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Type your answer here...Hmmm - not sure where you're going but we went with P&O (Arcadia) a few years ago - on a 7 nighter - Bergen,Stavanger etc. The only excursion we booked was a walk on a glacier - would recommend it - but elsewhere we wandered around without any problems as English is widely spoken. You can always have a massive breakfast so you fill up to save money - don't remember if we thought it was terribly expensive. Take waterproofs!
Good morning 'Holloway of Cockermouth', no doubt you are looking forward to your cruise. here are a few tips/suggestions which I hope you will find helpful. As I'm not sure which cruise you're booked on have included all the ports Oceana calls at in this season's fjord programme:-
i) Stavanger - easy to be independent here as it is not a large city. If you like the look of the Lysefjord trip - and it is nice - it is possible to do it independently - and cheaper - here are a couple of sites that will give you more info. on this:
www.rodne.no click on union jack, then on Lysefjord pic. then on 'read more'.
www.gonorway.no click on Stavanger, scroll down to 'Pulpit Rock' (highlighted in blue).
Stavanger also has a nice park and a small but attractive old town - 'Gamle Stavanger'. Both are within easy walking distance of the ship's berth.
ii) Flaam - have never been but friends who have say the railway trip is a must - whether or not this can be done independently or not I don't know.
iii) Olden - a lovely little place but an excursion here is necessary as there is no public transport infrastructure. Anything you do from here will please - any of the glacier trips would be good, but Kjenndalen and Lovatnet Lake is a lovely trip. A 15 min. walk will bring you into the village where their is a very good souvenir shop.
iv) Geiranger - utterly beautiful! If this is one of your ports of call I reccomend you get up early, make a cuppa and just sit and watch the scenery go by! Again, due to the lack of any transport infrastructure an excursion here is necessary to get the best out of your visit; I can reccomend Mount Dalsnibba which, if you are lucky with the weather is quite spectacular. it is also possible to do a really good walk from Geiranger.
v) Alesund - am going this year for the first time but we have decided to do our own thing here as it seems there is plenty to do and see.
vi) Bergen - do your own thing here - Bergen is one of the wettest places in the world, having an average of 25 dry days a year; the town's logo is an umbrella! (seriously!) Everywhere is within easy walking distance of the ship's berth and providing the weather is good I would reccomend a trip on the funicular to the Floyen from where there are some lovely walks and the views over the city and surrounding areas are fantastic. Another must-see is the Bryggen, the old and very well preserved old town; also, the fish market is fascinating. If you are interested in classical music it is only a twenty min. bus ride to Edward Grieg's house and if your interest is churches a ten min. bus ride will bring you to the Fantoft Stave church. So as you can see, there is plenty to do independently.
As you rightly say, Norway is not a cheap country but it is very beautiful and I hope this info. will help you to get the best out of your holiday whilst at the same time saving you a bit of money. Enjoy your cruise - hope the weather is kind to you! Regards - Janet
Barker of Poole has said it all really,but we did this cruise last June and were very impressed with Mount Dalsnibba and Briksdal Glacier,Bergen and Stavanger can easily be explored on foot. Prices are not too bad although alcohol and tobacco prices are very high and are best avoided,otherwise about the same as U.K. prices,bearing in mind the U.K. is expensive by most European standards. Hope this helps.