norway train & boat

Has anyone been successful recently in obtaining a seat reservation for a train at help@nsb.no (the site for Norway rail service) as is suggested on page 297 in "Rick Steves' Scandinavia" 13th edition? I have exchanged emails with staff there but not gotten a direct answer on whether it is possible to get a seat reservation,then pick up and pay for tickets at the rail station in Norway. Buying tickets directly from the rail service seems to cost much less with the senior discount than purchasing Nutshell tickets so I'm a bit frustrated. I understand it is not possible to buy tickets online and pay with U.S. credit card. We want to take the train from Bergen to Myrdal,then do the scenic ride to Flam. From there we will take an express boat to Balestrand, spend a couple of days, and then back to Flam to pick up the Nutshell route to Gudvangen, Voss, Bergen. We will be doing this July 19-21, a busy time, so I'm a bit nervous about getting tickets after we get to Norway. Any suggestions on making advance reservations would be greatly appreciated!
Sarah

Posted by Galen
Dallas, United States
389 posts

I'd suggest telephoning. They speak English and if they want a cc number you won't have to put it in an email. It might cost a couple bucks but for us it'd be worth it. There are phone numbers on the fjordtours.com website. Good luck.

Posted by Edgar
Medford, OR, USA
232 posts

I bought train tickets through the nsb.no website a couple of years ago. The biggest problem is clearing the credit card security which required one or two calls to the credit card fraud prevent people. My recollection is that you will need to specify the train station that you want to collect your tickets, and enter your mobile number (or a made up number) that you need to enter to collect your tickets from the auto machine. I should add that if you are making a connection, nsb requires 60 minutes to be a assured connection.

Posted by Don
Toronto, ON, Canada
25 posts

We did the same trip last year. We phoned to arrange for train tickets. Well worth it to be certain. The two days in Balestrand were wonderful. Enjoy the fjords.

Posted by Robin
Northern, WI, U.S.A.
2 posts

I had a consultation with Rich at RickSteves.com and he suggested booking the tour through Fjordtours.com. You have options of finding your own accommodations if you stay over or you can use their options for accommodations. You can pretty much design your own tour. I actually went through the site steps several times until I came up with what I wanted. Then you pay at the end of the site and you're done. As you book the tour you must decide if you want the tickets sent to you (too late) or held at the train station. I chose the station to save money and eliminate the possibility of loss in the mail. My mother and I will be there the week after you are going. We are going the same way you are but overnight in Aurland, then rejoining the tour the next day to Gudvangen to Voss to Bergen, overnight in Bergen and train back to Oslo the next day. I hope this helps;it makes it much easier to arrange it all at once through the tour site. It was mind boggling to me to try to coordinate buying all of the tickets needed for train and ferries, plus accommodations and I wanted to know we had reservations before we get there for peace of mind. Happy travels!
Robin