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jiminyC_fan

Yays or nays for the Viking Homeland excursions

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Hi guys, looking for any insight as to your favorite included or paid excursions for the Homelands cruise. I would, also, like any info of ones that you didn't particularly care for. Was there anything in port not included but is a must see in your opinion? I know on our Grand European River Cruise there were a few that weren't included and I was lucky to find through research.

 

Dauntless, you have been a lot of help. Just wanted to give you a shout out.

 

Thanks for any and all help.

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We did Homelands last July. The included tours differ depending on which local guide you get. The one tour that I would NOT recommend was the included trip in Flam. It was a long bus ride to get a waffle that we could have gotten on the ship. We were really pleased with the included tour in Gdansk. We did NOT go into Berlin but took the local tour which was fine. Enjoyed the beer and pretzels. Also walked over to the beach area after we returned before boarding the ship. We did not take any of the extra tours offered by Viking but scheduled some independently. We had a wonderful two-day tour (10 people) with Alla in St. Petersburg. Highly recommend them.

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We did Homelands last July. The included tours differ depending on which local guide you get. The one tour that I would NOT recommend was the included trip in Flam. It was a long bus ride to get a waffle that we could have gotten on the ship. We had a wonderful two-day tour (10 people) with Alla in St. Petersburg. Highly recommend them.

I know you are not going to Flam but the fault seemed to be there was no destination once you got to the end of the line and then had to spend an hour there. The scenery was good, unfortunately, it was the road to nowhere. This is not the town's fault, as it has much to offer but the wrong choice for the included excursion. Maybe that's why they are not calling on this port for your cruise. If you do want to take the train and you are not going to Oslo, there is an option from Bergen, round trip, that could be done on your free time. Though we had been to Flam, took the included, we stayed a couple of days in Bergen to take the adventure. Highly recommend it.

We had 12 on our Alla Grand tour.

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We were on the truncated version of this voyage. I would highly recommend Alla tours as well. We never made it to Flam on the ship. Instead we had a land tour from Bergen and took the Flam train which was great.

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I enjoyed all of the excursions I went on in May. I was prepared for some that weren't so good, but I can't complain about anything. Here's what I did through Viking:

 

Helsinki-included tour. The guide was knowledgeable and we saw the highlights. After the tour, I went in the Uspenski Cathedral and the Helsinki Cathedral on my own as well as taking the ferry to Soumenlinna.

 

Tallinn-Optional Tour with Chocolate Factory. This was a last minute substitution due to our original tour being cancelled. I got the lay of the land making it easier to return in the afternoon. Had fun meeting others and making chocolate.

 

Gdansk-Optional Stutthof Camp tour-recommend, just know you won't see any of the city as the tour takes the whole port time (at least in the Stockholm-Bergen direction).

 

Germany-Optional to Lubeck and Wismar-recommend if you have been to Berlin and want to see another part of Germany.

 

Copenhagen-Optional Charming Coastal Copenhagen-loved this excursion. See thatched roof homes and live outside the city. Came back and took a cab to Tivoli. Took the evening jazz cruise as well. It was such a gorgeous day when we were there--everyone was outside along the canals eating and just enjoying the day.

 

Aalborg-Included tour. Informative guide but cold, rainy and windy weather.

 

Did a private tour with Insider Tours in St. Petersburg and walked around on our own in Stavanger and Bergen. I did purchase cruise tickets to Pulpit Rock ahead of time (Stavanger).

 

I hope you have a great trip!

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I enjoyed all of the excursions I went on in May. I was prepared for some that weren't so good, but I can't complain about anything. Here's what I did through Viking:

 

Helsinki-included tour. The guide was knowledgeable and we saw the highlights. After the tour, I went in the Uspenski Cathedral and the Helsinki Cathedral on my own as well as taking the ferry to Soumenlinna.

 

Tallinn-Optional Tour with Chocolate Factory. This was a last minute substitution due to our original tour being cancelled. I got the lay of the land making it easier to return in the afternoon. Had fun meeting others and making chocolate.

 

Gdansk-Optional Stutthof Camp tour-recommend, just know you won't see any of the city as the tour takes the whole port time (at least in the Stockholm-Bergen direction).

 

Germany-Optional to Lubeck and Wismar-recommend if you have been to Berlin and want to see another part of Germany.

 

Copenhagen-Optional Charming Coastal Copenhagen-loved this excursion. See thatched roof homes and live outside the city. Came back and took a cab to Tivoli. Took the evening jazz cruise as well. It was such a gorgeous day when we were there--everyone was outside along the canals eating and just enjoying the day.

 

Aalborg-Included tour. Informative guide but cold, rainy and windy weather.

 

Did a private tour with Insider Tours in St. Petersburg and walked around on our own in Stavanger and Bergen. I did purchase cruise tickets to Pulpit Rock ahead of time (Stavanger).

 

I hope you have a great trip!

JerseyGirl...you went in May? Can I ask how the weather was? We are leaving on 5/28 and from what I have seen so far, we can expect temps in the 50-60's? I was hoping for warmer, but, I guess not.

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I can't thank you enough for the help I received with your answers. So mind boggling with all the research one must do to prepare.

 

jerseygrl, I have three questions. You stated you purchased cruise tickets to Pulpit Rock ahead of time. Could you, please, tell me what company you went with? We definitely want to get there. The company I found, Rodne, has two cruises. One at 10 which will miss but it has it another one at 2. Since it is a 3 hour tour and all aboard sounds like 6 we would be cutting it too close for my comfort level. Also, I have the same question as MNJEWEL. We will be cruising in May as well. I just don't know how to pack. It seems it will be in between weather. Not winter sweaters but not summer short sleeves. What do you recommend packing? Are the dining rooms cold on the ship? Thanks for all your help!

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jiminyC-I booked the Pulpit Rock cruise with Rodne and did the afternoon sailing. We were back in plenty of time--in fact, there was a Viking excursion group on the same ferry (I just paid less!). The ferry leaves/returns just steps away from where we docked.

 

jiminyC & mnjewel--the weather!! My sailing was May 15 and the weather was all over the place. We had days in the low 70s and some in the 40s. Overall it was better than I expected. I was more prepared for the cooler temps and ended up buying a lightweight tunic top along the way! To give you an example, our day in Copenhagen was gorgeous--blue sky, sun and about 70. The following day in Aalborg, it was about 40 with wind and pelting rain at times. St. Petersburg was cool and gray, Tallinn and Gdansk sunny and warm. Layers and pieces you can mix and match are best.

 

As for the ship, I only at in the World Cafe and Manfredi's and found the temperatures to be comfortable. I didn't need to bring an extra sweater when we ate (we were able to eat outside on some of the warmer days which I was not expecting at all). Hope this helps!

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Thank you, thank you Jerseygrl!!!! You made me feel 100% better about booking direct with Rodne. I kind of figured the weather would be all over the place but have to admit 70 is a shock.

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JerseyGirl...you went in May? Can I ask how the weather was? We are leaving on 5/28 and from what I have seen so far, we can expect temps in the 50-60's? I was hoping for warmer, but, I guess not.

 

We are on that same cruise. Thanks for asking.

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kyoh,

 

You said that you took an included local tour and did not go to Berlin. On our Barcelona, the Baltics, and Beyond the only tour offered as included is Berlin, nothing local. Everything else has a price. Same for Le Havre. Anybody know if they've changed and are not offering anything local? I think I'll email them.

 

Thank you!

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Thanks for all the info. We are on the May 14th departure from Stockholm on the Sea. Can't wait!!!

I was wondering how far ahead of sailing do they post the excursions. I am not talking about booking but just perusing the options.

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Those of you who went to Bergen, we will be there for a day (in November!). What did you particularly enjoy?

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Yes....thank you so much. We were on the grand European river cruise the first week of October. It was gray and cool the whole time. I think we saw the sun for a while on 2 different days. I was so happy to have brought a lightweight down jacket!!

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Took this cruise July 2015. RECOMMEND these extra price excursions:

 

Tallinn chocolate- get good walking tour on the way AND have time for more on your own in addition to the fun with chocolate. A win-win.

 

St Petersburg (ranked 1,2,3)- 1. the tour that takes a canal boat and includes more time at Church of the Spilled Blood. Boat is MUCH better than bus included tour! Also did 2. Peterhof. Loads of people there, but pretty amazing. The traffic management of crowds is not good. We got in early, but getting OUT was terrible. Still glad we saw it, though. Some people did the Viking grand combo that included ballet and two full days. We were afraid to be that busy, though some friends really liked it. The MUST SEE for us was Church of Spilled Blood. We'd do that again in a minute. Also did the 3. evening folk dancing performance which was fun. It was held at an old Officer's Club in the city -- which was interesting in itself.

 

Stockholm- Vasa Museum-- a MUST!!!. Also good, but not amazing: Canal boat tour (water is always better than a bus- good scenery and look at life along the waterways).

 

Alborg: Pub crawl was great -- if you like beer. Easy on-off ship means you can go off on your own and enjoy beer chits at own pace after the initial part. Guide was VERY good.

 

Copenhagen- Did included, then went on our OWN to Neuhavn and took canal boat tour. It was great and far less costly than Viking would have been. Saw much and could get better pictures than from bus on included tour.

 

Helsinki: went to little town out in country (can't recall the name). Really enjoyed it vs. another city of landmarks and traffic.

 

V Homelands is a great itinerary!

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Those of you who went to Bergen, we will be there for a day (in November!). What did you particularly enjoy?

 

If you are there early on embarkation day, take the funicular up Mt Flouen on your own,. Cheaper. The line is worth it. We really liked it, and the fresh air helped cure jet lag. Dress for cold!

Edited by eaglewatchers
typo

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Viking homelands Alborg NOW offers:

A Day In The Life of a Viking 2:15PM 4HRS $99 Experience historic Alborg and the surrounding countryside, heading out of town to meet locals past and present. Head out of the city and meet the locals of past and present. Visit the Fyrkat reconstructed farm on the outskirts of the home town of the Viking King Harold Bluetooth, and witness firsthand some of the local traditions, chores and cultural practices that date back to the Viking era. Your Viking journey continues to Lindholm Hoje. Your guide will tell the story of this ancient burial site, which features over 700 graves sites and 150 stone ships. See history come alive at the museum exhibit, where accounts of the inhabitants lives are told through reconstructions, illustrations and animations. Travel back to Alborg where your ship awaits. Stop along the way at our very own Viking market, where you can experience the culinary delights of the Vikings' simple fare and sample a glass of delicious mead

Viking homelands Alborg used to offer a tour I like more:

Historic Alborg & The Vikings 3 HRS $59 Discover the history of a fascinating city and the formula behind its favorite spirit. Cross the Limfjorden Bridge to explore the ancient Viking site of Lindholm H?je, where 700 graves date to the late Iron Age and Viking era. Browse its excellent museum to learn how Alborg was founded by Vikings in the late 900s and went on to prosper on fishing and trade. In the city of ?lborg, pass by the half-timbered Alborg Castle, built by King Christian III as a residence for his governors, and see the 14th-century Cathedral of St. Budolf and the 1624 Jens Bang?s House. In the West End, meet a local couple in their neighborhood garden to learn about the community approach to cultivating. Join them in their private pavilion to witness the garden culture and sample aquavit

Those of you who have been there.

Can we simply get a map from our concierge and walk "Cross the Limfjorden Bridge to explore the ancient Viking site of Lindholm H?je, where 700 graves date to the late Iron Age and Viking era. Browse its excellent museum" on our own instead of these tours?

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Viking homelands Alborg NOW offers:

A Day In The Life of a Viking 2:15PM 4HRS $99 Experience historic Alborg and the surrounding countryside, heading out of town to meet locals past and present. Head out of the city and meet the locals of past and present. Visit the Fyrkat reconstructed farm on the outskirts of the home town of the Viking King Harold Bluetooth, and witness firsthand some of the local traditions, chores and cultural practices that date back to the Viking era. Your Viking journey continues to Lindholm Hoje. Your guide will tell the story of this ancient burial site, which features over 700 graves sites and 150 stone ships. See history come alive at the museum exhibit, where accounts of the inhabitants lives are told through reconstructions, illustrations and animations. Travel back to Alborg where your ship awaits. Stop along the way at our very own Viking market, where you can experience the culinary delights of the Vikings' simple fare and sample a glass of delicious mead

Viking homelands Alborg used to offer a tour I like more:

Historic Alborg & The Vikings 3 HRS $59 Discover the history of a fascinating city and the formula behind its favorite spirit. Cross the Limfjorden Bridge to explore the ancient Viking site of Lindholm H?je, where 700 graves date to the late Iron Age and Viking era. Browse its excellent museum to learn how Alborg was founded by Vikings in the late 900s and went on to prosper on fishing and trade. In the city of ?lborg, pass by the half-timbered Alborg Castle, built by King Christian III as a residence for his governors, and see the 14th-century Cathedral of St. Budolf and the 1624 Jens Bang?s House. In the West End, meet a local couple in their neighborhood garden to learn about the community approach to cultivating. Join them in their private pavilion to witness the garden culture and sample aquavit

Those of you who have been there.

Can we simply get a map from our concierge and walk "Cross the Limfjorden Bridge to explore the ancient Viking site of Lindholm H?je, where 700 graves date to the late Iron Age and Viking era. Browse its excellent museum" on our own instead of these tours?

 

It can be walked but from the map it looks to be farther than a few blocks but it has been stated it's an easy bus ride. Time in port is short so you may not be able to do this on your own and still do the included. We did not make the site on our cruise and took the included. There is a building at port that can probably set you in right direction.

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Jersey Girl,

We are going on the trip in June. Do you remember the name of the company you used for the cruise ticket to Pulpet Rock.

Thanks.

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bookworm, I believe she used Rodne. That is who we have booked with as well. http://www.rodne.no/en/

 

I just went to the site. They have 2 cruises available that day. One at 10:00 and the other at 2:00. Since we arrive at 10:00 we would miss the 10:00 tour by minutes. We leave at 6:00 and the 2:00 tour will return at 5:00. Will that be a problem...Are they prompt in their return.

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