Alaska vs Norwegian Fjords

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#1
Virginia
594 Posts
Joined May 2002
Alaska vs Norwegian Fjords -- what are the pros and cons of each? We can't decide which way to go!
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gwilli

#3
Colorado
7,828 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
We've been to both, more than once. Both locations are wonderful!!! If you want to see glaciers, Alaska is your choice - unless your cruise is heading to the FAR north part of Norway (i.e. Spitsbergen). The fjords of Norway are lush and green, with a more 'intimate' feeling. Alaska has mountains with ice and snow. We couldn't pick one over the other.
#4
Florida
5,298 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
We have also been both places, more to Norway though. If I had a decision to make between the two, I would choose Norway without a moment's hesitation. I love the fjords and the whole country! Now you've got me thinking...........
#5
Michigan/Ontario border
4,293 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by esther e
I love the fjords and the whole country! Now you've got me thinking...........
Esther E, your comment made me think of a fact some CC'ers may not know. Norway consistently tops the UN's "best countries in which to live" list, far ahead of the U.S. and Canada. I need to visit to discover more myself.

(BTW, I subscribed to this thread before I posted, because I find this topic so interesting.)
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----Patricia
#6
Wisconsin
6,138 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
I've been to Alaska 3 times, Norway once, and we're going to Norway again next April.

The only "con" to Norway is the distance you have to travel to get there.

They're both lovely...and quite different. Norway is "up close and personal" -- you see the mountains right outside your window, close enough to feel like you can touch them. If you travel up and through the fjords, you'll see homes, farms, orchards, beautiful small towns all through them.

Alaska is vast..wide open spaces. Distance is deceptive. You'll see a tiny "dot" out on the horizon, miles and miles away, and be told it's an elk, or moose. You'll see a glacier and not have a sense of just how huge it is..until you notice the tiny kayak with two people in it, up along side the glacier..and it looks like a child's toy.

Norway is less crowded with tourists than Alaska..at least when we were there this April. There isn't the mad rush to town, swamped with thousands of others just off their ships, but a more muted tourist experience.

We love both, but right now are leaning towards Norawy..probably because we're planning our cruise.. but I really can't think of any "cons" to either trip..except the distance..
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I've cruised on Princess, Carnival, HAL,
NCL, Hurtigruten and a couple of even smaller lines in the past. HAL is (for now) my favorite!

#7
Florida
4,036 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Alaska Pluses:
Wildlife
Glaciers (most Norwegian cruises don't go to the glaciers there)

Alaska minuses: can be crowded
very little "culture" in port stops

Norwegian Pluses:
Seldom crowded
Best Fjords (others are Chile and New Zealand)
Lots of history (Oslo and Bergen)

Norwegian minuses:
Norway is very expensive .. cup of coffee is >$5 US .. no refills
#8
Lincoln CA USA, 95648
12,739 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
ab0si sums it up very well, IMO.

Solve your own problem - do both, in different years if need be.
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Michael
#9
Central Florida
4,390 Posts
Joined May 2009
Why choose? Do both if you can. They are as different as your imagination allows, and as similar as any shared experience can be. "Culture", as mentioned above, is very subjective; Alaska coastal towns are rich with the cultural heritage of migratory peoples dating back longer than recorded history, even ice ages. Norway as well has a wonderful and rich heritage of peoples who've long known the clockworks of winter and summer, the ebb and flow of wind and sea.

Don't choose, if you can help it; do both! And remember, there are fjordlands in New Zealand, Chile and Argentina, Russia, Canada, and other places as well.
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Regards, Rich

17 Day Circle Hawai'i RT Vancouver, BC April 2018 ms Westerdam Roll Call Spreadsheet
#10
Ontario
4,846 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
We sailed for 14 days on the Ryndam in Alaska in 2009 and I absolutely LOVED it. Onboard we met others who said "if you like Alaska, you'll LOVE Norway!".

In July 2011 we're doing a 22 day B2B on the Eurodam that takes us to 10 countries, Norway included. So we'll get to find out which we prefer!
#11
Warwick, R.I. , USA
38,265 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
I've been to Alaska 5 times, and Norway about twice that number.
They are both similar in that there are mountains coming from the sea, and that it can be cool/cold and rainy, or warm/hot and sunny. There's no predicting. The sense of being enclosed by the mountains is more pronounced in Norway.

I very much agree with ab0si's list of pros and cons. Travel to either is brutal from the US east coast, and for each you will need to arrive at least one day before your cruise.

You can't go wrong with either choice.
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CCASE/LSSE

Chocolate is to women what duct tape is to men.
It fixes everything.
#12
Houston, TX
3,306 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
We like them both too. There is definetly more wildlife in Alaska, including a far greater chance of seeing whales as well as something more exotic like a bear. I think Norway has the edge on scenery and you can have a true midnight sun experience since they go above the Arctic Circle.
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DeepWaterMariner

Cruising since 1968







#14
Littleton, CO
986 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Originally posted by uppitycats
I've been to Alaska 3 times, Norway once, and we're going to Norway again next April.

The only "con" to Norway is the distance you have to travel to get there.

They're both lovely...and quite different. Norway is "up close and personal" -- you see the mountains right outside your window, close enough to feel like you can touch them. If you travel up and through the fjords, you'll see homes, farms, orchards, beautiful small towns all through them.

Alaska is vast..wide open spaces. Distance is deceptive. You'll see a tiny "dot" out on the horizon, miles and miles away, and be told it's an elk, or moose. You'll see a glacier and not have a sense of just how huge it is..until you notice the tiny kayak with two people in it, up along side the glacier..and it looks like a child's toy.

Norway is less crowded with tourists than Alaska..at least when we were there this April. There isn't the mad rush to town, swamped with thousands of others just off their ships, but a more muted tourist experience.

We love both, but right now are leaning towards Norawy..probably because we're planning our cruise.. but I really can't think of any "cons" to either trip..except the distance..
Beautiful description. Now I want to go.

I am a 50% Norwegian and would love to go there someday. Do you all go by HAL?