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Best of Scandinavia - a sea faring question for tour alumni

My better half is apprehensive about rough waters on the Best of Scandinavia tour - several ferry rides/excursions and an overnight ferry to Oslo, and, would appreciate hearing from tour alumni whether she should opt for more of a land-locked tour. BTW - we are consider early summer dates. Thanks in advance for your input.
Wishing everyone happy and safe travels in '17.

Posted by
6569 posts

We went around the Baltic a year ago, and had no problems with waters, etc. The summer is the time to go there, as weather gets much more rainy in September and the fall.
There again, a couple of years ago we rode out a 65 mph tropical storm that was almost a hurricane for 2 days. The ferries in the region are about as large as cruise ships.

Posted by
1068 posts

Well, no one can predict the weather, which is the only think I could really imagine would make the water rides choppy. I took the tour in July and had no problems. The overnight to Oslo is on a pretty big liner with 4-5 restaurants, viewing decks etc. While I could hardly tell I was at sea, who knows what tough weather may bring? The shorter rides/excursions are generally the best ways to get around or to the places you want to see in certain cities. For example, riding the ferry to see the Viking Ship Museum is the easiest way to get there...... maybe 10 minutes. Of course, you could pick a tour which does something like skip Aero Island, which most of us thought was a blast. Another ferry ride to get there. So you will be on the water a number of times if you take the RS tour. None of us (on the RS tour I took) had any problems whatsoever, but obviously I can't speak for others or you.

Posted by
86 posts

I get seasick very easily and did this tour in August a couple of years ago. The ferry rides in Oslo (very short, maybe 10 minutes), to Aero island (an hour) and on the fjords on the way to Bergen (a few hours) are on waters protected from wind and had very little motion. Beautiful scenery. The overnight ferry to Oslo was astonishingly smooth; I was hardly aware of being on a boat and slept fine. It's a beautiful tour and you'll learn a lot about Scandinavian culture. I don't think it's likely that you would encounter rough water on this itinerary.

Posted by
112 posts

We took this tour. The over-the-water excursions, I my opinion, are important parts of of the experience of visiting and understanding the people and areas you visit. I have wonderful memories of going to Aero Island and back, plus standing on the windswept deck as Oslo showed on the horizon. The overnight is a cruise ship experience, we had a blast with the tour group. Weather, who knows? Rough waters, who knows? The ships are built for the environment and crews live with this each day. The locals had no problem. Good, safe experience? We did. Give it strong consideration.

Posted by
217 posts

I took the tour in the summer of 2015 (and had a great time!) and was a little worried about seasickness, as I've had a couple of experiences over the years I brought dramamine as a precaution, but never needed it. As other posters here have said, the long rides (the ferry to and fro Aero--about 2 hours each way) and the overnight boat to Norway, are large and steady. The ferry to Aero is not unlike the Staten Island ferry and the boat to Norway is built like a cruiseship. In fact, with the overnight boat, I would agree that you really wouldn't know you were on a boat.

The cruise on the fjord is on a smaller boat, but it's still quite sturdy and I don't remember any rocking (and it was windy that day). I doubt any of these would be a problem. There are also two short ferry rides, one the first day in Stockholm en route to the Vasa museum and two and from the Bygdoy peninsula in Oslo. I don't think either of these rides is longer than ten minutes. If these two small ferries do cause some sort of problem, you can walk or taxi back from the Vasa museum (in fact, our guide recommended we do that for the experience). I'm not sure about Bygdoy, but worst case scenario, you would skip that outing. While that would be too bad, that's the day you're set loose with an Oslo pass, so you would still have plenty to do. With all the ferries, you have the option of staying outside the entire time (well, not so much with the overnight boat, but only because you'll want to sleep at some point!), and at least with me, fresh air helps a lot whenever I feel a little queasy.

Finally, you might contact the RS office and see if they could reach out to their Scandinavian tour guides. I can't imagine you are the first potential customer with this problem, and the local guides might have useful input.

I hope this is helpful and that you do decide to take the tour!

Posted by
1173 posts

You may want to go to your doctor and ask for sea sickness pills to bring with you just in case. This may help if you hit rough water.

Posted by
308 posts

I wasn't sure how I would react to all the ferries on the RS Best of Scandinavia tour so I brought some medication with me. I didn't need it.

Posted by
3465 posts

Took the tour a couple years ago. The overnight boat could not even be felt moving. Rest of the boat rides went smoothly too. While I don't get sea sick, I am sensitive to the movement of the boats and things were very stable.

Posted by
971 posts

Like others have said the only ferry that enters open water is the Copenhagen to Oslo ferry. Generally speaking the area is prone to storms in the winter and we have one or two reach year, but since you will be going in the summer this is unlikely to be an issue.

Posted by
227 posts

Thanks to all of you who responded to my question. My "first mate" was heartened by your experiences and advise so we've have signed up for the June 25-July 8 Best of Scandinavia Tour! Sild and akvavit, here we come .

Posted by
4546 posts

One thing to keep in mind for Stockholm for your tour dates. June 23 to 24 is the Midsommar holiday and the city will be practically deserted so plan accordingly if you will be arriving early. Skansen is open with various holiday festivities, but lots of businesses and restaurants close for the holiday weekend as everyone heads out to the countryside to celebrate. The main festivities take place on Midsommar's Eve (Midsommarafton).