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About WisRiver

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    Summer/Minnesota Winter/Yucatan
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  1. In 2017 we did a 7 day Hurtigruten cruise departing from Bergen. We spent two nights in Oslo at the Grand Central Hotel in Oslo, the Norway in a Nutshell train tour from Oslo to Bergan and two nights in a hotel in Bergen, the First Hotel Marin. Total cost was about $1,000 plus train from Oslo Airport to hotel and cab rides to hotel and ship in Bergen. I think you will save money and tailor your own experience by booking on your own. I do not think they are booking Norway in a Nutshell for 2021 yet. If you do not want to do Norway in a Nutshell, the train from Oslo to Bergen is easy to b
  2. In 2019 as part of a Botswana-South Africa trip, we spend four nights at the Victoria and Alfred Hotel on the waterfront. An excellent hotel with a great breakfast. It is walking distance to the Robben Island ferry. We never felt unsafe in the evening. There are dozens of excellent restaurants and lots of shopping. Who knows what it will be like for post-Covid traveling. If I were returning to SA next year I would check out the Victoria and Alfred.
  3. I cannot help you with Windstar or ProCruise. However, you might want to look at Hurtigruten's Iceland excursions. We like Hurtigruten; having sailed with them on a Norway Coastal and to Antarctica. We are on the Namsen which is a little larger (500 passengers), but we have enjoyed the passenger mix, cabins, expedition staff (in Antarctica) and menus. The cost of alcohol on board is high, but if you are a light drinker, that cost is minimal.
  4. In 2019 we did the 35 day round trip Voyage of the Vikings on Holland America. On the Boston-Rotterdam leg we did one day stops in Isafjordur and Akureyri. We were traveling with another couple so we made arrangements for private tours. On the way back we stopped in Djupivogur for a day and an overnight in Reykjavik. In Reykjavik on the first day we explored the city on our own. Took the Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour, explored the city center and went to a concert in the evening. On the second day we arranged for a private Golden Circle tour ending with the mineral baths at Laugervatn. A p
  5. We did an Antarctic cruise on Hurtigruten's MS Fram. We had a great time, and would do it again. If you want to go ashore in Antartica, you have to use the "rigid inflatables". You sit on benches in the boat. The ride can be quite smooth and a little choppy. You are wearing life preservers. When we went ashore on Deception Island, the sea was dead calm. The ride to shore is short, usually 5 to 10 minutes. Our trip included stops in the Falklands and South Georgia Island.The trip to and from South America can be rough. On our southbound leg we had a smooth sail.
  6. Several years ago we started a Black Sea cruise in Athens. The cruise port is in Piraeus, 10 miles south of Athens. Piraeus is a commercial port and there are several hotels in the area, but nothing interesting to visit. We flew in to Athens three days before our cruise started. We worked with a Greek travel agency, Fantasy Travel, because after the HAL cruise we did a tour which included Santorini and Mykonos. We had a great three days in Athens. So much to see, so much to do. I would try to spend extra days in Athens, and take a cab to Piraeus to start your cruise.
  7. In 2018 we did the Bucharest to Amsterdam (24 days) on Viking. Other than a 5 day Yangtze River cruise as part of a 21 day trip to China, this was our first river cruise. We are Holland America 4* Mariners, and have done 5 transatlantic. We like our sea days. We had been traveling in Italy and France for the previous month so we made all our own travel arrangements to Bucharest and from Amsterdam to the US. We had to change boats in Budapest, which meant that we spent two nights in Budapest in a Viking supplied hotel. Budapest was one of the highlights of our trip. Fo
  8. Sometimes it is hard to get a two person table for early dining. We are 4* Mariners. When we started cruising we found it was hard to get a two person table for early dining, so we switched to late dining. On our last cruise, Voyage of the Vikings in 2019, we had late dining and were seated by ourselves at a table for four. There seemed to be plenty of open tables at late dining.
  9. Two years ago we stayed in the Comfort Hotel Grand Central which is in the Oslo Central Station. We walked from the Airport Train to the Hotel inside the terminal building. It was cool rainy day, so it was nice not to go outside until the weather cleared. It's a nice modern hotel inside the train station. They also serve a great breakfast.
  10. Our plan is do both, take the Hurtigruten cruise and drive the ring road. Our travel companions have some mobility issues, like cruises and do not spend two weeks in a car. We will do the two week self drive, after the cruise. Each option has its advantages. If I had to chose one, it would be the self drive. However the self drive appears to require a lot more work; finding a vehicle, hotel reservations and route planning. With the Hurtigruten, one call, a credit card deposit and you are set. Hurtigruten is having a Black Friday sale through December. Hurtigruten is not cheap, but
  11. Today (November 30) we called the the Hurtigruten toll free number to book a June 1, 2022 Iceland expedition cruise. After a 15 minute wait a Hurtigruten representative came on the line. He was very helpful, answered our questions and booked our cruise. He said the all Hurtigruten reps are working remotely and he was working from Tallin, Estonia. I checked our credit card this evening, and the charge was in US dollars and the payee was Hurtigruten, London, GB. The invoice he sent had a Seattle return address.
  12. The way I read this announcement is that the Fall transatlantics will be cancelled. Or this this cancellation only affect cruises leaving the US. I am trying to get through to my Issaquah travel agent, but there are lengthy holds. We were considering at the TA's from Amsterdam in early October or Barcelona in mid-November.
  13. We are hoping we can start to travel in September, 2021, and are looking at Seine River cruises departing from Paris. So far I have found at least five companies, Viking River, Avalon, Tauck, Riviera, and Scenic. Grand Circle Travel also offers a Seine River cruise, but I will not use them because of the lengthy delay in obtaining a refund for a cancelled cruise earlier this year. All seem to offer similar itineraries. Last year friends took the Viking River Seine tour and enjoyed it. Two years ago we did a Bucharest to Amsterdam River Cruise on Viking, and we were satisfied.
  14. Holland America has scheduled the Noordam to cruise in Asia in 2021 and 2022. The Noordam is scheduled to leave Vancouver in late September, stop in Alaska and continue on to Japan. We are considering a 28 day collector cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong and return in November 2021. It looks like the Noordam returns to North America in the Spring, 2022 for the Alaska cruising season.
  15. The SB balconies "the wraparounds" are large while the cabin is smaller. We had a round table, four chairs, two loungers and a couple of small "end" tables. We were a family group of ten, and the SB balcony held us all. We chose the SB for the size of the balcony knowing that it would be a long hike to the Neptune Lounge.
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