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Best of Scandinavia tour Veterans-Question!

We have signed up for the Best of Scandinavia tour for August 2019 and are in the early stages of planning. For those of you who have taken the tour, when you did the overnight boat out of Copenhagen, did you see enough of the Fjords? Or once we are done with the tour in Bergen, should we stay extra days to do something like the Norway in a Nutshell? Take a ferry and stay overnight somewhere? I have also read the train from Bergen to Oslo has amazing views and wondered if we should do that?
As I said we are just starting so any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Cindy

Posted by
462 posts

Hi Cindy,
The over night ferry goes through the "Oslo Fjord" early in the morning on arrival to Oslo, but it isn't the fjord you are thinking of.
After leaving Oslo, the tour bus drives over the Jotunheimen mountains. This is a wonderfully beautiful day. I watched a video of the Norway in a Nutshell train trip and the bus ride seems similar. After the bus ride you will take a ferry ride, about 2 hours, through a fjord before arriving in Bergen. For me, this was enough and I would not have chosen to spend more time in Bergen seeing more fjords or going on the train ride. I hope you get more responses for varied opinions.
You will have a great trip, enjoy!

Posted by
111 posts

Oh that is good to know! We are taking a second tour (Best of Germany) a week after this one ends, and we were thinking we would just stay in Bergen for 3-4 days and then head to Hamburg. Maybe we will re-think that. First I will do some more research! Thanks so much for your reply.

Posted by
928 posts

I would disagree with the previous poster and say that you absolutely should do the NIN (Norway in A Nutshell). Stay overnight in Flam, ride the Flamsbana train and take a RIB fjord safari into the most scenic fjord, Naeroyfjord.

Posted by
462 posts

Bergen was not one of my favorite stops. If I would have stayed another night I definitely would be looking for something to do outside the town. The walking tour provided was interesting and the cute shops and fish market took up about 2 hours and I enjoyed going up on the funicular. There is a (modern?) art museum that some tour mates enjoyed.
I would either go straight to Germany and see an extra city before your tour starts or go back to Copenhagen. You won't run out of things to do there and it is easy and cheap to get there from Bergen and I imagine cheap and easy to get anywhere in Germany from there.

Posted by
462 posts

Only giving my impressions. what I am saying is that the bus ride over the mountains that is included in the tour will be fairly similar to the train ride. I can't speak to the similarities/differences of other tours through the fjords. Hopefully someone that has done both will be able to tell you that.

Posted by
9883 posts

"Bergen was not one of my favorite stops."

Just to show how we all have different impressions of the same places, I didn't go on a Rick Steves tour, but Bergen was indeed one of my favorite stops on my visit to Scandinavia! I spent two nights there (really one full day, as I got there in the evening of day 1 and left the morning of day 3 for my flight home). I just loved walking around; some of the residential parts of town, like the one near the funicular and the one between the fish market and the aquarium, look like there were built for a movie set, they're so picturesque and charming. I also loved the view from the funicular (I went up at 11 PM in early July, and got to watch the town gradually get darker and some lights start to come on).

All that said, it's a small town, and after two days you will have absolutely seen and done everything. Unless you are looking for just "hanging out," four days there will be very tough to fill.

I should also add that, while Rick really hammers home how much he thinks the guided tour of the Bryggen area is a must-do and the very very very best thing in town, I found it very meh, and enjoyed everything else about Bergen more.

Posted by
111 posts

Love all the different comments as that is what makes this forum so great. We are really interested in the Norway in a Nutshell, so will look into that. We will have to do some laundry too! Thanks everyone!

Posted by
558 posts

Cindy- do a trip report when you get back. We are doing this trip in August 2020 with two other couples we met on a previous RS tour!

Thanks

Kim

Posted by
44 posts

We took the train from Bergen to Oslo at the conclusion of our tour and it was very enjoyable. I would say that it is not a duplication of the mountain/fjord part of the tour. Some of the same type of dramatic mountain scenery, but also went through several small towns that are off the tourist route. We found that we also liked having an extra day in Oslo.

Posted by
80 posts

This is why travel is so subjective! I wasn't on a tour but travelled Oslo- Bergen via the NIN, this past July, albeit using the Sognefjord Express boat from Flam. So I didn't see the famous narrower fjord. Coming from the Pacific NW I was underwhelmed, as we are so spoiled for waterfalls, etc here, by the NIN. I think it would be stunning with snow, though. I then traveled via Hurtingruten up the coast and thought the Gerangerfjord and Trollsteigen experience was incredible. This is also because I was hunting troll lore! And I thought the RS recommended Bergen tour was a real highlight- if you are a history buff. I really understood the Viking (saw Oslo, Cepengagen also) segue into the Hanseatic League. I think with your trip to Germany that would be fascinating...

Posted by
225 posts

I just finished this tour (late August). The group gets into Bergen late in the day (~ 7 pm) after the bus tour through the Jotunheimen mountains and the ferry ride through the fjords. You will not have time to see much in Bergen that day (plus it was raining). The next day, we had a guided walking tour as well as a guided visit to the Hanseatic museum. You will be done by lunchtime. Remember that the weather in Bergen is rainy. After we had lunch, the downpours began. It was not pleasant to be outside. We huddled in the hotel room until early evening when the rain subsided. But then, you have the group dinner. I am glad I stayed one extra day in Bergen. The first half of that (additional) day was pleasant (in terms of weather) and we got to walk around and explore Bergen as well ride the funicular for the great views. In the afternoon, the heavy rain started and did not let up until late evening.

Posted by
111 posts

More to think about! I know the weather could be a factor as I have been watching Bergen's and all the rain. The idea of having a little more time in Oslo sounds good too. We will be heading to Hamburg after the Scandinavia tour to start the Best of Germany, so will have about a week to have our own travel time.