If you are considering OAT’s Fjord Cruise to Norway, Finland and the Arctic here is helpful information and some tips for travelers.
Review: Fjord Cruise to Norway and Finland
We just completed this Overseas Adventure Travel trip July 15, 2023. It was our 13th trip with the company and one of my favorites. The things that stand out are the monumental scenery, the dramatic differences as you cross the Arctic Circle and just the two very wonderful countries.
Clearly the highlight of the trip is the 6 days you’ll spend cruising along the Norwegian coast. This is a working ship so it hugs the shoreline, stopping in a multitude of small towns along the way.
Even though you are very far north, there are people living and unexpected things to see and enjoy. And, of course, when the captain takes the boat through the narrow fjords, it’s one of the more special sights.
Overall I’d consider this in keeping with OAT’s good value offerings. Some hotels were great. The Thon hotel is Oslo was located 5 minutes from the Palace (we walked over to watch the changing of the guards) and an easy walk to all the city sites. BUT, it featured a free sparkling water dispenser in the lobby along with 24/7 Nespresso coffee.
The cruise ship was comfortable. Food was good, not great but plentiful. I probably ate 20 pounds of various herrings and smoked salmons on the trip.
TIPS FOR FJORD CRUISE: Overseas Adventure Travel
- All hotels and the boat put soap and shampoo into big dispensers. So, if you want a better quality, bring a small bottle of your own.
- Grab a water bottle on your flight over and save it. Loved free fizzy water when it was available.
- There was NO need to exchange for local currency. In Norway we paid for a single postcard with a credit card. Remember Finland uses the Euro. Bring any spare ones along IF you want.
- Eyemask! A must because they call it the land of the midnight sun for a reason. Even with good curtains, the light gets in. And when we were there the sun NEVER set.
- If you like coffee, bring a thermos cup. The hotels offer free. The boat offers free coffee at meals but you pay during the day. There’s lots of free time when sipping a coffee on deck would be fun.
- Before the boat departs, they have a lounge where they offer free sodas, etc. Grab a couple and save them for the boat ride.
- We like mailing postcards to the grandkids and after you cross the Arctic Circle the ship offers a special cancellation. You can buy stamps on board. Postcards too but they’ll be cheaper if you buy in Oslo or Bergen.
- Bring a hat and gloves. Even though we were there in the peak of warm weather, would have been nice to wear them sitting on deck at night.
- Playing cards. There’s a fair amount of downtime on the boat.
- There were not safes everywhere. Bring a suitcase lock and that should be adequate.
A Few of My Favorite Photos
Truly the Land of the midnight sun. If you are lucky enough to have clear skies and you have trouble sleeping, go up on deck. Our cabin was feet from the back deck so it was easy. But here’s what you’ll see at 1 AM. The sun truly never sets. It’s a unique experience being above the Arctic Circle.
Norway and Finland are beautiful. This is unlike a trip you’ve likely been on. There’s so much to see. Keep your eyes open because there are surprises everywhere. This was one of my favorites. A herd of reindeer walking past the front entry of the tiny Ivalo, Finland airport. Maybe Santa was practicing!
If you have questions about this tour, please feel free to reach out to me. My email is jslome at aaltci dot org .
And, if you are booking this tour as a first-time traveler with OAT, be sure to get your special $100 extra savings. Simply tell them you were “referred by Jesse Slome, #932019“. Many thanks and good travels.
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