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Viking Bergen to Reno (or other secondary US airport)

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I am curious about what Viking can do for folks like us who are returning home after their cruise arrives in Bergen - we are planning for the In Search of the Northern Lights in February 2021 - and yes, I know it is early to do that...

Specifically, we do not want to have to leave the ship for an oh-dark-thirty flight, and do not mind a bit of a wait at the airport. It seems like a stopover on the way - such as at LHR - would break up the trip and permit reasonable flight times. What have you done, or planned thru Viking Air?

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Fastest option for Bergen-Reno on google flights is 17 hours 45 minutes on multiple airlines with stops in Amsterdam and Seattle. There are other 2 stop routings with stops in Copenhagen or Helsinki---around 19-23 hours travel time. 

I think I have read that Viking routes some people via Oslo but that is influenced by your final destination. Not sure if Viking has any type of guarantee regarding number of stops, length of layovers, or total travel time.

On a recent thread there was discussion of the long lines to check in at Bergen due to short-staffing and inability to check in on line due to the fare class Viking used. 

Do a search on this forum for 'Bergen air' and you will find more discussion.

 

I'm sure some folks will weigh in with their experience with Viking Air from Bergen to US.

We decided it was better to do Norway in a Nutshell Bergen to Oslo and spend a couple days in Oslo. We fly home from Oslo with one stop in LHR.

 

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1 hour ago, What was that? said:

It seems like a stopover on the way - such as at LHR - would break up the trip and permit reasonable flight times.

 

If by stopover, you mean staying additional time in London (i.e. more than time needed to make a connection), then you can do it but there will be a stopover fee involved.

 

Viking does try to limit the number of  connections you have to make but there are no non-stop flights between US to Bergen (Oslo, yes, but not Bergen) and if there there are no non-stops out of your home airport to  Europe, then you are looking at two connections no matter what.

 

In any case, since your flight plan will be complicated no matter what, I suggest paying the custom AirPlus fee and be involved in choosing your flights.

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Posted (edited)

This morning I was independently researching the options to get to Bergen, and it is just not easy. We are near Baltimore, so we have the option of Dulles in DC or Philadelphia, but still I can't find anything that isn't three flights on that leg of the trip. We did it once through Viking Air Plus, for Trade Routes of the Middle Ages, and drove to Philadelphia, flew to Atlanta, then to Amsterdam, then to Bergen. I am glad we did it once, but I am not willing to do it again. 

 

I didn't try the Oslo to Bergen connection, so maybe I will repeat my search with that in mind. 

Edited by lackcreativity

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Posted (edited)

I recommend DIY and don't try to fly from Bergen!

 

Extend the trip a little

 

take the rain from Bergen to Oslo.  It is a long ride but VERY scenic. Spend a day or two in Oslo and fly back from there. At least one night just to 'recover' from a full day on the train. It is a NICE train, but a full day's ride.

 

What we did:

 

Extended two nights in Bergen (we like Bergen)

 

<Booking via Norway in a Nutshell> proceeded to FLAM via train/bus/ferry and spent a night in FLAM.

 

Left FLAM via the FLAM railway and connected to train to Oslo (4+ hour ride)

 

Spent 2 nights in Oslo then flew to Orlando direct 

 

**************************

you can do the reverse ..... fly into Oslo and spend a night or two, then take the train to Bergen.  This is what we did the first time.  If you want more adventure break it up by a side trip to FLAM.

 

btw if worried about dragging luggage on this side trip there IS a service that will take bags Bergen//Oslo and deliver to your hotel.

 

Edited by Capt_BJ

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2 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

If by stopover, you mean staying additional time in London (i.e. more than time needed to make a connection), then you can do it but there will be a stopover fee involved.

- - -

In any case, since your flight plan will be complicated no matter what, I suggest paying the custom AirPlus fee and be involved in choosing your flights.

Yup - that's my "stopover" option, at least the one that I have in mind - I am always willing to listen to suggestions though. I was able to work that in for our BUD-AMS river cruise next April, both going and coming. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to work with the Viking Air Plus folks. We got everything we wanted, including killer seats in business (3D, 3G on AA flight 108, a 777-300ER).

And a cautionary note, which I have also seen elsewhere on CC forums, is that Viking's business arrangement with airlines apparently gives them access to some flights, and then only on some limited connecting itineraries. For instance, we wanted to depart Reno for LAX on a 10:10 AM flight (available on other itineraries) and connect to a 5:50 PM departure for LHR, and try as they might they could not change the RNO-LAX leg without the LAX-LHR changing. The takeaway is that the agents are not trying to be difficult, they just can't get access to what they don't have.

Of course, that doesn't prevent me from calling from time-to-time to see if the earlier RNO-LAX flight can be paired with the later LAX-LHR flight. Hey - time passes, things change! Maybe...

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6 minutes ago, Capt_BJ said:

I recommend DIY and don't try to fly from Bergen!

 

Extend the trip a little

 

take the rain from Bergen to Oslo.  It is a long ride but VERY scenic. Spend a day or two in Oslo and fly back from there. At least one night just to 'recover' from a full day on the train. It is a NICE train, but a full day's ride.

 

What we did:

 

Extended two nights in Bergen (we like Bergen)

 

<Booking via Norway in a Nutshell> proceeded to FLAM via train/bus/ferry and spent a night in FLAM.

 

Left FLAM via the FLAM railway and connected to train to Oslo (4+ hour ride)

 

Spent 2 nights in Oslo then flew to Orlando direct 

 

**************************

you can do the reverse ..... fly into Oslo and spend a night or two, then take the train to Bergen.  This is what we did the first time.  If you want more adventure break it up by a side trip to FLAM.

 

btw if worried about dragging luggage on this side trip there IS a service that will take bags Bergen//Oslo and deliver to your hotel.

 

Hmmm...

Very interesting. I'll put it in the trip folder.

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We are doing the Baltic Jewels followed by the Midnight Sun back to back departing 30 May 20.  We leave from Stockholm and finish in London.  We are also extending in London for four days to visit friends in Wales.  We paid for the Viking Air Plus and the extended time.  We are also trying for Premium Plus seating on the long legs.  We live in south meadows area, Reno and also have the issue with an extra stop/connection.  I might try out of Phoenix as we have a second home there.    This is our first Viking Ocean cruise but we did a river cruise two years ago and used their air and flew Business class which worked out just fine.  Jack in Reno, NV

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5 minutes ago, Lvwindstar007 said:

We are doing the Baltic Jewels followed by the Midnight Sun back to back departing 30 May 20.  We leave from Stockholm and finish in London.  We are also extending in London for four days to visit friends in Wales.  We paid for the Viking Air Plus and the extended time.  We are also trying for Premium Plus seating on the long legs.  We live in south meadows area, Reno and also have the issue with an extra stop/connection.  I might try out of Phoenix as we have a second home there.    This is our first Viking Ocean cruise but we did a river cruise two years ago and used their air and flew Business class which worked out just fine.  Jack in Reno, NV

Our first VO cruise, too, Jack. That accounts for the over-planning I am doing. I did the same kind of thing for our upcoming Grand European Tour next April. We ended up taking a pre-cruise package in Budapest, and post-cruise package in Amsterdam - tulip season at end of April. But all the air travel was simple. We overnight at LHR both ways, giving us a bit of time to accommodate jet lag, and to take the hassle out of trying to clear customs and make a connection. Also it gave us a lot more flexibility in choice of flight times.

Next time will be a piece of cake!

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We usually use Viking Air and research to find the flights we want then are prepared when we and our travel agent talk to them. We did take the train from Bergen to Oslo (long ride, but interesting if you read a little about what you are seeing -glaciers and such). Stayed in Oslo a couple of nights and enjoyed it very much. I suggest starting with what you want to do and modify as necessary when reality steps in! 

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11 hours ago, Krisval said:

We usually use Viking Air and research to find the flights we want then are prepared when we and our travel agent talk to them. We did take the train from Bergen to Oslo (long ride, but interesting if you read a little about what you are seeing -glaciers and such). Stayed in Oslo a couple of nights and enjoyed it very much. I suggest starting with what you want to do and modify as necessary when reality steps in! 

 

Thanks for the advice as well, Krisval.   We are on the Midnight Sun Cruise next summer, ending in Bergen, and plan to do this train to Oslo and spend some days there before headed home.   Glad you felt that was worth it!

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Posted (edited)

consider breaking up the train ride with a side trip to FLAM .....

 

booking thru Norway in a Nutshell (or on your own) you can:

 

leave Bergen by train and go to VOSS (an hour ... maybe)

 

in VOSS transfer to a bus and go to Gundvangen (about an hour)

 

board ferry to go by water from here to FLAM 

 

we choose to get a room here and experience a night in FLAM ... at night once the cruise ships leave this is such an amazing place

IMG_1160.JPG

IMG_1165.JPG

 

then in the morning take the FLAM railway to meet the Bergen Oslo train . . .

 

 

IMG_0643.JPG

Edited by Capt_BJ

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Last month we were off the ship at 8:15 in Bergen for a 10:45am flight to Helsinki (then LAX, and on to Phoenix) so not a really early departure. Had plenty of time for room service breakfast and enjoying the ship for a few more moments.  My in-laws chose to fly to Amsterdam and stay at an airport hotel for one night before continuing to Philadelphia.  They reported a very relaxed trip home. 

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12 hours ago, Maggers said:

Last month we were off the ship at 8:15 in Bergen for a 10:45am flight to Helsinki (then LAX, and on to Phoenix) so not a really early departure. Had plenty of time for room service breakfast and enjoying the ship for a few more moments.  My in-laws chose to fly to Amsterdam and stay at an airport hotel for one night before continuing to Philadelphia.  They reported a very relaxed trip home. 

What airline (and flight number) did you fly from Helsinki to LAX?

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1 hour ago, What was that? said:

What airline (and flight number) did you fly from Helsinki to LAX?

 

Hi Whatwasthat.  It was AA 8975, operated by Finnair as AY 001.  It was a relatively new service that started in March, running 3 days a week (I think).  We took it on a Sunday and it was a good connection for us.  Just remember, as I did not, that there is a one hour time change between Bergen and Helsinki!

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Thanks, Maggers!

The Finnair website says it currently operates Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday, departing Helsinki at 4:40PM arriving LAX at 5:40 PM (11 hours), using an Airbus A350-900. It may be seasonal, but I will nevertheless file that under "Useful Information" for our 2021 Northern lights cruise that arrives on a Sunday.

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We have the same issue flying out of a secondary airport (Knoxville).  We took the nonstop train from Bergen to Oslo ( 7 hrs but lovely relaxing ride). Stayed at Thon Opera hotel across the street from train station and spent two days sight seeing in Oslo - such a difference from Bergen! 

 

Took reasonable flight 945am to AMS and then back to DTW and TYS. I know that Delta/ KLM have several  stops from AMS to LAX.

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Last month we were off the ship at 8:15 in Bergen for a 10:45am flight to Helsinki (then LAX, and on to Phoenix) so not a really early departure. Had plenty of time for room service breakfast and enjoying the ship for a few more moments.  My in-laws chose to fly to Amsterdam and stay at an airport hotel for one night before continuing to Philadelphia.  They reported a very relaxed trip home. 
You were lucky. Disembarking in London a week ago, we had to be off at 5:15 for a 11:35 flight out of LHR. I've heard Viking likes to get people to the airport 3 hours before their flights. At 5:15 on a Sunday morning, we were at LHR at 6:00. Fortunately we had passes to the lounge.

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I will echo previous posters recommending Norway in a Nutshell. It was a wonderful 2-day trip from Oslo to Bergen (our cruise departed from Bergen) with a night in Flåm.

However, for a February Northern Lights cruise, it's certainly the off season. They still do the NiaN, but attractions will be much colder and fewer options.
That said, simply taking the train from Bergen to Oslo and flying out of Oslo (or vice versa) would I think be a nice experience and open up more flight options.
Spend an extra day or two in Bergen (it's a great town) and a day or two to explore Oslo (finances allowing), then take the train from Oslo to the airport.

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8 minutes ago, just_dont said:

Viking likes to get people to the airport 3 hours before their flights

 

Better they should get us there too early than too late. 😉 

 

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Better they should get us there too early than too late.  
 
No question.
Though in our case, I'm sure we could have left the ship two hours later - being able to have more for breakfast than grabbing a quick pastry at the lobby bar on the way off the ship - and we still would have been at the airport 3 hours before our flight.
It is what it is. Just cautioning that one shouldn't count on a late (8:15) disembarkation if you have a morning flight.

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