Fjords/kayaking near bergen, Norway - May 31 - Jun 3, 2019

Traveler: Kenneth S. - Local specialist: Ingrid Thornes

We were disappointed with the service from Kim Kim. The Nærøyfjord fjord itinerary that Ingrid chose for us routed us through the same fjord three times: Flam to Balestrand, then Balestrand to Flam, and then the first hour of the Nærøyfjord “tour” was through the same area for the third time. You called it a tour, but it wasn’t: there was no commentary or information given during the Nærøyfjord trip. On the Norled boats between Flam and Balestrand, there were announcements about towns we were passing, and they steered the boat close to various waterfalls along the way so we could get a view. On the Nærøyfjord boat there was nothing like that- we just passed scenery we had already seen (twice), then went around the corner, then got dropped off.

Then came the stop in Gudvangen. In the itinerary it says, “Map of bus stop will be provided,” but you did not provide a map. The instructions said to catch the NX450 bus and pay the driver. There was a sign near the boat dock that said “public buses,” but a man in the ticket office said we needed to go to the main road. In the pouring rain, I went to the bus stop on the street, but it didn’t have the Skyss logo or the NX450 schedule on it, so I walked back to the dock area. Worried that we would miss the bus on the main road if it came by, we took our bags to the road, in the rain. Then the bus came, and many people had advance tickets and got on (why didn’t you book us advance tickets?). The bus driver told us the bus was full, so we dragged our bags back to the dock area- still in the rain- and waited there. The next bus came well before its departure time, so we were able to talk to the driver. We finally knew for certain when we would be leaving, so we could relax and have some dinner.

When I mentioned this to Ingrid, she said, "I was honestly not aware that there would be a chance that it would be fully booked on the bus. " Of course there's a chance: if enough people show up.

The whole reason we booked through your service was because we didn’t want to book things ourselves and end up standing in the rain, not knowing where to go next. And yet, that’s exactly where we found ourselves, after paying Kim Kim a large sum of money. It was frustrating to go through that, when it could have been avoided through advance bus tickets or putting us on different transport.

We have a note for you regarding the Gone Paddling tour in Balestrand, as well. The weather was predicted to be rainy and cold the morning of our kayaking trip, and I called them about switching to their 3pm tour, but it wasn’t running that day. We went ahead and took the morning tour, and Gone Paddling had dry suits for protection against the rain. However, they didn’t offer any sort of gloves or headwear, like a hat or hood. You didn’t mention that we should bring a hood and gloves, and neither does their website. The dry suit kept us dry at first, but as we continued paddling in the rain, my wife in particular got very cold and needed to return to shore. I recommend mentioning to future clients that they need to bring their own gear in case of rain, besides the dry suit, and we’ve mentioned it to Gone Paddling, too.

Overall, we booked with you to make the logistics of our trip go smoothly. In the end, there were more bumps than we expected.

Ingrid Thornes profile photo
Ingrid Thornes, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Kenneth,

I am sorry that parts of the the Norway experience was not quite you expected. Since you specifically wanted to go to Nærøyfjord, we planned it in the only way that was possible, and unfortunately the experience was also shortened and this did not allow for us to take you via another route out!

The weather did not help as well, and I can understand the difficulty you must have faced going to and forth to get to the bus, which unfortunately was full. We can assure you that... read more

Dear Kenneth,

I am sorry that parts of the the Norway experience was not quite you expected. Since you specifically wanted to go to Nærøyfjord, we planned it in the only way that was possible, and unfortunately the experience was also shortened and this did not allow for us to take you via another route out!

The weather did not help as well, and I can understand the difficulty you must have faced going to and forth to get to the bus, which unfortunately was full. We can assure you that this was not intentional, and we have never faced a full bus situation before, so this is quite unusual and unexpected. We have certainly learned from this!

Sorry that the Voss to Bergen train journey did not impress either, this is usually considered a particular spectacular train journey in Norway.

Regardless, I sincerly apologise for any failures on my part, and would like to assure you that this is not intentional.

I also thank you for making the effort to pen down some constructive criticism, which I really value, and will help make each trip that I support better in the future.

Take care and I wish you all the best!
Ingrid