This was the best trip I have ever taken. It was perfectly orchestrated

Barbara Ball from United States traveled to Norway in 2015
5

Norway is even more beautiful than we had imagined. Our Epic Fjords & Seas of Norway trip in the summer of 2015 was almost perfect. I will try to give you a day by day run-down of our experiences.

Day 1 We were met in Oslo by a uniformed driver in a new BMW. What a way to start! All our transfers were great. The drivers were courteous and on time. Doug said that we were treated as well as CEO's. The Clarion was a lovely, comfortable hotel with a beautiful lobby. They even had a buffet style "light evening meal" that was much more than just light meal. The European breakfast was a real treat. The hotel created an air of quietude throughout.

Day 2 We were surprised by the Flam Railway. We had no idea that it would take us to such high elevations-past the tree line and into snow. Wow! We had a little confusion at the train station. The train route said Oslo to Bergen and we were looking for Oslo to Myrdal to Flam. As throughout the whole trip, the scenery was unbelievable. There was another outstanding hotel in Balestrand with an incredible view from the balcony.

Day 3 Scandic Strand was disappointing. Our guide had a set routine and time line. She showed little attention to our need to linger here or there. She was just doing her job. Our breakfast the next day was sparse and crowded with narrow aisles between food tables. You might also suggest things that people can do during their six hour free afternoon, what we did was take the hop on-hop off bus and saw much more of Bergen.

Day 4-10 Oh, the Hurtigruten! I cannot say enough about this fine vessel! It was small enough to get into the tiniest places, yet big enough to provide all the things you would expect on a large liner. The stops at small villages and large towns were fun to see and explore. We liked the fact that it was a cargo ship, a ferry as well as a cruise ship. We enjoyed watching people getting on and off at the stops. The dinners were wonderful with the menu providing information about the area, and where the food came from. Their buffets were quite good and the desserts were scrumptious. Forget about dieting! The pictures of the cabins are misleading. They are roomy, very comfortable and lured us into delightful morning and afternoon naps! There were a couple fun events like the "Crossing the Arctic Circle Celebration". We thoroughly enjoyed this portion of our trip. Shame on those that wrote negative reviews!

Day 11 Another great time at the Clarion and an outstanding tour guide this time. She had us sit down in the lobby and asked us to tell her what we would like to see on the tour. Then she took it from there and we had a wonderful time. I even got to spend a bit of time at the Oslo Cathedral during their regular service.

Now, Firebird Tours: This was the best trip I have ever taken. It was perfectly orchestrated. It was reassuring to know that we had an emergency contact in case we ran into trouble. Unlike so many tours, we had varied forms of transportation. We were treated like CEOs on transfers to hotels. We rode the Flam Railway, took two express boat trips. Then there was the splendid Hurtigruten cruise. All this was followed by a flight back to Oslo. What more could a person ask for!

Published,
November 5, 2015
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