We will be taking the Norway in a Nutshell from Oslo to Bergen in late May. I carry a fairly small suitcase, but it was suggested that I arrange to have our luggage transferred from Oslo to Bergen by a local Porter Service (not cheap). I would hate to have my luggage go missing or be delayed. Has anyone had experience with these services in Norway? I would appreciate your input.
I took the NIAN from Oslo to Bergen in July 2003. I had a carry-on bag and a 24 inch suitcase. I had no problems taking them with me the whole way (train-train-boat-bus-train). You're going before the peak season that I was in, so there should be even more room for your bags than I found. I don't remember any other details. So, if you want to use a luggage transfer service, you can, but it's certainly not necessary if you are comfortable with handling your bags on trains and buses. I do it all the time, but I know the required lifting and dragging is not for everyone, particularly if you pack heavy.
We did the Nutshell tour a number of years ago at the start of Easter week. That, meant that the train from Oslo was packed and luggage closet overflowing with skis. That said, a backpack or carry-on size bag that could fit the overhead was easily accommodated. If your"small" suitcase is one that you don't mind carrying between transfers, you should be fine.
Hello Diane. The Porter service is not necessary, and it would be a waste of your money. In the Norway in a Nutshell fjord trip, there is a place for your bags at the front of the boat. The bus that goes between Gudvangen and Voss is a large bus, it has a large storage area for bags at the bottom of the bus, accessed from the outside. The railroad trains have a place for baggage in the train car that you will be seated in, as do other trains in Europe. The train that goes downhill to Flam, I do not remember what is the arrangement for bags. When I was in that train, in the month May, there were a few people in the train car. Thus, bags could be put on any seat, or in the aisle. That train ride is of short time duration. Don't worry about it.
Following on from Ron, I recall that on the Flam train you just put your bags near to where you are sitting, there was plenty of space. And if you take the same version as us, there is a final rail journey into Bergen from Voss, again the train was pretty empty apart from others doing the NIAN trip and plenty of space for bags (by contract on the Oslo-Myrdal leg, the train was packed, though still splenty of space for bags) You do have to move your luggage yourself as you change transport, but unless that is a problem I can't see any reason to use a porter service.
Thanks for all the help. I am a 71 year old woman but don't pack a huge bag and my son will be along this time to help if I need it. I booked NiN through Hurtigruten yesterday (we will be doing their 7 day northbound cruise from Bergen). They don't offer luggage transfer and say that it doesn't seem to be a problem for most travelers, but it is comforting to have your input to confirm this.
My mother and I took the NIAN trip in June 2012 to celebrate her 70th birthday. Our deal while traveling was to carry each other's baggage. I carried hers, and she got the benefit of my ultra-light packing. There were many people with far bigger bags than ours who seemed to be doing perfectly fine even though the trains and buses were pretty well packed. We had the time of our lives, and I wish the same to you and your son!