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I've just been following this thread with interest.  I am booked on the Northern Lights cruise next year with the V.Star ship.  As this is a relatively new route for Viking, I would really appreciate passengers views from this year as to the over all cruise experience (horrendous storm aside!).  It has been really reassuring to read how well Viking handled the situation as I am not a 'natural' cruiser!

I wonder if 'the lights' were indeed visible and what the other 'highlights'...so to speak were.

 

Many thanks....

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We loved the cruise! We booked independently for most excursions, aside from the included panorama ones offered by Viking. Our highlights were a horse drawn sleigh ride along the Alta River, feeding reindeer, and the wonderful views along the coast. We had already booked another Viking cruise before the storm and used our vooucher to upgrade our suite and pay off that cruise. This time we are off to warmer climes! Viking treated us well.

 

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We booked a private tour in Alta, if you look for NORD you should find them, we were picked up and returned to the ship, they had 2 minibuses and after briefing us at their office and explaining why we were going where off we went, they did have tripods and extra clothing available if required.

Towards the end of the evening we got an excellent 30 minute light show, as we did on 2 other ocassions from the ship, we were lucky, you cant predict what, when or where, that said if you dont buy a ticket you will never win the lottery.

We also did the Tirpitz tour, fantastic and the various Arctic cathedrals were amazing, despite the last 36 hours or so we love every minute.

Any questions happy to tray and help

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52 minutes ago, fairweathertraveller said:

Thank you Haworth...lovely photos too.   As you say it is a matter of some luck as regards sightings, so hope we too get lucky!

I don’t have a very expensive camera but did buy a tripod and did use the web to sort out the settings so that I was good to go as soon as we had a sighting, it was worth the effort to get sorted 

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Hayworth, nice pictures and great advice.  The key to photographing the auroras if they are out is using a tripod, and knowing what shutter speed, aperture and ISO to use.  On tours, and even ship seminars they will give you general ideas.  I got the best pictures outside Narvik.  You also need patience!!  On one excursion, we were out looking for an hour and 40 minutes before they appeared.  Even then they did not last long.  It is a great experience once you see them.  Good luck.  Attached are two of my pictures.   JohnEB2

2S9A9255 narvik __fm.jpg

2S9A9257 Narvik __fm.jpg

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Sorry, I misspelled Haworth's name....Apologies.   Also a couple of other tips....learn to use manual focus, and remove any filters you have on your camera lense.   Enjoy, JohnEB2

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Posted (edited)
On 7/31/2019 at 7:27 AM, fairweathertraveller said:

I've just been following this thread with interest.  I am booked on the Northern Lights cruise next year with the V.Star ship.  As this is a relatively new route for Viking, I would really appreciate passengers views from this year as to the over all cruise experience (horrendous storm aside!).  It has been really reassuring to read how well Viking handled the situation as I am not a 'natural' cruiser!

I wonder if 'the lights' were indeed visible and what the other 'highlights'...so to speak were.

 

Many thanks....

 

I have to second what has already been conveyed in that it is indeed an amazing journey. Highlights for us would have to include our visit to Polar Park (had fantastic weather for that), and also reindeer and dog sledding - both great excursions (through Viking - did not do any independent). Alta and Tromsø are both incredible ports. See my picture from the Fjellheisen cable car in Tromsø below for an idea. (You can see the Sky towards the middle area of the picture). I'd also highly suggest an extension in Oslo, especially if you've not been there before. Much to see. Again, we used Viking's pre-cruise package and really enjoyed our time there. The hotel was fantastic - we were at the Thon Hotel Opera - great location within easy walking distance of attractions. Particularly - we enjoyed walking on the roof of the Opera House for the view, the ski jump in Holmenkollen, Vigeland Park, Fram and Viking Museums (both MUST sees), and City Hall. (Keep in mind you really should have a tour booked to get to the museums - we booked a day tour through Viator that included both of them.) Bergen is a really neat port to walk around as well - especially the Bryggen section. I didn't mention the Northern Lights since they speak for themselves - and wishing you luck with catching a few sightings. Go and enjoy....

 

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Edited by gretschwhtfalcon

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Posted (edited)

 

And one with the dogs!......

 

 

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And the lights (not up to John's class of photos,  but not too bad for an iPhone with a $2 northern lights app and no tripod..held the phone as still as I could against a stack of deck chairs)....

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Edited by gretschwhtfalcon

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5 hours ago, johneb2 said:

Hayworth, nice pictures and great advice.  The key to photographing the auroras if they are out is using a tripod, and knowing what shutter speed, aperture and ISO to use.  On tours, and even ship seminars they will give you general ideas.  I got the best pictures outside Narvik.  You also need patience!!  On one excursion, we were out looking for an hour and 40 minutes before they appeared.  Even then they did not last long.  It is a great experience once you see them.  Good luck.  Attached are two of my pictures.   JohnEB2

2S9A9255 narvik __fm.jpg

2S9A9257 Narvik __fm.jpg

Great photos, thanks for posting, brings back the good memories

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3 hours ago, fairweathertraveller said:

Thank you all for your advice and great pictures.  Looking forward to this first visit to Norway and all the new adventures along the way.

 

Yes thank you all - some unbelievable pictures and sights!!!   It's why we enjoy traveling and seeing new places !!

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8 hours ago, CCWineLover said:

 

Yes thank you all - some unbelievable pictures and sights!!!   It's why we enjoy traveling and seeing new places !!

 

I see you're an old hand already at sailing with Viking. The Northern Lights trip was our first. Safe travels.....

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I loved Corey's programs...such a shame that we never got to see his last one which was to be about the music of the Beatles. Would have been that Saturday evening. 

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2 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

I loved Corey's programs...such a shame that we never got to see his last one which was to be about the music of the Beatles. Would have been that Saturday evening. 

Agreed, excellent lectures, did you see the Beatles show that night in Molde, amazing atmosphere in the theatre.

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Posted (edited)

Well, no, we didn't see it cause we were no longer on the ship. Only came back to pack our room on Monday morning from the Thon hotel we had been staying at since Saturday following the evacuation. 

Edited by OnTheJourney

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1 hour ago, OnTheJourney said:

Well, no, we didn't see it cause we were no longer on the ship. Only came back to pack our room on Monday morning from the Thon hotel we had been staying at since Saturday following the evacuation. 

We were not helicoptered off so stayed on the ship, watched the show and then got bussed to the airport that night, home and sleeping in our own bed by about 04.00 the next day

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Posted (edited)

Wow. No show for us. But they did take us shopping on Sunday afternoon to a Mall (opened just for us) to buy whatever we needed (sort of felt like refugees in a way). Tell you what, the way Viking attempted to handle our flights was turning into a disaster. Talked to several agents and got nowhere. We were most unhappy with them. But that was all on Monday. The front desk called us in the hotel room at shortly after midnight on Sunday saying that if we could manage to come to the lobby and take a bus to the ship by like 3:30 a.m., there would then be a flight back to Oslo around (I think) 6:00 or so?  Great...so we got over to the Sky and worked our butts off throwing stuff back in suitcases (since the room was exactly as we left it before evacuating..so nothing was put away). As it turned out, there would have NEVER been time to get to the airport for the flight they had for us. Instead we wound up on the ship most of that day  - so would have had all day to pack at our leisure. During that time, I and many other people were trying to coordinate flights. I got so frustrated with them I finally went to a quiet place on one of the upper decks and did it myself on our iPhone. THEN we wound up taking a short flight from Molde to Oslo - stayed at the Radisson overnight, then flew out on Tuesday. Bus was late, however, to take us to the Oslo airport too..lots of unhappy passengers. 

Edited by OnTheJourney

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Posted (edited)

So now we know!!!!  Just got the email for the inaugural cruise that pertains to the Sky guests. It is Jan. 18-25, 2021 - Rome to Barcelona. The email said "invitation with details to follow". A bit disappointing in that I was hoping for longer than a week, since I'd rather not pay to fly all the way  to Europe for much less than 2 weeks, so not sure what I'll do with this. Depends on what else is offered with it and also if there are any pre or post-extensions. If not, sort of hesitant to go for just the 7 days. 

Edited by OnTheJourney

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I don't care for the dates personally - I try to avoid traveling in the winter if at all possible. Always worry about weather either leaving or returning (let alone during the trip depending on where it is). I wasn't quite as worried about the Sky Northern Lights trip since it was almost mid-March. We did an Antarctica trip in February and I fretted over that for over a year before - thankfully lucked out with nice weather. So January?  I don't know...love the idea of the invitation, but not sure all the worry over it, etc. would really be worth it. I live in a very rural area and our property, during some of these winter storms, can get blasted with snow and create huge drifts in the driveway, so I always have to secure a service that would come over and take care of things. No family close by to do it. 

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Ignoring the weather condition, I'd take it ... and spend a week or so in Spain after the cruise.  Spend a few days in Barcelona and then Madrid, for example.  Or even a week in Barcelona and doing day trips out of town.  When we were there before an Oceania cruise in November '05 (when weather was quite pleasant, but I don't know about January) we spent a day in Girona -- an hour or so train ride from Barcelona.  That's not far from Figures and the Dali Museum.  There's lots to do in that area, weather you rent a car, hire a driver, or go by train.

 

I also wouldn't fly to Europe for only a week.  That's a rule I made for myself many years ago!

 

Mura

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