Norway adds up

This item appears on page 25 of the November 2010 issue.
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My wife, Joan, and I had experiences similar to that of Kent Shamblin (“Travel in Norway,” Sept. ’10, pg. 17) when we took a cruise on the MS Nordkapp with Hurtigruten (Fort Lauderdale, FL; 866/552-0371) in June-July 2010.

Our Capital One credit card (without chip) worked perfectly everyplace we wanted to use it. Our Citibank Visa debit card got us all the money we wanted. However, we had to search around awhile before we found an ATM that had English-language instructions and prompts. We finally found one in the Oslo-S train station and loaded up on Norwegian kroner to see us through the three-week trip.

To say that Norway is expensive is perhaps an understatement. Forget about being able to buy a glass of draft beer for $4 (as Shamblin mentioned). The going price we found for draft beer ranged from NOK63 (about $10.50) for a 12-ounce glass to NOK83 ($14) for a pint.

Admittedly, we splurged on a few things, such as flying business class and having a “mini-suite” on the ship. The whole three-week experience, including additional stays in Oslo, Flåm and Bergen, cost us $29,975.

Yes, we did have a nice, cold beer in the afternoons when the sun shone warmly, but three glasses of beer and one order of fish-and-chips, shared, cost $86. Including a bottle of modest wine, dinner for two in a nice but not extravagant restaurant could cost as much as $225. (Tax and service charge/tip were always included in the menu prices.)

Having said that, we have absolutely no regrets. The two cities, Oslo and Bergen, are breathtakingly beautiful — especially on a sunny day. The people we met were friendly, and most spoke fluent English.

The side trip to Flåm on the spectacular Flåmsbana railroad, descending from Myrdal to Sognefjorden, was worth every penny. As seniors, we were able to get NSB rail tickets at half off the usual NOK340 ($56) round-trip price.

The coastal voyage on the Nord­kapp to Kirkenes and back took us through spectacular scenery — enough “big rocks” and enormous waterfalls to make a thousand Yosemites. One of the highlights of our journey, the ship’s “Geiranger Panorama” excursion, a seven-hour tour (€138, near $181), was breathtaking!

PETER KLATT

Berkeley, CA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My wife, Joan, and I had experiences similar to that of Kent Shamblin (“Travel in Norway,” Sept. ’10, pg. 17) when we took a cruise on the MS Nordkapp with Hurtigruten (Fort Lauderdale, FL; 866/552-0371) in June-July 2010.

Our Capital One credit card (without chip) worked perfectly everyplace we wanted to use it. Our Citibank Visa debit card got us all the money we wanted. However, we had to search around awhile before we found an ATM that had English-language instructions and prompts. We finally found one in the Oslo-S train station and loaded up on Norwegian kroner to see us through the three-week trip.

To say that Norway is expensive is perhaps an understatement. Forget about being able to buy a glass of draft beer for $4 (as Shamblin mentioned). The going price we found for draft beer ranged from NOK63 (about $10.50) for a 12-ounce glass to NOK83 ($14) for a pint.

Admittedly, we splurged on a few things, such as flying business class and having a “mini-suite” on the ship. The whole three-week experience, including additional stays in Oslo, Flåm and Bergen, cost us $29,975.

Yes, we did have a nice, cold beer in the afternoons when the sun shone warmly, but three glasses of beer and one order of fish-and-chips, shared, cost $86. Including a bottle of modest wine, dinner for two in a nice but not extravagant restaurant could cost as much as $225. (Tax and service charge/tip were always included in the menu prices.)

Having said that, we have absolutely no regrets. The two cities, Oslo and Bergen, are breathtakingly beautiful — especially on a sunny day. The people we met were friendly, and most spoke fluent English.

The side trip to Flåm on the spectacular Flåmsbana railroad, descending from Myrdal to Sognefjorden, was worth every penny. As seniors, we were able to get NSB rail tickets at half off the usual NOK340 ($56) round-trip price.

The coastal voyage on the Nord­kapp to Kirkenes and back took us through spectacular scenery — enough “big rocks” and enormous waterfalls to make a thousand Yosemites. One of the highlights of our journey, the ship’s “Geiranger Panorama” excursion, a seven-hour tour (€138, near $181), was breathtaking!

PETER KLATT

Berkeley, CA