Norwegian Fjords

Pross
Pross Posts: 40,490
I must be getting old, it's something I never thought I'd do and I'm fully expecting derision but we have just booked our holiday for the year and will be going on a cruise to see the fjords and (hopefully) Northern Lights in November.

Are any of you prepared to admit to having been on a cruise and offer any tips please? Also, if anyone has visited the fjords are there any tips / recommendations you can pass on?

Stops are:

Alesund (day only)
Tromso (overnight and on my birthday!)
Narvik (overnight)
Haugesund

I'm hoping it will give me some decent contributions to the photography thread!

Comments

  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,596
    Do you have any specific queries? Which cruise line are you using?
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,304
    For some reason I thought you were a little younger than me Pross, I'm clearly mistaken :D
    Saying that, if I were to go on a cruise thats the type I'd rather go for.
  • Stevo_666
    Stevo_666 Posts: 58,482
    Was it the Saga brochure that sold you on this then Pross?
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,750
    edited May 2023
    My Mum & Dad went a few years ago. All I can remember is that most of the trips are a waste of time as you see the scenery from the boat. There was an impressive waterfall somewhere though.
    If I was doing a cruise it would be the Fjords or Alaska fwtw.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,231
    I've been on the Hurtigruten from Bergen to Tromso twice.

    It's absolutely stunning.

    This is Alesund:



    Haven't been in the dark - we've seen the midnight sun rather than the Northern Lights. It's worth bearing in mind that sunset in November in Tromso will be at about 2pm, so make the most of what light there is.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,490
    Stevo_666 said:

    Was it the Saga brochure that sold you on this then Pross?

    Couldn’t bring myself to go quite that far but did mention it in jest. Next thing I know I’ll be on one of those river cruises or a coach tour!
  • rakkor
    rakkor Posts: 49
    I did this on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth in March last year - I wasn't very mobile as I was only just weight bearing after breaking my pelvis the previous December, so was a bit doddery walking around in the snow at midnight. The Nothern Lights were a bit of a disappointment to be honest, and then we managed to get Covid with five nights to go so ended up quarantined for the rest of the cruise. I have a blog write up of it here if interested
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,490

    Do you have any specific queries? Which cruise line are you using?

    Nothing specific, just general tips. My biggest concern is all the extra costs on board and keeping track of them. Travelling with Cunard on Queen Victoria, looks like plenty to do on board.

    The way I’m viewing it is as a relaxing stay in a luxury hotel that doubles as a means of transport with some trips to hopefully enjoy spectacular scenery and one of the earth’s great natural spectacles.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoat
    N0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,845
    We did a Princess fjords, Iceland and Belfast cruise on the very cheap in 2008 in our 30s, thanks to SIL who worked for them back then. All very hazy memories, not just because it was years ago, but also we went weeks after I seriously damaged my lower back muscles (so on Diclofenac) and then I caught a cold part way through the cruise that left me cream crackered. Stopped in numerous places including Bergen, Alesund (I remember walking up loads of steps to get view like in KG's photo above) and Geiranger.

    Stunning natural scenery and weather was lovely in early August, Iceland was totally weird with lichen covering most of the rocks we passed on way to The Blue Lagoon.

    One word of warning, decent food available pretty much 24/7 onboard, very easy to overdo the eating and come back looking like Michelin Man!
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
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  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,490
    Yeah the amount of food available was a slight concern but the cruise is a couple of weeks after my main running target of the year, Snowdonia Marathon and there’s a decent gym on board. I’m hoping to rack up a few kms a day around the promenade deck too, should make for some interesting plots on Strava!
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,596
    edited May 2023
    Pross said:

    Do you have any specific queries? Which cruise line are you using?

    Nothing specific, just general tips. My biggest concern is all the extra costs on board and keeping track of them. Travelling with Cunard on Queen Victoria, looks like plenty to do on board.

    The way I’m viewing it is as a relaxing stay in a luxury hotel that doubles as a means of transport with some trips to hopefully enjoy spectacular scenery and one of the earth’s great natural spectacles.
    Cunard is one of the more formal companies, so you will need to check the clothing requirements for the evening and pack accordingly. I think they require the standards to be met in most places on the ship with the likely exception of the buffet. Note that on most other cruise ships the dress standards would only be enforced in the main dining room and a few bars, and the standards would be be much lower. This all appeals to some people, but mostly the older generation, so you will get a much older crowd than on other ships.

    I don't think there is much in the way of additional costs except those below:
    - Drinks. Work out how much you think you will drink and decide if you want a drinks package or not
    - Internet is very expensive on board, but you can find out the pricing in advance. You can probably survive just using mobile data when close to land, but it depends on how much you need to check Cake Stop. The ship internet won't be that good, so relying on it to video stream is ambitious.
    - Excursions. You don't have to book the cruise excursions and can arrange your own or simply walk around town. This requires research, but is entirely possible. In cheaper countries, it is often better to just pick up a taxi in the port, but given you are talking about Norway, you may want to look at hiring a car for the day.

    The swimming pools will be relatively cold, so don't expect to swim. You'll need to wake up early to run around the deck - some people do that. The treadmill will be easier. You may end up doing a decent amount of walking though.

    If you have any niche questions, then Cruise Critic forums will be able to help. They have sub sections for each cruise line.







  • One thing worth mentioning, have you checked any covid policies?

    A friend's parents went on a cruise recently (not sure where to, or the operator) but there was a covid outbreak on board and people were confined to their rooms if you had a positive test. Apparently one couple were celebrating their silver wedding anniversary and had to spend the entire week confined to their cabin.
  • surrey_commuter
    surrey_commuter Posts: 18,866
    Pross said:

    Stevo_666 said:

    Was it the Saga brochure that sold you on this then Pross?

    Couldn’t bring myself to go quite that far but did mention it in jest. Next thing I know I’ll be on one of those river cruises or a coach tour!
    I went on a Nile river cruise and it was brilliant
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,490

    Pross said:

    Do you have any specific queries? Which cruise line are you using?

    Nothing specific, just general tips. My biggest concern is all the extra costs on board and keeping track of them. Travelling with Cunard on Queen Victoria, looks like plenty to do on board.

    The way I’m viewing it is as a relaxing stay in a luxury hotel that doubles as a means of transport with some trips to hopefully enjoy spectacular scenery and one of the earth’s great natural spectacles.
    Cunard is one of the more formal companies, so you will need to check the clothing requirements for the evening and pack accordingly. I think they require the standards to be met in most places on the ship with the likely exception of the buffet. Note that on most other cruise ships the dress standards would only be enforced in the main dining room and a few bars, and the standards would be be much lower. This all appeals to some people, but mostly the older generation, so you will get a much older crowd than on other ships.

    I don't think there is much in the way of additional costs except those below:
    - Drinks. Work out how much you think you will drink and decide if you want a drinks package or not
    - Internet is very expensive on board, but you can find out the pricing in advance. You can probably survive just using mobile data when close to land, but it depends on how much you need to check Cake Stop. The ship internet won't be that good, so relying on it to video stream is ambitious.
    - Excursions. You don't have to book the cruise excursions and can arrange your own or simply walk around town. This requires research, but is entirely possible. In cheaper countries, it is often better to just pick up a taxi in the port, but given you are talking about Norway, you may want to look at hiring a car for the day.

    The swimming pools will be relatively cold, so don't expect to swim. You'll need to wake up early to run around the deck - some people do that. The treadmill will be easier. You may end up doing a decent amount of walking though.

    If you have any niche questions, then Cruise Critic forums will be able to help. They have sub sections for each cruise line.







    Thanks. Apparently they are much more relaxed with clothing these days, there is one formal gala evening that is black tie and most of the ship is casual other than that (I think some of the bars require a jacket but other options are available that don't). I like the occasional more formal think and it will hopefully keep the chavs at bay. Internet is $18 a day if you book for the duration with a caveat that speeds can be low and $24 a day to have access for streaming services etc., it's extortionate considering they have all the kit on board. If every cabin was paying they'd be getting something like $10,000 per day out of it! We're planning on paying for it on maybe two or three days just to upload photos and call home but may be able to use mobile as the roaming charges will be far cheaper.
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,596
    edited May 2023
    Pross said:

    Pross said:

    Do you have any specific queries? Which cruise line are you using?

    Nothing specific, just general tips. My biggest concern is all the extra costs on board and keeping track of them. Travelling with Cunard on Queen Victoria, looks like plenty to do on board.

    The way I’m viewing it is as a relaxing stay in a luxury hotel that doubles as a means of transport with some trips to hopefully enjoy spectacular scenery and one of the earth’s great natural spectacles.
    Cunard is one of the more formal companies, so you will need to check the clothing requirements for the evening and pack accordingly. I think they require the standards to be met in most places on the ship with the likely exception of the buffet. Note that on most other cruise ships the dress standards would only be enforced in the main dining room and a few bars, and the standards would be be much lower. This all appeals to some people, but mostly the older generation, so you will get a much older crowd than on other ships.

    I don't think there is much in the way of additional costs except those below:
    - Drinks. Work out how much you think you will drink and decide if you want a drinks package or not
    - Internet is very expensive on board, but you can find out the pricing in advance. You can probably survive just using mobile data when close to land, but it depends on how much you need to check Cake Stop. The ship internet won't be that good, so relying on it to video stream is ambitious.
    - Excursions. You don't have to book the cruise excursions and can arrange your own or simply walk around town. This requires research, but is entirely possible. In cheaper countries, it is often better to just pick up a taxi in the port, but given you are talking about Norway, you may want to look at hiring a car for the day.

    The swimming pools will be relatively cold, so don't expect to swim. You'll need to wake up early to run around the deck - some people do that. The treadmill will be easier. You may end up doing a decent amount of walking though.

    If you have any niche questions, then Cruise Critic forums will be able to help. They have sub sections for each cruise line.







    Thanks. Apparently they are much more relaxed with clothing these days, there is one formal gala evening that is black tie and most of the ship is casual other than that (I think some of the bars require a jacket but other options are available that don't). I like the occasional more formal think and it will hopefully keep the chavs at bay. Internet is $18 a day if you book for the duration with a caveat that speeds can be low and $24 a day to have access for streaming services etc., it's extortionate considering they have all the kit on board. If every cabin was paying they'd be getting something like $10,000 per day out of it! We're planning on paying for it on maybe two or three days just to upload photos and call home but may be able to use mobile as the roaming charges will be far cheaper.
    I think it still has much higher expectations than other ships. I would expect you will need trousers and shirt for the non-formal evenings, and a tie and jacket for the formal ones. I also think this will cover the theatre and most of the bars. If you like this, you will fit in!

    I wouldn't pay for the internet as you will mostly travel at night, so almost always have mobile data. The exception being sea days.

    This is currently blank for your cruise, but I imagine someone will update it. It is an unofficial tracker, so you know what to pack.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pSRcX-HpfLpuG4VBp5EmkBku-wJZlVMP/view

    If you do want to make an effort in the evening you won’t be alone. The majority of guests travelling with us embrace the chance to switch to smart attire by night. This doesn’t mean you’ll be expected to wear a gown or dinner jacket each evening. Smart attire simply means a dress shirt and trousers, skirt and a top, or a cocktail dress. Essentially, choose something along the same vein as you’d wear to a stylish restaurant or the theatre on a special occasion.
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,596
    One of the things that makes me laugh about cruises and dress codes is people say things like this:

    "Essentially, choose something along the same vein as you’d wear to a stylish restaurant or the theatre on a special occasion."


    I would not modify my dress for any restaurant or theatre especially when on holiday, so this is of no use to me.