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Scandinavia tour

Any tour alum from Scandinavia tour able to give tips on packing (including ability to do laundry), food, accommodations? Just overall review please! We are departing in early August.
Thanks!

Posted by
3457 posts

I took that tour a few years ago about the same time of year. All of Europe was under a heat wave, so short sleeves and light weight pants were perfect. Stockholm was about 96 degrees the first day of the tour -- we went to the Ice Bar for the evenings to cool off! Even when we went up through the mountains, jackets were not needed by most of the tour members. Not sure if that is helpful for current conditions. :-)

We did laundry when we stopped in Aero, but others have noted the laundromat we used is no longer there (it was in pretty bad shape when we were there, but enough machines worked well enough at that time and lots of locals were using it as well). You might be stuck paying for hotel laundry service. Check the RS guide book as it is kept up to date on things like where laundromats can be found.

Accommodations were very nice over all. Most of the hotels in the big cities were of a higher star level than what I was used to on RS tours up to that time. Food was expensive. We discovered cafeteria style places serving very good Scandinavian food (like a grandma might cook) in most of the big cities where we could eat for half or less than what McDonalds charged ($20 for a happy meal!!).

Posted by
91 posts

We did the trip in August 2014. Accommodations were all acceptable including the overnight boat. Food was very expensive, especially a glass of wine! The cost of the buffet dinner on the boat was way overpriced, but unless you have time to pick up some food for yourself before you board, you are kind of stuck with the cruise food. Weather was great. Short sleeves and windbreaker jacket for the most part. Will want at least one long sleeve top to layer in Norway.

In Aero the group was split between two B&B type lodgings. We were fortunate to stay at Pa Torvet where they allowed us to use the washer and dryer in the laundry room that was across from our kitchenette style room upstairs! Very gracious and was at the perfect point in the tour to get the laundry done. Do not know if they still use that accommodation.

If you can, a couple of days early to Stockholm would allow you time to see a lot more sites than you will have time for during the free time on the tour. For us the Stockholm Card was a good value. In 2014 a 72 hr card could be purchased on line for the price of a 48 hr card by putting "IKEA" in the discount code box. We used it before the tour started and it lasted through the free time afternoon. Covered museum/ palace entry and unlimited use of the T- bana (subway) and shuttle ferries.

Hope you have as great a trip as we did! The Norway fjords were a personal Wow for me.

Posted by
86 posts

I did this tour a couple of years ago, in late August. Weather was nice and warm, except for the bus ride through the Jotunheim mountains - - when we got out to walk a bit on the high plateau (optional, just a short walk) it was COLD and WINDY! The guide said that there had been snowbanks along the road right up until July. Definitely needed a windbreaker for that. Also, the word is that Bergen is nearly always rainy, so a light raincoat or umbrella is a good idea.
The accommodations were all very nice and central. Have a great trip!

Posted by
3 posts

I'm just digesting my final, fabulous meal in Bergen at the end of the 14 day tour. It's over after breakfast in the morning.

We never really found any place to conveniently do laundry. The self-serve laundry in Æroskobing is closed, apparently. My suggestion is to do hand laundry in Æro at the halfway point if you are staying at På Torvet (Gunnar's.) The radiant heat flooring provides a great surface to get everything dry by morning. Put down a dry towel after wringing your goodies.

I'm not a fish eater, but my mom is and she loved the fish selections. I found plenty to eat even without the fish. Special meals included group dinner in Æro, lunch on a farm, breakfast in Bergen, group dinner in Elveseter. All of the breakfasts were included in the tour and very filling and plentiful.

Accommodations were uniformly pleasant and clean. Nothing was terribly fancy. The only less than repeatable night was the ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo. Ick. But it was more pleasant than spending 18+ hours on a bus, I suppose.

Bergen has been non-stop rain so I was glad I packed a rain jacket and umbrella. I wish I had sprayed it with extra water repellent, but ehh. The Thon hotel in Bergen provides umbrellas if you don't want to pack one.

Our guide was Pål and bus driver was Mats. Both were fabulous.

With regard to packing- I really brought the minimum and was fine. Nothing I brought has gone unworn.

Posted by
18 posts

Thank you for the info! Besides the rain in Bergen, how was the weather overall? Did you need layers?
Thanks!

Posted by
308 posts

I went on this tour in May 2016. There was a windy/rainy/cold day in Stockholm but Bergen was sunny and warm. Having a good raincoat is essential. I did my laundry in the sink at hotels on the first night of a 2-night stay.

Posted by
3 posts

We went in July 2016. Nowhere to do laundry but we washed in the sink and it was never a problem. Alcohol is expensive. Great trip

Posted by
3 posts

The weather was great. The portion through the mountains was cold, but it was fine with a sweater and a hat. I didn't need gloves at all.

I had a nice REI rain jacket and an umbrella. I only used the umbrella in Bergen. There was a bit of rain in Stockholm that I didn't really need an umbrella for- my rain coat was fine.

Posted by
858 posts

I am in Bergen right now. We had rain on Aero and it is hot and sunny today. I brought six tops vary short and long sleeves and a light rain jacket and a scarf. I did sink laundry as hotel laundry is very expensive.
It is a great tour.

Posted by
53 posts

We went on the tour in June 2014. For the most part, the weather was good. We had cloudy rainy weather one day in Copenhagen. I have a REI rain jacket too, it does a great job. It was sunny but cool in the mountains, a sweater or light jacket was needed especially on the ice fueld, but that is a short stop, (30 minutes). If you pack a cardigan and your rain jacket you should be fine. I think I wore capris for the most part. We found the ferry to Oslo not bad, as the buffet was very expensive and we didn' t want that much food, i think we had pizza or pasta at one if the other restaurants. Did laundry at the B&B on Æro Island. It was the B&B other than the one previosly mentioned. I asked the hostess nicely and gave her few € s for the use of the facilities. Enjoy!

Posted by
112 posts

I can understand the negativity to a couple of the feelings to the overnight boat ride to Oslo, but in its defense, here are my two cents. Our cabin was small with no window and the shower area couldn't have been smaller, but it was very clean and quiet. But the trip was a lot of fun for the group. We went to bed earlier than others and got up earlier to go up on deck to see the sights which were tremendous ... ships coming and going of all sizes, islands and small Nordic towns in magnificent forests. Then came Oslo on the horizon⛴!! I suggest looking forward to this as a unique adventure not as a hotel room stay. (Also concerning prices in Sandinavia ... yes it's expensive, so if you can put that out of mind and enjoy the things you enjoy.)

Posted by
18 posts

Thank you! We intend to enjoy it all! It will be a great adventure!

Posted by
697 posts

This tour is on our radar. It seems the tour is the best way to experience the best of Scandinavia!

Posted by
815 posts

I want to do this one soon. Maybe in a couple of years. Have to save pennies for two people.

Posted by
113 posts

We took our first RS tour this summer on the Villages of Italy tour. Had a fantastic time and wish we never had to leave! So with that in mind we are planning our trip for next year and it looks like the Scandinavia tour may be our choice. Looking to head out in early to mid July with 1-2 day per and post tour being considered. I will keep an eye in the forums for ideas and suggestions. Any suggestions for per and post things to see are always welcome.

Posted by
113 posts

Looking at this trip for next summer. We just completed our first trip this summer (Villages of Italy). We had such a great time we plan to go back. If you can post the area in Copenhagen you stayed in that would be great. We plan to return their after our tour for some genealogy research for my wife's linage.

Do let us all know how it went!