Bergen Norway to Stockholm Sweden
26 August to 09 September 2022
This Viking cruise was actually planned in 2020 to coincide with our 50th wedding anniversary on the 4th of September 2021. However, because of the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions the cruise was cancelled and credit was given for a future date. We decided that we would go this year, 2022, and it was planned we would be in Tallinn, Estonia on our anniversary. This place and date was picked for two reasons, Wendy has wanted to go to Tallinn for many years and we would be there on our anniversary. Thanks to Mr. Putin and his visit to the Ukraine two port visits were cancelled St. Petersburg in Russia and Tallinn two others were added in their place, Berlin, Germany and Bornholm, Denmark.
Viking is renown for their river cruises but this was classed as an ocean cruise simply because we didn’t do any rivers and the ship was an ocean going ship rather than one of their river boats. While the cruise was more expensive than a Caribbean cruise there are many things that are included in the overall price which brings the total cost more in line with ocean cruises. Included in the price was; air fare (this was a special and not always included), port taxes and fees, one free tour in each port, wine and/or beer at lunch and supper, as far as the wine went the bottle was never empty a waiter was always on hand to top up your glass, alternative restaurant dining, wifi which meant you were always connected to the outside world, free self-serve laundry (4 washers and dries on each of the passenger decks). Plus several other amenities. We opted for the free tours, as I think the majority of the ship did, except that we took an optional too to Stutthof Concentration Camp in Poland.
One of the extras was the meet at greet at the airport on arrival in Bergen, Norway. I was expecting a kiosk or a person with a sign to direct us on where to go. Oh no, there were at least three Viking representatives at the luggage carousel to help and point us to two other representatives to ensure that our bags had the Viking luggage tags them so out bags would be delivered to our cabin, and direct us to our bus number, outside of the airport there were other Viking reps pointing us to our designated bus. On arrival at the cruise port it was only a matter of minutes to get us checked in and our on-board travel documents issued. On departure morning it was almost the same as arrival in reverse except we were given a time to meet in one of the lounges to board the bus to the airport. At the airport there were representative to help with check-in and direction to the departure lounge. Wonderful, personal service from the time we got off the plane in Bergen until we entered the departure area in Stockholm, Sweden.
Over all we were very impressed with the ship, the service, the ports and the tours. Would I recommend a Viking cruise - in a heart beat.
Rather than try and remember just what the port tours included I will simply add what the catalog description was for each of the ports, add what our supper was and a couple of my own photos. Oh yes we both took quite a few photos.
I won’t go into all of the flight details except to say that every flight was delayed but we never missed the next leg and our baggage arrived in both Bergen and Ottawa on time! In my opinion the on time was a miracle!
DAY 1 - Bergen, Norway
Friday, August 26
Arrive at airport for pick-up 11:50
and then check in
August 26 - Day 1
Arrived in Bergen, Norway and our bags arrived. Because of the late departure of our flight from Paris I was not optimistic about them making the connection but probably because the Paris to Bergen flight was also delayed they made it.
What a wonderful reception at the airport. At least 2 Viking agents at the luggage carousel to help and direct, two more outside to direct to busses plus two more for additional help. Just walked through the “nothing to declare” doors. NO immigration check.
Got to ship and checked in. Did a quick tour of ship. Very nice, only one year old. Spacious cabin. Lunch in World Cafe. Attended talk on Bergen.
Made arrangements for Wendy to do a wool factory tour.
Wendy -- Had the destination menu in each of the ports --
Destination Menu - salmon marinated in beet juice, lamb and cabbage, orange crumb cake. Delicious
Shrimp cocktail, seared scallops, creme Brûlée. Wonderful
Day 2 – Bergen, Norway
Saturday, August 27 - 13:30
Enjoy a relaxing tour by deluxe motor coach as you tour the main sites in Bergen. Founded in 1070 AD, Bergen features many historic sites including the medieval King Haakon’s Hall, the Rosenkrantz Tower, the picturesque wooden buildings at Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the bustling fish market and the Nordnes Peninsula, with its 19th-century white painted wooden houses. Take a photo stop at Nordnes and admire the views over Bergen Harbor. Once the capital city of Norway, Norwegian kings resided here, and many historic events took place in the port. Bergen owed its wealth and prominence to the fish export trade, which has been at the heart of the town since the Middle Ages. Hear interesting stories from your guide about Bergen’s colorful past as you tour through the streets of Norway’s second-largest city.
AUGUST - 27 Saturday - Day 2
Slept in and Wendy missed tour. My fault I turned off alarm ant did press snooze!
Missed breakfast so early lunch in World Cafe
13:30 - Bergen excursion by bus. Well informed guide. Interesting old city. Until 1905 Norway was Denmark
16:30 - Port talk about tomorrow’s port of Eldfjord, Norway
18:00 - Depart for Eldfjord 114 nautical miles
18:30 - Talk about Operation Gunnerside, Norwegian commando raid that stopped Nazis from building the bomb.
Destination menu - Norwegian meatballs, pork and veal
Poached Norwegian salmon
Scenic Norwegian Nature Center
Sunday, August 28 - 14:15
Enjoy a sweeping view of one of Norway’s most beautiful regions and explore nature. Meet your guide and drive up the valley to Øvre Eidfjord and the Norwegian Nature Center. Here, you can learn about the nature and wildlife on Hardangervidda, Europe’s largest mountain plateau. In this lively center of exhibitions, aquariums and an inspiring “Super Videography,” you will gain insight into the staggering beauty of this pristine slice of Norway. You will enjoy more than an hour to explore the exhibits independently. Don’t miss the center’s highlight: a five-screen panoramic movie where you can immerse yourself on a journey past fjords, mountains and waterfalls, with drops over steep gorges and gentle sequences over mountain lakes and glaciers. After your visit, your bus will drive you back to Eidfjord.
August - 28 Sunday - Day 3
Sunrise 06:15 Sunset 20:48
07:10 Docked at Eldfjord. Very small village and ‘port’ is the one and only hotel.
Interesting scenery coming up the fjord. Still a little dark because high cliffs do not let the sunshine reach the bottom. Steep banks on both sides and small patches of snow in places. Water is very calm with hardly a ripple.
After breakfast did a short walk around the village. Massive cliffs on both sides of fjord and at end. Then back on board for lunch and depart for afternoon excursion.
13:15 board buss for Nature Museum
Saw a very interesting ‘in flight’ movie of the entire length of fjord, up the mountain, across the glacier to the end. ‘Flight’ included, ups and downs,twists and turns, giving the impression of a real flight. Then walked through the museum area which showed the physical development of the world and Norway from the beginning of time until the early 20th century. An interesting display of human development over the centuries.
To gift shop and bought some souvenirs
18:00 met up with new friends for supper
19:00 Depart for Stavanger
MEAL is for 29th
Destination menu, shrimp and avocado salad, braised pork loin, chocolate cake with a name you can’t pronounce with ice cream
Prime rib and the Same dessert
Stavanger Walking Tour & Oil Museum
Sunday, August 29 - 8:45
Get well acquainted with Stavanger and its beautifully preserved Old Town on this included tour. From our berth right in the heart of town, you can walk with ease to Gamle Stavanger, or Old Stavanger. In this attractive pedestrian district, you will stroll cobblestone streets among close to 250 buildings protected by a conservancy. They range in date from the 18th to the early 20th centuries and are considered the best kept wooden houses in Northern Europe. Destined for demolition in the 1950s, they were saved largely by the city’s architect, Einar Hedén. You will also visit the Norwegian Petroleum Museum. Browse its fascinating exhibits about geology, technology and harnessing the power of oil. You will learn about life on board oilrigs and the drama of everyday life at sea. After, you can linger in Stavanger at your leisure and return the short distance to your ship on your own.
August 29 - Sunday Day 4
Walking tour & oil museum
Who would have thought that an oil museum was so interesting. A great guide who worked as a scientist on the off-shore rigs.
Interesting walk through the old town.
Only a half day in port
12:00 Back on board
13:00 Depart for Oslo
Wendy Destination menu
Oslo Highlights & Vigeland Park
Tuesday, August 30 - 15:00
Take in Oslo’s eclectic blend of contemporary flair, rich history and spectacular natural views.
With your local guide, you will drive past the medieval Akershus Fortress, built in the 1290s by Norse king Håkon V. Pass Oslo City Hall, the Royal Palace, Parliament and the National Theater. Travel to the district of Holmenkollen, home to the world-famous ski jump set atop the most prominent hill in the city. This impressive structure dates back to 1892. Back in the city, you will tour Vigeland Park, named after the sculptor whose work adorns this expansive green space. Your local guide will accompany you on a stroll along its pathways to view some of the 200-plus fascinating stone and bronze sculptures depicting the human life cycle. Afterward, return to your ship via the affluent suburb of Frogner.
Wendy did free laundry
12:00 Arrived Oslo
15:00 Oslo highlights & Vigeland park tour - Located in Frogner Park.
Very interesting with well informed guide. Marvelous statues.
Sculptor Gustav Vigeland created the sculpture arrangement in the centre of the present enlarged park from the 1920s until his death in 1943
Destination menu salmon roe, Reindeer stew, rhubarb charlotte
Fruit cup, pork loin, chocolate bomb
Overnight in Oslo
Day 6 – Oslo, Norway
Wednesday, August 31
Day 7 – Århus, Denmark
Århus on Foot
Thursday, September 01 - 14:00
Discover the iconic sights of Århus during a walk through one of Denmark’s oldest cities. Meet your guide at the pier, then set out on a journey past some of the newest and most modern buildings of Århus, as well as some of its older landmarks. See the Gothic-style medieval Cathedral, the longest and tallest church in Denmark, and stroll the narrow cobblestone streets of the lively Latin Quarter, the city’s oldest neighborhood, en route to the Vor Frue Kloster, a neoclassical monastery that is home to the oldest bells in Denmark. Admire the massive Dokk1 complex that dominates the waterfront of the inner harbor and walk along the historic street of Møllestien to the ARoS, the country’s newest art museum. Stop to gaze at City Hall, its asymmetrical design a fine example of modern functionalistic architecture, before returning to the pier and your ship.
Copenhagen by Foot
Friday, September 2 - 14:30
Explore the landmarks of Copenhagen and learn about the city’s history during a walking excursion. With a local guide, you will stop to see the Little Mermaid statue sitting serenely in the harbor at Langelinie and visit the courtyard at the 18th-century Amalienborg Palace. Continue to Copenhagen’s largest monument, the Gefion Fountain, followed by Amalienborg Palace, the winter residence of the Queen of Denmark, the sovereign of one of the world’s oldest monarchies. Here, admire the royal rococo buildings and square, plus the stunning Marble Church, New Opera House and flourishing Amaliehaven (Amalie Garden) with its geometrical layout, colorful plants and centerpiece fountain. En route back to your ship, walk through the 17th-century Citadel—one of Europe’s best-preserved fortresses surrounded by eight moats, tall ramparts and cannon bastions.
Berlin Your Way
Saturday, September 3 - 7:30 AM - 12 Hours
Follow your own interests in Berlin, from its historic sites to its lesser-known gems.
Transfer to the city by train early in the morning along with your escort, who will provide you with a map and some tips during an orientation tour. Set off on your own in the city center, with 3½ to 4 hours to explore. Call on Checkpoint Charlie and see remnants of the Berlin Wall or explore Alexanderplatz. Admire the remarkable glass cupola of the Reichstag or visit a museum on the renowned Museum Island. For lunch, perhaps stop at a sidewalk café and enjoy a fine German wine while you observe modern Berliners strolling by. At the allotted time, meet your escort at a prearranged location and return to your ship via train in time for dinner.
Sunday, September 4 - 11:30
Discover the natural beauty and charming villages of the idyllic island of Bornholm. This picturesque Danish island is nicknamed solskinsøen (Sunshine Island) and klippeøen (Rock Island) for its weather and geology, respectively. Drive to Nylars, where you will stop to view the Nylars Church. A small circular building that dates back to the 12th century, it was used as a fortress as well as a place of worship. After time for photographs, continue on to Gudhjem, a quaint fishing village which clings to the side of a rocky bay and where smoked herring was first prepared. Learn about the community’s fishing tradition as you take a stroll along the harbor and into the town center, where you can admire the slanting little half-timbered houses. Travel through picturesque Almindingen, one of the largest forests in Denmark, as you return to your ship.
The only 'stop' on this tour was at Hammershus - Northern Europe’s largest castle completed in the late 1200s.
Monday, September 5
In the morning Wendy and I took the shuttle bus into the city of Gdańsk for a quick look around. It would have been nice if we could have spent a little longer as it was another beautiful old city. Even more amazing is that it was completely rebuilt have being bombed and destroyed during WWII. We wish he had more time to wander around this beautiful old city.
Monday, September 5 - 14:00
Hear the stories behind some of the events of World War II on a sobering visit to the Stutthof concentration camp. A local guide will accompany you to the camp, located east of Gdańsk and today preserved as an educational site. Stutthof was the first camp built outside German borders. Though it was established in 1939, the idea to expand camps into the Gdańsk region of Poland — then known as the “Free City of Danzig” — had been conceived three years earlier. During your visit, you will learn that very soon after the outbreak of war, “undesirable Polish elements” were sent here. Over the course of the war, prisoners from all the occupied territories were brought to Stutthof. You can see the prisoners’ barracks and pause to reflect at the camp memorial.
A very sobering and thought provoking tour. From the 'the showers' a euphemism for the gas chamber, the crematorium, moving gas chamber disguised as a train box car, 100,000's discarded shoes, the living quarters and infirmary are an indication of the depravity that humanity can since. It is unbelievable and sobering to see just how inhumanly one group of people can act towards another. The sad part is that it could all happen again.
The camp was and still is surrounded by trees so it was 'hidden' from local prying eyes.
What made this tour even more memorable was that our guide's grandparents had been prisoners in this camp. Sadly her grandmother was one of the many women who were chosen to have a visit to 'the showers.' Her grandfather did survive this camp as well as some others simply because he was a baker and the nazis needed professional kitchen help.
An informative web site:
Karlskrona by Foot
Tuesday, September 6 - 13:45
Discover Karlskrona’s rich maritime tradition and unique landmarks during a walk through this charming port town. Sweden’s chief naval base since its founding in 1680, Karlskrona is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its baroque-style buildings. Follow your guide past notable sights such as the King’s Bridge, the Regional Governor’s Residence and the 18th-century Bastion Aurora. See the impressive Admiralty Church, the town’s oldest building and the largest wooden church in the country, and its famous statue of “Old Man Rosenbom.” Continue your stroll to the Stortorget, a cobblestone square, and pass by the neoclassical Town Hall, the old Norman-style water tower, and the baroque Church of Fredrik and the Holy Trinity Church. You will also view the quaint 18th-century wooden houses in Björkholmen and the old main entrance to the Naval Shipyard en route to your ship.
Wednesday, September 7
Day 14 – Stockholm, Sweden
Thursday, September 8
Wendy and I took advantage of the shuttle bus and took a morning stroll through the old part of Stockholm and then to the bus tour in the afternoon which only had one stop at City Hall.
Take in the sights of Stockholm, one of the world’s most beautiful cities, stunningly set on Sweden’s east coast. Stockholm is a thriving city and is known as the "Venice of Scandinavia" with its 14 islands and 57 bridges that connect them to the mainland. Begin your tour by motor coach as you hear exciting stories from your guide about Swedish life and culture. Learn about the history of the city and see the famous sights including the City Hall, Parliament, the Royal Palace and the Royal Opera. You can choose to end your tour with a stroll through the cobblestone streets of Old Town on your own, and take a complimentary coach back to the ship. Or, if you prefer, you can resume your panoramic tour and take the coach directly to your ship.
Friday, September 9
DEPART - FLIGHT AT 06:30
Up bright and early for the flight. Packed all up on Thursday evening and watched TV until it was time to meet up in one of the lounges. Well ok Wendy did have a bit of a nap.
Great escort to the bus then from the bus to airport check-in and again to the security gate.
Eventful flights home but we made it and so did our bags.