Norwegian Coastal Voyage – Bergen, Norway
|DAY 1: Bergen. Arrival in Bergen. Catch Hurtigruten transfer from Bergen Flesland Airport to Hurtigruten terminal at Nostebryggen Quay. Boarding starts at 16:00.
We arrive at Bergen Flesland Airport at 16:50, too late to catch the 17:00 transfer to Hurtigruten Pier at Nostebryggen Quay. The transfers depart daily at 14:30, 17:00 and 18:30.
We are travelling with Tony’s mum who is 92 years old and so speed is not the essence. Bergen Flesland Airport is a cozy size and the immigration and customs procedures are pretty straight-forward.
Whilst waiting for our transfer we look for drinks and the first thing that hit me at the airport is the price of goods here. Yes, I knew that Norway is an expensive destination but 22 NOK for a small bottle of take-away orange juice is a bit of a shock to the system. That’s almost 7 AUD for us.
Transfer to Hurtigruten’s Pier
Hurtigruten arranges its airport transfers through Turistbuss Bergen and on the dot of 18:30, the coach pulls in at the bus-stop, on the right-hand side as you exit the airport.
The ride to the Pier is short one, but already we get the sense of being in winter wonderland. As the bus is not allowed to enter the terminal we have to lug our three cases into the terminal building, plus wheel Tony’s mother.
A person at the reception desk points us to the elevator and we’re on our way to board our ship, the M/S Richard With. Only problem is that it’s not so straight forward finding the way to the gangway, there’s no sign of any trolley available and no one available to assist. Our first thought is that the security is pretty poor given that anyone could have sneaked on board.
Boarding the M/S Richard With
It’s dark outside and we finally find the entrance door. While I wait with Barbara and the bags, Tony goes to look for our cabins. An officer comes along and sees me with the bags and Barbara in wheelchair. He is surprised that no one actually helped us and he personally carries our bags to our cabins. What a nice guy.
Travelling with a 92 year-old is not without challenge, especially in winter. It’s been a long day, especially for Tony and I as we’ve been on the road for 35 hours the day before. What a relief that we’ve finally made it. The cabins look comfortable and the light snack is more like a buffet.
At 22:30 the ship prepares to leave and the bell tolls three times. We sail away into the night, travelling north and west through the Hjeltefjord where the Vikings once sailed westwards to a place they called Hjaltland, the Shetland Island.
The boat has a nice feel about it and although we are not cruise ship types, we know that we’re going to enjoy this voyage.