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1,401 Norwegian Fjords Cruise Reviews

We arrived 2 days before the departure at Bergen to visit ourself the city from Paris (2 days are too long for visiting Bergen). The cruise was very confortable : Polar interior cabin was small but very cosy. Every meal was so good. We ... Read More
We arrived 2 days before the departure at Bergen to visit ourself the city from Paris (2 days are too long for visiting Bergen). The cruise was very confortable : Polar interior cabin was small but very cosy. Every meal was so good. We ate many local product : fishes, berrys, brown cheese, ... And sometimes we ate french pasteries on breakfast. All cruise's team was at our service for evething. They did everything to make sure a good cruise. During the cruise, many activities were organized on board : meetings on vikings's history or presentation of Sami people that I didn't know. We made only two excursion because they were expensive for us, but It was very interessting and well organisased. Guides speak english and german and we understood them well. At every long stops we visited cities by ourself and it was easy because ports was in the center of each cities. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The staff were very friendly and helpful. Oddgard at the reception desk was especially helpful. Every time we had a question, he found an answer. We wanted to rent bikes in a town, but he suggested we rent the ship bikes. Having only a ... Read More
The staff were very friendly and helpful. Oddgard at the reception desk was especially helpful. Every time we had a question, he found an answer. We wanted to rent bikes in a town, but he suggested we rent the ship bikes. Having only a limited time ashore, renting aboard allowed us to maximize our time. He helped us extend our trip aboard the ship. When it was time for us to disembark, he had excellent suggestions about the transporation, car rental and grocery shopping once we reached Tromso. We were so grateful for all his help. The overall ship and common places were very clean and staff were always attentive to clearing tables of the garbage and dirty dishes left behind by guests. I do wish the cafe offered their special of the day and soup options beyond 6pm. 6 pm is way too early to quit service of these food options, which by the way are some of the best value food options at the cafe. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have been on 10 previous cruises with Princess, Royal, P&O, and found this a grade above. P&O are equitable to Princess, and RCCL are just too big, with too many options. You have a 10 minute walk to get anywhere. This is the ... Read More
I have been on 10 previous cruises with Princess, Royal, P&O, and found this a grade above. P&O are equitable to Princess, and RCCL are just too big, with too many options. You have a 10 minute walk to get anywhere. This is the advantage of a smaller but well resourced ship. Columbus at 1440 passengers is the largest in the CMV fleet, but still medium sized. It is not missing anything. Still bars, restaurants, pools, decks, entertainment etc... but all within a small distance. It still has 9 lifts on a smaller boat, so you never wait long for one to arrive. The restaurant is well laid out with private booths, like a modern family restaurant. Staff remember your name and after 2 nights, know your needs and preferences. They work hard at this. Without being too in your face, all staff are friendly, positive and extra mile people. Well recruited, and well trained. The Fjords were beautiful, visiting Eidfjord, Flam, and Bergen. The funicular railways, whilst not cheap, are excellent value for money and show you views you could not see otherwise, from powerful waterfalls to snow capped mountains, mountain villages, and deep valleys. Beautiful. Ship food was good, rooms (inner, with 4 guests) are fine, and on this occasion, entertainment was the best we have experienced in any ship (this was our 11th cruise) DJ King was utterly believable as Elvis, Roy G Hemmings was a great singer (if somewhat Narcissistic), and one of the earliest of the Drifters, with great girl backing singers one night, and male backing singers the second time, with the girls joining at the end - a truly memorable evening. And the 3 degrees? Magnificent, iconic,unforgettable. These ladies are genuine soul legends. The ‘soul legends theme’ cruise was an inspired idea, and we (myself, wife, sister, daughter) would definitely do it again. ABSOLUTELY UNFORGETTABLE!,, Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I hadn’t been to any of the destinations on this cruise but the destination I was really excited about was Eidfjord, and I wasn’t disappointed. We flew to Bergen and were met by Viking representatives at baggage reclaim. As soon ... Read More
I hadn’t been to any of the destinations on this cruise but the destination I was really excited about was Eidfjord, and I wasn’t disappointed. We flew to Bergen and were met by Viking representatives at baggage reclaim. As soon as our luggage appeared we were escorted to the waiting transfer minibus. As we arrived late afternoon we went straight up to our cabin after a very smooth check in and welcome glass of champagne. Our cases arrived a few minutes later with our cabin steward, who introduced himself and was very helpful and friendly throughout the cruise, as were all the ships company, from cleaners and maintenance engineers to the officers and entertainment team. Our cabin was a deluxe veranda, and very spacious and well equipped. The wardrobe was very roomy with extra hangers available from the cabin steward. All cabins have a balcony, which is not only great for early evening drinks, but also early morning sailing into port. We got up at 6 on the morning as we sailed into Stockholm, to see all the tiny islands. Spectacular! And it was wonderful in Eidfjord to be able to sit and relax with a drink in such a beautiful setting. There were several very gifted classical musicians on board who rotated around the public areas- pianist, guitarist and string duo. They provided a very pleasant atmosphere to relax in. A resident singing group performed in concerts in the theatre accompanied by the resident band , all excellent value. There are several restaurants which all provide a very high standard of service and a wide range of choices, with special menus to reflect the port being visited. I am vegetarian and there was always plenty of choice. Hygiene is very important on a ship, and there were wash basins and sanitisers at the entrance to the World Cafe, which is a buffet. The toilets around the ship were spotless and were checked very regularly. Handrails were also often cleaned during the day and I felt that the standard of cleanliness at all times, throughout the ship, was extremely high. The public areas of the ship never felt overcrowded- never any need to reserve a lounger in the pool area! Although most of the passengers were of an age, there was plenty to appeal to the younger end of the range including the gym, a wonderful spa and range of entertainment. We were very lucky to have such good weather throughout our cruise. It was only raining on the last couple of days, and even then we managed to dodge the showers on our shore excursions. As local guides were employed by Viking, it was fascinating to hear their personal experiences as well as learning so much about our destinations. We had a wonderful holiday and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in experiencing interesting places in an inspiring setting , and not to those expecting entertainment 24/7. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Travel to departure city was smooth, well organized and leave time to visit Oslo on the way. After arrival a day in Bergen was possible and joyful. Travel back was also smooth (as far as Hurtigruten is concerned) They are not repsonsible ... Read More
Travel to departure city was smooth, well organized and leave time to visit Oslo on the way. After arrival a day in Bergen was possible and joyful. Travel back was also smooth (as far as Hurtigruten is concerned) They are not repsonsible for delayed and overcrowded german trains. The ship is modern and comfortable, cabins are clean and well arranged. Meals are very good (copious buffets for all meals with a great choice) with excellent service, drinks somewhat expensive as everywhere in Norway. As entertainment the views and landscape during the trip are sufficient. Service is great with friendly and competent staff all (minor) problems were solved immediately and professional (there were no major problems during the trip at all). Stays in ports are usually very short, so not much to do in 20 to 60 minutes. Excursions are somewhat expensive, but also well organized. I would definitely make the trip again, if I only had the necessary funds. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Never been on a cruise before never will again.If you are booked with these try to get a refund truly awful.The ship the Astoria they actually boast she is the oldest cruise ship still in service and it shows tired,tatty and dated. We ... Read More
Never been on a cruise before never will again.If you are booked with these try to get a refund truly awful.The ship the Astoria they actually boast she is the oldest cruise ship still in service and it shows tired,tatty and dated. We hit bad weather every time we entered the sea the ship is old, unstable, and creaks,groans and rocks like a cork in a jaccuzzi! The rooms are dated tired and dont go if in room 489 the noise from engines is horrendous we averaged 4 hours sleep a night even with ear plugs one night l slept upstairs in the bar. Went to Norwegian fjords the ice hotel in Bergen is total rip off grotty hotel in backstreet with a insulated container with a few ice sculptures dont waste your money.So bad 2 people tried to get flights home but too expensive.The food was miniscule portions bland and tasteless.Best lunch was on an excursion.The bar staff constantly trying to sell you the ships drinks package.The highlight was trying to find an unchipped cup for a cup of tea.Avoid this company and especially this ship at all costs. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the Norwegian Fjord itinerary. We chose the cruise line and ship due to the fact that the ship was essentially brand new (launched December '18) and we were interested in the culinary arts offering through the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Norwegian Fjord itinerary. We chose the cruise line and ship due to the fact that the ship was essentially brand new (launched December '18) and we were interested in the culinary arts offering through the advertised America's Test Kitchen. Several weeks prior to embarkation we received an email listing some of the possible demonstrations that we would see in the culinary theater. However, we found out on board that the culinary program was not being offered and no one had an explanation regarding why this was. We spent a few days in Amsterdam prior to the cruise. During this time we received a gift from a friend in the Netherlands that included a bottle of alcohol. Knowing that we were not permitted to bring this on board we checked it in with security at the terminal during embarkation and were told it would be delivered to our stateroom on the final night. When it did not arrive and when our steward couldn't locate it we contacted guest services. They assumed it was at the terminal and told us if they located it when the ship docked they would bring it on board and we could claim it at guest services. If it was not found we were told we would receive compensation (we don't know how we could be compensated for a gift). On the morning of disembarkation we went to guest services and were met by a very cranky individual who assured us that the item was found and would be waiting for us at a desk at the end of the gangway after we left the ship; she couldn't explain why it wasn't brought on board as promised. The item was not at the desk, the individual manning the desk knew nothing about this and her attempts to reach her supervisor on board via radio were unsuccessful. We nearly missed our transfer to the airport while waiting for her to reach someone. During the entire process we felt as if we were getting the runaround and that no one wanted to assume responsibility for dealing with this. We easily could have accepted the fact that this item was lost if we were told as such. More troubling is that we contacted guest relations via email and also mentioned this in the on-line survey (which arrived in our email one hour after disembarkation) and after a week we have not received any response. This experience alone is enough to convince us to spend our travel dollars with a different cruise line in the future. Another issue that surprised us was the wine package. We purchased a 6 bottle package shortly after boarding. Each night, except for the last, we were met with confusion when we tried to order a bottle. Compared to other cruises that we have taken there seemed to be a paucity of things to do on board during the at sea days; we had expected to participate in the Test Kitchen events which never happened. The ship itself is beautiful, the art on board was impressive and for the most part the meals in the dining room were good. The food at the Lido Market, however, was always cold unless we had something made fresh which was always available. The Grill was excellent but had a 39$ upcharge, the food at Tamarind was mediocre. The musicians at the various venues were all excellent and much more entertaining than the performances in the theater; we only wished their sets were longer than 45 minutes at a time. The ports were all great to visit and as with any other cruise we would have liked to spend more time there. The terrible service review only applies to the customer service. The wait staff, the bar staff, the deck staff and our cabin steward were all excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had always wanted to do the Norwegian coast and my parents took the journey probably 40 years ago and loved it. Our Swedish friends, who we travel with, suggested we take this trip and we jumped at the chance. We understood this is not ... Read More
We had always wanted to do the Norwegian coast and my parents took the journey probably 40 years ago and loved it. Our Swedish friends, who we travel with, suggested we take this trip and we jumped at the chance. We understood this is not a cruise but a trip on a supply ship. We had taken the same type of trip before on the St. Lawrence so we fully understood the difference between cruise and working ships. We loved Bergen, leaving from Bergen, easy check in. The ship has been refurbished with great viewing space from all public rooms and areas inside and out. Supremely comfortable. We knew our cabin would be small and very similar to the one we had on the St. Lawrence but designed well with good storage, nice, but small bathroom, great water pressure and hot water, and exceedingly clean. The activities were informative lectures, small talks on various places we passed, fascinating, excellent tours ( expensive but they are the only game in town). The crew on the ship were polite, helpful and very friendly. The passengers were a true mix: Brits, Germans, French, Swedes, Americans, Asians etc. Languages were always in Norwegian, German and English and most of the time French as well. The ages were predominately 50-80. We loved being with other cultures and using our other languages. The visuals were supreme, incredibly beautiful, the towns were typical coastal towns, lovely and interesting. The ship was amazingly timely. Why then only 3 stars? One word “food”. Let me preface this, I dislike buffets but these were especially challenging. They pride themselves on coffee and tea all day. The coffee was undrinkable and the quality coffee, which you pay for, was not available until 10 am. The lunch buffets were recycled food from previous days and dinners. Salt was the preferred spice, every thing was over salted. Dinners were another story. They tried to feature local foods, traditional foods with an edge, but the heavy usage of salt, the preparation made dining challenging. For example we had an appetizer served in a large soup bowl that consisted of a tablespoon of sweetkelp, 1 sliced piece of asparagus, a pea shoot and a drizzle of sauce. It could have been good, was not salted but it literally was two small fork fulls. Skimpy is what I would call it. We had an oat cake that tasted of salted cardboard and found it two days later recycled in some sort if salad. Need I say more. This is where Hurtigruten failed. The crew were very nice but the waiters, the bartender and the lady at the bakery were over worked, lines of 10 in the am waiting for a kaffee latte, lines waiting for a drink at the bar, long wait times to get served for dinner. In addition to making drinks and espresso drinks the bartender was responsible to clean the tables in the bar as well. This was not an inexpensive trip nor should it have been but the food should have been of a much higher quality for the price of this trip. There was no choice at dinner. We never ate at the a la carte restaurant ( pay extra ) because we did not have faith that it would be good coming from the same kitchen. The bakery had nice food the sandwich which I had was delicious it was evident that the bakery foods, which you paid for, were not the same foods that were served in the dining room. We even heard comments about the cheeses which I agreed were not up to par. However, the salmon was prepared well. . Hurtigruten is not generous after the ceremony of crossing the Arctic Circle a drink was served without cost and, I am not kidding, served in a catsup cup, no more than a tablespoon. They would announce after an excursion “ Hot Chocolate and Apple Cake now being served..... for a fee if 50 kronas.” Strange. i would recommend Hurtigruten for the journey which was exquisitely beautiful but I would certainly tell people to beware of the food. For the price of this trip the food quality and preparation should have been at a much higher standard. There was no excuse for this quality of food. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We wanted to go on this particular cruise as we have heard nothing but great reviews about the Fjords and we have sailed on the Ventura before. We drove down to Southampton from North Wales and this was probably the best trip down we ... Read More
We wanted to go on this particular cruise as we have heard nothing but great reviews about the Fjords and we have sailed on the Ventura before. We drove down to Southampton from North Wales and this was probably the best trip down we have had. There weren't any hold ups and after reading on CC that parking and portering had changed, we were pleasantly surprised that it was exactly how it was on our earlier cruise in March. We left the car with CPS outside the terminal and the porters took our luggage, all we had to do was to make our way to the terminal where we waited for no more than 30 minutes before we boarded the ship. Our cabin was ready virtually straight away. The one criticism about the cabin was my wife had to ask the cabin steward to change the duvet cover as it was dirty. The cabin was as expected, we had a sea view cabin and it was absolutely fine. The food on the ship was first class, albeit very similar to the previous cruise. I suppose the old adage ` if its not broken, don't fix it` comes to mind. The staff work tirelessly and nothing was too much trouble for them. I could list several names but they all deserve recognition. The food in the self service restaurant was equally as good as any of the main dining rooms and as such proved to be very popular and the knock on effect of this is that it is a free for all trying to get a table, saying that, we did manage to find a table....eventually. We went to see the Headliners twice, they were excellent. The work that they had to do to get the show as good as they did must have been phenomenal, very smooth and polished performances on both nights. We went to see the comedian Tucker. We have never heard of him before and we both thought he was hilarious. In -fact we were in stitches throughout his routine. The service from the crew was excellent. We had to call reception at 5am as the toilet wouldn't flush, they sent a plumber to fix the problem within 10 minutes. |We both feel that it would be preferable if P&O put the account back on to the TV in the cabins. Its a bit of a pain to have to keep asking for a print out at reception, it may also help to reduce their carbon footprint( every bit helps ). We didn't go on any excursions, I did fancy having a go on the RIB boats but chickened out in the end, we decided to walk into the ports and explore them ourselves. We chose to disembark the ship by ourselves due to the distance we have to travel, this was very easy to do and we were in our car by 7.30am. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first ever cruise. We chose Celebrity as our son and wife have cruised with them many times on the Celebrity Eclipse and they recommended Celebrity as opposed to P & O which they didn't like. We had a concierge cabin ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. We chose Celebrity as our son and wife have cruised with them many times on the Celebrity Eclipse and they recommended Celebrity as opposed to P & O which they didn't like. We had a concierge cabin on deck 10 and therefore received an invitation on embarkation to a lunch for concierge guests in the main dining room prior to sailing. We went along as we thought we might receive valuable information about the ship and what is available on board. We were shown to a table for two near the kitchen entance and were then ignored for over half an hour. Not one member of staff noted our departure and other ignored guests were preparing to leave too. We found the main dining room overcrowded and claustrophobic and at that stage we didn't realise that we wouldn't actually be eating at level 3 of the main dining room in the evenings (we had anytime dining which meant we would eat at the less claustrophobic level 4 of the dining room). On leaving the restaurant without eating I did complain to the person at the desk. We were eventually contacted by the Maitre D a day or so later who wanted feedback. No gesture was forthcoming to help us forget this awful first experience. We seriously considered leaving the ship before it sailed as we could not have faced eating at level 3 of the dining room each day. Our cabin was finally ready. We were rather disappointed by the ugly and dreary maroon and brown decor and the cabins certainly need refitting. However the bed was very comfortable and the bathroom good. The final moan is that we had informed Celebrity of the need for gluten free food for my husband. The canapes delivered to our room were not gluten free initially until we spoke to our wonderful cabin stewardess who sorted it out. However as the canapes were mostly seafood we were concerned that they were not cold but room temperature and sometimes sat in the room for 2 hours before we returned to our cabin. We asked them not to serve any more. The rest of the cruise was enjoyable in that most of the entertainment was good (although not always to our taste), the waiting staff were excellent, as was our cabin stewardness, the food in the dining room was of reasonable standard, the silent disco, archery and quizzes were fun. Best of all were the new friends we made on board and chatting to all sorts of interesting people. We were not amazed by the fjords, the scenery in Canada is more stunning. The trip to Hardanger fjord was very poor but the Flam railway was good. Unsure at this point as to whether we would cruise with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Background We have cruised 15+ times on various lines and usually go for the itinerary. We’ve always wanted to do Norway and this cruise popped up on Vacations To Go and away we were. We did book it rather late, probably a couple ... Read More
Background We have cruised 15+ times on various lines and usually go for the itinerary. We’ve always wanted to do Norway and this cruise popped up on Vacations To Go and away we were. We did book it rather late, probably a couple months prior. We had gone on Celebrity once before so we knew we had a good cruise line with a great itinerary. Little did we know just how great both would be. Traveling to the Port We flew two days earlier from the States so we would arrive a day early to get a night’s rest before embarkation. We used Celebrity for booking the flights, primarily American Airlines since we collect their miles, but the major flight over, from Philadelphia to Heathrow, was British Airways which was quite good. Upon our arrival at Heathrow, Passport Control was quite simple and we collected our luggage, albeit waiting a while for it, and met our driver just outside of baggage collection. We had arranged for a car from Smith’s for Airports and he was great. Hotel Since I’ve been collecting points at Best Western, we had decided to see if our points would pay off and booked the Best Western at Chillworth Manor. We thought that, in worst case, we’d have a bed and a shower and off we would go to embarkation. Were we pleasantly surprised! The hotel is, indeed, a former Manor. Not Downton Abbey, but quite nice and interesting. The grounds were lovely to walk about and we had a wonderful stay. The staff was excellent. We had dinner in the restaurant (highly recommend) and the breakfast, in the restaurant, was probably the best “free” breakfast we had ever had. Room was nice and comfy and we were very happy we selected the Manor. Embarkation We left the hotel via a hotel-arranged taxi at 10:00 AM and arrived less than thirty minutes later. We went through check-in quite quickly and easily and had a seat in the waiting lounge for no more than 5-6 minutes before our “number” was called to board. All-in-all, a great embarkation experience all around!! Stateroom Our stateroom was a balcony, 9109, quite far forward (about 5 rooms back from the front, but we found it to be great and quiet. There was a bit of a walk to the elevators, but that’s okay with us! Our cabin steward kept the room exceptionally neat and we had not a complaint. My wife has a CPAP machine and, having arranged it ahead of time, we had a gallon of distilled water and, much to our surprise, an extension cord awaiting us in the room. The room also had a water heater and we had tea out on our deck most days. As far as standard ship balcony rooms go, this was a good one. The Ship We had been on the Equinox and knew the general layout of the Silhouette. I have to admit that, when we found out after booking that she would be in drydock soon after our trip, I was a bit concerned that we were going on an “old” ship. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, many of us on board commented to each other that we didn’t really know why it was even being refurbished! It was a beautiful ship from stem to stern. Getting around the ship was easy. There were three decks of inside “evening” areas, including dining, shops, lounges, etc. Deck 5 had an outdoor walking area but did not entirely circumvent the ship, which is disappointing but appears to be the way with these ships nowadays. I long for the “Promenade deck” of old! The pool area got some use though this was a cooler itinerary. The indoor solarium pool was more the place to be if swimming is what you looked for. Given the itinerary, we didn’t even pack bathing suits! Dining We usually opt for freestyle dining as Norwegian calls it but, having booked so late, we were forced to have 6:00PM dining. It was okay but we would prefer not to eat that early again. Our wait staff was excellent and we had two other couples, one from the UK and one from Israel, at our table and we became fast friends. Food selection was very good as was the food itself. Specialty Dining We availed ourselves to one of the 3-night specialty packages and, though we probably wouldn’t do the package again, we were not disappointed with the experience. I think we’d stay in the MDR and just take one arbitrary night to do a specialty restaurant, if at all. Our first experience was the Lawn Club Grille, an “outside” venue – though it was fairly enclosed with the plastic walls. This is the place for steaks as they cook them right there on the grille and they were fantastic! Second experience was the Tuscan Grille. Here’s a tip – if you ever do the Norwegian Fjords itinerary, and you plan on eating here at all during the cruise, do so on the day you sail away from Flam. The restaurant is the aft-most one can be with large viewing windows and sailing away down the fjord is just magnificent. This is an Italian steakhouse and, once again, the food and staff were excellent. Our last experience, our last dinner on this cruise, was at Qsine. The “Les Petits Chefs’ experience is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that must be experienced. The table top animation is just tremendous, but that doesn’t take away from the great food and excellent service they provide. If you only do one specialty restaurant, make this one your choice. Activities There are activities every day and we admittedly did not participate much. The few we did – Question of the Day, Riddle of the Day, Movie/TV music themes – were fun and well-done and we probably did ourselves a disservice not participating more but there are only so many hours in a day. Suffice it to say that if Activities are your thing, there are plenty and seem to be well done. Entertainment We went to every one of the 7 theater shows and we were very impressed with all. The production team did three shows, all of them spectacular. The aerialists and acrobats were outstanding, as were the singers and dancers. One show was a local UK singer/pianist who did a very good job, especially on the piano. Another night was a comedian who was quite good and funny. The Flyboys were on board and they are a quartet of singers who transform “modern” songs into swing era style. The Overtures, the best 60’s band in the world according to Elton John, performed one night to rousing ovations and applause and did a quick set the last night in the Foyer area. The live music throughout the ship was top-notch. Two bands, once of which played a lot of 60s – 80s rock and roll, a solo guitarist/vocalist, a string duo (violin and cello) doing modern tunes with strings, were all great. We went to one of the “game shows”, Liars Club or some such thing, which was hilarious and I’m certain other shows were equally well done. On the final day, Captain George gave a talk about the ship and navigation and had a lengthy Q&A which was all very interesting. Ports The itinerary consisted of four fabulous ports. We used Celebrity for all tour excursions. We arrived in Bergen, Norway, at noon. Our tour was a little later and was simply a panorama tour of Bergen and the surrounding hills. Our guide was excellent and the tour was good. Also at Bergen is the ability to take a funicular up the hillside for views of the city. We did not do so but others on board did and report that it was great. Our second stop was at Alesund, Norway. Two things of note: If you go do Alesund and don’t do the Path of the Trolls tour, you have not been to Norway! And, though I know lots of cruise critics eschew ship tours, I heartily recommend you do the ship tour for this one or be prepared to fly yourself out to the next port. This is a LONG tour and is subject to so many possibilities of delays. Anyhow, the tour is excellent. You get to go well into the interior of Norway with its tremendous views. The third stop is the reason for taking a cruise to Norway, this cruise into and out of Flam. This town of only 400 is nestled at the end of an arm of Norway’s longest fjord. The cruise in and out is spectacular, with waterfalls almost within reach of the ship. We took the Flam railway up to the end, climbing up through the mountains with outstanding views of the Flam River valley and the various waterfalls. Flam is also a great town to walk about and get some souvenirs. The final stop was Stavanger which is a pretty good sized city at the southern end of Norway. From the ship, we took the cruise of the Lysefjord fjord. This was a great trip, despite the only real serious rain of the whole cruise. We had views of the great waterfalls and the famous Pulpit Rock. An interesting stop for waffles and coffee was also made and much appreciated. Disembarkation We elected to have our luggage taken off the ship and meeting it on shore, though a leisurely walk-off is also available. Getting off the ship was a breeze. We found our luggage quickly as that is well-organized. Customs was nothing since we had nothing to declare. We, again, had a ride organized with Smith’s for Airports and he collected us on time and had us to Heathrow with time to spare. Summary All in all, this was one of the best cruises we have ever taken. Admittedly, much of that credit goes to the itinerary, but the ship, staff, service, food and everything about the Silhouette was top-notch. Well done, Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First of all, I would like to redress the balance of some of the negative reviews I have read. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this cruise. The food was superb, with plenty of choice for everyone. We did not eat in the ... Read More
First of all, I would like to redress the balance of some of the negative reviews I have read. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this cruise. The food was superb, with plenty of choice for everyone. We did not eat in the restaurant, just the buffet. We paid for the premium drinks package which is advisable. The cabin crew and the rest of the staff were very friendly and helpful. The stop-offs and excursions were well organised. The entertainment team was not top-drawer but watchable and worked extremely hard. Our cabin was spacious and comfortable. To criticize the clientele, in my opinion, is extremely unfair, we met some extremely interesting people, from all walks of life, and you have to ask what sort of people would be attracted to a cruise of this type. I suggest the negative reviewers should try Cunard next time and start saving now. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise ... Read More
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise is a floating care home. The average age of a guest is well into their 70’s and the oldest passenger I came across was an astonishing 98! I have never seen so many strollers, walking frames, walking sticks, mobility scooters and wheel chairs in all my life! At age 62 I must be in the 5% of guests under the age of 65. I have nothing whatsoever against this passenger profile, except that I really do not want to be a part of it! Spending 8 nights having to battle through the maze of associated mobility aids and having to suffer the significant inconvenience to more able-bodied passengers which this presents, is not a holiday for me – it’s just a hassle. If you fit with this profile I am sure you will enjoy yourself. The ship itself holds 1400 passengers, and has been rebranded several times in its history as it moved between owners and refits. The overall quality of finish is average to good, and the style of décor reflects its niche in the market for elderly Brits wanting to be away from home but in familiar surroundings. Although a shame that CMV has decided for some reason that plastic and silk imitation plants and trees are more pleasing than real ones, resulting in a rather tacky funeral feel to the Taverner’s bar and a tired wilting appearance to the potted trees in Connexions. Cabins are nice and well maintained, if not a little dated in furnishings. The rest of the ship flows around deck 7 with its British bar (traditional London style) and the more modern Connexions bar (which appears to have been modelled on a conservatory). You will also find the main Waterfront restaurant on this deck. The other eatery is a self-service buffet style and is on deck 12. The best outdoor bar is the Oasis bar, which was surprisingly pleasant with its panoramic view and comfy sunbeds. As far as the food is concerned, the evening dinner on the Waterfront restaurant is good (but not great) in terms of selection and quality. I would recommend the 2nd sitting, as this allows more time before having to change, a 1st sitting in the theatre and plenty of time afterwards to relax in the bars. The self-service restaurant is to be avoided at all costs. The food is dismal, the atmosphere chaotic and the seating arrangements far too limited and uncomfortable for the number of guests (and walking aids!) trying to occupy them. In short it is a cattle market of stress inducing trauma. Think about your blood pressure and avoid this place like the plague. Far better to spend your time enjoying a great coffee in the coffee shop by the pool area. The best coffee I have ever tasted. Drinks prices on board are very reasonable indeed. £3.30 for a pint of Fosters, a 4cl Gordon’s gin at £3.60 and alcoholic cocktails around £4.80. Having said that CMV offer a range of pre-paid inclusive drink packages and these offer exceptional value in my view. Dress on board is casual and informal, with appropriate minimum standards in the indoor bars and lounges in the evening. There were 2 formal nights during the cruise. It’s always a good measure of your fellow passengers to observe their interpretation of “formal”. I would estimate that 40% were traditional “black tie” enthusiasts, and a further 30% made some sort of effort (however marginal) to smarten themselves up. The remaining 30%? – well I think the less said, the better! The staff on board vary considerably. Our cabin steward was fantastic, friendly, personal and did a really good job at keeping the cabin clean and tidy. The restaurant staff were generally efficient and on the whole appeared to enjoy their jobs. With a couple of exceptions, all of the bar staff were as miserable as sin, without a smile for anyone, and with the ability only to communicate in grunts (if at all). Not once in a whole week were we approached at our table in the bars and asked if we wanted to order a drink. We had to attract someone’s attention (which on occasion would be successful, but more usually resulted in total avoidance) or queue at the bar and get our own drink (eventually, and after having to endure surly and indifferent “service”) Shore excisions were, as usual, overpriced, but reasonable well organised. Check before you book to see if you can make your own arrangements to see the “ attractions” – we did and saved ourself at least 30% on the CMV cost. The evening entertainment was disappointing. For starters the Palladium theatre is small with awful sight lines of the stage. Unless you bag a seat at least 30 minutes prior to showtime you can forget seeing at least half of the stage. The resident entertainment dancers/singers, can’t. That is to say they try hard, but there is only one guy and one girl who came even remotely close to being able to sing in tune. The rest would get immediate “red crosses and a loud buzzer” from Simon Cowell. Dancing was slightly better, but production values and variety were very poor. This was a major let-down as we have been used to very professional and talented entertainers on other cruises. From the 7 nights we had a comedian (the same one) for 2 nights, a magician (the ships entertainment director) for 1 night and the dancers/singers for the remainder. The comedian was not bad, although should really have retired his act some time ago. The magician was just plain embarrassing. So overall an exceptionally average cruise, not helped by the clientele, the ships facilities and the crew. If a British “flavoured” floating care home is your thing, with a heady mix of cheap drinks, bingo, quizzes, and “end of the pier” entertainment - then you should definitely go for it. If not – you should save your money for an alternative cruise. You may need to pay a little more, but it will be money well spent. It was good to try CMV, but once is enough. At least until I am 80! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Classic ship on iconic route - what could be better? A lot, as it turns out: The route does not offer much fjord experience, mostly you trundle coast-wise behind the outlying islands. Most places the time in port is too short for ... Read More
Classic ship on iconic route - what could be better? A lot, as it turns out: The route does not offer much fjord experience, mostly you trundle coast-wise behind the outlying islands. Most places the time in port is too short for sightseeing. Once in open seas, this little ships rocks. And rolls. Keep your seasickness pills handy. The company has a museum at its place of origin. Don't expect to get in there for free as a passenger. Or to have time for a visit if you bought the ticket onboard and the schedule changes. Or get a refund. Revenue matters. A Lot. The Hurtigruten company is now owned by a US-based investment fund, and it shows. Sign up for Ambassador programme to get a 5% discount and other perks? Sorry, that will take some time, and not apply to your booking unless you do it well in advance. Shore excursions rhyme with extortion. Hint from passengers who did buy some: Don't go on those. Or expect to get hints to attractions if they don't sell them, such as the magnificent Vardoe memorial. Or the tram service from airport, involving a 10min walk. Because their own bus service is sold at eight times the fare, at par with the price for a taxi. Maybe that's the reason for them not arranging a taxi for you in Bergen? Economy abounded also in the restaurant: There was free water to be had with the meals - if you were patient and insistent, you even got a second glass. Everything else costs - a lot. This would have been OK if the quality was the same. Which it wasn't: 11 days of the same buffet food of mediocre quality, despite some high-quality ingredients. Little fresh fruit or salad, bakery items running out half way through breakfast service. Single menu "choice" for dinners, prepared to minimise any sensory impact or desire for more-which there wasn't any available of, anyway. Attitudes towards passengers varied between indifference, hostility or occasional friendliness, especially if you spend up large. Hygiene is taken seriously when it comes to making you to disinfect your hands. But changing bed sheets in between the 11 nights? - not happening. As for the vintage vessel: Ear plugs are a must. If you're lucky, the engine noise is droning out the talking and snoring from adjoining cabins, slamming doors or worse. Qeueing for the single shower per gender and 2 toilets, shared between 20 or so cabins. Standing room only: The narrow bunk taking up 50% of the entire cabin, sink and a bare rack for clothing being the other features. No room to hide: Lounge spaces too confined to accommodate all passengers when the weather is too cold or wet outside. In this instance, "classic" associates with uncomfortable and stinginess, not with class. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this Cruise because having never visited Norway before we though it would be nice to go somewhere different . We have cruised several times to the Med and the Caribbean + Australia . Arrived at Southampton and boarded ... Read More
We chose this Cruise because having never visited Norway before we though it would be nice to go somewhere different . We have cruised several times to the Med and the Caribbean + Australia . Arrived at Southampton and boarded swiftly with friendly and efficient staff . Cabin was ready at 1pm Luggage arrived 10 minutes later . Our cabin steward Enrico introduced himself and was very pleasant . We were Aqua class so dined in Blu restaurant . Food was excellent as were the waiting staff . We had lunch a few times in the Ocean view self service restaurant ,the choice and quality was just fantastic . Silhouette is a beautiful ship and was spotlessly clean in all areas - with an amazing crew , from the Captain all the way down . Special thanks to Enrico our cabin steward you were a star . Cruise director Sue was brilliant -so much energy . We saw a couple of the shows and the comedian and thought they were very good . Ports of call were very good and the only organised one we did was in Flam ,although the scenery was beautiful I'm not sure it was worth the money -over £ 200 for the both of us for a 2 hour return train journey ! . All the other ports of call are walkable and very pretty I could go on and on about how great this Cruise was and if anyone wants to see Norway and the stunning Scenery they should give it a go and sail with Celebrity on the Silhouette . Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
this cruise is the BEST vacation I have taken to date. The ship was perfect. the ports and excursions were better then I could of hoped for. every port just got better and better. I highly recommend traveling Stockholm to Norway. the WOW ... Read More
this cruise is the BEST vacation I have taken to date. The ship was perfect. the ports and excursions were better then I could of hoped for. every port just got better and better. I highly recommend traveling Stockholm to Norway. the WOW factor of sailing into Norway is breathtaking. I tried to find something I would change and there was NOTHING. The crew was phenomenal the whole trip was! Food was excellent. once you take a Viking Cruise ship you will return . As much a we liked the river cruise, the Jupiter or Viking cruise line is the only way to go. Viking reputation stands tall with this ship and the ports it choice to visit. I truly cant say enough about this ship. my high light each day was having High tea in the garden room. The pool roof pulled back on sunny days was perfect. the spa was lovely. If I had to mark one thing down. the spa needed to keep an attendant in the spa area to show people the amenities. also for a luxury line, the amenities in the womens locker room was pretty scares. spa normally have brushes and combs. hair products. and not so much here. but was not bad enough to keep me away every day. There is NO add on fee to use the spa and a beautiful spa it WAS..... Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Norwegian Fjords were stunning and the weather was spectacular, the cruise experience not so much. Disappointing... The ship while kept clean is in need of a refurb. The service in the bars and for coffee is excruciating slow. We ... Read More
The Norwegian Fjords were stunning and the weather was spectacular, the cruise experience not so much. Disappointing... The ship while kept clean is in need of a refurb. The service in the bars and for coffee is excruciating slow. We waited for over and hour in the captains lounge just to get a coffee, and had to chase it 3 times before we got 2 cups...getting drinks was equally as slow all the time. Very frustrating and you had to wait for waiter service, no other option. The crew were not easy to engage with, and some were downright rude. Very happy to talk and laugh between themselves, but as the customers were felt like an inconvenience. Breakfast was a farce most mornings, and we tried different times, food had run out leading to long queues, no toast, not even mugs to get tea and coffee, just a joke, and set the day off on the wrong note every morning. Scots bar was closed one evening for a staff party! But the ship was heading to Newcastle when we came home then to tilbury with perhaps very few passengers, could the staff party have been then? Not a pleasant trip, and many of our travellers we ate with in the evening had complained on board about the service. Good food and service ok at the evening dinner. I would be very reluctant to recommend the Marco Polo or cruise Maritime after our experience, and it’s unlikely we would want to travel with them again, which is disappointing as they will be sailing from Aberdeen in 2020. The company need to review their management of the catering areas for b/fast and lunch, train the crew to be customer focused, and look to refresh the ship if they hope to get return Business. Not what we were looking forward to on the cruise. To let you understand how disappointed we were in 40 years of travel and holidays, this is the 1st time we have complained. Think twice before you book.... Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary and as a way to see a large part of remote Norway in a somewhat short amount of time wherein both my husband and I could sit back, relax, do what we wished to each day and not have to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary and as a way to see a large part of remote Norway in a somewhat short amount of time wherein both my husband and I could sit back, relax, do what we wished to each day and not have to worry about the planning, logistics or stress of getting from place to place, figuring out meals or finding places to stay along the way. We chose Hurtigruten because neither of us are a fan of very "touristy" types of planned activities and destinations (including all-inclusive vacations and huge cruise ships), and with the smaller boats and the fact that they go to many of the smaller ports and towns that one would never see on their own without a boat and lots of time, and the whole operation seems to have a lighter touch on the communities they visit versus the huge negative impact that larger cruise ships seem to have on cities and cultural sites. Despite the cost, we were honestly not expecting much since we had read that Hurtigruten also serves as a commercial transport ship, car transport and ferry in addition to the destination touring function they provide. And they do provide these services, but they are integrated so nicely into the seamless operation of the voyage that they only added to the experience for us, rather than detracting in any way. But from the moment we stepped on board, to the time we departed, we were absolutely delighted with the whole experience. The whole ship was immaculate! Our room was larger and more comfortable and nicer than we thought from the photos we saw on Hurtigruten's website. We were also conveniently located to the two very nice and clean and cozy outdoor hot tubs and the 7th floor deck, sun porch, cafe and bar. The staff were kind, helpful and informative; the excursions were well-planned and every one that we participated in went smoothly and without a single hiccup. The guides on both the excursions and the boat were knowledgeable about many things and made each evening fun with planned lectures and activities for all the guests. And the food! It was all spectacular! Everything was fresh, deliciously prepared, plentiful, thoughtful, relevant to the regions and their food heritage, and beautifully spread. Of our nearly 3-weeks in the country, we only had a couple of other meals that topped the food we ate while on-board the ship, and this is saying a lot as we orient every vacation we take around trying to find the best cuisine that any place we visit has to offer. Other than the cost of some of the excursions (they were all so expensive we were not able to participate in as many as we would have liked), and many of the other guests that were extremely pushy and rude - especially during mealtimes and queuing up to leave the boat whenever we docked - there really are no bad things to say about the voyage, the staff, the length of the trip (we wished we could have stayed longer), the route, or anything else and hope to be able to return again someday with others from our family to take part in a longer voyage or wintertime voyage when the country has other experiences to offer! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first cruise and we loved it, chilled out and took it for what it was..w new it was an older ship and not massive so you can feel the motion if your sensitive to it but my husband and our other dinner guey had great sea legs ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it, chilled out and took it for what it was..w new it was an older ship and not massive so you can feel the motion if your sensitive to it but my husband and our other dinner guey had great sea legs and felt norhing mot of the time. We got the VIP drinks package and it is definately worth it for all cocktails on menu and nice coffee. The shows were mediocre some good and some not so good but staff work very hard and were always on the go .Fair play to them all, bar staff included. Food was good and plentiful in restaurant and if busy people were very oblinging letting is double up on tables and we meet aome lovely people. All guest were very friendly and engaging throughout . We had fabulous Indian on the Saturday night well worth the extra which was half price on VIP package. We only booked one trip with cruise, cheaper to do it yourself on trip advisor. In Flam booked Segways great fun and super way to see village. Bergen lovely but book seperate from cruise. Our tour guide as lovely though. Nice art gallery in eidfjord. Stravanger nice to walk around. So glad we went. People need to be less critical and not so impatient. Some guests rudeness as nothing short of embarrassing, you can't expect staff to give 100 per cent if guests are rude. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My 19 yr old daughter and I were late additions to a large group of family and friends on a cruise from Amsterdam to the Norwegian fjords. This was our first cruise on HAL and our first in this part of the world. We very much enjoyed our ... Read More
My 19 yr old daughter and I were late additions to a large group of family and friends on a cruise from Amsterdam to the Norwegian fjords. This was our first cruise on HAL and our first in this part of the world. We very much enjoyed our spontaneous vacation. Embarkation was simple, our cabins were ready as soon as we boarded. There are no flashy waterslides or shopping atriums etc - two nice pool areas, one with a retractable roof (very useful in Norway) and a giant movie screen on the upper decks. Clientele was on the older side. Our group was half 40-50ish and half 17-23ish in age and we felt younger than many. Most of us were in balcony cabins or suites on deck 10, which were lovely spaces and provided us gathering room. My daughter and I were in a standard interior cabin on deck 4. It was extremely comfortable - beds were fluffy, TV was large, storage was plentiful, bathroom spacious and nicer than I imagined it would be. We mostly ate in the main dining room for dinner and the Lido cafe for breakfast and lunch. Food was great for all. We did one night at Rudy's Sel de Mer, which was special but probably not worth the upcharge. We enjoyed high tea in the main dining room on a few days :-) There are many evening entertainment venues on the 2nd deck, lots of music in a variety of styles. The biggest downside for us is that our last minute cabin was interior on deck 4 and we could hear it all from there. We played a "guess the song" game which could have developed into something fun with some planning (we would have had to station a few people on the stairs to verify our guesses.) In port, we booked one kayak trip on our own in Flam and bought an OsloPass in Oslo which allowed us many museums and transportation. The one HAL adventure we bought was to climb Pulpit Rock outside Stavenger - it was the number one thing we wanted to do in Norway but could not find an outside vendor who could do it on our timetable. HAL did a great job - it was definitely a disciplined march to make sure we accomplished the goal - but they had buses, guides, and got us back to the ship in time with no stress other than physical trauma from climbing up a mountain. Several of us also went on the "behind the scenes" excursion on our last sea day which was highly interesting. Our main complaint is about itinerary. We have been to Alaska where the "scenic cruising" part is when people are actually watching the scenery. This trip along the fjords involved scenic cruising after leaving port until sunset. We traveled the length of the Sognefjord - the "King of Fjords" and the longest/deepest fjord in Norway twice (once to get to Flam, situated at the end, and once to leave.) We cruised to the end in the middle of the night. We left while everyone was eating dinner and it was dark before we reached the ocean again. I abandoned food et al in order to see the fjord and capture photos. Granted that I will not starve on a cruise but the scenery is supposed to be a highlight. Similarly, the onboard entertainment is not in synch with the dinner seating times in the MDR. The MDR takes too long to make the World Stage shows, you have to leave early. I also think the stage shows were poorly promoted. We are huge fans of Postmodern Jukebox, who performed two nights. The theater wasn't even half full. There's no nightly standard show. Final complaint: Amid the many pieces of paper selling jewelry or future cruises that arrived at our door each day, I completely missed the one saying that we would not be arriving back in the center of Amsterdam where we left. Missed the deadline for the bus back to the departure point and had to pay 50E for a cab. This detail may have warranted a little extra attention. In summary: I would absolutely go again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise to experience a Viking Ocean Cruise after doing 2 Viking River Cruises. Had FABULOUS time! As with the River Cruises, staff and food was outstanding! Doing the Iceland Pre Trip was amazing, and helped us bond with our ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience a Viking Ocean Cruise after doing 2 Viking River Cruises. Had FABULOUS time! As with the River Cruises, staff and food was outstanding! Doing the Iceland Pre Trip was amazing, and helped us bond with our shipmates - which continued throughout our cruise! There were 12 of us who would meet up in the Lounge for cocktails, then attend dinner with other couples, then meet up at the Shows ( which were exceptional! Our Cruise Director sang and entertained as if she were on Broadway!!!) The food was delicious - think we had fresh King Crablegs every night at the Buffet! The specialty Dining Rooms were great - we ate at the Italian place 2 times, and then were able to get the Private Room our last night for all 12 of us! Our staterooms were adequate and balcony was nice to sit out on...I have to say, from early morning, until heading to our room at night, there was ALWAYS a smile and a nice greeting from EVERY staff member - such an upbeat group of people, who obviously enjoy their jobs!!! We look forward to our already booked Egypt Viking River Cruise, with pre Jerusalem and post Jordan trips, in 2021!!! Thank you, Viking, for having the BEST Ocean and River Cruises!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Southbound cruise from Kirkenes to Bergen was absolutely fantastic! This was our first cruise experience and Hurtigruten ticked all the boxes. We participated in many of the excursions available on the way down the majestic west ... Read More
The Southbound cruise from Kirkenes to Bergen was absolutely fantastic! This was our first cruise experience and Hurtigruten ticked all the boxes. We participated in many of the excursions available on the way down the majestic west Norwegian coastline. The onboard Expedition Team presented engaging and informative preludes to each day’s activities and a special thanks to Asluk who was an excellent storyteller (speaking English, Norwegian and German). We would thoroughly recommend this cruise for anyone doing Cruising 101 and the more seasoned traveller. Hurtgruten have been doing these Norwegian Coastal cruises for a long time and their organisational management for all passengers was exemplary. Ongoing information by the crew as we travelled South was appreciated and the celebration when we traversed the Arctic Circle was great, albeit somewhat moving after taking the Codliver Oil. The off vessel excursions offered during the voyage were all very enjoyable, professionally managed and easily done. We joined six off vessel excursions of which the midnight concert in the Artic Cathedral was the standout. The food onboard was excellent providing large buffet breakfast and lunch and 3-course sit down dinner in the evening. A lot of great seafood, but only what you would expect and hope for in Norway. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife chose this as many of her ancestors came from that part of Europe. We had a great experience. The staff and service was fantastic and were the friendliest group of people I have ever been around. This was a cruise that I was very ... Read More
My wife chose this as many of her ancestors came from that part of Europe. We had a great experience. The staff and service was fantastic and were the friendliest group of people I have ever been around. This was a cruise that I was very sad to see come to an end as we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere. Our daily excursions were very organized and very worthwhile. Every night as we returned to our cabin, the bed was turned down for us and we had our next day Viking News waiting for us. This publication was very well done and filled with valuable information. This staff is very professional, friendly, and organized. The entertainment and lectures were excellent and much preparation went into making it that way. When we left the ship for our excursions, the staff always wished us a good day and offered us a bottle of water. On our return, we were given a warm welcome home and offered a nice warm cloth to refresh ourselves. On our return from Berlin, the entire staff was outside the ship welcoming us home with warm welcomes and glasses of champagne. On our final night on the ship at the farewell reception given by the captain, there was not only entertainment and champagne, but the entire staff was present which I thought was fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Iceland’s Majestic Landscapes, August 13, 2019, Viking Ocean We chose this ship for chance to see Iceland up close. It made four stops in Iceland with two days in Reykjavik at the beginning. Most cruise lines stop at the capitol ... Read More
Iceland’s Majestic Landscapes, August 13, 2019, Viking Ocean We chose this ship for chance to see Iceland up close. It made four stops in Iceland with two days in Reykjavik at the beginning. Most cruise lines stop at the capitol for a day as they transit between the US and Europe. This was our first Viking Ocean cruise. If you are tired of the glitz, the constant sales pitches and wandering to find a quiet spot to read, this cruise line is for you. The ship had no casino and only two shops. Decks 1 and 2 which surround the 3 story atrium are open concept with contemporary Scandinavian décor in neutral tones– sofas, easy chairs & coffee tables with low bookcases to make them feel more intimate. Instead of a single room dedicated as the library, books are shelved at one end of Deck 1 with more books in other areas. Bars/snack areas are also spread throughout the open public areas. There were only two sea days. We found that our only choices for spare time were the port talks, lectures (excellent) and evening performance by the four ship’s singers. There are no dance/show productions. Trivia was held only on the sea days. Obviously the sports deck was not used with the cold and cloudy weather although the pool deck with its glass ceiling had wonderful nooks for reading, relaxing and looking at the ocean and also offered grilled food at lunch and sometimes at dinner. We used the buffet and pool grill for lunch each day and dinner varied between the dining room, Manressa’s Italian café and The World Café. The World Café offered one dedicated ethnic cuisine menu with paired wine included which changed every four days. We found that to be as much of a “show” as a dinner and portions were a bit small. The dining room and buffet food was well prepared and presented. It tended to have emphasis at times on Asian/Indian dishes which were interesting to taste made us wish to see a nice clam chowder, something less pretentious, ie. “down home food” by the last days of the cruise. As my husband put it, after traveling over three weeks, we had “hit the wall” as far as eating was concerned. The staff without exception was helpful and cheerful. Ports: Iceland is a small country with a population of less than 400,000. More than half live in Reykjavik. When our ship of 900 visited a port, Viking worked hard to gather good excursions and transportation. We were often delighted to find ourselves in a small group of less than 20. Viking offered one or more free excursions in each port. The majority were not just a short bus tour around the town. Some days we took both an included tour and a paid tour. Reykjavik We were exhausted when we boarded the ship. Many flights from the US are red-eye and our Icelandair business class seats did not recline more than a few degrees. I would recommend coming in a day early to acclimate. The most popular tour the day after boarding is The Golden Circle, an 8 ½ hour tour staring at 7 AM. We saw Iceland’s most famous waterfall,, Gullfoss, a geothermal area, lava fields and more. Isafjordur: A small group tour to Litlibaer, a tiny home from the early 1900s with stone walls and a turf roof. You will see many turf roofs throughout the country. We were served waffles and jam and our guide made butter in a churn. We were also served homemade chocolates at a photo stop and told about the home-grown enterprises to earn money in this sparsely populated country. Akureyki: We chose a private tour through Tripadvisor/Saga Travel to the Lake Mvatn area to see lava formations, bubbling geothermal areas, Godafoss, the “Waterfall of the Gods”, and learn a lot of local lore. We won the grand prize in our guide, Thor, who truly looked like his name. He had grown up in the area, entertained us with stories from his childhood and was also an extra in Game of Thrones. This was hands-down our best excursion. Seydisfjordur: The Wilderness Center is a unique hotel/tourist attraction far off the beaten path. The owner has created a museum of unique walk-through dioramas showing the life of early settlers and local lore plus a bed-and-breakfast hotel with some of the beds in a single room arranged in cubbies along two walls much like ancient Vikings built their homes, plus two outdoor geothermally heated soaking tubs, all of which the owner proudly showed us. We were served waffles and jam and given taste of lamb smoked on the premises. Thorshavn, Faroe Islands: The 22 small islands which comprise the Faroe Islands stand midway between Iceland and Norway. We visited a turf church, the remains of a 10th century Viking home, and saw fish ladders for salmon while driving through the scenic countryside. Geiranger, Norway: Easily the most scenic stop on the trip, the tiny narrow fjord ends at a tiny town where we chose to take a free tour up a road with 11 switchbacks to a viewpoint looking over the town to the mountains and reverse course and go up the other way to a viewpoint looking down over the town and fjord. This was nothing more than viewpoints and we ended a hotel for a “rest break” which was far too long with nothing to do. Alesund, Norway: Sunnmore Open Air Museum is a collection of homes, barns and other buildings from the past two centuries. Most are open so you can visit inside and the guide gave commentary as we walked along. The buildings are set on rolling land with gravel paths so this may not be suitable for anyone with difficulty walking. Flam, Norway: The small town of Flam set at the end of a fjord hosts up to six cruise ships a day. We were lucky to find only one other. The #1 tour is a 12-mile ride on the Flam railroad up the hillside and through the mountains with waterfalls in abundance. There is a 10 minute stop at a waterfall where the mythical witch appears singing her siren song. At the midway point, there is an hour stop to enjoy waffles and coffee in the hotel and spend a little time enjoying the view back down the valley before catching the next train back down. Viking reserves seats for its passengers. Check out the1-minute zip line ride from the viewpoint halfway down the valley to a farm you can barely see in the distance if a seat on the train back down is too tame! Bergen, Norway: Bergen is the 2nd largest town in Norway and iconic for its gathering of quaint historic merchant homes/warehouses from the days when the town was a trading powerhouse in the Baltic region. Our tour included visiting an old merchant building, a town tour and a funicular ride up Mt. Floien to enjoy the views, a gift shop, a child’s playground, some goats which keep the vegetation trimmed, and restaurant. It was possible to then wander the old wharf and Fish Market on our own afterward since the ship could be seen from the wharf and gauge if it was within a distance you could walk. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We've wanted to visit these countries for some time and have enjoyed a Viking river cruise. In addition, we preferred to travel on a smaller ship, rather than a typical large ocean cruise ship. The Viking Sky has a well-designed ... Read More
We've wanted to visit these countries for some time and have enjoyed a Viking river cruise. In addition, we preferred to travel on a smaller ship, rather than a typical large ocean cruise ship. The Viking Sky has a well-designed interior: the public areas, like atriums, are spacious and attractively decorated. Our cabin, while not luxurious, was exactly what we needed, as we did not spend much time in it. The variety and quality of food was very good, not exquisite dining, but one cannot realistically exquisite when they are feeding over 900 passengers. We believe that the food was as good as can be expected on a cruise ship. A group of four talented vocalists backed up by four very capable musicians provided most of the entertainment. Of the various shows they performed, we especially enjoyed their tributes to Abba and the Beatles. In addition to these shows, the cruise director organized game nights and comedy acts. We enjoyed visiting all of the ports. The guides provided informative and interesting background information on the locales we visited. The optional excursions covered a wide range of activities. We wished only that Viking offered more than one "included" excursion per port. An important feature of the ship for me was its fitness center which was large and well-equipped with elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, treadmills, resistance machines and free weights. The staff and crew provided amazing service. They were always friendly and showed interest in the passengers. Every one of them we met tried to make our cruise a pleasant satisfying experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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