Wilde Adventures

George & Marney Wilde's Cruise Blog

Northern Europe Explorer: 24 Days

May 22-June 15 2011

Bergen, Norway

Google Interactive Map: The Big Picture

Google Interactive Map: Bergen

Activities:

"Hardanger—Queen of the Fjords

Bergen

Vendor:

Holland America

Why Selected?

No way to get there on our own in the time available

Photo Slide Show: 27

photos; click anywhere in the photo to advance.

Tips/Tricks:

Book early! This tour sold out twice; they did add a third section at the last minute. The claim was that there wasn't another boat available for the cross-fjord trip but that seems unlikely; see tour comments.

Comments:

This tour provided exactly what was mentioned in the online description, but it seemed to me to almost exaggerate by omission. The statement, "you will cross the Fussafjord by ferry" coupled with the statement from Shore Excursiont that more sections probably can't be added because there aren't enough boats available" doesn't ring true when presented with the reality that the fjord crossing is really a ferry ride of less than 15 minutes via a transport ferry; the entire bus was driven onto a ferry, along with many other vehicles, including other busses. The only way to see anything was to leave the bus and climb up an interior utility staircase from the car hold at the bottom of the ferry and to return to the bus before the ride was completed because everyone had to be seated on board before the bus could be driven off the ferry. Everyone I spoke with expected more of a ride across the fjord than this.

Also, while the description says that "you will reach the tiny church . . . ," in fact, we stopped there, hiked down a steep hill (damp with rain, rock path, no hand-holds for those needing assistance to climb back up) and waited for the promised guide to come, the guide did not come; there had been a mix-up about how many groups and she'd already left. We all enjoyed looking around the church yard and speculating on the grave markers there but had hoped to see the interesting paintings within the church and to ask questions about how the family names in the church yard might be inter-related.

The lunch provided at the hotel was delicious and there were many alternatives of local food. And the drive along the fjord was as spectacular as the description. The restroom stops, billed as problematic, turned out to work out for our group because of the order we visited the points of interest.

I would hope that before additional groups purchase this tour that it might be reworded in the description to provide a clearer picture of exactly what the ferry ride involves, that those with mobility issues would know how steep the hill is down to the church and that the view from the ferry will involve climbing a metal staircase.

Photos by George Wilde © 2011
© 2011 George & Marney Wilde
Web design and text: Marney Wilde • Map layout: George Wilde