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I've been on three trips to the fjords: July 02' on the QE2, July 03' on Fred Olsen's Black Watch, and again last June on the Black Watch. The weather on all three was brilliant, with only the odd wet morning or afternoon.
Both of the Black Watch cruises went up to Spitzbergen, which takes you to a new level of awesome beauty and grandeur, really intense wilderness. The weather seems to get better the further north you go, and the sea in the arctic was mostly like a mirror. There's a real sense of adventure, and the midnight sun isn't just on the horizon at these latitudes, its like the middle of the afternoon!
I thought the Fred Olsen cruises were much superior to Cunard. Their captains really know the 'inside passage' route up the coast of Norway (the Hurtigruten route), wheras the QE2 stayed far out to sea most of the time. On the Black Watch some of the fjords were so narrow it was almost scary, and you could see people eating in their houses. Also the Norwegian captains often made changes to the itinerary to take in something interesting, wheras the Cunard itinerary was rigid, and their ships are too big to get into the really interesting places. Last year, the captain heard from an expedition ship about several polar bears in Leifdefjorden, in the far north west of Spitzbergen, at 80 degrees north; so we went up to have a look. It was the most intensely beautiful place I have ever seen, surrounded by glaciers flowing into the sea, and icy peaks with trails of mist, bathed in blindingly clear sunlight. We saw a mother polar bear with two cubs, about 200 yards away on the sea ice, and later a large male swam past the ship about 30 yards away. Even at this latitude, I only needed a jumper out on deck! (Global warming?) We also saw a large walrus colony.
This was serious expedition ship territory, but the Norweigian captains have the knowledge and experience to go there.
When booking a cruise, I always wait until about 6 weeks before the departure date, when the brochure prices are usually slashed. The brochures always say book early to get a discount, but you'll get a much better one if you book late. Look in the travel section of the Saturday 'Daily Telegraph' for the ads.
I hope this is of some use.
Burton - on - Trent
I'm doing the Fjords again next June with P&O, I have done this in the past at the end of May and the weather was sunny everyday, although the nights can be a bit chilly on deck. Its the luck of the draw I guess with the weather.
If you look at www.visitnorway.com it will give you climate and weather details for anytime of the year. Today in Norway it is betwee 8 and 9 degrees on the west coast, but between 7 to 13 degress inland. The North Cape (NordKapp) is 1 to 4 degrees. There is some sunshine so sit out on your balcony wrapped up in jumpers and blankets and something to warm your innards and enjoy the superb views! happy cruising. Peter at www. cruise .co.u.