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Norwegian fjords

(22 Posts)
mumofmadboys Fri 31-May-19 21:58:38

I am going on a cruise with Fred Olsen to Norway visiting Bergen,Flam, Olden and Hellesylt. Has anyone done a similar cruise? We are being offered a vast array of excursions at these places. We like active things like walking, kayaking and cycling. Can anyone offer any advice re the things we really must see as the choice is bewildering ? Also it looks like some things we should be able to do by ourselves. Any advice would be gratefully received.

Doodle Fri 31-May-19 22:47:08

Hi mumof I have cruised to Norway several times though not with Fred Olsen. You will love it. It is very beautiful.
Obviously different people like different things and DH and I are not nearly as active as you.
Bergen - rains a lot. Easy to get round on foot from the harbour. Some ships have shuttle buses than run from the ship to the town but it’s not that far to walk. It’s a lovely place and plenty to see around the harbour area. You can take a cable car (could be funicular) to a high point for a good view. We haven’t done it because there can be long queues and we didn’t want to miss the ship sailing!
Flam is the prettiest place. Ships usually moor at the end of the fjord and it is so scenic. From there you can go on the Flam railway which is an interesting trip but actually the fjord itself is nice to walk around.
We haven’t been to the other two places you mention so can’t help with those but I’m sure you will have a great time. Norway is a lovely place to visit.

mumofmadboys Fri 31-May-19 23:10:47

Thanks doodle. That is really helpful. Looking forward to it!

callgirl1 Fri 31-May-19 23:26:19

We went to the fjords in April 2016. We were led to believe that it would be incredibly cold, so took loads of cold weather clothing, but, although it was cold, it was no worse than here, I never wore my gloves or boots. Our first port of call was Eidfjord, beautiful looking out across the fjord, but the place was a bit dull. I loved Flam, very pretty, bought all my souvenirs and little gifts in a large shop that seemed to stock everything, but cost a fortune. Our last stop was Bergen, on a beautiful sunny day, but was disappointed not to go ashore because hubby wasn`t feeling well and I didn`t want to go on my own. He perked up on the last day at sea on the way home, played a session of bingo and won £150! Our ship was the Marco Polo from the Cruise & Maritime line. I`d love to go again in summer when all the flowers are out and more sun.

MiniMoon Fri 31-May-19 23:54:50

On our Norwegian cruise last August (not Feed Olsen), we visited Olden. It's a beautiful little town. We took ourselves off for a walk around the area, and took the tour to the Briksdal glacier. There were opportunities to take photos. Fortunately the weather was good that day. The day we visited Bergen the weather was wet. We managed to do a bit of sightseeing in the town, but got rained off and went back to the ship.
It's a great country to visit. You will enjoy it whatever you decide to do.

MiniMoon Fri 31-May-19 23:56:33

callgirl, we sailed with CMV on Columbus.

mumofmadboys Fri 31-May-19 23:58:04

Thanks very much for your replies call girl and minimoon

cornergran Sat 01-Jun-19 00:12:20

We’ve enjoyed two fjords cruises with P&O mumof but are nowhere near as active as you are so nothing strenuous for us. Agree with others, Bergen is walkable from the port, pretty town with lots of interest. It didn’t rain when we were there. Briksdal glacier was interesting. The Flam railway trip was very enjoyable. If you decide to do this we thought sitting on the right hand side of the carriage (facing the way of travel leaving Flam) gave the best views. You haven’t said when you are going.

Our first trip was in June. Still snow to be seen in the mountains, needed a jacket but not really cold, the second in April was much colder but normal U.K. type winter clothes we’re fine, sometimes it was quite warm, layers work well. Many waterfalls were still frozen, quite icy in some places and more snow to be seen. It’s worth getting up (we had a balcony so not far to go) to see the sail in to the fjords, of course the ship goes out the same way but there’s something special about the early morning light, or we thought so,

If you Google the towns you’ll get lots of information about activities. Many of our fellow passengers had booked activities with local organisers and all seemed happy with the outcome.

We loved it all, I’m sure you will have a wonderful time.

SueH49 Sat 01-Jun-19 01:15:45

I've not cruised Norway as yet. It in on my bucket list.
If you decide to do things by yourself rather than excursions booked through the cruise company be aware that if you are held up and not back on board at the scheduled time then the ship may sail without you. If on the other hand an excursion booked through the company is delayed the ship will not sail until that excursion returns.

David0205 Sat 01-Jun-19 06:52:19

The Fjords are a lovely cruise but you probably won’t get a chance for extra activities, weather is unpredictable so take some warm and showerproof clothing.
Ours finished in Bergen then sailing home it got exciting we were instructed to take our sea sickness tablets and sailed out into a force 9 gale. Sitting in the lounge with ceiling tiles falling the band struck up with “Titanic”, that excitement aside a very memorable holiday.

dizzyblonde Sat 01-Jun-19 07:03:02

I’m going on a Fred Olsen fjords cruise in August but only 3 ports, Olden, Flam and Bergen. We’ve gone for the simple shorter excursions, mainly due to price, so railway tickets in Flam, walking tour and ice bar in Bergen, can’t remember what we’re doing in Olden but it’s the shorter excursion.
Our reasoning is that it gives us time to wander round under our own steam.
It’s our first ocean cruise, we’ve only done a river one before which we loved but it wasn’t with FO.

Esspee Sat 01-Jun-19 07:16:56

Cruised the whole length of Norway in December. Prepared for icy weather on our first trip to the Arctic and had a suitcase full of woolies, thermals and vacuum packed goose down jackets. On board the ship we wore tshirts and trousers, on deck and on land much the same as we would wear at home in the winter.
My advice is don't over pack and Norway is hugely expensive plus be prepared for the Northern Lights so you are not disappointed. No idea why but I was expecting colours, or at least green. They are shades of grey. Spectacular when dancing but usually pretty dull. On photos (if you have a good camera) they turn out green.
We enjoyed our trip but wished our expectations had been more realistic.

mumofmadboys Sat 01-Jun-19 07:56:51

We are going at the end of July. Thanks for all the info. I'll re-read it all and make notes! GN is a great source of information!

Blinko Sat 01-Jun-19 08:31:43

I went with my mother about twelve years ago. That was with Travelscope, now Phoenix, I believe. We visited Flam and Bergen and also Eidfjord. From Flam, we did a tour called 'Norway in a Nutshell'. We took the rack and pinion railway to lunch above the snowline, then came down by bus to the ship which meantime had sailed to another fjord, Naeroy (sp?) Fjord, I think. A memorable trip with spectacular views and waterfalls. This was one of the optional excursions.

Whilst moored in Bergen, we took another optional excursion, via the funicular to a viewpoint overlooking the town and the harbour. Then to Greig's house, en route visiting a Stave church in woodland. It did rain, but even so, another memorable experience.

The only real downside, though it wasn't much of a problem, was that we found Norway to be wildly expensive and so had to buy smaller gifts...


Greenfinch Sat 01-Jun-19 08:58:29

I would echo whatSueH says about organised tours. We generally like to do our own thing but if it involves any form of transport you need to think carefully. We did a Round Britain cruise and went on the organised tour of Mull instead of the much cheaper option of going by bus. Thank goodness we did as the coaches got stuck behind a broken down dust cart and we were stuck for a couple of hours as the other roads were unsuitable for public transport. If we had been on our own,the ship would certainly have sailed without us.
Norway is lovely and the Flam railway is a must as others have said.
We are going to Iceland soon so I will start another thread about that rather than hijack this one.
Have a lovely time.

mumofmadboys Sat 01-Jun-19 11:38:11

Thanks all. Really useful to have your opinions. I think we will keep to organised tours!!

clementine Sun 02-Jun-19 22:34:40

Coincidently my son and daughter in law are currently doing this cruise, Fred Olsen too. They have shared some photo's. It looks cold and wet but they seem to be enjoying it so far.

callgirl1 Mon 03-Jun-19 22:14:04

This is the first full day at sea on our way to Norway in April 2016 on the Marco Polo. It`s someone elses photo that I hijacked`because hubby and I are on it. We`re on this side of the pool, hubby is sitting at a table, and I`m just about to sit down, I`m wearing a cream cardigan. It was a lovely sunny day.

callgirl1 Mon 03-Jun-19 22:15:08

It won`t enlarge, it usually does, sorry.

callgirl1 Mon 03-Jun-19 22:23:50

These were the same afternoon

mumofmadboys Mon 03-Jun-19 22:33:10

Did you enjoy it call girl? What company were you with? Thanks for sharing the photos

callgirl1 Mon 03-Jun-19 23:35:14

Mumofmadboys, yes, I enjoyed it, hubby not so much, and it was him who wanted a cruise, I didn`t. We went with CMV on the Marco Polo, just a nice size, only 800 passengers, even a numpty like me couldn`t get lost! I`d like to go to the fjords again in summer, but it won`t happen now, sadly.