Hi - I've booked Oslo to Myrdal, but not further because Rick says there is no need to book the rest of the journey (including the ferry) to Bergen, in advanced. Is this still the case? Should I book the rest of the journey, just in case?
I have heard that the Flåmsbana (Myrdal to Flam) can be crowded.
You don't mention when you are going but assuming your trip is this summer and you want to take the Flamsbana you should book those tickets sooner rather than later.
Trotter, out to Bergen 17th June and back to Oslo on 20th June.
I wish I could be confident in giving advice about the need to buy NiN tickets in advance, but the fact is that my first trip on a Norwegian train will be on June 20, so I have no experience to draw on. Even if I had taken the NiN trip before, it would have been pre-COVID, and I don't think any of us can be sure how demand may have changed between 2019 and 2022.
I've fiddled around with the VY website, and it appears the Flamsbana fare is fixed at Kr 450 no matter when you buy the ticket. So we come down to whether there's a risk of a sell-out of the train you want to take. Can that happen, given that there are no seat assignments provided when you purchase tickets? I do not know, but I suspect/fear it can. Would you be OK if you ended up with a ticket for a later departure from Myrdal, or would it destroy your plans for the day? If you plan to take the Flam-Gudvangen ferry the same day as the Flamsbana, you need to be careful. F1 has only two ferries a day, at 9:30 AM and 3:20 PM.
I'd ask the same question about the ferry ticket. It's not a tiny boat, but it's not a big car ferry, either. If the 3:20 ferry sells out (assuming that is possible), there's only one more boat that day, a 4 PM departure offered by a different company, Lustrabaatane. According to my recent schedule research, that ferry gets to Gudvangen at 6 PM, whereas the last of the scenic buses up to Voss departs from Gudvangen at 5:45 PM. That's obviously a problem if you hope to get to at least Voss--if not Bergen--that night.
The best I can tell, the rail fare between Voss and Bergen doesn't increase as the travel date approaches. I don't know why, given the different pattern you can see for Oslo-Myrdal tickets. There are quite a lot of trains between Voss and Bergen every day, so there may no risk in waiting to buy that ticket later. I guess the worst that is likely to happen is that you might not get a window seat.
My experience with the Norwegian trains have been positive and I have not missed a connection. I did the NiN tour on my first trip to Norway which was many years ago so my NiN experience is very dated. I had purchased the NiN tour as a complete package. I mention this because my connection at Myrdal (traveling West from Oslo) was a matter of minutes. The Bergen Line train arrived at Myrdal, we crossed the platform to the Flåmsbana with basically no wait.
Be aware of the VY conditions of carrige/rules regarding connection guarantees:https://www.vy.no/en/conditions-and-privacy/transfer-rules?item=7987
Transfer between trains
If you have bought a through ticket that includes a change between
trains operated by Vy, SJ NORD or Go-Ahead then this includes a
connection guarantee. If you are unable to make your booked connection
as stated on the ticket, you will be accommodated on the next
available departure without having to purchase a new ticket. The
operator responsible for the delay will ensure that you are
accommodated on a new departure.
The rules do not spell out the consequence of seperate tickets and a missed connection.
I agree with Trotter - better to buy sooner than later. Especially if a cruise ship will be in port in Flåm. One of the shore excursions offered to passengers is the Flåmsbana. And according to the Flåm port schedule, there will be a cruise ship - MS Rotterdam (2500+ pax) - in port. https://www.flamport.no/ship-arrivals2021 (the link is for the 2022 schedule despite "2021" in the URL)
Depending on when you were planning to be there (the 17th I would assume), the train from Myrdal to Flåm might be crowded.
Dear South Lights, Edgar and Acraven, Thank you all for being so helpful. Thus far, I have booked us as far as Flam. I'll finish booking the rest of the journey to Bergen in the coming days. I have also booked our train ticket from Bergen, back to Oslo.
Trying to plan Norway rail travel. Seems convoluted if your a senior (65) to find their discounted tickets. Any suggestions?