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Independent Tour Options - Norway, Faroe Islands, Iceland


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I’ve only been on one cruise before. It was a Princess Cruise to Alaska. We booked a few excursions ahead of time through an excursion company that sold tours with various providers in the port. The price was better than with Princess. We also booked a few on our own that we found on Trip Advisor. Those were smaller groups and we enjoyed them as well. 

 

We even booked some spur of the moment tours at booths set up near the docks. We lucked out with a particularly good whale spotting experience! We did this on a day when we had an early tour and decided to squeeze one more adventure in!

 

We are booked on Viking in 2020 to visit Norway, Faroe Island, and Iceland. I’m wondering about the availability of “non Viking” excursions on this itinerary. Does anyone have any experience with this? 

 

If you’ve cruised to any of the ports below we’d love your input and suggestions on excursions you’ve enjoyed! 

 

In Norway 🇳🇴 

 

Bergen

Flam

Alesund

Geirsnger

———-

In The Faroe Islands 🇫🇴 

 

Torshaven

 

———

 

In Iceland 🇮🇸 

 

Seydisfjordur

Akureyri

Isafjordur

Reykjavik

 

 

 

 

 

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One suggestion would be to check out the roll calls for this coming season. I believe the first cruise is May 27th and they may have selected their tours. They discuss private tour options on the roll call sites. You could also check out the Ports of Call thread. Plenty of Iceland and Norway discussion there.

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We booked an overview tour of the Faroe Islands on September 2018 cruise from Bergen to Montreal.  It was with David from Heimdal Tours.  He was an entertaining and knowledgable guide and provided an extensive overview of the islands.  You might want to consider him for your stop in Torshaven.  As I recall his minivan accommodated eight people.

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We are on the same itinerary  in June 2019.

 

you may be in for sticker shock in Iceland, at least, private tours are very expensive. We did book a private taxi/car to take us on the Golden Circle tour in Reykjavik, but that was approx $620 for the 4 of us, http://www.hreyfill.is/en/  is the taxi company.for Akureyri we are using Saga travel for a small group tour (20or less people) to Mvatyn lake area. https://sagatravel.is/ .

 

In Norway and Torshavn island, we are just taking the included  or  optional Viking tours or walking around on our own since most of these stops are small towns. 

 

Good of luck with your planning

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

In Gerianger we took the included panoramic excursion in the afternoon  and loved it.  So very scenic.  In the morning, we took an early tender and walked up the Fossevandringer Geiranger to the Norwegian Fjord Center on our own.  (You can find both on Google Maps.)  The hike begins at the campground up a wooded path to a metal staircase along a waterfall.  There are platforms right above the falls and the view becomes more spectacular as you climb.  It's about 300 steps broken up with diagonal inclines so it's not as tough as it sounds.  In the morning no one was walking but we encountered a number of people as we walked down.  At the top is the Fjord Center which was also empty when we arrived.  They showed a great short film of the area through the seasons and the displays were a cross between hokey and charming but fun nonetheless.  If you time your PM excursion and AM walk right you can have lunch on the ship or in town and be happy to sit back and enjoy the scenery on the afternoon excursion.

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Viking has a Fish Farming tour this seems different and unique but I'm not sure I want to do it on my official Bergen Day.  I'm wondering if there are any independent options that I could check out.  We will be in Bergen a few days before we sail and this might be a fun thing to do then.

 

 

FISH FARMING & MARITIME HISTORY

DURATION: 8.5 HOURS      

Meal
UNESCO
Working World
Moderate*
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

GET A RARE LOOK AT SHIPBUILDING AND FISH FARMING CULTURES

Gain an insider’s view of Norway’s shipbuilding culture and fish farming industry. You will pass charming Norwegian coastal villages, rolling farmlands and towering fjords along the way. Traverse the scenic Samnangerfjord into the mountains of Kvamskogen, a popular winter sports area where you can stop for photos. Cross this mountain pass into the Hardangerfjord, where you will pause to stroll behind the magnificent Steinsdalsfossen waterfall and browse the small nearby shop. Explore Norway’s shipbuilding culture at the Hardanger Maritime Center, where ropes are braided, iron is forged by smithies and vessels are restored. Witness Norway’s fish farming at Hardanger Akvasenter and walk along the small floating dock to the farm and the main exhibition center, where salmon are on view via underwater cameras. Next, you will continue to Voss, where you will enjoy a traditional Norwegian lakeside lunch before returning to your ship.

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We are booked on this cruise this August, 2019. For the Faroe Islands we booked a private excursion with www.mmtours.fo.

We booked some excursions with Viking and some private excursions. We are staying in Reykjavik for a couple of days after the cruise (on our own) and we booked some private excursions there. We also booked "The Blue Lagoon" directly on the Blue Lagoon's website. We are doing it on the day we are in the port (last day of cruise). You can book the transportation from the port to the Blue Lagoon on their website. It worked out to be less expensive than booking it through Viking.  Viking's tours were all in the afternoon. We chose a morning time.  We booked private excursions in Alesund and Akureyri, both on Viator. In Alesund we are doing "From Fjords to Trolls" and in Akureyri we are doing "Lake Myvatn from Akureyri Port". 

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On 4/1/2019 at 8:32 PM, Liz Masterson said:

I’ve only been on one cruise before. It was a Princess Cruise to Alaska. We booked a few excursions ahead of time through an excursion company that sold tours with various providers in the port. The price was better than with Princess. We also booked a few on our own that we found on Trip Advisor. Those were smaller groups and we enjoyed them as well. 

 

We even booked some spur of the moment tours at booths set up near the docks. We lucked out with a particularly good whale spotting experience! We did this on a day when we had an early tour and decided to squeeze one more adventure in!

 

We are booked on Viking in 2020 to visit Norway, Faroe Island, and Iceland. I’m wondering about the availability of “non Viking” excursions on this itinerary. Does anyone have any experience with this? 

 

If you’ve cruised to any of the ports below we’d love your input and suggestions on excursions you’ve enjoyed! 

 

In Norway 🇳🇴 

 

Bergen

Flam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Been to these ports with Viking on Homelands cruise when Flam was still part of that.

We spent a couple of days in Bergen after the cruise.  Though we went to Flam on the cruise and did the included(which has now changed thankfully).  They took us to the middle of nowhere for some tepid waffles and not much else but a fairly unattractive buildings that showcased nothing.  If I had known it was suppose to be about the journey and not the destination I might have had different expectations.  The journey was fine but there was no 'there' there.  Arriving back in port, I had arranged to do 1.5 hr round trip to a lookout because I wanted to see the fjords from above.  My friend said as we walked out the  lookout, "There's the rest of the cruise and then there's Norway".  Spectacular and it is now part of the included.  If you are there at the right time there is also a farming community very close to Flam that is now a tourist spot.  Can't remember the  name but I'm sure you can get the info. 

 

What about the train trip?  On one of our days in Bergen we did NIAN through Norway Active.  This is not really a guided tour, though you do have several along the way but none that tour the whole thing with you.  You leave the train station in Bergen around 8 am.  Travel to Myrdal then transfer to the Flambassa to Flam.  This is where you can start to customize your experience.  You can go all the way down on the train or at a designated spot you can get off and bike the rest of the way downhill(Viking has this option from the port on the train trip or just the train trip but your time is eaten up as you travel the same route each way unless you get off and do the bike.  When you arrive at the port, you have time to grab something for lunch(not included) and then you do the Fjord safari through Nerofjord to Gundvasson where you disembark.  (I'm not checking the spelling on this but the website has all the right spelling).--Viking offers this excursion round trip.  We were met and taken up the mountain  to the place where Viking takes you for lunch but we didn't eat there but did come down on the crossback road with spectacular views and then were taken to Voss--again another Viking excursion where you could raft or take the train back to Bergen at your leisure.  A memorable day and you certainly get to see the landscape of the country, which is what they are known for.  The price will vary, depending on how you pick and choose your journey but it's worth every penny to have an experience you will always remember.

 

Bergen has changed their included tour now and that is a good thing.  We were there Sept 18 and the temp. was 80 degrees.  There was no a/c and part of the included took you to a museum that was never meant to handle this many people at one time and with all the body heat we had to leave.  The tour covered the castle, brygen and part of the city as well as the museum but the included now covers other things a small distance from the port and that sounds better.  Tou can still easily do all the others and the funicular from the ship by foot.

 

That's my take.

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@Peregrina651 found someone to share snapshots of their excusion lists... YIKE$!

 

So yes I'm going to want to hear more of your reviews please! If I'm spending that much I'm hoping they are good! 

 

Also looking for indepentent options and new friends to share private tour options with.

 

Anne

 

Here is the post and link for the pics of those Viking Shore Excusions:

 

#16  -- photos of shorex price list (with departure times) for 2019.This info is accurate for this sailing only and may very well change on subsequent sailings. 

 

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On 6/11/2019 at 11:14 PM, Dauntless said:

Bergen has changed their included tour now and that is a good thing.  We were there Sept 18 and the temp. was 80 degrees.  There was no a/c and part of the included took you to a museum that was never meant to handle this many people at one time and with all the body heat we had to leave.  The tour covered the castle, brygen and part of the city as well as the museum but the included now covers other things a small distance from the port and that sounds better.  Tou can still easily do all the others and the funicular from the ship by foot.

 

Not to mention that Viking has been calling on Bergen since 2015 and with the number of returning guests, maybe it is just time for a change.

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We were in Reykjavik on our own before a cruise, so I don't know if any non-cruise excursions were available by the port.  We were rented a car in Reykjavik one day to do the Golden Circle.  It was fairly easy to do, and cheaper than getting a driver, but not exactly inexpensive.  But nothing in Iceland is.  I absolutely loved Iceland though....If we ever make it back, I'd like to go to the southern part of the island. 

 

We didn't do an organized tour in Bergen - just walked around and explored. There's a tourist info center not terribly far from where you're likely to dock, so perhaps there are tours you can line up same day when there.  But I really don't know. Maybe posting in the Ports of Call section of the Cruise Critic Forums would yield more specific info. 

 

In Geiranger we just took the included tour up the mountain, and enjoyed that.  Afterwards, I walked around the town a bit - walked up the road a bit, walked down along the path of the town waterfall (protect camera from spray), explored down by the waterfront, etc.  In Geiranger there's a place where you can sign up for tours.  There's a small amount of walking involved to get there, but once there, you can usually book same day excursions.  They cost a bit less than Viking's.  Just keep in mind that most cruise ships have to anchor a ways out and tender passengers to the town dock - which has a fun webcam, by the way!  So you'll probably spend at least a good half hour getting to town and another half hour going back - plan accordingly.  Also take water from the ship.  We found a can of soda to be almost $10 a few years ago, although the tiny store by the campground may sell it for less!  

 

Alesund is a beautiful place with interesting architecture.  When I was there on another cruise line, I think I took an excursion to see a lighthouse (mostly).  Then both of us went up to the overlook above Alesund.  After that, I did some exploring around the city. It's a pretty place, and I loved just nosing around.  I think there was a little "train" that you could take around the city, but I just did my own thing....

 

You could always look at the forums on Trip Advisor to get ideas of non-cruise line vendors/tours. 

Edited by roothy123
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We just came back from that cruise and it was awesome and you will love it. We used Saga/Geoiceland and Norway Excursions for our private tours.  Had no problems and a comparable tour from the ship was a lot cheaper.  You will be on a small 20 passenger bus while the ship uses the huge buses. Reykjavik the south coast tour, used Saga. We did a mixture of ship tours and private excursion.s.  We went 2 days early and the first day we used Saga/Geoiceland for the Golden Circle.  The first day on the ship we used the ship excursion for the South Coast tour, because of time constraints and not returning in time for departure.  Isafjordur we used the ship tour for Vigur Island, the boat ride will take 30 minutes to the island. Akureyri we used Sage again for Godafoss Falls, the geysers and  the national park. Seydisfjordur used ship tour for Skalanes. Because of bad weather we had to skip the Faroe Islands and went to Olden and used the ship tour.  Gerianger used Norway Excursions for Mt.  Dalsnibba. Used Norway Excursions for Alesund. Flam we rode the full day train with the ship excursions.  Bergem used the ship excursion for Mt. Uriken.   Hope this helps.

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