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Big change to Norway Itinerary on Symphony June 2020 cruise


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Hello to everyone booked on the Symphony  Dover to Copenhagen cruise OCS200619-14.  June 19, 2020 to July 3, 2020.

 

I just got a call from my travel agent regarding a change to our itinerary in Norway next year:

 

From Crystal:

 

"We look forward to welcoming your clients aboard Crystal Symphony’s June 19, 2020 "North Cape Brilliance" cruise.

We are writing to let you know that we have modified the itinerary for this voyage based on operational considerations. As a result, Crystal Symphony will now visit the village of Olden, Norway, on June 22, instead of Hellesylt and Geiranger. And, instead of cruising the Norwegian Sea on June 28 and visiting Flåm on June 29, the ship will overnight in Molde, Norway on June 28."

 

I am very surprised to not have any explanation from Crystal for eliminating two of the most iconic ports from this cruise! Is it possible it's because of Norway restrictions, or something from Crystal? I have been reading about future changes to Norway's environmental requirements to ships in certain areas/fjords but was not aware that the restrictions were in already place for 2020. I would have hoped Crystal would give the reasoning for this change in their email to the travel agents!

 

My TA will call them first thing tomorrow morning to get more information.  I certainly know that it's any cruise lines right to change itinerary, but I sure am disappointed to have two of the main ports removed from this cruise!  

 

I'll let you all know when I hear any new information.  

 

~Nancy

 

 

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Thanks LHT28, I had heard about the new restrictions, but thought that they will not yet be in place in 2020.  If the restrictions are indeed for 2020, then why would Crystal sell an itinerary that was not doable?  I will survive and enjoy the new ports, but a better explanation from Crystal would have been helpful to those of us who just recently booked with the original ports published.  I will hear from my TA tomorrow to find out what Crystal says....just disappointed about Geiranger and Flam. 😪

 

~Nancy

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The itinerary has been selling for quite some time, but I don't know the exact date.  The point I would like to make is that if the restrictions have been known to be in place for a period of time (?? how long??) then why did Crystal sell me the itinerary up until today?  

 

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

Norway is imposing  restrictions on ships  visiting those  ports

I am sure if you google  search you will find the articles

Thank for sharing this.  I didn't realize there were new restrictions being rolled out.  I will have to go and google them as you have suggested.

 

Keith

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The restrictions were announced earlier this year.

 

I did Norway last year and absolutely loved it. I was going to do it again in June (with another line) and cancelled it in April. After restrictions were announced, I wish I had sailed again.

 

You are right - those are some of the favorite ports that Crystal is missing.

 

 

Edited by Coral
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10 hours ago, oakridger said:

Thanks LHT28, I had heard about the new restrictions, but thought that they will not yet be in place in 2020.  If the restrictions are indeed for 2020, then why would Crystal sell an itinerary that was not doable?  I will survive and enjoy the new ports, but a better explanation from Crystal would have been helpful to those of us who just recently booked with the original ports published.  I will hear from my TA tomorrow to find out what Crystal says....just disappointed about Geiranger and Flam. 😪

 

~Nancy

 

Rules change on cruise lines all the time.  They contract the ports 3-4 years in advance (and sometimes MUCH longer for premium, keystone calls on an itinerary), and then the regulatory or operational environment changes around them.  (Regulations get passed, terminals get retired, accidents happen, etc.)  Usually there is enough notice to steer clear of these things, but frequently there isn't for a variety of reasons.  A lot of times a cruise line will get initial guidance they're compliant on a new regulation but then fail a review closer to deployment and then have to change gears.  Or a planned modification to become in compliance fails and they won't be able to follow the original plan.  Or they will initially try to hold the port to their contract since the line if abiding by the contract terms prior to the regulatory change.

 

There are a million reasons these kinds of changes get rolled out 6 months to a year out, but a lot of times that's the pinch point where it becomes obvious that the better alternatives that the cruise line had been fighting for is no longer viable.

 

Vince

 

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A real shame about Geiranger - it was one of our favourite ports on our North Cape cruise in 2018. I will google the restrictions as I'm interested to know if they are limiting the number of ships in the same way as Glacier Bay and if that's the case which cruise lines have the ability of going there. 

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Nancy - I’d appreciate it if you can post the Crystal update you recieve and anyone else post the facts on restrictions that they find out through their research

 

I’m interested in finding out more as we have skin in this game given we’re booked on the 2021 Nordics cruise on Serenity 

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Here is one more link:

 

https://www.sdir.no/en/news/news-from-the-nma/new-environmental-requirements-in-the-world-heritage-fjords/

 

I think in the future only LNG powered ships will be there. I am hoping the next Crystal ship will be one: 

 

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/lng-powered-cruise-ships-lead-the-way  

 

 

Edited by Coral
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2 minutes ago, PaulMCO said:

And another --

 

https://www.dnvgl.com/expert-story/maritime-impact/navigating-the-regulatory-environment.html

 

Looks environmental that all ships in the Fjords have to meet new NOx requirements.  Perhaps Symphony could not be made Compliant by 2020.  The new rules were established in 2019.

It has got to be expensive to retrofit. I am guessing just new builds.

 

Edited by Coral
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I’m on this cruise and received an email from Crystal this afternoon.  It said they were changing the itinerary based on “operational considerations”.  Is that because of the new requirements? I’m rather bummed, as those were the two ports I was most looking forward to.  

Not sure if it’s worth canceling over. Thoughts? 

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4 hours ago, ClefsDor said:

A real shame about Geiranger - it was one of our favourite ports on our North Cape cruise in 2018. I will google the restrictions as I'm interested to know if they are limiting the number of ships in the same way as Glacier Bay and if that's the case which cruise lines have the ability of going there. 

Nope - GB is handled by permits. This is based on emissions.

 

I agree, I loved Gerianger. I wish I had done Flam but didn't. I would love to go back.

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6 minutes ago, Coral said:

I just looked this itinerary up on Crystal's website and Crystal has not corrected their website yet with the new itinerary.

 

In the email I received it stated that the website would be updated in the coming days to reflect the changes. I booked this cruise back in October 2018.  

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I was on Crystal Serenity last year for the North Cape cruise and absolutely loved Olden!   Very small, non-commercialized and beautiful town.   We went on the new Loen Skylift (10 - 15 minute shuttle ride from the port) for some of the most amazing views.   At the top, there were several hiking trails well mapped out with distances and difficulty levels.   Olden/Loen truly was one of my favorite stops on the cruise.

 

Here are a few photos....

 

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DSC_0965.JPG

Edited by canadianINtexas
corrected spelling
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Stickman1990:  My TA called Crystal this morning to ask for the reason (what were the operational considerations?), but the person didn't know and said they will call back with the information.  As of right now, 6:59pm,  the Crystal rep hasn't called back.

 

canadianINtexas:  Those beautiful pictures made me get excited to go to Olden!  I know I will enjoy the cruise even with the new itinerary but would have appreciated a more detailed explanation from Crystal in the email I got today, which was the same as the one my TA got yesterday. 

 

Thanks for all the links people posted.  I'll  read them tonight. 

 

gwesq:  I don't think the changes are a deal breaker, but it will be interesting to see what type of ships will be allowed in those areas in the future.  I know Hurtigruten is still going to Geiranger but they aren't officially "cruise ships". (although the new remodels are looking more and more cruise like to me!)

 

Now I need to google Olden and Molde to see what is in those areas.......moving forward!!!!!  🙂

 

~Nancy

 

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11 minutes ago, gwesq said:

We're on this, and didn't think much about the changes. But now reading this thread, it seems that we are missing some stops that are significant.   Hmmm?

 

Well your “cruise curse” strikes again - and I was going to suggest you come in 2021 on the “big clean ship” - lol - assuming they’re let US in!

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