While tropical breezes sound inviting, you are yearning for something different. If you are going to take time off, it has to be all about the experience.
So while that is sinking in, let’s pretend that you’ve decided to take the big plunge. You call me and say that you have a large bank of vacation time stored up, you’ve always wanted to go to Norway to see the Fjords, and experience the Northern Lights. You and your family want to get away for a couple weeks. Checking the available itineraries, looking at various demographics, your budget and other factors, I recommend the 12 Night Coastal Voyage on Hurtigruten Vesteralen which departs from Bergen, Norway. I suggest adding the pre-cruise Train from Oslo to Bergen. This time of year it will be amazing with all the snow capped mountains and other scenery.
Fast forward to departure time for your Norway adventure ...
You sleep on the plane ride over the pond, you are already feeling relaxed even before you get off the plane in Oslo. Your pre-cruise stay included bus transfers from the Oslo airport to the Bus Terminal which was down the block from your hotel. After a short walk you arrive at Clarion Royal Christiana Hotel. After checking in, you drop off your luggage and explore the neighborhood in search of a restaurant for dinner. You notice that the train station is just across the street, so it will be quite easy continuing your journey in the morning. You decide to head back to your room to relax and get some sleep.
The European rail system is a very reliable way to travel. The train arrived at the station on time and you made your way to car 7, stowed your suitcases, and found your reserved seats. You were off on a six hour journey through the Norwegian countryside.
Onboard the train you were able to communicate using free Wi-Fi. When you got hungry, you purchased sandwiches from the dining car. Winter in Norway brings lots of snow in the mountains. You got your first glimpses at the beautiful scenery you'd be experiencing throughout the rest of the adventure.
The train arrived in Bergen on time and you gathered your luggage and headed towards the station exit. There you were greeted by a representative from Hurtigruten who directed you to a shuttle bus for the short ride to the ship. Once at the pier, you dropped off your luggage, and checked in to get your cabin keys. Before you got onto the ship, there was a mandatory safety drill where they showed a safety movie and demonstrated how to put on the thermal protection suit and life jacket. This was the only compulsory activity of the voyage. The ship sails on time and you get ready for dinner and your first night at sea.
Let's fast forward to the morning of arrival in the first Norwegian port, Alesund. You step onto
Several days have passed, you've seen amazing sights, gone dog-sledding and crossed the Arctic Circle. There's still one highlight that you can't wait for. You go to dinner and share stories about your adventures with your table mates and then head to the lounge for some coffee and entertainment. The loud speaker cuts in with an announcement ... Northern Lights have been spotted. Everyone races outside to watch the lights dancing in the night's sky. The lights fill the night sky and you can't believe the amazing sight unfolding before your eyes.
This Concludes the 2018 National Plan a Cruise Month Mini-Series
We hope that this series of articles has answered some of your questions about cruising, for those that have never experienced it before, and sparked your desires to continue your life's adventures at sea. Continue to follow our blog as the story has just begun. We will continue bringing you our personal experiences and industry updates. Our next mini-series will be about our National Conference on the brand new Norwegian Bliss. Check out our Cruise Diaries for more about the Hurtigruten Norway Coastal Voyage and some of our other favorite cruises.
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