Overview: On July 4, we embarked on an 18-day cruise on Oceania Cruise Lines Nautica that traveled far north, spending 10 days above the Arctic Circle and visiting many ports in Norway (including Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen), and also included a stop in Murmansk Russia. We journeyed over 4800 nautical miles on this trip to the very scenic Norwegian coast and Arctic north.
Background information: This was our 22nd cruise overall and fourth on Oceania Cruise LInes and our first on Nautica. It was also the longest cruise we have taken. We have also cruised on Disney Cruise LInes, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Delta Queen/Majestic America and American Hawaii Cruises. We selected this cruise primarily because of its itinerary and also because it was on Oceania.
Arrangements prior to the cruise: We booked our own flights on Icelandair and spent two days exploring Iceland prior to arriving in London the day before embarkation. We also booked our own private car transfers and hotel in London through our travel agent. We can highly recommend the Doubletree HIlton - Victoria as an accommodation.
Cabin 6053: Good location, near aft elevators and stairs Small room, with limited space in closets and drawers for clothes (especially winter clothes). Very tiny bathroom. Water temperature fluctuated in the shower (hot, cold, hot, cold). Tiny, low couch. Quiet, with no noises, except when the gangway was being lowered on the starboard side (it was located right below us) Just upstairs from the main passenger public deck (Deck 5) but did not hear any noises from the areas below. Reasonably sized veranda with two chairs and a table (did not use that often). Starboard side was the better side to be on for this cruise in particular, but usually that does not make a difference.
Bergen is a beautiful city, with many attractions for a day tourist. We did a hop-on/hop-off bus around the city to see some of the sights and got off to explore the Fish Market and Hanseatic Wharf. We were there on a Saturday, with temperatures approaching 80 degrees, with clear skies. The city was packed with locals and tourists, so we were unable to ride the funicular up to Mt. Floyen.
We took a ferry to Bygdoy island to visit the Fram museum. This was not our first visit to Oslo, but we had not seen this museum, which contains the wood-hulled ship used in famous Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. We also enjoyed time on the waterfront on a beautiful day.
This was the most memorable two days of the cruise. We had a day docked in Longyearbyen, where we did a dog cart ride out in the Aventdalen valley not far from town. We also cruised north, into the majestic Magdelenefjord and near the polar ice barrier. The beautiful scenery was evident as we cruised north and south. We would love to go back.