drive through 3 rivers to the Center, where you walk up to the base of a cliff and view the birds.  Absolutely beautiful.  After lunch on the ship, we hiked up to the waterfall in town and then explored the town itself (easily done).

Days 8 and 9 were sea days.  As mentioned by others, Faroe Islands stop was cancelled because of high winds.

I will note at this point that our enjoyment of all of these excursions was undoubtedly enhanced by the weather. We expected the worst and were lucky to experience the best.  Also, I thought that the shore excursion staff did a good job.

I will summarize our Norway excursions in a separate post.

 

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On to Norway.  We actually arrived at our bonus port, Olden, on the evening of Day 9.  We had a wonderful afternoon of sailing through the fjords before we arrived, including one that was quite tight.  Just beautiful!

Day 10, Olden, Norway.  The shore excursion folks did a stellar job pulling together lots of options for this port.  We had previously visited this port, and visited the Birksdale glacier at that time (about 10 years ago).  This time we took the a.m. included excursion, which was quite good - a scenic drive and visit to a National Park glacier center.  In the afternoon, we took the optional Kjenndal Glacier and Loen Skylift excursion - saw some breathtaking scenery and were very satisfied with this rather pricey tour.

Day 11, Geiranger - a tender port (and very well done).  In the morning, we first hiked up to the fjordcenter along the waterfall (a fairly easy hike).  We then continued and hiked up to Westeras and then the Westerasfjellet overlook (a strenuous hike) and then back down.  We enjoyed a sandwich in town, and then took the afternoon Included panoramic tour.  This was an excellent tour.  We drove up to a glacier lake and two stunning overlook areas.  The sail out of Geiranger is beautiful.  For this sail out, as well as several others, the Captain allowed bow access.  Not to be missed!

Day 12, Alesund - we took the morning included walking tour.  It was very good, but is not an easy stroll.  The guide was very informative.  Immediately after the tour, we walked up the 400 plus steps of Mt. Askia (sp?) and then down the easier way.  After lunch on the ship, we explored the city some more and then returned to enjoy the spa area on the ship.  I needed the hot tub after two days of hiking!

Day 13, Flam - a tender port.  In the morning, we took the optional Scenic Fjord Safari excursion.  A highlight.  It is a RIB boat ride through the fjord.  We did have some rain on the tour, but it did not matter, as we were bundled up in waterproof gear.  Loved this excursion!  In the afternoon,  after enjoying lunch in town at an area where they have some food trucks, we took the Included Panoramic excursion.  Very nicely done - a couple of beautiful viewing areas.

Day 14, Bergen.  We took the morning Included Panoramic excursion.  I thought this excursion was sort of boring, and even took a nap - although it was nice to see something other than the touristy area (we have previously been to Bergen).  In the afternoon, we took the funicular up Mt. Floyen, and hiked down, and explored the area.

 

I highly recommend this trip on the Viking Sky.

 

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