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Fantastic Private Tour from Leknes

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We recently returned from a cruise to the Arctic Circle. We didn't like any of the ship-sponsored tours at Leknes, so we decided to arrange our own private tour. Since we didn't receive a response from the local taxi company after several emails, I contacted a local bus company - Arctic Buss. I gave them the itinerary that we wanted - a tour to the end of the Lofoten Island string to the village of A, stopping at several other villages and scenic sights in between. Our itinerary was:

 

Pick up at Leknes Port at 8:00 am

Nusfjord - Spend time in preserved fishing village/museum (around 45 minutes)

Ramberg - Photo Stop for white sand beach with backdrop of snowcapped Arctic peaks

Flakstad - Photo stop at the18th Century domed Flakstad Kirke and beaches (We don't go in the church)

Reine - Photo Stop for picturesque village with Lagoon

A - Visit Norwegian Fishing Village Museum (around 45 minutes) - IF the weather is clear, we should be able to see the Islands Mosken and Vaeroy from A.

Victen - Lofoten Design - Glass Factory - Ceramic Tower (around 30 - 45 minutes)

Stops at other scenic vistas and interesting monuments along the way

Return to Leknes Port at 1:00 pm (13:00)

 

We were provided with a brand new bus that could seat up to 50 people, and had a restroom on board. Since we prefer small tour groups, we decided to limit the number of tour participants to 22 people (everyone had a window seat) - at a cost of approximately $60 per person. That was the full cost, including bus, English speaking driver, taxes, and entrance fees at Nusfjord, A, and Victen. (We opted not to have a tour guide on the bus, since that would have almost doubled the cost, and really wasn't necessary since our aim was to see the fantastic scenery.)

 

The tour was fantastic, and we are so glad that we did this 5 hour tour, instead of one of the ship's 3 hour tours. The Lofoten Islands were our favorite port due to the fantastic bus tour that we had. We highly recommend Arctic Buss for tours from Leknes.

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Sandy

 

This sounds wonderful. We were just on the same cruise and did a Leknes Taxi tour. I planned a group of 12 for the train in Flam and I'd be interested - if you are willing to share - how you coordinated this. I found it a bit challenging to get all the money and then get the group gathered up. I provided specific times and meeting places but there were small issues with "forgot the money and will try to meet you later", "can't remember where and when we are meeting", etc. I'd be interested how you got a larger group to comply without it taking you too much time.

 

I wish we could have gone to Nusfjord. We were late getting to our taxi as they waited to fill the tender - and that took a considerable amount of time. Because we were late, we ended up not being able to go to Nusfjord as we did not have enough time.

 

Dawn

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Sandy

 

This sounds wonderful. We were just on the same cruise and did a Leknes Taxi tour. I planned a group of 12 for the train in Flam and I'd be interested - if you are willing to share - how you coordinated this. I found it a bit challenging to get all the money and then get the group gathered up. I provided specific times and meeting places but there were small issues with "forgot the money and will try to meet you later", "can't remember where and when we are meeting", etc. I'd be interested how you got a larger group to comply without it taking you too much time.

 

I wish we could have gone to Nusfjord. We were late getting to our taxi as they waited to fill the tender - and that took a considerable amount of time. Because we were late, we ended up not being able to go to Nusfjord as we did not have enough time.

 

Dawn

 

It's a shame that you weren't able to get to Nusfjord after all of your planning.

 

Everything worked pretty smoothly for us, except for a small hiccup with the tender.

 

Arctic Buss required full payment in NOK when we boarded the bus. (We also had quite a few people on a waiting list in case anyone cancelled, which did not happen.)

 

Around a month before we left for Europe, I sent everyone an email reminding them of the requirement of paying in NOK cash. We either needed to buy currency ahead or get NOK on the ship, since this was our first port in Norway. I also requested any change in cabin #s, so that I could contact those that we didn't meet at the Connections Party.

 

At the Connections Party, we requested Priority Tender Tickets for those in the group who were not elite or in suites, since we were on a "CruiseCritic Tour". I did receive these from the Guest Relations Manager the evening before the tour. Nevertheless, our group had to wait longer than we expected in the priority tender lounge, and were around a half hour late getting off of the tender. Our bus driver asked if it was okay with everyone if he extended the tour around a half hour so that we could see everything on our itinerary. Of course, we all happily agreed. Five hours was the minimum time to see everything that we wanted to see. Arctic Buss and Solveig who I emailed to plan the tour, were extremely responsive and easy to work with.

 

I requested that everyone meet in one of the lounges so that we could leave the ship together. At that point, everyone gave me their NOK so that I was able to pay the bus driver as we got on the bus.

 

I guess that I've been lucky, but I've never had a problem with people not showing up at the meeting place on time. I do call the cabins of everyone that I haven't seen the day before to remind them of the meeting place and time.

 

I do think that all of the reminders help, and in case someone was ill, it would have given me time to arrange for someone to take their place - especially since no deposit was required, and a no-show would have cost everyone else extra since there was a set cost for the bus and driver, and our admission tickets were provided by the bus company.

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Thanks Sandy

 

I appreciate all of the insight. I realized we weren't actually on the same ship - just some of the same stops. The 12 person Flam train was the largest ship excursion I have done for others -but I love what you pulled together and may have to try that on an upcoming cruise. I wish I had done this in Leknes. Our option worked out better than a ship tour - but not nearly as well as what you did. Great job!

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We recently returned from a cruise to the Arctic Circle. We didn't like any of the ship-sponsored tours at Leknes, so we decided to arrange our own private tour. Since we didn't receive a response from the local taxi company after several emails, I contacted a local bus company - Arctic Buss. I gave them the itinerary that we wanted - a tour to the end of the Lofoten Island string to the village of A, stopping at several other villages and scenic sights in between. Our itinerary was:

Pick up at Leknes Port at 8:00 am

Nusfjord - Spend time in preserved fishing village/museum (around 45 minutes)

Ramberg - Photo Stop for white sand beach with backdrop of snowcapped Arctic peaks

Flakstad - Photo stop at the18th Century domed Flakstad Kirke and beaches (We don't go in the church)

Reine - Photo Stop for picturesque village with Lagoon

A - Visit Norwegian Fishing Village Museum (around 45 minutes) - IF the weather is clear, we should be able to see the Islands Mosken and Vaeroy from A.

Victen - Lofoten Design - Glass Factory - Ceramic Tower (around 30 - 45 minutes)

Stops at other scenic vistas and interesting monuments along the way

Return to Leknes Port at 1:00 pm (13:00)

 

Super great updates and details from Sandy and Dawn. YES!!! I strongly urge people to see these island highlights, up close and personal!! It is very important. WHY?? We did a rental car down to A and saw most all of the top stops mentioned by Sandy. We really enjoyed Nusfjord. Very interesting village and historic site. Glad we stopped there and saw it.

 

Sadly, many people will just get off at a port stop, walk around, not want to spend any money, nor be creative. You need to "get out there", see it, feel it, experience first-hand the beauty of the nature and dramatic settings here. Below are some of my picture to prove why it's worth the excellent efforts that Sandy and Dawn made. The rewards are well worth it!! From my live/blog you can see much more on the wonderful Lofoten Islands. This area was one of the super highlights from our trip in this exciting area.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 76,401 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

An historic seaport and cod fishing center is Nusfjord a few miles east of the main south-bound road in the Lofoten Islands. It is one of Norway’s oldest and best preserved fishing villages (fiskevaer). Here is one of its buildings and its harbor. There is also a cod processing building with various visuals to see for that historic era. The old Fish Oil Mill is used for exhibiting items from the Fish Buying Station or fiskemottak. They show a film called “The people and the fish”. The mill was built around 1910. Here fish oil was produced from fish liver. The fish was retrieved from the Buying Station then, transported by rowboat to the mill. Cod liver oil was a very attractive export product, used in industrial production and for medicinal purpose. We also got some great pictures of its birds perched on a large rock, etc. You can see more details from this website:

http://www.nusfjord.no/EN/nusfjord/index_new_eng.html:

 

LofotenNusfjordBldg.jpg

 

 

We went to the end of the road in the Lofoten Islands along the scenic Norway Coast. This is a charming village called “A”. In their alphabet, this “A” has a small “o” above the letter. Simple name for a charming fishing town! We had box lunches from the ship and dined on a picnic table on the wooden dock. This was our view with the busy and noisy birds.:

 

LofotenARedBldgBirds.jpg

 

 

Here are more examples of the soaring rocks/mountains and dramatic scenery in the Lofoten Islands when we did our DIY drive south and then back on the Lofoten Islands. Nice? This includes one of the curved beaches about a mile and a half east of Ramberg.:

 

LofotenMountGreenFields.jpg

 

 

LofotenBeachYellowFlowers.jpg

 

 

Here are some of the many wooden racks for fish drying on these islands that we checked out during our drive south in the Lofoten Islands.:

 

LofotenFishDrying.jpg

 

 

Near the main E10 roadway in the southern part of the Lofoten Island is this historic Flakstad Kirke church that was built in 1780. It has a Russian design/look as certain of its materials were donated by those from that country.:

 

LofotenRedChurch.jpg

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Sandy, that sounds like a great plan that worked out well for your group. Unfortunately our roll call was very quiet so no interest in making plans ahead.

 

We just returned from our cruise to the Norwegian Fjords and North Cape. The port of Leknes had to be my favorite stop of the entire cruise. We arranged for a car rental ahead of time through Hertz, got my AAA discount, and they had the car waiting for us right at the port. They provided a good map and we were on our way in 15 minutes. Just need to be very specific about the time you want the car and that you want to pick it up at the port. This will probably involve a phone call.

 

Terry's photos only begin to scratch the surface of how beautiful this place is. However you plan to spend your visit here, make sure you get to visit all the little villages.

 

We first drove all the way down to A (there is a little bit of road construction at one point, but nothing problematic). Then we slowly drove back north, stopping at every little village along the way. Definitely visit Nusfjord (have to pay 50 NOK to get in) and also the road to the Glass Factory is a beautiful drive. The contrast of the ocean with white sandy beaches against the backdrop of the snow capped mountains is breathtaking. We were so lucky that we had gorgeous weather. I must have taken hundreds of photos, at each turn along the road there was a new view more spectacular than the one before. The town of Leknes itself is just a working town, not much interest to speak of. This is not a port to just get off the ship and walk around the town, you will be disappointed.

 

We ate a snack in Nusfjord but we found the food highlight here is the bakery in A. We got extra cinnamon rolls to go and ate them that evening as a bedtime snack (as if we needed our own snack on a cruise).

 

Terry, you really set the bar high with your amazing photos. I think I took about 1500 total! I have been looking for a way to PM you but could not figure it out, can you give me a hint?

 

Hope this has been helpful for future travelers.

 

-Caroline

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Terry's photos only begin to scratch the surface of how beautiful this place is. However you plan to spend your visit here, make sure you get to visit all the little villages. Terry, you really set the bar high with your amazing photos. I think I took about 1500 total! I have been looking for a way to PM you but could not figure it out, can you give me a hint?

Hope this has been helpful for future travelers. -Caroline

 

Appreciate Caroline's great posting and excellent experience on the super lovely Lofoten Islands. 1500 pictures is lots and lots!!

 

I didn't quite understand your question of "been looking for a way to PM you but could not figure it out, can you give me a hint?" Help me. What's "PM"? Happy to share more and help.

 

Agree that just a few pictures cannot summarize ALL that you will see and experience in this great and beautiful part of the world. Below are a few more of my visuals. Many more are on my full live/blog connected below.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 94,051 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 76,967 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

Here are more examples of the soaring rocks/mountains and dramatic scenery in the Lofoten Islands when we did our DIY drive south and then back on the Lofoten Islands.:

 

LofotenRockBoatsDramatic.jpg

 

 

At the historic seaport and cod fishing center of Nusfjord, here are some its birds perched on a large rock.:

 

LototenNusfjordBirds.jpg

 

 

Here are a mix of added Lofoten Islands pictures. First, the valley view as we drove south towards "A". Second, a closer look at how those harbor buildings are built on the rock in this fishing town of "A". Third, the green coverings on these dramatic mountains. Fourth, a building with grass (plus sheep) on the roof. Don't know if the sheep took the ladder up.

 

LofotenEarlyValleyViewRedBldg.jpg

 

 

LofotenBldgBuiltOnRockHarbor.jpg

 

 

LofotenGreenMtnShore.jpg

 

 

LofotenSheepRooftop.jpg

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PM = send a Private Message;)

 

Hi, Caroline! If I can get your e-mail, I'm happy to shoot you a note and figure out a way to connect by phone. I've got free long-distance, so it's easy for me to call you in Florida, answer other questions, if that's helpful.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 94,051 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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Just a funny note, the city of Å is almost pronounced like oh.

 

Appreciate this detail from Danish viking. You do a super great job on questions about one of our most favorite cities, Copenhagen!! Trying to pronounce many Europe words can be challenging. Here, it's only, just one letter. Unique name!! Now I know how to say it correctly, but nobody I know here would understand that. Below is how that town name looks on the signs as you head south.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 77,027 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

Here is the sign to go south on the Lofoten Islands when traveling to “A”.

 

LofotenASignLookSouth.jpg

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