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stickey_mouse

Which Norway Itinerary?

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Hello, fellow HAL enthusiasts! I posted this on the Northern Europe Board but haven't had much response.

 

After our Norway itinerary was cancelled for next year, I am scrambling to consider other options. Please compare and critique these two itineraries.

 

A) 7 Nights

 

Amsterdam

Eidfjord

Molde

Geiranger

Bergen

Amsterdam

 

B) 8 Nights

 

Amsterdam

Flam

Alesund

Skjolden

Olden

Bergen

Amsterdam

 

In your opinion, which one wins? Is Geiranger that much of a must-see that it automatically wins out over Itinerary B?

 

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, Tennessee Titan said:

I like #1 better, but it is a shame to miss Flam....

 

What about #1 do you like?

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OP, would you consider a longer itinerary if one was available?  To go so far for only a 7 or 8 day cruise to such a beautiful and friendly country as Norway....  But, if that is all the time you have (and I don't have any information about what HAL's itineraries are for 2021; maybe 7/8 days will be all that's available), you will still have a scenic cruise.

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10 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

OP, would you consider a longer itinerary if one was available?  To go so far for only a 7 or 8 day cruise to such a beautiful and friendly country as Norway....  But, if that is all the time you have (and I don't have any information about what HAL's itineraries are for 2021; maybe 7/8 days will be all that's available), you will still have a scenic cruise.

 

I tend to prefer 7-10 days for cruises in Europe, as it allows about a week for land touring. Many in our group are still of working age, so a 14-15 day trip is about all we can handle. 20 days perhaps, someday, but doubtful. For this departure out of Amsterdam, I'm considering spending some time in Belgium pre-cruise and Amsterdam/Holland post-cruise.

I assume what you're getting at is a 14 day itinerary that goes farther up to the Arctic Circle? I think that sounds amazing, but many of those itineraries seem to skip some of the fjord stops like Flam and Geiranger. Is that a deal breaker?

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8 minutes ago, stickey_mouse said:

I assume what you're getting at is a 14 day itinerary that goes farther up to the Arctic Circle? I think that sounds amazing, but many of those itineraries seem to skip some of the fjord stops like Flam and Geiranger. Is that a deal breaker?

 

A deal breaker?  No.  My favorite Norwegian cruise was a North Cape Cruise and it was a 14 day sailing from Copenhagen.  Your plan for a pre-cruise visit to Belgium and a post cruse visit to Amsterdam sounds wonderful.  (In Amsterdam, watch out for the trams, the bicycles, and the small cars driving on some sidewalks!)  

 

Of the two itineraries you mentioned, I would choose #1.  Why?  Because of the visit to Geiranger.  Tours up into the mountains are memorable; sailing through the fjord past the Seven Sisters Waterfall, very scenic.

 

Flam has its own attractiveness as a port.  During my North Cape cruise, both were on the itinerary and I really enjoyed both equally.  

 

When in Bergen, do try to plan for a seafood lunch in the cafes surrounding the waterfront.  The best seafood chowder I have ever eaten!  

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35 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

Of the two itineraries you mentioned, I would choose #1.  Why?  Because of the visit to Geiranger.  Tours up into the mountains are memorable; sailing through the fjord past the Seven Sisters Waterfall, very scenic.

 

Flam has its own attractiveness as a port.  During my North Cape cruise, both were on the itinerary and I really enjoyed both equally.  

 

 

Thank you. Could Itinerary B possibly make up ground if we plan a day trip to Geiranger for our day in Alesund?

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I would love either itinerary, but would take the second. It is a day longer, but that isn't the primary reason I would choose it. 
In all the times I have been to Norway, I have never seen Skjolden or Olden offered as ports, and I would love to visit a new stop in Norway. 
The rides up to both Geiranger and Flam are gorgeous, but neither port has a lot to fill the day there, so that's a wash as far as I'm concerned. Bergen is on both itineraries, so that is also a wash. 

What I am thinking is the ports on the first itinerary are always available, but since I have never seen the two I mentioned, I would go there while I know I can. 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, stickey_mouse said:

 

Thank you. Could Itinerary B possibly make up ground if we plan a day trip to Geiranger for our day in Alesund?

 

I was not impressed with Alesund.  I found nothing uniquely special or uniquely Norwegian about the community.  Others may disagree, but that is my experience and opinion.

 

28 minutes ago, RuthC said:

I would love either itinerary, but would take the second. It is a day longer, but that isn't the primary reason I would choose it. 
In all the times I have been to Norway, I have never seen Skjolden or Olden offered as ports, and I would love to visit a new stop in Norway. 
The rides up to both Geiranger and Flam are gorgeous, but neither port has a lot to fill the day there, so that's a wash as far as I'm concerned. Bergen is on both itineraries, so that is also a wash. 

What I am thinking is the ports on the first itinerary are always available, but since I have never seen the two I mentioned, I would go there while I know I can. 

 

 

Like RuthC, I have not visited Olden or Skjolden.  Don't know know what is there that might be of interest or of scenic value.

 

Sailing through Geiranger Fjord was a memorable experience.  The small community of Geiranger has grown since my experience there I am sure.  

 

If shore excursions are available at each of the smaller ports, I suggest looking at them with the thought of which ones are most attractive to you.  Obtaining a current travel guide from your Library or a local bookstore will also provide more recent information than maybe we can provide.  

 

For me, researching an itinerary is part of the fun of planning a cruise.  Enjoy!

Edited by rkacruiser

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I vote for B. Geiranger was our least favorite port (which was surprising because I thought we would like that one the most). It was VERY VERY crowded. We rented one of the little electric cars to get away from the crowds and did a RIB ride which was fun, but we enjoyed other ports more.

 

1) Flam was our favorite. Again, crowded so you need to concentrate on getting away from the town and crowds.  One of the very best excursions I have ever done was in Flam. We rode the train to the top of the mountain and biked back down. It was a magical day. We started at the red building way at the top, the bike ride was about 15 miles, but it's all downhill so it's very easy.

 

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2) Alesund: We did a full day tour to Trollsteigen and that tour took us by the Geiranger fjord for photos, so it's a way to see Geirganger fjord

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3) Skolden: A nice Norway stop. Pretty sail in. We did not go to Olden

 

4) Bergen: We hiked a peak trailhead here. A great day. We also spent some time in the town of Bergen in the early morning hours before it got super busy. We thought that Bergen was a quintessential Norway town everyone should see, but both of your choices stop here. 

 

The good news is that I don't think you can go wrong with either itinerary. We very much enjoyed our time in Norway.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, frankh1969 said:

Have they posted the dates for these cruises in June or July?

 

Not yet. Itinerary A will replace our June 6 itinerary and still leave on June 6, 2021. 

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3 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

One of the very best excursions I have ever done was in Flam. We rode the train to the top of the mountain

 

During my North Cape cruise, both Flam and Geiranger were port calls with Flam being very short, more to allow shore excursion guests to disembark.  Rode the train to its terminus, boarded a bus for a tour through the mountains/countryside to Geiranger.  Enjoyed a lunch stop at a hotel overlooking a valley with a river running through it.  Followed by the hair-raising ride down the twisty, curvey roads from the top of the mountain into Geirganger.  We had enough time for a short visit to the town before boarding the tender back to the Royal Viking Sky.  Then, the sail through the fjord with the Seven Sisters Waterfall!  What a wonderfully scenic day that was!

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I would choose the second itinerary.   It includes one more port.  One of my favorite ports was Skjolden.  It is at the end of the longest fjord in Norway.  We were the only ship in port (Eurodam a few years ago) and we were visiting a small Norway community.  It just happened to be a beautiful sunny day and the locals came down to sunbathe on the beach near the dock.   I also enjoyed Bergen and Alesund.  Did not stop at Flam but I think it gets lots of ships.  On this itinerary you would see both Flam and Skjolden and the beautiful fjord.

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Just thinking out loud here. Technically, if I wanted to do both Geiranger and Flam, I could get to Geiranger via the port stop in Alesund in Itinerary B, but there is little chance of getting to Flam from any of the Itinerary A ports. Thus, Itinerary B wins out, if Flam and Geiranger are priorities (I still need to do some more research to determine if this is true). 

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2 hours ago, stickey_mouse said:

Just thinking out loud here. Technically, if I wanted to do both Geiranger and Flam, I could get to Geiranger via the port stop in Alesund in Itinerary B, but there is little chance of getting to Flam from any of the Itinerary A ports. Thus, Itinerary B wins out, if Flam and Geiranger are priorities (I still need to do some more research to determine if this is true). 

 

You need to book whatever will suit you best.  Norway is Norway wherever one is in Norway.

 

It's a country like Alaska is as a State.  There is so much to see and experience.  So little time and $$ to do so.  

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