My daughter Dena and I traveled to Scandinavia in 2003, spending a week in Denmark, a week in Sweden and a week in Norway. Ever since that trip I had wanted to return to Norway. Dena and I traveled using a Rail Pass, stayed in hostels and carried packs on our backs. My husband is in his 70’s and has some mobility issues, so I knew that a subsequent trip to Norway would need to be much less arduous.
My “must see” list for this journey included stops in Oslo, Bergen, Flåm and traveling north of the Arctic Circle. A “bonus” stopover would be a trip down the Trollstigen, or Troll’s Path, a steep, winding mountain road switchbacking past waterfalls and sheer cliffs to the valley floor below.
Researching our options, I found Holland America Line had an itinerary that fit very nicely with my priorities. It included my “must see” cities of Oslo, Bergen and Flåm, and my “bonus” Trollstigen offered as a side trip from Ålesund, plus two cities north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø and Honningsvåg, which is about as far north in Norway, as you can go. It was the perfect itinerary!
My son Vince, who also has the travel bug, loves to cruise, and also had Norway on his “list”, would be traveling with us. We often travel with our adult children, all sharing expenses, which makes it more economical and more enjoyable, as well. Norway is a very expensive country to visit. Sharing actually made this trip possible.
We planned to arrive in Amsterdam the day before the ship sailed, which would give us some time for a little sightseeing and an opportunity to adjust to their time. After the cruise portion of the trip, we planned to stay the night in Rotterdam, and another night in Amsterdam, giving us another two full days for sightseeing in the Netherlands, before heading home. Our departure date was July 5, 2012.