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Flam to Balestrand?


Taking Rick's advice on a slow version of the Nutshell and planning to spend 2 nights in Balestrand, which we booked months ago, as we travel from Oslo to Bergen mostly by train, and booking myself as we can save quite a bit that way. But while the Scandinavia tour book says Balestrand is easy to reach via express-boat. I assume that is from Flam and Balestrand is not mentioned as a stop on any of the ferries described as leaving from Flam, either in Rick's book or on another travel site I've looked at. So, 1) does the boat to Balestrand leave from Flam? 2) Do you need to book in advance (or can you book in advance)? 3) How often does it run? We will be taking the 6:25 am train from Oslo so I think that means we will arrive at Flam in the early afternoon.

Thank you for any advice!

Posted by
479 posts

Can't answer based on experience, so we'll be watching to see what the experts say; we plan to do a similar trip in 2020. The books you are consulting might be referring to the express boat from Bergen to Balestrand, but it can also be reached from Flam according to timetables.

So far, this website has been helpful, with links to several timetables relevant to the Norway/Nutshell sites:

On that website, I'd look first at: "The Flåm Express (Flåm - Balestrand) 2019" Note, this ferry appears to run only Monday thru Friday. I believe you can also reach Balestrand by ferry from Gudvangen. Again, I suggest holding out for advice from the Forum regulars with actual experience. Good luck! Please post your experience when you return.

Posted by
1834 posts

There is also an express boat from Balestrand to Bergen. We took it last summer, it left Balestrand in the afternoon and got into Bergen at 9pm! No worries though, it was still light out. I’m not sure if the schedule changes every year.

Posted by
55 posts

The same express boat (Norled "hurtigbåt") Flåm-Balestrand that you're planning on using continues on to Bergen (the one that diveloonie mentioned). It departs Balestrand at 1655 for Bergen every day April 1 - September 30.

Posted by
5 posts

There is also an express boat from Balestrand to Bergen at 7.50 AM. I recommend doing the bookings with NSB and NORLED by phone, which is what I am going to do. They are also responsive to emails I have found.

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks, dcornford! Yes, I discovered that boat and booked it. I had no trouble booking on the sites, though.

Posted by
315 posts

If you're on the 6:25 a.m. train from Oslo, and booked it all the way through to Flam (or separately booked the train ticket from Myrdal to Flam with a 12:13 Myrdal departure), you'll get to Flam at 1:10 p.m., which gives you a couple hours of free time there before the 3:30 express boat from Flam to Balestrand. It's the last express boat of the day. It can be reserved in advance and it would be a good idea for you to do that. If 2 days later you take the express boat from Balestrand to Bergen, the part of NIN that you will miss is the Naeroyfjord cruise. I think that's the part of NIN that everyone most looks forward to.

Instead, after your two nights in Balestrand, you could take the morning express boat back to Flam, do the Naeroyfjord cruise, then get on the bus from Gudvangen to Voss, then the train from Voss to Bergen.

We too are doing the slow version of NIN with 2 overnights in Balestrand. I was going to book it the way I just described but realized that the express boat trip up to Balestrand, then back to Flam, and then the first half of the Naeroyfjord cruise, would cover the same scenery 3x. We decided that on the day we leave Oslo at 6:25 a.m., we'll complete NIN all the way through to Voss. We are picking up a rental car from the Hertz facility in Voss, driving to Balestrand (2 hours), and then 2 days later we'll drive t o Bergen. This will give us a car to do things on our full day in Balestrand, and I like the idea of being on our own schedule for the trip over to Bergen. The one way rental fee is steep but we're traveling with others and splitting the car cost so it's do-able for us. The proprietor of the Hertz facility in Voss is very nice, very easy to work with. I've communicated with him by email and phone. I'd have preferred to rent the car in Gudvangen but didn't find a car rental facility there.