Friday, December 28, 2012

Norwegian Coastal Cruises

The Norwegian fjords are one of the premier cruise experiences in the world, and if you are willing to travel in winter they can be surprisingly affordable. Winter, you say? Yes, even during the coldest and darkest time of year daily freight ships connect Bergen in southern Norway with Kirkeness on the Russian border.
In January of 2012 a six day trip from south to north was offered for as little as $800 per person in an inside cabin, and even in summer the price is not exhorbitant. Single cabins are available, but there is a single supplement.
These are not fancy cruises, with cocktail parties and dressing for dinner. The ships of the Hurigruten are working ships designed to connect the people living on remote fjords with the rest of the country. Meals are included, but they are relatively basic, according to reports on Alcohol is served, but prices are high. It is much better to bring your own booze, preferably purchased in Germany or almost anywhere other than Norway where prices for drinks are, according to reports, astronomical.
On the plus side, there is no tipping on these ships and no need for anything other than casual clothing. Tourists are usually in a minority, so you have a chance to meet locals and converse with them.
Several companies offer booking for these unusual voyages. One is in the U.S., another is www.norwegianiancoastalcruises in the U.K.


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