Both of these are listed on the tour site, with the 'Norway in a Nutshell' listed as the most popular. But I thought I read in RS's book that the Songefjord is the prettiest fjord. Which tour do you suggest? And, I am having a hard time finding a good flight to Glasgow or Edinburgh from Bergen so I'm thinking we till take the night train back to Oslo. Or can spend the night in Bergen, then the day train back to Oslo. What do you suggest? And, do we take our luggage with us on either of the 'Nutshell' tours? Is it common to do this or will our packed backpacks slow us down? We don't want to pay for the second night in Oslo if we are going to be spending that night on a train but our backpacks/one small rolling suitcase is the issue. Thank you.
I did Sognefjord in a Nutshell in May, traveling from Oslo to Bergen with a two-night stop in Balestrand. I've never done Norway in a Nutshell, so I can't compare, but I have no regrets about the choice I made. I loved what I saw!
Sognefjord is the largest fjord, but I believe Naeroyfjord is considered to be especially pretty. I didn't get to see it, except when the ferry stopped briefly at the entrance to it. I don't believe you get to go through Naeroyfjord on either NiN or SiN unless you take an extra night and have time to do a cruise. On NiN, I believe you depart Flam by bus to Gudvangen, which is at the very bottom of Naeroyfjord. If you allow enough time in Gudvangen you could include a cruise.
I had my luggage with me and there was no problem. On the trains there was room to stow luggage overhead (although it was a bit tight on the Flamsbana). In Flam there is a place to check bags, which I did since I had four hours between arriving there and departing on the ferry. On the ferries there is plenty of luggage storage.
Bergen is worth spending some time. I'd stay over at least a night if not two.
Someone who has done NiN might be able to give you better information about that route.
The main difference between the two, is that once you get to Flåm, if you doing the Sognefjord-in-a-Nutshell, you take a boat thorugh the main arm of the Sognefjord, to a destination on the northern end, such as Balestrand, where folks usually spend a few nights. Then you take an express boat (4 hours) west, out of the fjord and south to Bergen. If you have several days to spend in the fjord this is a good option. Otherwise, I'd do the Norway-in-a-Nutshell in a full day from Oslo all the way to Bergen, which travels through the most scenic part of the Sognefjord. Having done both versions, I'd say the regular Nutshell route is more scenic.
With Norway-in-a-Nutshell, from Flåm, you will get on a boat and cruise through the Naeroyfjord, the most narrow and scenic arm of the Sognefjord to Gudvangen, where you catch a bus, back up to the top of the fjord, to catch the train to Bergen.
There's plenty of room to store your luggage on the trains, boat and bus. There are racks on the train above your seat to put your bag, or bigger racks at the entrance of the train car for larger bags. On the boat, there's a spot on the deck where everyone puts their bags. When you get on the bus, you put them in the bag storage under the bus.
It's a long trip, so I'd plan on staying at least a night in Bergen, if not 2 so you can have a full day there. You can then either take an overnight train back to Oslo or fly, which can be pretty cheap if purchased ahead. See www. skyscanner.com for options.
I've done both versions and agree with Rich and prefer the Norway-in-a-Nutshell to the Sognefjord-in-a-Nutshell, especially if you are short on time. The scenery is beautiful on both, but in my opinion, the Nærøyfjord is the most beautiful part of the Sognefjord.