Best choice for a boat trip through the waterways around Kristiansand
The town of Kristiansand is very accessible by walking from the ship although I believe there was a local tram enterprise that people could purchase. We walked over early in the morning; not all shops were yet open but many were. The maps available (in town and from the ship) were adequate.
At the travel talk we were informed that Norwegian VAT refunds would be available on the ship the evening of Bergen for those who had made purchases in Norway. However details were NOT provided and many found themselves with purchases that did not qualify because the correct paperwork was not provided at the point of purchase. You will need a special VAT slip; not all merchants participate. The ship's announcement certainly didn't make that clear and many in the line for refunds were disappointed. Often the amounts of money involved were small, but people waited a long time in the line before finding out that they lacked the needed paperwork.
For lunch in Lillesand we stopped at a restaurant which was doing a full buffet—no time for that!—so a server there kindly directed us to a sandwich shop, called Gehe. Easily located; go up the hill; it's on the right. Shrimp rolls were fresh shrimp on homemade rolls; large and very satisfying. Hot chocolate was very good; warm and in a large glass. We enjoyed talking to the young woman who served us; she'll be entering college this fall, planning to make music a secondary interest while majoring in social work. She comes from a very musical family!
This is probably the best HAL shore excursion of the trip in that it was well-organized, the timing was good, a map was provided to see the pathway of the ferrry boat and the many meanderings through the bays and waterway diversions on the way to Lillesand allowed us to see many styles of waterfront living. The guide was available in town if needed and Lillesand is easily explored on foot. The bus ride back was scenic; the company organized two trips during the day so that while one group was bused to Lillesand and ferried back, the other group ferried first and were picked up by the bus as it dropped off its group for the return ferry trip to Kristiansand
Blog Content & Website Design: Marney Wilde • Photographs by George Wilde