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Iona Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
177 reviews

Cruise mis-sold as a fjord cruise - its not!!

Review for Iona to the Baltic Sea
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2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

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Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

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Sail Date: May 2022

We wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords and thought the cruise sold as a Norwegian Fjord cruise would allow us to do that. What we got was a Norwegian coastal cruise with zero scenic fjords seen during the entire trip. After a first stop at Stavanger we were due to go to Olden and cruise by the scenic Fjords. Due to winds of 50 mph the Captain advised that we could not enter the Fjords and visit Olden ( we understood that reason on the grounds of safety and the Iona being too big to manoeuvre in stronger winds. The weather forecast was that the winds would subside in 3 to 4 hours which is exactly what happened but for unknown reasons the Fjord visit was abandoned completely (we should then have just missed Olden but still cruised into the fjords) and we were stuck at sea until the following day. Understandably most passengers were angry that there was no contingency plan and wanted to see a Fjord and when we got to Alesund there were no Independent cruises available as it was ' out of season '. The only P&O fjord trip had places for just 260 passengers out of 3900 on board. The embarrassed on board hotel manager admitted that P&O had no contingency planning to visit a Fjord if it was windy . In fairness the reception team did their best to placate hundreds of angry passengers when the Captain should had offered an explanation but we got next to no communication!

Be warned that if you go on this cruise and miss Olden due to it being windy ( a strong possibility in the North Sea!!) you will not see any scenic fjords at all. This really should be sold as a Norwegian coastal cruise with one scenic fjord day and with a warning that if you miss the Olden stop you will not see a scenic fjord at all.

The only positive on the trip was the general service crew ( excepting the Captain/ bridge team who were not willing to explain the reasons for not waiting for the weather to subside on day 4!!) were very good, the food was good, cabins clean and modern and Stavanger was a pretty town to visit.

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