Riding the rails in Norway on a cruise excursion gone wrong

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Baby boomers, don’t you hate it when something goes wrong during your travels? When Alan and I signed up for a “ride the Flam Railway” excursion on our Regent cruise through Norway, we expected spectacular scenery filled with sunshine, wildflowers and waterfalls. What we got was clouds, rain and a never-ending excursion.

Tvindefossen Waterfall
Tvindefossen Waterfall

Since Regent doesn’t control the weather, we couldn’t hold the cruise line responsible for the misty clouds and rain that greeted us in Gudvangen. And, the ride was scenic enough as our bus drove the twisty “King’s Road” to Voss, stopping by the thunderous Tvindefossen water fall on the way. But, on our too-long visit to the Folkemuseum, passengers began to sense that something was wrong.

Flam Norway
Rainy Flam

During lunch at the Park Hotel in Voss, we learned the bad news. Our train ride back to the ship was delayed by two-and-a-half hours. Why? The much larger Costa ship, in port with our ship at Flam, had taken all of the earlier train tickets. We had no choice but to walk the streets of Voss in the rain or wait it out in the Park Hotel lobby.

By the time we boarded the train to Myrdal, passengers were wet and grouchy. At Myrdal,we huddled under the station eaves as the rain poured before boarding the famous Flam Railway. Once on board, a narrative, announced over the loudspeaker, explained what we couldn’t see due to clouds and rain. At a scenic stop, we dutifully tromped off the car to a viewing platform for a waterfall photo opp that wasn’t. Arriving in Flam, passengers rushed back to the ship for a very late dinner. Our 6-hour jaunt had turned into a 10-hour ordeal.

Flam Railway Station
Flam Railway Station

The next morning, we received a substantial credit for the botched excursion. The moral of my story? A service-oriented cruise line takes responsibility when things go wrong. Regent did right by us.

Next time, we’ll stay on the ship for the cruise up the dramatic fjord from Gudvangen to Flam. Then, we’ll take one of the hiking excursions that ends with a ride back to the ship on the Flam Railway. This time, we’d like a little sunshine, please.

Have you experienced a Norway cruise excursion gone wrong? Did your cruise line make it right? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email to ask a question or share your experience.

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