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Is any one going on  R802 on Aurora on March 9 Th  March2018? What do you think about the prices of the shore excursions?.Very expensive i would say .We would also like some advice on what to wear ,just how cold will it be ? we know it will be cold but would it be a good idea to take walking boots for when we go of the boat .How much snow would we expect?

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All excursions are expensive in Norway whenever you cruise due to the high costs of wages and entrance prices as everything in Norway is very expensive. With regards walking boots you will want at least walking shoes with good grip but better with boots. Once we got to Tromso there was plenty of snow and the actual town was very icy and Alta there was plenty of snow and when we awoke on the morning in Alta Oriana top deck was covered in snow and a lot of the staff who had never seen snow before were having snowball fights and building a snowman. Warm clothing will be needed especially Tromso and Alta and on our "In search of the Northern Lights" excursion at night in Alta the temperature dropped to -26C.

Edited by sinbad10
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I did a trip with Hurtigruten in January last year and whilst it was down to minus 22c for some reason it did not feel that cold. I was told the reason is the air in extreme cold does not get damp, bit like humidity in reverse. I took thermal underwear and concentrated on thin layers of clothing with a lined waterproof coat on top. I used waterproof shoes with a ribbed sole and these worked well. When we went out on trips such as fishing for King Crab, travelling on snow bikes and Husky drawn sledges suitable clothing was provided. Riding across the frozen Arctic is a memory never forgotten.

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On 8/22/2017 at 1:48 PM, fuzzyimage44 said:

Is any one going on  R802 on Aurora on March 9 Th  March2018? What do you think about the prices of the shore excursions?.Very expensive i would say .We would also like some advice on what to wear ,just how cold will it be ? we know it will be cold but would it be a good idea to take walking boots for when we go of the boat .How much snow would we expect?

I am on this cruise and the tours are indeed very expensive. I have bought some thermals and will be layering up. Not got shoes/boots yet but have purchased two walking poles to try and keep me keep me upright!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, 

We did this cruise in Feb 2016 and trust me, if you want to make sure you don't waste your money take suitable clothing. We invested in proper Arctic wind proof coats, trousers, mitts and hats plus boots that were thermal up to -45 and when we were stood out for over four hours waiting and watching the lights they were worth every penny. There were many individuals who paid for the trip and had to go back to the ship as they were so cold and missed everything. A knitted hat and the sort of coats we get away with here are no good up there. When we were in Tromso a girl was literally in tears on the shuttle bus because she was so cold, she was also dressed inappropriately with jeans, fashion boots and just a Kagoole type jacket and scarf. 

We went on the husky sledge trip and enjoyed every minute but when we got back to the base for refreshments people were complaining that it was too cold for that sort of excursion! 

It was a memorable cruise and yes the trips are expensive but we enjoyed them as when ever we left the ship we were totally unaffected by the temperatures.

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  • 4 months later...

Northern Lights watching - things I wish I had known before I went!

The last couple of weeks on Oriana were possibly the most amazing experience I have ever had but I do wish we had been briefed beforehand on certain things - such as how to photograph the lights if they appear, so I thought I would list the major points that we were told (or learned the hard way!). It didn't help either that the on-board photographers told us one thing and the local specialist another! 

First it will be COLD with a capital C! OK, we knew this and were dressed appropriately! Some were not!! Hazel has already posted somewhere on how to dress - in layers - so I won't repeat that bit except to say the silk liner gloves were essential kit! 

What none said before hand is that point and shoot cameras are very unlikely to work. I use an DSLR so that did not affect me but a huge majority of passengers only had a simple camera that could not be set to manual. You really need to be able to do this, or have another way of doing long exposures of not less that 15 seconds and often up to 10 minutes. For this reason video cameras will NOT work either! 

The settings we were told we needed were
Use a tripod
Use as wide an angle lens as possible.
Switch to manual setting
Take off all filters including UV and Skylight - they reduce the light hitting the lens
Switch off vibration/shake reduction if available
Use an ISO of 400 (according to the onboard photographers) or 500 + (according to the local experts)
Set camera to as large an aperture as available 
Set to bulb and experiment but you need exposures of at least 15 secs up to around to 10 mins
Set to daylight setting NOT fluorescent or artificial light or the colours won't be true
Use lens hood to keep frost/snow/ice off lens
Pre-focus to infinity or on a tree etc
Take spare batteries and keep in thermal sock close to body

And lastly - DON'T PANIC if/when the digital screen stops working! This happened to me and I thought the camera was broken but kept taking anyway. The screen came back on when it warmed up. 
Also - acclimatise the equipment. One of the onboard photographers cracked a £600 lens

And finally - enjoy the Lights - don't watch all of them through a camera.
Sharonp
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As suggested by Sharon, here are my tips as given to Fred Olsen passengers last March!

It is much better to wear a number of thin layers than just a few thick ones. The air trapped in between thin layers warms to your body’s temperature and acts as valuable insulation. 
Make sure your clothes fit well and that some of your layers are of differing sizes so that you can still move comfortably….have a trial run before you go.
If you are travelling in a heated coach for an hour, you don’t want all your clothes on…but how easy will it be to add the final layers, in a coach in the dark?

In cold conditions, it’s better to wear wool, silk or synthetic polypropylene next to your skin. 
Avoid cotton: if you sweat (as well you might dressed like this on a heated coach), cotton gets cold and clammy, and doesn’t dry out easily.

On top of your base layer, you’ll need to wear at least two or three additional layers, which should be made of fleece or wool. 

Remember this applies to your legs too – its easy to add layers to our top halves but legs are not so simple

Once dressed….ladies should say to their husbands “Does my bum look big in this?” if he says no – which of course you have trained him to do – then maybe you don’t have enough clothes on!!!!

It’s a good idea to wear two pairs of gloves – one thick pair of mitts (mitts that don’t separate the fingers keep your hands warmer) and a thin pair of gloves underneath that allow you the use of your fingers when you need to do something fiddly, like make camera adjustments

You’ll need proper winter boots with good grip for walking on snow and ice…. And socks of wool…..not cotton

Take a woollen or fleece hat which covers the ears, as well as something to cover mouth, nose and cheeks. Noses and cheeks are especially prone to frostbite, and should be kept covered whenever possible – skin can freeze in minutes in very cold weather.
If you do need the toilet – remember that you are wearing multiple layers and it could take some time!! Remember the advice your mother used to give you – go before you leave!!
You don’t want to spend too long standing in a queue whilst a dozen ladies before you take 10 minutes each to do what is needed.
Hazel

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A Meet & Greet meeting has been arranged for Saturday 10th March in Andersons between 10-30 and 12-00 everyone is welcome and some senior officers will be present as well. Understand that up to 75 have indicated that they will be coming. This has been arranged through another forum/FB but if anyone is interested you are welcome to come along, it's always good to be able to be able to chat to fellow passengers during cruise

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1 hour ago, june63 said:

A Meet & Greet meeting has been arranged for Saturday 10th March in Andersons between 10-30 and 12-00 everyone is welcome and some senior officers will be present as well. Understand that up to 75 have indicated that they will be coming. This has been arranged through another forum/FB but if anyone is interested you are welcome to come along, it's always good to be able to be able to chat to fellow passengers during cruise

Thanks for this post June63 - I will aim to join you all.

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On 2/16/2018 at 5:52 PM, Gill57 said:

Thanks for this post June63 - I will aim to join you all.

You will be most welcome. This is a nice webcam to view during their daylight hours, it is showing lost of snow and the forecast is for more to come this week and the other one is the current weather

http://portalta.borealiswebcam360.com/

https://www.wunderground.com/weather/no/alta

This is the site used by others  https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2333681&page=19

 

Edited by june63
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