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cocopico

Into the Midnight Sun Comments and Photos (July 2018)

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We recently sailed on the Viking Sky’s “Into the Midnight Sun” cruise from London to Bergen, departing on July 7th. It was a great cruise with relatively good weather and calm seas the whole trip. We only had one day with any signifiant rain, and that was in Molde. Even that cleared up in time for a beautiful sail out. I’m not going to do a review here because there have been several “live” reports on this itinerary, but I will make a few comments for what they are worth. First, we were very happy that we sailed from London to Bergen. We were more interested in the Norway half of the trip and we were glad the trip “peaked” with Geiranger as the second to last stop. We had an incredible sail in and out of the Geirangerfjord, with bow access both times, and the scenery was just stunning. I would have happily forfeited London and Edinburgh for a few extra days in Lofoten and Geiranger! (Although we would have hated to miss the sunset sail out of London, again with bow access as we passed the Thames Barrier.)

The Sky was great, as was our crew. The cruise was listed as “sold out” but the ship never really felt crowded. In fact, some days it seemed downright deserted! We probably did half the included excursions and some of the optional ones, and most were very worthwhile. For what its worth, we particularly enjoyed the nature hike on Mousa Island (Shetland Islands), as well as the included tour there. The excursion to Nusfjord in the Lofoten Islands was also very good, made even better by our guide. The included trip to Nordkapp in Honningsvan was worthwhile, if for no other reason than to say you pretty much visited the end of the world (or at least the northernmost point of Europe). One optional tour that I might reconsider was the London Eye at Night tour on the day we arrived. Viking really needs to change the description — we were back on the ship by sunset so it really wasn’t a view of London lit up at night. In fact, as the sun was going down it made it very hard to even see much of London because the sun was in our eyes the whole time. It was a nice ride up and down the Thames, though, and the ride on the London Eye was interesting. So, not a bad excursion, just not London by night.

All in all, we felt we had a good mix of tours and time on our own to visit the various ports. The Blue Nose Ceremony when we passed the Arctic Circle was also fun, especially seeing the uninitiated officers take the icy plunge in their formal uniforms. There were quite a few passengers who joined in and we had beautiful weather so the pool roof was open as we sailed. (The captain also kindly gave us plenty of advance notice when we were going to pass the Arctic Circle navigational marker, which we did at 11:00 a.m.) We also had a bit of drama the next night when a passenger had to be evacuated for medical reasons while were on a sea day. The weather was a little rough, with thunderstorms in the area, and the passenger had to be airlifted off the ship by what appeared to be a Norwegian Coast Guard helicopter. The helicopter couldn't land on the ship, so they had to hover over the ship and hoist the passenger up using a cable. The captain explained to everyone what was going to be happening and asked that everyone stay off the top decks. From all appearances, the crew (Viking and Coast Guard) did a great job under some challenging conditions. Hopefully the passenger is okay. I asked a crew member how many times he had seen this and he just sort of shrugged and said “two or three times.” This event definitely made my think more seriously about buying trip insurance!

The low point of the cruise was definitely the way it ended, with a 4:00 a.m. disembarkation time. We were booked on a 6:30 a.m. flight out of Bergen, with a five-hour layover in Amsterdam, for the trip back to Atlanta. Getting up at 3:00 a.m. is just not the best way to end a great vacation! :)

If anyone wants to get an idea of some of the things we saw along the way on this cruise, I’m included a link to some photographs here:

(there are also galleries for other Viking cruises on my website). If anyone has specific questions about the cruise, please feel free to contact me. I heartily recommend this Viking Ocean itinerary.

P.S. At the Explorers Society gathering our "future cruise consultant" said that 63% of the passengers on this sold-out cruise were repeat Viking customers. That speaks well for Viking.

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Very nice photos! I'm amazed at the photo with no people in it at Nordkapp! Fun to relive the trip through your camera lens. Thanks for sharing.

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Very nice photos! I'm amazed at the photo with no people in it at Nordkapp! Fun to relive the trip through your camera lens. Thanks for sharing.

 

Thanks -- and I enjoyed reading your posts in preparation for our trip, which followed shortly behind you. As for the Nordkapp photo, we took the last excursion of the day and even then it took a while to get a shot of the globe without people all over it! :)

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cocopico, your photos are amazing, thanks so much for sharing! I’m ready to book this .....sign me up!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Hi Cocopico!

 

Thanks for the great post and awesome pics!

 

We are leaving next week on the British Isles tour and especially enjoyed the London sail out pics.

 

My daughter is my travel buddy and the official photographer and is dying to know what camera and editing software you use. She gets some great pics but wants to step up her "photo game" for our next cruise. :)

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Thanks for the kind comments. A couple folks asked about camera and lenses. These were mostly shot with a Nikon D850 (overkill for most people) and a 28-300mm lens. I also used my iPhone quite a lot. The type of camera and lens is not as critical as patience. :) (I also frequently use a travel tripod for architectural shots, which is a dealbreaker for most people . . . ) Molymoo, the sailout photo from London was just an iPhone shot. And I primarily use Adobe Lightroom as my post-processing software.

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Jeff Milsteen ~ Thank you for these extraordinary and beautiful photographs! Your pictures are not simply a record of a time and place - they are powerfully evocative images. Viking Ocean - or Hurtigruten - should purchase some of your negatives for a series of oversized postcards...or, better yet, a book!

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My goodness, you are Ansel Adams reincarnated! Beautiful, beautiful photos. Thank you!

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Thanks to all for the kind comments. If there was a blushing emoji on CC I’d insert several of them here!

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I was compelled to check out your photos after the high praise heaped upon them in this thread. I was so impressed I sent the link to my daughter, an inveterate traveler and photographer. I also bookmarked the page so I can return to check out your other photos. Truly well done!

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Your photos are absolutely stunning! Thank you for sharing!!

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Your photos are great, we did this cruise Bergen to London in June and this brings back a lot of good memories.

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You captured the beauty of the land , sea, sky .

Thank you for sharing your review and the stunning pictures of your Viking cruise.

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Hi Cocopico, we were on your 7/7/2018 cruise. Thanks for sharing your pictures! We took some of the same pictures while exploring ashore. Wonderful memories. Definitely a "do over" cruise!

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we too were on this cruise ... here's what we did after if anyone has questions for future reference

 

after, we stayed in Bergen for a bit (Harbor Hotel downtown) ... walked here from the cruise terminal thanks to rolling luggage!

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then did "Norway in a nutshell" from Bergen to Flam by train/bus/ferry aka tour boat overnighting in Flam

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Then trains from Flam to Oslo where we stayed a few more days

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flights both ways were booked on our own with Norwegian .... there have been some discussions about this airline ... we did 'premium' Orlando to London Gatwick and Oslo to Orlando ..... no complaints.

 

Questions??????

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