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Norwegian Fjords Cruise May ‘24

8 nights on the Sky Princess visiting Bergen, Alesund, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Olden and Stavanger round trip from Southampton. Amazing weather with no rain during our port days! The scenery in the fjord areas is simply stunning and I enjoyed seeing it from the water. Norway never disappoints!

I traveled with friends and we arrived in Southampton 2 days before our cruise departed. We took a National Express Coach from Terminal 5 at Heathrow to the Southampton Coach station and then had an easy 5 minute walk to the Premier Inn West Quay. This hotel was basic, well located, and good value at approx $100 a night.

We traveled by National Express to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for our pre cruise day.

Bergen- we signed up for a walking tour “Bergen Past and Present” through Viator. Our guide was knowledgeable and personable.

Alesund was our one bus excursion which we purchased through Norway Excursions. We visited surrounding islands through a series of underwater tunnels.

Hellesyvlt was all about enjoying the scenery from the boat as it was a short call to allow passengers (4 bus loads) on a certain excursion to depart. They met us later at Geiranger.

Geiranger we walked up to the Fjord Heritage Center , explored this beautiful facility and returned to the ship via the waterfall trail.

Olden, we took the shuttle to the Loen skylift for amazing views over the mountains and fjords.

Stavanger we visited the Fretex ( Salvation Army) thrift store where racks of lovely Norwegian Sweaters sell for about 1/4 to 1/6 the price of new ones in the souvenir shops. We ended up with 4 beautiful sweaters. Next was the oil museum which did an excellent job of portraying the human, technological, political, and climate impacts of the North Sea Oil fields.

We did not go on any ship sponsored shore excursions because they were ridiculously expensive and found we did just fine exploring the port areas and a little beyond them for far less.

This cruise worked well for our purposes. Those that prefer other modes of travel could put together a series of scenic “cruises” on the large number of ferries that connect different towns in the fjords. We noticed frequent coach services in some areas.

Post cruise we are in London for a week, but I will make that a different trip report.

Posted by
1970 posts

Love it. Keep those reports coming

Just paid off my next cruise from Barcelona in October

One of these days, I need to get to iceland and Norway.

Posted by
77 posts

My wife and I are on the same ship July 13th with some of the same ports. We arrive Heathrow at 5 pm the day prior to sailing (Friday). I can’t decide if we should spend that night near Heathrow (seems less stressful trying to time the bus), then bus to Southampton Saturday am, or go directly to Southampton Friday (more desirable overnight). Your thoughts?

We have been in Europe since early May and have not planned too much related to the cruise, so your report helps. I may have some more questions related to shore stops later.

Posted by
6679 posts

If you went straight to Southampton you would be very lucky to make the 1750 bus- so it would be the 2000 bus arriving at 2215.

I think the 0815 bus on Saturday, arriving at 1030 is the best option. The next is at 1000 arriving at 1220. But get the 0815 bus and you should hopefully be one of the first on the ship, in time for lunch.

All cruise terminals are in use that day with 5 ships in. If you are on the Sky Princess that is a taxi from the bus station as she is at Berth 38- the QE2 terminal. That is the furthest away terminal at Southampton, not one of the three new terminals closest to the Bus Station.

Posted by
8615 posts

Hi, Ben, You are going to love this cruise!

I've have actually done it both ways from Heathrow. The first time I sailed out of Southampton, I stayed at the Soffitel at Terminal 5 (it was a splurge!) and went to Southampton the morning of the cruise. Less expensive option that I have also stayed at was the Holiday Inn at terminal 4. The second time I arrived 2 days early. I knew I wanted some time in Portsmouth and was looking to further reduce hotel costs so I went to Portsmouth the same day I landed and stayed at the Premier Inn West Quay. It does add a bit of stress, but the buses go every two hours so if you miss one, there is always another. We thought we had missed ours due to a longish wait for our luggage, but it was running 10 minutes late and showed up just after we arrived at the bus stand. You can buy a flexible fare for a small upcharge when you buy your bus ticket that allows you to change times to any bus that date.

If you are landing at terminal 5, let me know and I can give you the directions (very easy) on where to go to catch National Express Bus. Otherwise, catch it at the Central Bus Station by terminals 2,3.

Posted by
77 posts

We opted to catch the bus on arrival knowing we wait a few hours, and booked a room in Southampton. That seems easier than a Heathrow hotel with some back and forth getting to it and back to bus departures.

I think I read it’s ok to just buy the bus ticket on arrival and no need to reserve in advance. True?.