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  1. I have just read that they have been undergoing sea trials again and the first voyage is said to be on June 27th. now. Cruise friends who are booked on that voyage are not absolutely sure yet if that date still stands, but say they'll know in a few days as their final payment day is at the end of May. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and hope you'll write a review about your experiences on that brand-new ship!
  2. We witnessed it once - shuddering while doing so because it was March and freezingly cold. But the people jumping in had lots of fun - shuddering also when coming out... It's not a real bath in the ocean, it's kind of a cage in the sea near the pier with steps . leading up to it. For safety reasons only one person at a time was allowed to go in and for perhaps half a minute or so. Coming out of the water you immediately got a towel to wrap yourself in.
  3. Yes, we'll love to be back on the "Journey" - it's our fourth ( or so) cruise on her. And Captain Johannes and Heike are lovely people. We're very much looking forward to meeting them again. "Giant" Eric is on vacation, though, and I'll miss his personalitry and grandfather jokes, even if he tends to repeat them... We'll meet Nordnorge several times during our journey and we hope we can slip over to have some coffee in the Multe Café, but Nordlys and the Journey won't meet in port - but I'll wave if we should see you somewhere passing us! Again: Have a great trip!
  4. Sounds great! Then may I suggest your first choice again - and if there's still time, plan a trip to Trondheim and the Lofotes another day/ year - perhaps on a smaller ship like the Rotterdam. Being smaller, she can cruise the lovely inner passages of the coast!
  5. What can you expect for 5 $? It's the vintage edition...
  6. Definitely the first one! (even if I'd always say a 7day cruise is not enough for beautiful Norway...). I'd always suggest the longer itineraries on Nieuw Statendam if that might be possible for you even if it's twice 7 days combined. But there's Oslo and Flam and other interesting sights including in the second round! And on turnaround day there's always Amsterdam to explore! Alesund is lovely, with lots to do in and around town. Geiranger fjord is not to be missed - sailing in and out alone is a great experience. Andalsnes is good for reaching the Trollstigen road but you can also book an excursion top Trollstigen out of Alesund even if the city itself is great to do if it's your first time in Norway. Olden is really nice but it's very small. The attractions there are a little Troll train, the coach shuttle up to Briksdal glacier ( with hike!) and Lake Loen and the cable car up the mountain.
  7. As far as I've heard the first trip will start on June 19th. ! I'm anxiously waiting for first reports and reviews as we're booked on her sister ship , the Fridtjof Nansen without knowing what to expect and whether this second ship of the new fleet will be completed in time!
  8. Don't worry, it will be really easy to meet and find people to talk to on board. There's always a mix of passengers from different countries from Australia to British and the US up to Germans ( you wrote you're bilingual) and French and yes, of course Norwegians and other Scandinavian citizens, most of whom are quite fluent in English .You'll be able to chat to people during meals at the buffets or at the table ( depending where you sit but most of the time there's a table right next to you) in the lovely Multe Café , the bar ..... I don't think, though, that there really will be a roll call on this board for this special sailing. And enjoy your renovated ship - I'm sure she'll be lovely. We liked the modern Scandinavian style on Richard With. And don't think of the weather too much, as it unpredictable- if you're lucky you'll have sunny days and the midnight sun, the first strawberries in the south and tulips and spring flowers in the north. Don't forget to bring enough layers - a cashmere sweater will come in handy as well as a fleece jacket or vest and a rainproof jacket. I even bring a hat - we always have had t-shirt days and sweater days and rainy or foggy and once even snowy days even in June. Haven't been to Norway in July, yet - but we'll perhaps meet you.... We're booked on Azamara Journey.... Have a great trip!
  9. No, sorry, not even for retired teachers...😉 But if you book early enough the Early Bird's Onboard Booking Credit ( in our case 1000 Euros) is quite useful. And as Hurtigruten's prices usually stay the same or creep up if the voyage is selling that's what we did.
  10. I'd always prefer doing the full trip through the canal because it was a fantastic day from lining up to begin the transit until we came out at the other end. We had a cabin at the stern and loved every minute of watching the procedure! May I intrude with a quick question of my own? Many of the posts mention Christmastime. Can you remember when Holland America usually starts decorating in December? We unfortunately won't be able to do a "real" Christmas cruise but would love to see the decorations start to emerge and to see some festivities like we did on Cunard"'s "Queen Elizabeth" in last year's December. Thank you for your answers. We'll probably be on Westerdam in December .
  11. We booked that early because we wanted one of the affordable cabins with the bigger balconies and we were given 1000 Euros of OnboardCredit as well. It's a gamble, really, because this ship is still being built and its sister ship, the Roald Amundsen is a factor still quite unknown, leaving for her maiden voyage in June. So we don't know much. The only thing I have already learned is the fact that there's no real promenade deck except a jogging track on the highest deck and a small space at the bow, much less than on usual Hurtigruten ships. Well, We'll see what to expect. But we booked that voyage because we want to see icebergs in Greenland when we are still able to climb into a zodiac boat...
  12. I second that. The EXC guides were ( with one exception as she was also trying to sell as many shore excursions as possible during her talks) quite often are the only ones NOT trying to talk you into buying anything but giving information about the ports, public buses, places to visit etc. That's possibly the reason why HAL is getting rid of them.... These port talks and travel information were always packed and one of the highlights of the day - days that are increasingly packed full by incentives to BUY BUY BUY. By and by trivia and perhaps the musical duos ( also reduced from trios...) and groups and knitting circles for those who can knit - which I can't - will be the only things offered to while away the hours on board. We thus might be forced to cruise more often with Cunard despite their formality - there's real knowledge and interest being conveyed during their daily talks.
  13. We're booked on the Fridtjof Nansen which is the second new hybrid ship for a cruise to Greenland out of Reykjavik in 2020 going as far up as into Disko Bay, and as far as I remember one of the excursions ( to be paid for) was for a special boat trip by an independent provider . If you look at Hurtigruten's website for the Greenland cruises of that ship between July and August 2020 you'll find more information about the route, the inclusions and extras. We're very much looking forward to this voyage!
  14. Thank you - that's great to hear. Strangely enough the information I found was on the Tourist Offices's website... Happy to have more time.
  15. As far as I know ( Trondheim Tourist Office) the Nidaros Cathedral closes at 2 p.m. on weekdays. We were already a bit concerned because the Journey only arrives at Trondheim at 1 o'clock and the cathedral is right at the other end of town.
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