Reporting from Norway

Added 05 Feb 2013

We all met at Heathrow's Terminal Three this morning and checked in with Scandinavian Airlines for our flight via Oslo to Bergen, Norway. Scandinavian Airlines were great, as usual. The check-in was fast and efficient, and we were pre-seated pretty much as requested in advance - something which most airlines find hard to achieve now. The flight left Heathrow a bit late but we made up time on route to Oslo. On our approach to Oslo airport it was obvious that it had been snowing and it appeared as if we were landing on a snow field! The Norwegian's are used to snow, however, so we glided in and taxied to the terminal without any problems. Disembarking the aircraft we headed through passport control, along a long corridor and down a long escalator to the baggage hall. Bags were out in no time and we have to pick them up, clear customs and take the lifts upstairs to the bag drop counter. It sounds complicated but actually works quite well. Then we head through security control and go to the domestic departure gate for our short flight to Bergen. In the meantime it has been snowing a bit more so once the aircraft heads for the runway, we must first stop at the de-icing service! It's here that huge trucks with fire-fighting hoses spray hot de-icer on our aircraft wings. It's quite fun to watch whle sitting inside the aircraft, and many of us take photos! After this short spraying service we take off and within  45 minutes we're landing at Bergen. The approach to Bergen airport is beautiful. We fly between mountains and overlook ice covered fjords and small islands. After landing all we need to do is pick up luggage and head for our waiting luxury coach transport. In no time at all we're arriving at the Hurtigruten ship terminal. Richard and Dawn pick up our cabin key cards and we listen to a welcome and safety briefing before embarking MS FINNMARKEN, our comfortable Norwegian coastal voyage ship. Everyone gets settled in and we're soon enjoying the famous dinner buffet. We set sail around 10.30pm and head to our cabins ready for the adventure ahead! Bon voyage.