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Alberta Quilter

Norway - which of 2 itineraries?

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I need some help from the experts who have cruised to Norway with HAL. We have a cruise booked but then saw the Mighty Cruise Ship program featuring the Koningsdam and realized that we do not go to most of the places seen on the program which looked beautiful.  So, I checked out the itineraries again and am looking at the following two itineraries:

 

#1 B2B Nieuw Statendam

Amsterdam

Sea Day

Eidfjord (Hardangerfjord)

Molde

Geiranger (Geirangerfjord)

Bergen

Sea Day

Amsterdam

Sea Day

Oslo (Oslofjord)

Kristiansand

Stavanger

Flam (Sognefjord)

Sea Day

Amsterdam

 

#2 14 Day Veendam

Amsterdam

Sea Day

Eidfjord (Hardangerfjord)

Bergen

Sea Day (crossing the Arctic Circle)

Tromso

Honningsvag (scenic cruising North Cape)

Harstad

Leknes (Lofoten)

Bronnoysund

Trondheim

Molde

Alesund

Sea Day

Amsterdam

 

Please let's not get into a discussion about the Veendam vs the NS.  We've been on both and have enjoyed both.  We are aware of the pros and cons of each ship.  This question is strictly about itinerary.  We are cruising mostly for the scenery.    The first itinerary goes to the fjords that were on the program, while the second one goes to the North Cape.  Is one itinerary better than the other for a slightly mobility impaired senior who prefers flat, level walking when on land?  More scenic?

 

I'm not keen on the B2B because we plan on staying pre-cruise in Amsterdam for a few days and we've been there before.  On the other hand, the 14 day cruise has 8 port days in a row which is too much for me, never mind the senior!  However, I can plan accordingly to pace ourselves (hopefully).

 

Which itinerary would you choose and why?  Please educate me about the possibilities of each itinerary.  Is the Flam railway a must do?  Or is the fact that the Veendam goes to smaller ports a real plus?  It does seem like we would see more on the 14 day itinerary but fewer fjords.

 

Thank you for your help!

 

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Hi Alberta,

 

We did the 21 day B2B Norwegian Fjords and Jewels of the Baltic last May on the Koningsdam which was a fantastic tour.

Which ever one you pick, you have to take the Flam railway journey...a much do especially for the scenery.

 

Cheers

Rick

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Ditto on Flam - do not miss it. This alone would decide it for me.

 

The rail trip provides absolutely outstanding scenery and make sure you get off the train at the mid way stop - ignore the mist, getting a bit damp is a very small price to pay for what you will see.

 

Also the sail in and out is truly stunning.

 

Get the train tickets here https://www.visitflam.com/flamsbana/

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The Geirangerfjord is the most beautiful and well known in Norway. It is a must see.

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My vote would be for the Koningsdam. We went to Honingsvag, but were unable to make it around to cruise the North Cape due to weather. You just never know. Crossing the Arctic Circle is a milestone event, but I'm still more in favor of the other itinerary. 

 

I second and third Flam and Geiranger. They are not to be missed, IMO. In Flam the train is a must. A beautiful journey. Be sure your camera batteries are fully charged because you'll take LOTS of pictures!

 

If you're able to walk, taking the stairs up alongside the falls at Geiranger is beautiful. Just be sure to give yourself time to walk back down in time for boarding.

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I vote for #1. Even though the B2B has the "wasted" return to Amsterdam, it has the better ports. Flam and Gieranger are wonderful for scenery. I thing Geiranger Fjord is the most beautiful place I've seen. Bergen is an historic city and, if you're into classical music, go to Grieg's home. Stavanger has interesting things to see. It sounds crazy, but there's a whole museum devoted to the sardine industry. We had a fabulous guide there and loved it. 

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Can someone comment on the mobility issue?   We are interested in one of these cruises, however mobility is an issue.  Which one would the less of a issue.

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Ditto on #1

The Flam rail trip is amazing!

Gieranger Fjord is beautiful and views from above not to be missed!

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Thanks for your comments (so far).  For those that have referred to the Koningsdam, I assume you mean #1 Nieuw Statendam.  The Koningsdam is not cruising in Norway in 2020.

 

I would also be interested in hearing about which itinerary is better for those with mobility issues as boards asked.  DM cannot do stairs or steep inclines.  So the stairs beside the waterfall that someone suggested will be out for DM.  We wouldn't be hiking, climbing, ziplining or any of those types of activities.  

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I've been to most of those places multiple times, and am also quite mobility impaired. Still, I would take either cruise, and would have a hard time deciding between the two. Gieranger Fjord, and passing the Seven Sisters waterfall, is spectacular, but then, there's a lot to be said for Honningsvag and Lofoten. Gieranger has a Ho-Ho bus, which will keep walking on the steep hills to a minimum. Oslo also has a Ho-Ho bus which has a stop at Vigeland, if that is of interest; the park is flat, although there are stairs, with no supports, getting up to the center statue.
Alesund and Molde are charming towns, which are relatively flat, as is Stavenger.
Don't forget, there are some pretty good HAL tours that make it easier on the disabled.

Best wishes on your decision. You really can't go wrong with either itinerary.
Please let us know what you decide!

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When we were in Stavanger last June, we did a walking tour of the town that looked to be easy however DW is having issues with stairs and there was a significant set of stairs involved. The discussion of the tour did not mention the stairs. We also loved Flåm.

Aurlands Fjord - June 2018.jpg

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There is at least one other itinerary that combines what I would consider to be some of the the best of both of the ones you have listed, but perhaps you have passed on it because the dates don't work for you. Just in case you missed it, the Nieuw Statendam sails this itinerary twice in 2020, June 7-21 and again July 5-19:

 

Amsterdam
Sea Day
Eidfjord (Hardangerfjord)

Bergen

Molde
Trondheim
Sea Day
Honningsvag (scenic cruising North Cape)

Sea Day

Sea Day

Alesund

Flam

Stavenger (Sognefjord)
Sea Day
Amsterdam

 

 

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If its your first trip to Norway and it sounds like it is, I recommend the back to back on the NS because it goes to Gieranger and Flam.  Those are incredible highlights of Norway.  I'd take the Veendam itinerary if it were my second trip.  You really can't go wrong with either.

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3 hours ago, Alberta Quilter said:

Thanks for your comments (so far).  For those that have referred to the Koningsdam, I assume you mean #1 Nieuw Statendam.  The Koningsdam is not cruising in Norway in 2020.

Of course! Duh! I guess I had Koningsdam on my mind.

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Ruth is correct that you can't go wrong on either itinerary.  I'd love to have you join us on the Nieuw Statendam June 7, 2020 cruise, but you need to decide on what is best for you.  The first time I went, we went to Geiranger and it is awesome.  We did a bus trip up to Mt. Dalsnibba in the morning and the RIB in the afternoon.   The bus trip would be fine for your mom, the RIB probably not.  

 

I thought Eidfjord was stunning as well.  The June 7 itinerary has a good mix of coastal and fjord in it.  We did a bus trip up to the waterfall, but it was too treacherous for me to walk down to the viewing platform.  The town is beyond cute.  

 

There are plenty of excursions and activities that can be done that don't require a lot of strenuous activity.  When I went before, I was almost recovered from a hip fracture.  I was fine with around the house/ship stuff.  Longer walks were out, but if I could stop and rest, I could do a bit more.  

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Unfortunately, I'm unable to go in June or early July due to work deadlines.  Yes, this is our first time to Norway.

 

What I've done is booked the NS for the B2B based on your comments.  I still have the 14 day Veendam booked, too.  As I can't afford to do both, I will discuss further with DM to pick one.  I suspect we'll go with the B2B just based on the comments.  I can do the North Cape on a subsequent cruise.

 

Next question is verandah or no verandah?  I booked a verandah on the NS for $500 pp more than the OV on the  Veendam.  

 

Thanks again for for your help!

Edited by Alberta Quilter

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One of my Vista suite cruises was to Norway, when it went all the way to the Polar Ice cap. I used it every day.
But you have to like the cold somewhat to enjoy a balcony up north. Sometimes there is a strong, cold wind. Fine if you are on the lee side of the ship, but a waste of a balcony if you are on the windward side.
The scenery is gorgeous, and the air so fresh, it's nice to be outdoors.

On the other hand, the outside cabins on the Nieuw Statendam are so much smaller than on the previous classes of ships, you may want to keep the balcony cabin for the interior space.

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Darn...I wish someone would have pulled for the number two option...because that's what we picked.

I've been watching this thread with such interest.  The two routes are both so enticing.  We ultimately decided that we just had to get to the North Cape  And, we've already spent time in Oslo and Amsterdam.

But hard choice! Thanks for asking the question, Alberta Quilter!

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23 hours ago, Alberta Quilter said:

I need some help from the experts who have cruised to Norway with HAL. We have a cruise booked but then saw the Mighty Cruise Ship program featuring the Koningsdam and realized that we do not go to most of the places seen on the program which looked beautiful.  So, I checked out the itineraries again and am looking at the following two itineraries:

 

#1 B2B Nieuw Statendam

Amsterdam

Sea Day

Eidfjord (Hardangerfjord)

Molde

Geiranger (Geirangerfjord)

Bergen

Sea Day

Amsterdam

Sea Day

Oslo (Oslofjord)

Kristiansand

Stavanger

Flam (Sognefjord)

Sea Day

Amsterdam

 

#2 14 Day Veendam

Amsterdam

Sea Day

Eidfjord (Hardangerfjord)

Bergen

Sea Day (crossing the Arctic Circle)

Tromso

Honningsvag (scenic cruising North Cape)

Harstad

Leknes (Lofoten)

Bronnoysund

Trondheim

Molde

Alesund

Sea Day

Amsterdam

 

Please let's not get into a discussion about the Veendam vs the NS.  We've been on both and have enjoyed both.  We are aware of the pros and cons of each ship.  This question is strictly about itinerary.  We are cruising mostly for the scenery.    The first itinerary goes to the fjords that were on the program, while the second one goes to the North Cape.  Is one itinerary better than the other for a slightly mobility impaired senior who prefers flat, level walking when on land?  More scenic?

 

I'm not keen on the B2B because we plan on staying pre-cruise in Amsterdam for a few days and we've been there before.  On the other hand, the 14 day cruise has 8 port days in a row which is too much for me, never mind the senior!  However, I can plan accordingly to pace ourselves (hopefully).

 

Which itinerary would you choose and why?  Please educate me about the possibilities of each itinerary.  Is the Flam railway a must do?  Or is the fact that the Veendam goes to smaller ports a real plus?  It does seem like we would see more on the 14 day itinerary but fewer fjords.

 

Thank you for your help!

 

I would chose the Veendam as it goes to the Lofoten Islands which doesn’t often appear on most Norwegian itineraries. Also, it visited Alesund which is the one of the most beautiful cities. But then it misses Geiranger and Sognefjord (Flam) which are two of the most beautiful fjords. Definitely a tough choice. Both itineraries are excellent. Veendam does have an advantage being a small ship. Much easier to disembark and board.

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I just had this issue for myself this past week.

I did Norway last year on Serenade and did some of the ports that the  the Voyage of Midnight Sun (June 7th 2020) is doing.

Bergen is great and so is Geiranger.  My ship got to dock in town.  

 

I too was interested in the Veendam's  itinerary with some smaller ports along the way. I was also interested the NS other trip called Norse/Viking.  But I felt returning back to Amsterdam was a waste of precious time.  HAL needs to have this itinerary just once without going back to Amsterdam.  I get it that they have to accommodate all 7 days trips.

 

After 3 weeks of himming and hawwing, I chose the June 7th on NS because it returns to some favorite ports but does include Molde and Eidjford.  I won['t be doing Oslo but I felt a newer ship at about the same price was worth it.

 

Still the Veendam itinerary is wonderful i just did not want an older ship.

 

Good luck.

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15 hours ago, Alberta Quilter said:

Unfortunately, I'm unable to go in June or early July due to work deadlines.  Yes, this is our first time to Norway.

 

How unfortunate.  But, do enjoy your cruise.  Norway is simply spectacular and every port will be an adventure.

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11 minutes ago, Oceansaway17 said:

After 3 weeks of himming and hawwing, I chose the June 7th on NS because it returns to some favorite ports but does include Molde and Eidjford.  I won['t be doing Oslo but I felt a newer ship at about the same price was worth it.

Congratulations on booking that cruise.  I hope you'll join us on the Roll Call.  It is a small group right now since we are so far out from the actual cruise, but the more, the merrier.  

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thanks dfish.  I have never done roll call but might consider since I will be solo on this trip. My second to NORWAY.

 

I will try to figure out how to do this.

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2 hours ago, Oceansaway17 said:

thanks dfish.  I have never done roll call but might consider since I will be solo on this trip. My second to NORWAY.

 

I will try to figure out how to do this.

Here is the link to the Roll Call.   https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2624159-june-7-2020-voyage-of-the-midnight-sun/

 

I went solo the first time I went to Norway and this time my sister will be with me.  Always room for one more.

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