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Journey To Spitsbergen

This cruise crosses the Arctic Circle, then continues far beyond. First visit the world of the reindeer, then enter the realm of the polar bear. Glaciers, sea cliffs and fjords – this is nature at its northern wildest and most spectacular

From£3,099

  • Norway

  • 16 nights
  • Jun

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 80110

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 4

Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.

Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.

Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Arctic Svalbard, just 800 miles from the North Pole
  • Our walk in the Hidden Valley near Bodø with local guide Ivar Sandland who runs his own adventure company
  • Experience eight days when the sun doesn’t set

Norway is an amazing country. Including the fjords it has over 15,000 miles of coastline. Nearly one third of the country is above the tree line and huge glaciers can be found as far south as central southern Norway. It’s two and a half times the size of the UK, but has a population of fewer than five million. You can quote many amazing facts and figures about the country, but it’s the jaw-dropping scenery which leaves everyone looking for words good enough to describe Norway’s natural wonders. And the further north you go, the better it gets. Photos don’t do the country justice – you have to come here yourself to believe it. Sailing from Liverpool we spend a couple of days getting used to life at sea and all the comforts of the Black Watch. Our first Norwegian port is the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund, spectacularly situated on a promontory, surrounded by sea, fjords and mountains. We then continue north, crossing over the Arctic Circle and entering the realm of the midnight sun.

Our first venture ashore in the Norwegian Arctic is Honningsvåg on the island of Magerøya, just short of North Cape. Here the landscape is truly wild and untamed and our hike across the hills is normally rewarded with sightings of reindeer.We spend two days in Svalbard, the collection of islands halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, calling into the ports of Pyramiden and Longyearbyen. Longyearbyen is the northernmost year-round settlement on earth, where all forms of life battle with the harsh environment. Pyramiden is a bleak and barren former Russian mining colony truly at the ends of the earth.

Heading south from here we again have a chance to view Norway’s spectacular coastline before arriving in Tromsø The city is traditionally seen as the gateway to the Arctic, the city from where many groundbreaking polar adventures have started. Our final port of call in Norway is Bodø. It’s one of those places of which you may never have heard, but once visited, will long to go back to. From the town access to pristine Arctic wilderness and stunning scenery is relatively easy. We then cross the North Sea to weigh anchor in Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands, halfway to Norway from the UK in more ways than one. The islands are closer to Oslo than London and 30% of the population claim Norwegian heritage, mainly stemming from the 7 centuries when the Shetlands were ruled by Vikings. The local accent is a mixture of Scots & Norwegian. During the cruise we have several days at sea, some spent cruising the spectacular coastline, with views of mountains, remote islands, isolated communities and the seaward end of fjords. With our walks we aim to explore coastal Norway’s scenery. The walks are sometimes shorter than you might expect for a grade 4 holiday but the views we will be rewarded with are still breathtaking.

Norway does have a reputation for being expensive, but on a Ramblers Cruise & Walk holiday you benefit from excellent value and all the amazing scenery you would get on a land-based holiday. At the end of each day’s activities we return to the excellent food and comfort of Black Watch and sail on to another scenic destination.

Please note, ports of call may change between different departure dates. It is important to check the individual tour date proposed itinerary for details of your cruise.

  • Breakfast and dinner throughout your tour, plus lunch on sea days
  • Complimentary tea and coffee at select locations throughout the ship
  • All entertainment, sports & leisure facilities on board
  • A programme of walks and excursions from our ports of call including any necessary transportation costs
  • Tips to the ship’s restaurant staff
  • All drinks on board
  • Any local excursions not included in the Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays programme including entrances to museums, sites or Fred Olsen on shore activities
  • Access to Wi-Fi on board the ship. At the time of writing Fred Olsen offer various packages from £16 for 30 minutes to £84 for unlimited access on a 14-day cruise. Please ask for more details at the Reception Desk on the ship
  • Personal laundry and dry cleaning, hairdressing, health, beauty treatments and selected fitness classes
  • Holiday Insurance
  • Occasionally a local guide or your Ramblers Cruise & Walk leader might suggest entering a site or monument in a city for which there is an entrance fee to pay. Please allow approximately £30 for this
  • Discretionary gratuities to the crew, drivers, guides etc both on board and ashore

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Liverpool

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Today we board Black Watch in Liverpool and set sail for Norway. Check in for the cruise begins one hour prior to embarkation. Embarkation at the cruise terminal usually begins three hours before departure and closes one hour prior to sailing. At Liverpool you will be greeted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' staff, including porters who will arrange for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin. There will be a letter from your Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays’ leader in your cabin informing you of the place and time for you to meet the rest of the group. Sailing time is usually from mid afternoon to early evening and will be confirmed on your travel documents.

Day 2 to 3

At Sea

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

On these two days at sea we can relax and enjoy the facilities of the ship. There is usually a range of activities available on board – you may choose to join a fitness class or visit the onboard gym, attend one of the on-board lectures, treat yourself to a treatment in the spa or just simply relax in one of the lounges with a coffee and a book from the library. Each evening a Daily Times newsletter will be placed in your cabin, detailing events and timings for the following day. On these days at sea our tour leader often arranges informal get together.

Day 4

Alesund

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Ålesund, where we spend the day, is famous for its spectacular waterside situation, in between the sea and the mountains, and its beautiful Art Nouveau buildings. We take a short, easy loop of the old, cobbled streets and dockside areas. There should also be time for a walk on well maintained paths around and along the top of the Novøya Peninsula to a high cafe, viewpoint looking out over the town.

Day 5 to 6

Amazing scenery as we cross the Arctic Circle

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have some spectacular coastal scenery in store over the next two days at sea. Late Monday morning we cruise past Torghatten, a mountain near Brønnøysund with a remarkable hole in it. We then pass close to the sheer rock walls of the Seven Sisters and cruise by the Svartisen or Black Glacier. 10 metres of snow can fall here in the winter, creating this massive 375 square kilometre sheet of ice. Around 18.30 we enter the realm of the Midnight Sun as we cross the Arctic Circle. Beyond 66º33’ north the sun does not set for at least one day a year. On Tuesday we continue north. Scenic highlights include the foreboding jagged outline of the Devil’s Jaw mountain group.

Day 7

Hiking from Honningsvåg

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    4.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    300m

In Honningsvåg, on the island of Magerøya, we are deep in the Journey to Spitsbergen, the land of reindeer and the Sami people. This is a remote wilderness with a beauty all of its own. (It lays claim to being the most northerly point in mainland Europe… but as it is an island we are not sure how it can be.) We walk north from the port up onto the tundra with lovely views to the south over the village of Nordvågen and the Barents Sea. We normally spot small herds of reindeer and there are wild flowers, creeping birch and willow. 

Day 8

Cruising towards Svalbard

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a day at sea as Black Watch continues its journey north.

Day 9

Exploring Longyearbyen

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 ½ to 4 hours

  • Distance

    6.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    450m

This morning we arrive in Longyearbyen, the outdoor pursuits capital of Svalbard. Our walk takes us up the Plateau Mountain (Platåfjellet) directly from the port, steep at times, but the higher you climb, the better the views get. As there is the option to return the same way, anyone who wants to take it easy can stop or turn back at any time. 

 Whilst in Longyearbyen, there is also the chance to visit the Seed Vault, built to protect millions of food crops from climate change. This evening we cruise into the Temple Fjord to see the Tuna glacier, a wall of ice which plunges into the sea. Close by is the Von Post glacier – where this meets the water is frequented by ring seals, and thus is a place where there is a chance of seeing polar bears.

Day 10

Exploring Pyramiden

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 to 4 hours

  • Distance

    4.5 - 5.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    230m

Pyramiden is a former Russian mining colony, the most northerly point of our cruise. The landscape is bleak, but a few plants manage to find a foothold on the tundra. The bare mountains rise up one side; on the other are desolate beaches. On going ashore we should have time to walk around the village and enter a couple of the buildings. We then meet the local guide (armed with a rifle to ward off polar bears) and walk southwest on the old industrial road. At times the track may be affected by the snow-melt, and you may have to cross some streams if the weather has caused these to swell. As this can change overnight, it is difficult to know how it will be on a given date, and we will take it as it comes on the day. After around 1 ½ miles you swing to the west, and following this route for another mile or so will bring you to a little lake. The landscape is a combination of rivers and open tundra, and you may see the endemic Svalbard reindeer, curious polar foxes as well as seals and walruses by the shoreline. The guide will stop and point out any interesting flora or fauna. If the weather and water allow, you will return to Pyramiden along a different path.


Day 11

Cruising South

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a day at sea as Black Watch heads south once more.

Day 12

Exploring Tromsø

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Tromsø is seen as the gateway to the Arctic, the place where most expeditions to the frozen north start. Weather permitting we plan to start our day here with a cable car ride up Storsteinen mountain, high above the city. Returning down the mountain we look around the Arctic Cathedral, then visit the Polar Museum which is a fascinating place to learn about Polar exploration. It may also be possible to visit the Botanical Gardens, depending on where the Black Watch docks.

Day 13

The Hidden Valley from Bodø

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    Up to 5 hours

  • Distance

    5 to 7.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200m

It’s a shame that we do not visit Bodø more often as it has excellent hiking opportunities. We meet up with local guide Ivar who takes us into the Åsali valley, also known as the Hidden Valley. The valley was carved by glaciers hundreds of thousands of years ago. Today we’ll walk amidst crystal clear mountain lakes and waterfalls surrounded by peaks.


Day 14

Cruising to the Shetland Islands

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We leave Norway behind and have a day at sea to enjoy the comforts of life on board Black Watch.

Day 15

Walking on the Shetland Islands

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2 ½ hours

  • Distance

    3 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    100m

Today we come ashore in the Shetland Islands, the most northerly outpost of the British Isles. A forty five minute drive brings us to St Ninian’s Isle on the South Mainland of Shetland. The island is joined to the ‘mainland’ by a sand causeway ‘tombolo’ and is famous for St Ninian’s Isle Treasure, a hoard of silver discovered during an archaeological dig in 1958 underneath the floor of an early Church. The island boasts marvelous coastal scenery and lots of birds. A local guide takes us around the island telling lots of old stories about shipwrecks and smugglers. After the walk there should be time to explore Lerwick.

Day 16

Sailing to Liverpool

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

We have a final day to enjoy the facilities and food on board Black Watch as well as remembering Norway’s amazing scenery. Make sure you spend plenty of time out on deck as we sail past Scottish coast and islands.

Day 17

Arrive in Liverpool

Meals

Breakfast

We arrive in Liverpool at around 07:00 for disembarkation after breakfast.

From (GBP)£3,099

Departure dates for your selected tour

25th Jun 2020 - 11th Jul 2020 (16 Nights)

Travel Details

For our holidays which sail from the UK, departure ports vary

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each nights' accommodation for each departure date.

Black Watch (Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)

Black Watch is sleek, intimate and harks back to the days when cruise ships were revered for their style and charm. The ultimate home-from-home at sea; Black Watch is spacious with a friendly and familiar feel, and provides guests with a traditional cruise experience. Having undergone a thorough refurbishment in late 2016, Black Watch features a selection of stylish suites and rooms, restaurants and spacious public rooms that provide up to 804 guests with everything needed for a comfortable, enjoyable and stress-free stay on board, while retaining the elegant style of a traditional cruise ship.

Black Watch has several restaurants; welcoming bars and lounges offering an array of music, dance, comedy and entertainment. There are inviting open deck spaces; and a teak-lined promenade. You can soak-up the sunshine at the Marquee Bar; or enjoy the sophistication of a Traditional Afternoon Tea, accompanied by breathtaking views, in the Observatory. To satisfy your caffeine cravings, visit The Bookmark Café for luxurious coffees and indulgent chocolates. In the evening, settle-in amongst the familiar surroundings of the Morning Light Pub; then take in the after-dinner show in the Neptune Lounge. In the Lido Lounge you can simply sit back with a drink in hand, or hit the dance floor! Black Watch also has an upgraded 4K, 3D cinema if you fancy a ‘movie night’.

On board facilities also include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, coffee shop, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a boutique, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board.

All guest cabins are are equipped with climate control, an interactive smart TV, hairdryer, desk, phone, fridge (which can be stocked as a mini-bar) and tea and coffee making facilities as standard. Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade.

Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Black Watch operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board. The voltage on board the Black Watch is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Payment on board is in Sterling, and a credit account system is operated on board allowing purchases to be charged to your account which must be settled at the end of your cruise.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.

Walks & Excursions

The described walks assume that the weather will be good and that the ship will keep to the planned schedule. We may have to change the walks if the ship’s schedule changes or there is poor weather.

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Fred Olsen Paying On Board

The currency on board ship is sterling. A credit account system is operated onboard allowing bar drinks, wine in restaurants, laundry charges, purchases from the shop and any other incidental expenses to be automatically charged to your account. You will be required to register a debit or credit card at check-in against which to charge your onboard account. At the time of writing there is no charge for payment by credit or debit card. Onboard accounts can be settled in cash, however, a debit or credit card must still be registered at check-in to secure the on-board account balance.

The following credit cards are accepted: Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Fred. Olsen also accepts Visa debit cards but is unable to accept American Express, Solo, and Electron, travel agent debit cards or traveller’s cheque cards.

The ship operates a Bureau de Change onboard, where currency can be purchased or sold subject to local currency restrictions. All major currencies are stocked based on the cruise destinations with no commission charge and competitive rates.

Entrance Fees

Whilst sightseeing plays a part in our itinerary, no entrances to museums or monuments are planned, and therefore no entrance fees are included in the price of the holiday.

Currency in Norway

In currency used in Norway is the Norwegian Krone (NOK)

Tipping

Fred. Olsen operates a system whereby the recommended level of gratuities will be automatically added to guests’ onboard accounts at the end of the cruise. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays include the tips for the dining room waiters but £2.50 per guest per day will be added to all onboard accounts for cabin stewards. Anyone wishing to vary the amount given can do so via reception and guests are free to remove the charge from their onboard account and tip the relevant staff in the traditional ‘envelope & cash’ method if they prefer.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Local Guides

To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied in some centres by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.

Your Travel Details

Getting to Liverpool

For all information on how to get to Liverpool by car or public transport please consult www.fredolsencruises.com/cruising-information/departure-port

Embarkation

On arrival at the port you will need to produce both your ticket and a valid passport, so please ensure you have both ready to hand. When checking in you will be issued with your ship’s pass and boarding card. Your ship’s pass acts as your security pass and onboard account card for the full duration of the cruise. Each time you embark or disembark the ship your card will be swiped to record whether you are on board or ashore. In addition, your hand luggage may be subject to either x-ray scanning or a manual search each time you re-join the ship.

Disembarkation

At least 24 hours before the end of your cruise the full disembarkation instructions will be placed inside your cabin. Please ensure you have settled all onboard accounts before leaving the ship.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

Your luggage allowance is 200lbs or 90kg. For safety reasons, each piece of luggage should weigh less than 44lbs or 20kg.

Approximately 10 days prior to departure, we will send you your cruise tickets and luggage labels. 

Please be advised that there are a number of items that are prohibited to be taken on board. To avoid any items being confiscated at check-in, please familiarise yourself with our prohibited items policy at www.fredolsencruises.com and search for ‘prohibited items’.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Fred Olsen Holiday and Passport Info

Please ensure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from the date you return from the cruise and have enough spare pages to accept immigration stamps/visas. Ramblers Walking Holidays will not be held responsible for any guest refused entry to a country/countries for non-compliance with the above, and passage will be refused to any guest at point of embarkation with insufficient passport validity. We would suggest a minimum of four clear pages excluding pages required for any visas you are required to apply for in advance of sailing. It is also a requirement of all immigration authorities that your passport is not damaged in any way or has no missing pages - we strongly recommend you check the condition of your passport prior to travel.

Meals

So, what’s on the menu? One certainty is that no one on board the ship will ever go hungry. All meals are included, and you start the day with breakfast, a buffet arrangement where you can choose from fresh fruits, cereals, yoghurts, a full English breakfast, cheeses, cold cuts, breads, pastries, fresh juices and unlimited tea or coffee.

We’ll take our lunches on board on cruising days and the choice is yours: sample the ample buffet in the restaurant, see what’s on offer in the informal café or choose an alfresco poolside affair. When we’re out for the day we’ll be provided with a packed lunch.

Dinner is a sumptuous five course feast. The choices are many, and the food is excellent. The menus are varied and mouth-watering, freshly cooked by award-winning chefs. Special diets such as fat-free, vegetarian and gluten-free meals can be catered for. Dinner is taken in a stylish restaurant with smiling courteous waiting staff creating a wonderful atmosphere for your evening meal. We are booked for dinner at 6.15pm to allow you plenty of time to also enjoy the evening entertainment if you wish. Wine can be pre-ordered from the Maître’d, over the interactive intranet in your cabin, or at the table.

If this is not enough, there is also morning coffee, afternoon tea and extensive late-night suppers to indulge in! We’ll also have an exclusive drinks party for our group one evening in addition to the Captain’s welcome and farewell parties and a traditional afternoon tea with waiter service on one of our sea days.

Complimentary tea and coffee can be found aboard the ship throughout the day, usually in the informal café. Other drinks must be purchased but the prices are very reasonable. No alcoholic drinks purchased ashore may be taken aboard the ship for consumption during the cruise.

If you have any special dietary requirements such as diabetic, gluten/wheat-free, dairy-free/soya, vegetarian, vegan, or low fat please advise us at the time of booking or no later than 14 weeks prior to departure.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

Footwear As Hand Luggage

We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Cruising Attire

Daywear

Daytime wear is casual with comfortable shoes for walking around deck. A lightweight jacket or coat is recommended for the early evening when the sun sets. You may also like to take a towel and swimwear as Black Watch has two small swimming pools and Jacuzzis. Towels are provided at the poolside should you forget your own. During the day casual wear is allowed in the restaurant but not swimwear.

Evening attire

During your cruise, there will be formal and smart casual evenings. On formal evenings, gentlemen are encouraged to wear ‘black tie’, although a dark suit and tie will suffice, with ladies elegantly dressed in cocktail or evening dress. On smart casual evenings, men can wear open-necked shirts, chinos and dark coloured jeans, and women dress or trousers and a top.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity on Board

The voltage on board is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to your the areas you will be walking in may be brought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Staying Healthy Onboard

Although most cruises experience calm seas, there is always the possibility of heavy weather. It is possible in these circumstances that some clients may be susceptible to sea-sickness. You may wish to consider packing some travel motion sickness medication which can greatly reduce any symptoms. Please liaise with your local pharmacist or doctor for advice regarding particular medication.

Whilst none of the walks is difficult you need to be comfortable walking over uneven and occasionally steep ground to enjoy them to the full.

Network and Centre website at www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, the NHS Fit for Travel website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and the Foreign Office Travel Advice website at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or a local travel health clinic.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

We cannot stress enough the importance of good quality, comprehensive cruise insurance. Insurance is a mandatory requirement for all customers travelling on board. If for any reason you are yet to do so, please contact Ramblers Walking Holidays.

We do not insist that you insure with us, but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance. Your Ramblers Cruise & Walk leader will ask for this information locally and you will not be able to join our walking and activity programme without this information.

Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday. It is vital that you have disclosed all pre-existing medical conditions to your insurer. Please see our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

EHIC Cards

Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance. 

For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.

Safety Onboard

Naturally, the safety and comfort of our guests and crew is always our highest priority. We would therefore like to reassure you that when in certain ‘hot spots’ around the world, additional and robust security measures are put in place. Whereas you will appreciate that we cannot divulge these plans we would like to pre-advise that additional safety drills will take place prior to reaching these waters and it may be necessary to close the portholes of lower deck cabins whilst in areas considered to be at a higher threat level. We thank you in advance for your co-operation and understanding.

Cultural Awareness

Fred Olsen Plastic Policy

The use of single-use plastics on board Fred Olsen ships has been stopped wherever possible, including the banning of plastic straws, cocktail sticks, stirrers, cutlery and take away coffee cups. In addition, their officers and crew always consider how they can reduce the use of plastic further. All waste is collected, sorted and discharged by the ship’s staff following strict environmental regulatory requirements. This waste is subsequently landed ashore to approved recycling and receiving operators. The only waste that is discharged at sea is commuted food waste and wastewater.

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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Useful Information

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Norway

  • Capital

    Oslo

  • Currency

    Norwegian Krone

  • Language

    Norwegian

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00

  • Flight duration

    2.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    -4°C

    Avg. Rain: 97mm

  • February

    -4°C

    Avg. Rain: 75mm

  • March

    -1°C

    Avg. Rain: 79mm

  • April

    3°C

    Avg. Rain: 58mm

  • May

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 60mm

  • June

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 70mm

  • July

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 85mm

  • August

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 98mm

  • September

    9°C

    Avg. Rain: 129mm

  • October

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 138mm

  • November

    0°C

    Avg. Rain: 120mm

  • December

    -3°C

    Avg. Rain: 112mm

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