all, bear in mind that the Gulf Stream, the warm water current,
does run up along the Norwegian
coast. So the temperatures through the fjords and even north of
the Arctic Circle aren't necessarily as cold as one might imagine.
EXCEPT for North Cape itself.
For most of
your cruise, layered clothing similar to an Alaskan cruise
will be fine. Raingear will be in order as well. It will, however,
be rather chilly if you take any of the tours that go to higher
altitudes (some of the mountain tops overlooking the fjords), so
that a ski parka or similar will be handy. Depending on how much
snowfall there has been this winter, you could encounter snow on
the ground in higher altitudes only, not in Bergen or the towns
and cities at sea level.
however, will be cold and blustery and you will need to dress
accordingly. Most probably, you will dock in Honningsvaag, and the
motorcoach ride to North Cape is approximately one hour through
tundra-like terrain. You could see some snow on the ground en
route and will probably see reindeer. If it appeals to you,
request your passport and bring it with you. For a nominal fee,
you can have it stamped at North Cape (Nordkapp) in the visitor
center. You normally spend a couple of hours at North Cape.
"night"—and remember, you have 24-hours daylight north
of the Arctic Circle—the ships usually cruise off the promontory
at midnight. For those sailing on Crystal, normally it's a festive
night with hot glogg served outdoors on the VERY COLD decks and a
gala midnight buffet indoors with music. I'd guess other ships do
Night Eve, be sure to watch for the traditional bonfires along the
way. I used to remember the explanation—which I no longer
remember—but one area has bonfires with white smoke, another
area with black smoke. There IS a significance... but my brain is
drawing a complete blank.
experience, for the shoppers, I found that prices were better in Bergen
and became more expensive as you headed farther north. Ships on a
North Cape itinerary don't necessarily call at Oslo. It's quite
easy to walk into town from the pier, and there are numerous shops
along the way on your left (as you walk into Bergen). You can do
your comparison shopping. Dales is indeed THE name in Norwegian
sweaters. Sweaters can be both hand knit and machine knit. Be on
the alert as well that lesser priced sweaters can be from Iceland
and, sometimes, from the Shetland Islands. There's really nothing
wrong with these knits, except that they're not "made in
Norway" if that's what you're seeking.
for a real treat—a North Cape cruise is an outstanding
itinerary. Norway is very, very
picturesque indeed. If you can get your hands on a video of the
1970's vintage movie "Song of Norway" (based on Edvard
Grieg's operetta), you'll see some of the glorious scenery that
you'll experience in the fjords.