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kcbmarek

Norwegian Fjords cruise

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Hubby and I have decided to piggy back a Norwegian Fjords cruise to our Baltic cruise in June 2021 as this is our trip to celebrate hubby's early retirement.  So I think we have narrowed down to itineraries that go above the Arctic Circle.  Problem is, we do not know which is a better choice.  Any advice? (Note:  the check indicates a port visited on the itinerary by that line.

 

TIA!

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Ports Princess NCL
Alesund
Olden  
Bergen  
Eidfjord  
Trondheim
Skjolden  
Haugesund
Cruise Svartisen Glacier  
Leknes, Lofoten Islands  
Honningsvag
Hammerfest  
Kristiansund  
Southhampton
Tromso  
Gravdal  
     

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Princess.

 

Gravdal and Leknes are right next to each other, and it’s worth getting farther afield in the Lofoten Islands, so those two pretty much cancel each other out.

 

Bergen and Tromsø are both wonderful port cities to visit, and I would consider both to be plus points.

 

The Princess itinerary has two fjord ports: Olden (Nordfjord) and Skjolden (Sognefjord), while NCL has only one, Eidfjord (sailing through Hardangerfjord).

 

Hammerfest and Kristiansund are okay, but they don’t usually make it into people’s top port lists.

 

The Svartisen glacier visit could be nice, but you could visit Briskedalsbreen from Olden. And glaciers in Norway are a bit underwhelming compared to places like Iceland or Alaska.

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Disappointing that neither visits Geiranger or Flåm - probably due to the new regulations.
We enjoyed Bergen MUCH more than Tromsø.

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 If we wanted to do a seven night cruise then Garringer and Flam are on the itineraries. Since we want to go all the way to the north they are not. Is it worth going to Garringer and Flam versus going all the way north? 

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Do you already have the Baltic cruise booked? Where does it end?
If you want to splurge, Viking has a 29-day Baltic Jewels and Midnight Sun cruise from Stockholm to London in June 2021. It includes Geiranger and Honningsvåg. The Midnight Sun half (15 days) is available separately from Bergen to London.

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Crystal has a 14-night from Dover to Copenhagen that hits Bergen, Geiranger, Flåm, Tromsø and Honningsvåg (and others).

This could be extended to include the Baltics and become a 25-night to Stockholm or a 37-night round trip from Dover.

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Oceania has a 12-night Oslo to Southampton that hits the fjords and goes above the Arctic Circle, but only to Bodo.

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If you're considering other itineraries beyond these two, I will add that the inclusion of the Lofoten Islands is a huge plus. Many Norwegians consider Lofoten to be the most beautiful part of the country (and considering it's up against some pretty stunning fjords, that's saying a lot)!

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10 hours ago, just_dont said:

We enjoyed Bergen MUCH more than Tromsø.

Both of these are on the Princess itinerary, but not the NCL, and they're in very different parts of the country. Did you mean to say that you prefer Hammerfest to Tromsø?

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13 hours ago, just_dont said:

Disappointing that neither visits Geiranger or Flåm - probably due to the new regulations.
We enjoyed Bergen MUCH more than Tromsø.

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I got out to the countryside in Tromso and it was gorgeous. I didn't see anything in the city so can't compare.

 

Was not impressed with Skjolden.

Edited by Coral

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I got out to the countryside in Tromso and it was gorgeous. I didn't see anything in the city so can't compare.
 
Was not impressed with Skjolden.
Ok, that's fair. We didn't get out of town in either Tromsø or Bergen. We did both Mt. Ulriken and Mt Floyen in Bergen, and felt both had much better views than the top of the tram in Tromsø. And the Bryggen area and fish market in Bergen was much more interesting than the town around the port area in Tromsø.
It may have helped that we had absolutely beautiful weather in Bergen (which I believe is the exception) and overcast in Tromsø.

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17 hours ago, just_dont said:

Do you already have the Baltic cruise booked? Where does it end?
If you want to splurge, Viking has a 29-day Baltic Jewels and Midnight Sun cruise from Stockholm to London in June 2021. It includes Geiranger and Honningsvåg. The Midnight Sun half (15 days) is available separately from Bergen to London.

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Our Baltic is on NCL Escape and starts / ends in Copenhagen.  We did find a cruise on Holland America that does Norway and the Baltic but I am  not sure that it includes the Cape.  As for Crystal, that is a bit to formal for us.  We are laid back and easy cruisers.  If my husband does not have to dress up, he is much happier.

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Our Baltic is on NCL Escape and starts / ends in Copenhagen.  We did find a cruise on Holland America that does Norway and the Baltic but I am  not sure that it includes the Cape.  As for Crystal, that is a bit to formal for us.  We are laid back and easy cruisers.  If my husband does not have to dress up, he is much happier.
I can relate. We did the Midnight Sun cruise with Viking last summer and really enjoyed their casual elegance. It was a great cruise which I highly recommend. They sail it both ways between Bergen and London. We did Bergen to London and spent some time in Norway making our way from Oslo to Bergen on our own before the cruise. It was a great vacation.

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4 minutes ago, just_dont said:

I can relate. We did the Midnight Sun cruise with Viking last summer and really enjoyed their casual elegance. It was a great cruise which I highly recommend. They sail it both ways between Bergen and London. We did Bergen to London and spent some time in Norway making our way from Oslo to Bergen on our own before the cruise. It was a great vacation.

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I was making the assumption Viking was out of our price range.  Maybe I should check them out.

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We did Holland for 21 days last July cruising north of the Arctic Circle and we consider it to be our most favorite cruise to date...and we consider ourselves well traveled.  Eidjford was probably the most beautiful place we have seen.  Bergen and Flam were nice, too.  It helped that we had no rain and were on a very new ship Nieuw Statendam.  Norway is not to be missed.  

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1 minute ago, westcoastcruiser said:

We did Holland for 21 days last July cruising north of the Arctic Circle and we consider it to be our most favorite cruise to date...and we consider ourselves well traveled.  Eidjford was probably the most beautiful place we have seen.  Bergen and Flam were nice, too.  It helped that we had no rain and were on a very new ship Nieuw Statendam.  Norway is not to be missed.  

I called Holland and the gal I talked to said they are not doing the Arctic this year.  Hard to believe as that is one of their most popular routes.  Hmmnm .....

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14 minutes ago, kcbmarek said:

I called Holland and the gal I talked to said they are not doing the Arctic this year.  Hard to believe as that is one of their most popular routes.  Hmmnm .....

That is confusing ....a quick search of their website shows Voyage of the Midnight Sun on Nieuw Statendam in July 2020.  It goes north of the arctic circle and I am sure there are other dates as well.  🤔

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I was making the assumption Viking was out of our price range.  Maybe I should check them out.
Viking base cruise prices are higher than other lines, but the only additional charges we incurred once onboard were the per diem gratuities and massages in the spa. Some with more cruise experience than I have stated that the net cost can be comparable to other lines.

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That is confusing ....a quick search of their website shows Voyage of the Midnight Sun on Nieuw Statendam in July 2020.  It goes north of the arctic circle and I am sure there are other dates as well.  
OP is looking at 2021.

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8 minutes ago, westcoastcruiser said:

My mistake.  Might it be possible those cruises have not been released yet?

The environmental rules are getting stricter over time. Is it possible that some of the places they really want to go won't be accessible in 2021, and so they decided not to sail the itinerary at all?

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12 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

The environmental rules are getting stricter over time. Is it possible that some of the places they really want to go won't be accessible in 2021, and so they decided not to sail the itinerary at all?

 I have confirmed with Holland America that they are not doing the itinerary next year. 

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9 hours ago, gnome12 said:

The environmental rules are getting stricter over time. Is it possible that some of the places they really want to go won't be accessible in 2021, and so they decided not to sail the itinerary at all?

The primary reason for the rules is reductions in NOx emissions from marine diesel engines installed on ships derived by tier I to III - one factor is the age of the ship - but also the quality of bunker fuel.


The rules for sailing the Heritage fjords require ships of 1000 gross tonnage and upwards, regardless of year of construction,  to satisfy the NOx control requirements set out by MARPOL: Tier I by 2020, Tier II by 2022 and Tier III by 2025. 
The MARPOL requirements for Tier I” emission limit for engines installed on a ship constructed after 1 January 2000;-  the more stringent "Tier II" emission limit for engines installed on a ship constructed after 1 January 2012 and “Tier III” after 1 January 2016 .


The Norwegian Parliament has adopted a resolution to have zero emissions from cruise ships and ferries in the Norwegian world heritage fjords as soon as technically possible and no later than January 2026.

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The primary reason for the rules is reductions in NOx emissions from marine diesel engines installed on ships derived by tier I to III - one factor is the age of the ship - but also the quality of bunker fuel.

The rules for sailing the Heritage fjords require ships of 1000 gross tonnage and upwards, regardless of year of construction,  to satisfy the NOx control requirements set out by MARPOL: Tier I by 2020, Tier II by 2022 and Tier III by 2025. 
The MARPOL requirements for Tier I” emission limit for engines installed on a ship constructed after 1 January 2000;-  the more stringent "Tier II" emission limit for engines installed on a ship constructed after 1 January 2012 and “Tier III” after 1 January 2016 .

The Norwegian Parliament has adopted a resolution to have zero emissions from cruise ships and ferries in the Norwegian world heritage fjords as soon as technically possible and no later than January 2026.
Are there any electric car/truck ferries yet? Those are used daily for transportation and commercial deliveries.

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1 hour ago, just_dont said:

Are there any electric car/truck ferries yet? Those are used daily for transportation and commercial deliveries.

The Norwegian ferry operator Fjord1 has just brought their first of 12 battery ferries in operation. Capacity og 112 cars and 400 passengers.

Hurtigruten is currently upgrading 7 ships to LNG/hybrid with battery propulsion when navigating the heritage fjords. Havila Kystruten will start Norwegian Coastal service January 2021 also with LNG/hybrid ships.

Norwegian Coastal operation and ferries will be able to meet zero emission requirements in the Norwegian Heritage Fjords by next year.
Other cruise lines might not be able to meet requirements after January 2026.

Heritage fjords are Nærøyfjord, Aurlands Fjord (Flåm and Gudvangen) Geiranger Fjord as well as Synnulvsfjorden and Tafjord.

Other fjords can be navigated if the ships does meet Tier III emission requirement - many cruise lines are right now building LNG ships, but they will still not be able to sail to Flåm and Geiranger.

 

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