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24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My first trip on the Vesteralen was great. Beautiful scenery, northern lights, cute villages and nice people in a quiet atmosphere. The interior of the ship is simplel and dated (or vintage depending on your point of view). But cosey and ... Read More
My first trip on the Vesteralen was great. Beautiful scenery, northern lights, cute villages and nice people in a quiet atmosphere. The interior of the ship is simplel and dated (or vintage depending on your point of view). But cosey and there was enough place everywhere to sit (as we were in low season). The food was good to excellent, with a large variety of choice. Water was included in all meals. Coffee and tea is included only for breakfast and lunch, count on paying around 4-5 euro's for a cup. This seems much but I had some coffees in several towns and the prices there are the same. Norway is in that sense expensive. This is also true for any food and souvenirs (on or off the ship). The excursions to Nord kapp and the husky slee ride are really nice. The town trips can also easily be done on your own in all places, if you are able to walk well. Take into account that in winter it is quite slippery in most places. You can easily book on board. We cancelled a trip once and got all money reimbursed, no problem. Staff was very friendly. The experience of a working ship was nice too. This trip is excellent for people that do not like big crowds, that like simplicity rather than luxury, and the feeling of being on a real ship (instead of a floating hotel). If you think the scenery and occational chat with other travelers is enough entertainment and you can manage dark or bad weather moments by reading or doing any other activity by yourself than you will love this for sure. If you need lots of entertainment, Tv in your room and luxurous cabins, please reconsider. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
This cruise was one of the worst experiences of my life. I never felt so un-welcomed and isolated in my life. The cruise itself was great. The scenery was awesome. The relaxing atmosphere was wonderful. The other tourists on the boat were ... Read More
This cruise was one of the worst experiences of my life. I never felt so un-welcomed and isolated in my life. The cruise itself was great. The scenery was awesome. The relaxing atmosphere was wonderful. The other tourists on the boat were friendly. The staff, however, were a nightmare. Particularly one of the receptionists and the cruise director. I took the 7- day cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes this past July 2015. By the fourth night I was crying every night. I traveled alone and this was my first cruise. When I asked questions I left feeling terrible. Getting answers to questions like, “What are the check out procedures for tomorrow?” or “Do I need to show my receipt for the excursions I booked?” were a battle. The crew spoke perfect English, but getting answers…My words were often played with, twisted so that the answer I got didn’t answer my question. I was spoken to very condescendingly. No matter how much I would re-phrase my simple question, it ended up being a game of words. Exhausting. I also got answers given in a smart-aleck way. Also not answering my question directly, but I understood the answer. I tried to laugh the smart-aleck answers off, but after a couple days of this they began to feel insulting. It felt horrible. Please make sure you are clear with the boarding and docking times. They WILL leave you, as they did me. I was a single woman left stranded in Alesund, a foreign country, with no money, id, or phone. Just my camera. My plan was just to walk off the boat and take pictures for a few minutes and get back on the boat. As this was my first docking experience, I did not want to get left. Didn’t want to take any chances. I think I was still jet lagged from my flight from the US because on that day I took a long nap in the mid afternoon. I woke up close to 7p.m. I noticed we were docked so I grabbed my camera. I went to reception to ask about getting on and off the boat. I made a light joke about the importance of being back on the boat on time. I saw the time of 19:00 posted at the exit. “Ok,” I thought. “We just docked so I definitely have time to take a few quick pictures.” I spent about 15 minutes off the boat. When I came back the boat was gone! It was my misunderstanding about the timing. 19:00 was the time the boat was to leave, not arrive! But it would have been nice if the receptionist told me that, instead of watching me walk off the boat at 19:00. The person who scanned out my cruise card could have said something like, “Hey, where are you going? We are getting ready to leave.” I paid about $350 for a cab and ferry ride to catch up to the boat at their next stop. I was mortified, but the staff didn’t make it any easier. I was determined to enjoy this cruise since I paid so much money for it. Everything was lovely except that the staff wore me down by the fourth day. I paid for two excursions that I did not go on. One was the day after I got left on the boat. I was still so horrified about getting left, I was scared to get off the boat again! The other one was viewing the Russian border. Because of my flight arrangements, leaving at noon, I was not able to go on that excursion. No refunds… Getting off that boat at Kirkenes to go home was like getting out of jail. My Norwegian friend said that their behavior was probably due to racism or the fact that I'm American. Who really knows? If you must go, don’t go alone. And if my friend is correct, especially is you are a person of color or an American. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We loved every bit of the Climate cruise on the Fram...we chose a balcony suite which was great lots of room and even on cold days we could sit outside with a drink and watch the ice slide past! We were blessed with really good weather ... Read More
We loved every bit of the Climate cruise on the Fram...we chose a balcony suite which was great lots of room and even on cold days we could sit outside with a drink and watch the ice slide past! We were blessed with really good weather so were able to see and do loads of expeditions including Jan Mayan volcano and kayaking past Glaciers... We also saw Polar bears,Reindeer ,Walrus,Seals,and Whales. The on board talks were on the whole pretty good. There is no real entertainment ..apart from one night of mini cabaret by the crew and an on deck BBQ but that was fine with us as we just wanted to soak up the peace,quiet and beauty of the area. We had the best of times and will remember this trip for a very long time Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
The ship was fantastic, small but very friendly as you got to know lots of people. The food the entertainment and all the staff were fantastic. This was my first cruise and I worried that there may not be enough to do.What a joke we ended ... Read More
The ship was fantastic, small but very friendly as you got to know lots of people. The food the entertainment and all the staff were fantastic. This was my first cruise and I worried that there may not be enough to do.What a joke we ended up running from deck to deck in order to do all the quizzes, table tennis and every thing else we wanted to do. The out door pool even though we were in the Arctic was 30 degrees so we swam nearly every day. The cabin was amazing but we did have a suite. Some of the information was incorrect. We were told we could get on the ship early due to our suite.We got to Dover early and that information is wrong you have to wait like every body else.We took priority disembarkation and this was excellent we got off the boat at least 2 hours before everybody else. The cruise was excellent except we never knew exactly where we were. The day sheet for all the on board entertainment was great but we needed one to tell us where we were passing and where we were. We took the drinks package. For me that was fine but for my sister it was a waste of money. Strongbow cider was included but Kopperberg cider which cost 5 pence more was excluded so she had to pay 50% of the price every time but she could drink rum and brandy until she fell over. Read the small print before you pay. DO NOT BOOK ANY TRIPS WITH THE CRUISE COMPANY. They are a total rip off. Example in Bergen a trip to the Funicular including price up and down £40. Distance from ship a slow 5 mins walk. Return trip £10 on the Funicular. Do the maths yourself. And this was a cheap trip most were at least £90 each and you did not get the right time off the ship and you had no time at the attraction. The Atlantic Road was fully booked up price £80 each. We got a taxi and did it alone for less than £50 for the 2 of us. The ship photos are good but expensive choose carefully but the video is great. All the services on the ship were amazing nothing was too much trouble. I would do another Fred Olsen Cruise but not book any trips. Research them before you go and do it yourself. Would recommend the Braemar to anyone it is a first class ship with a great crew and Captain. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2011
I have written a review for this cruise on a previous occasion and it does not seem to show up. We meet at the hotel in Oslo for a flight north, there was complete chaos at the hotel with people pushing and shoving to get on the buses, not ... Read More
I have written a review for this cruise on a previous occasion and it does not seem to show up. We meet at the hotel in Oslo for a flight north, there was complete chaos at the hotel with people pushing and shoving to get on the buses, not a good start. Once on the ship we had a nice room but not cleaned properly, there were remnants of the previous cruiser left in the room (under the bed and atop the wardrobe). The ship was clean, the food was good not great. The high light was the tour by dinghy, informed guides and made sure you were well taken care of during the trip. We received our final bill asking if we wanted to contribute to an education fund for the employees, we did not but were charged anyway. The nightly entertainment was a collapsable keyboard with singer, YIKES. The cruise line told us that if we should rate them as a 5, a ding right there for asking! Not something I would repeat. Read Less

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