Destination Immersion Blog

The home of insider destination info, travel tips and things Azamara

Flam, Norway: More Than Just a Railway Stop

If you’ve been to Flam, Norway, it was probably a quick visit during a railway trip or group tour. I’d been twice before, without ever taking the time to explore much of Flam outside of the most touristy areas near the port and train station. I made my third visit to Flam with the Azamara Quest, and this time I went deeper with one of Azamara’s Insider Access excursions. I can now say that Flam is more than a stop on a railway. There are people and there is life…and amazing views too!

Flam, Norway with Azamara Club Cruises.

Most guests from the ship went on the Flam Railway tour and rightfully so – if you haven’t been, it is fantastic. Meanwhile, myself and five other intrepid cruisers went on the Insider Access tour that took us to two local farms.

The first farm was called Li Farm. A lovely woman who was actually born at the farm ran it. We toured around the farm and she basically showed us how she lives and what types of things she does, and she talked about the town itself. The weather wasn’t great, so we went inside and had coffee and snacks. That was my favorite part because it gave us the chance to get to know her a bit and hear about what it’s like to live in such a remote place.

Visiting a farm in Flan, Norway.

While I fully admit that I won’t be moving to Flam anytime soon, I was fascinated by her story and how the town has changed over the decades she’s lived here. Luckily, she has an awesome dog that follows her everywhere. Just don’t take her seat in the tractor – she gets feisty about stuff like that!

A farm visit in Flam, Norway.

Next we went over to Otternes where it was some of the most picturesque scenery in Flam. This was easily the highlight for me of the tour.

Flam, Norway

 

Flam, Norway

The farm itself was like a 150-year history of Flam and it is still in pretty good shape. It really gives you a feel of what it was like her a century ago. Not too much has changed!

The views from Otternes were outstanding and again, the scenery around the farm was excellent. Almost as excellent as the massive Norwegian meal we had. After the feast, dessert, beer and everything else; I may have to add Norway to my 30 best countries for food list!

Delicious Norwegian dessert.

The owner of Otternes was a very nice and genuine person and we all enjoyed her hospitality and company and I definitely recommend heading up for a visit if you’re in Flam. Flam is more than a railway after all!

Azamara Club Cruises has two upcoming voyages calling on Flam, in 2016 and 2017.

Norway’s Most Beautiful City

Bergen, Norway is the gateway to the fjords and probably the most beautiful city in Norway. It rains some 250 days a year and is very expensive. The people are nice, the food is good and there’s a lot to see and do. There’s nothing stressful or outlandish about Bergen itself at all. So after three visits, I was thinking ‘why do I like Bergen so much?’ The answer is Bergen, Norway is simply a nice place.

Bergen, Norway

I first came to Bergen 10 years ago, and I liked it even though it rained the entire time. I returned in 2012 and the weather was pretty nice and I remember thinking I liked Bergen and the whole Norway in a Nutshell tour again. Now, after just visiting for the 3rd time and it raining or at least being cloudy the majority of the day I can plainly say I like it again.  

I arrived in Bergen onboard the Azamara Quest, after four unique days in Edinburgh. I wasn’t too keen on doing too much in Bergen in the rain as I had pretty much seen and done it all in the past, but I signed up to hike to the top of Mount Floyen. I wanted the exercise and the photo opportunity.

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Great Scots – Cruising to Scotland with Azamara

Note: This is a special feature post by Carrie Finley-Bajak of CruiseBuzz.net

I can say that I have achieved my goal to really discover what it means to travel deeper, a brand promise from Azamara Club Cruises.

Like so many Americans who have immigrant roots, I set out on a mission to learn more about my heritage, which includes some DNA that can be traced to Scotland.

Cruising to Scotland with Azamara Club Cruises

My mission was to learn more about my clan (the Finley’s come from Clan Farquharson from the Scottish Highlands). With seven days of cruising around Scotland, I was confident that at the completion of the cruise, I would have a greater understanding of the region thanks to the long stays in port offered by Azamara.

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Travel and Golf: Attending The Open with Azamara

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On Saturday, I boarded the Azamara Quest for the 3rd time in 2 years and I have to admit it feels like home!  All the familiar faces make it easy to feel that way and I was particularly excited for this cruise to begin as the first activity was the Open Championship at St. Andrews.

This year’s Open Championship, or the British Open, was being contested, as it is every 5 years, at the Old Course at St. Andrews-the home of golf.  I was fortunate to play there last year and it was simply put-amazing!

The Open at St Andrew's with Azamara Club Cruises

The Open at St Andrew’s

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Castles, Clans & Lochs in Scotland’s Hebrides

Note: This is a special feature post by Carrie Finley-Bajak of CruiseBuzz.net

The Azamara Quest spent two glorious days calling on the Inner and Outer Hebrides. For those that might have to get out the map, it means that we are located in an archipelago off the West coast of mainland Scotland.

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Part of the appeal of these port calls to Portree on the Isle of Skye, and Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, is learning about history and culture. The Hebrides were first settled around 6500 BC and reminders from the Celtic and Norse eras are evident in the language, architecture, and music.

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