Posted August 30th, 2018, 04:33 PM
I am so grateful for the info I have gleaned from your notes and responses here. We are off (after two days in Bergen) for the Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen round-trip on November 16th, followed by four days in Oslo, flying back to the US on December 1st. Like everyone, we would like to travel as lightly as possible, but understand the climate demands certain "accommodations." And so we are asking for your advice - what clothing and footwear, specifically, will serve us best on our cruise? I also have a dim memory of reading that crampons are advisable for the Winter sailings. Any words of wisdom/experience will be most appreciated. Thanks.
We never needed any crampons. This was in early March, and there was plenty of snow further north (not in Bergen, which had mild weather).
We purchased some things such as light-weight crampons from REI, who have a very liberal return policy.
So we took those with us in the original packaging, and just took care not to mess it up so it would be presentable to return.
But we never even came close to using them.
On the other hand, I got super insulated/waterproof calf-high boots.
I found the tread on them helpful on some snow, but anything like Vibram soles would have worked similarly, and that's what DH used.
And I did wear them on all excursions, for warmth.
(We get heavy snow in winter where we live, so there will probably be occasions to wear them, although it's a bit of overkill given we don't go out "for walks" during blizzards at home!)
The only time the cold was REALLY a problem was on the top deck while the ship was moving, given we did want to see the Northern Lights if possible. That wind, from the ship moving, was brutal.
Wind/Rain pants would make a big difference.
We already had some from our Alaska cruise, where we expected rain (not blizzards), but had sunny weather the entire time.
But the early "Scout" experiences taught us to "Be Prepared".
And we both had "serious parkas" that were wind/rain-proof. I wouldn't want to stand in a hurricane in them, but for travel purposes, they work. Again, we can use these at home in the winter, so we didn't consider the parkas a "trip" expense. But we did get new ones.
We wore our parkas while traveling (over our arm at the airport, etc.!), so we didn't have to pack those. We could have worn the heavy boots, but we just don't seem to be able to pack "light".
IF you are taking the train from Oslo to Bergen (there was some amazing scenery, so try to maximize whatever daylight you have), you can have luggage portered from your Bergen hotel to your Oslo hotel for a reasonable sum. We each had a large case sent ahead, and had just a wheeled carry-on size, which was quite manageable.
As I mentioned, we weren't quite sure what to expect, and we had one of our best trips ever. If that was in part because of somewhat reduced expectations, that's fine too.
The SCENERY from the ship was spectacular. We are considering doing it again in the summer, for a different "look".
Which ship will you be on?
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