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9 DAY NORTHERN EUROPEAN CRUISE

Mardi Gras

Departure date: 31.08.2020
Sailing duration, days: 9
Cruise heading: EUROPE
  • Photos
Day Date Port, Country Arrival Departure
1 day 31.08.2020 Monday 18:00
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COPENHAGEN

The city of the Little Mermaid is the capital of the oldest kingdom in the world. Its busy port demonstrates the efficiency and industriousness of the Danish people.

The Little Mermaid, the Town Hall, Amalienborg, the Christiansborg Palace and Nyhavn, and the canal with all its bistros are all stops on a tour around the city in discovery of Copenhagen's most symbolic landmarks. From the sea the Danish capital is even more beautiful, and a trip around the ancient harbor reveals the true heart of the city. For those who like fairytales and Shakespeare a trip to the northern castles is an absolute must.

General administration of the port Copenhagen :
Containervej 9, P.O.Box 900, Copenhagen K DK-2100, Denmark
tel.: (+45) 354-611-11; fax: (+45) 354-611-64

General administration of the port Tuborg:
Valby Langgade 1, Valby 2500, Denmark
tel.: (+ 45) 332-745-73

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DENMARK

General information

Capital: Copenhagen
Government: Constitutional monarchy
Currency: Danish krone (DKK)
Area: 43,094 sq km; note: excludes the Faroe Islands and Greenland
Population: 5,475,791 (January 2008 est.)
Language: Danish
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran 82%, Non-religious 13%, other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3%, Muslim 2%
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)
Country code: +45
Internet TLD: .dk
Time Zone: UTC+1

Denmark is a country in Scandinavia. The main part of it is Jutland, a peninsula north of Germany, but also with a number of islands, including the two major ones, Zealand and Funen, in Østersøen Sea between Jutland and Sweden. Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the general political and economic integration of Europe. However, the country has opted out of European Union's Maastricht Treaty, the European monetary system (EMU), and issues concerning certain internal affairs.

Denmark is also the birthplace of one of the world's most popular toys, Lego. There is no other better place in the world where one can buy Lego bricks than at the Legoland theme park in Billund.

These days the Danish Vikings have parked their ships in the garage, and put the helmets on the shelves, and along with the other Scandinavian nations, have forged a society that is often seen as a benchmark of civilization; with progressive social policies, a commitment to free speech so strong it put the country at odds with much of the world during the 2006 cartoon crisis, a liberal social-welfare system and, according to The Economist, one the most commercially competitive. Top it off with a rich, well-preserved cultural heritage, and the Danes legendary sense of design and architecture, and you have one intriguing holiday destination.

Terrain

Denmark is home to the 'lowest-highest' point in Europe; but what that exactly entails is somewhat uncertain. Ejer Baunehøj, in the Lake District region south-west of Aarhus, seems to be the highest natural point (171m with a large tower built on top to commemorate the fact), although Yding Skovhøj, some 3km away stands 2m higher owing to an ancient burial mound. Either way, the 213m tall Søsterhøj Transmission Tower (1956), with its top 315m above sea level is technically the highest point in Denmark! --50.200.4.194 11:06, 3 April 2013 (EDT)WillSelton

Culture

Sports are popular in Denmark, with football reigning supreme in popularity and counted as the national sport, followed by Gymnastics, Handball and Golf.

Another trait of Danish culture as any tourist pamphlet will tell you, is "Hygge", translating into cosy or snug. Danes will be quick to point out that this is a unique Danish concept. However true, it does take a more prominent place in the culture compared to other countries. Hygge usually involves low key dinners at home with long conversations over candlelight and red wine in the company of friends and family, but the word is broadly used for social interactions.

Another important aspect of Danish culture, is understatement and modesty, which is not only prominent in the Danish behavioural patterns. It is also very much an important trait in the famous Danish design, which dictates strict minimalism and functionalism over flashiness.

The Danes are a fiercely patriotic bunch, but in a sly, low-key kind of way. They will warmly welcome visitors and show off the country, which they are rightly proud of, but any criticism - however constructive - will not be taken lightly. However, most Danes will happily spend hours to prove you wrong over a Carlsberg beer without becoming hostile. For the same reasons, outsiders on long term stays can be viewed with a certain amount of suspicion, as the homogeneous society is often thought to be the key to Denmark's successes. You will often hear resident foreigners complain about a constant pressure to become ever more Danish and the anti-immigrant Danish Peoples Party have seen increasing popularity over the years, taking 13% of the votes at the latest election which makes it Denmark's 3rd largest political party.

Environment

Denmark is often praised as being one of the greenest countries in the world but apart from the ubiquitous bikes, the individual Danes are surprisingly nonchalant about the environment despite their reputation. As with so many other things, environmentalism is viewed as a collective responsibility. The Social Democratic leadership enacted a series of reforms, mainly green taxation, between 1993-2001, that made Danish society as a whole (especially in industrial production) one of the most energy efficient in the world. As it turned out, it was also good business and green technology has become of the country's largest exports. Examples being thermostats, wind turbines and home insulation. Because of this, green policies enjoy unusually broad support among the people and the entire political spectrum. 20% of energy productions come from renewable energy, mainly wind power. This is made possible by the common Nordic energy market and the massive hydro energy resources in Norway and Sweden, which can easily be regulated up and down to balance the unreliable wind production.

All these green visions do have a few tangible implications for travelers:

  • Plastic bags cost money; DKK 1-5 - non refundable, so bring a bag for shopping groceries.
  • Cans and bottles have DKK 1-3 deposit, refundable everywhere that sells the given product.
  • Many toilets have half and full flush buttons, now - you figure out when to use which.
  • There is a roughly 100% (DKK 4) tax on gasoline, the total price usually hovers between DKK 10-12 per litre. ($7-8 per gallon. Be aware, though, that due to the current oil-crisis, the total price is now hovering between DKK 11-13 per litre.
  • In many counties you need to sort your waste in two separate 'biological' and 'burnable' containers.

Stay safe

Generally: Denmark is a country with almost no risk of natural disasters or animal attacks (there is one rare poisonous snake, the European viper (Hugorm), as well as the fish called "Fj?sing", but its bite is not generally lethal. Its bite, however, is strong enough to be lethal to children and the elderly, so medical treatment is always encouraged). Compared to most other European countries crime is very high. Denmark has the highest number of buglaries of any EU country (7 times the German rate). The number of robberys is second only to Montenegro. So even though having an image as very safe this actually not the case.

On foot in cities Danes drive by the rules, and they have every expectation that pedestrians do the same. Therefore, it is important to obey Walk/Don't Walk signals and avoid jaywalking in cities, simply because cars will not slow down since you're not supposed to be there. Also, take good notice of the dedicated bike lanes when crossing any street to avoid dangerous situations as bikers tend to ride fast and have right of way on these lanes.

On the beach: Don't bathe alone. Don't get too far away from land. Swim along the coast rather than away from it. In some areas undertow is a danger, and kills a number of tourists every year, but will mostly be signed at the beach. On many beaches, flags inform of water quality. A blue flag means excellent water quality, green flag means good water quality, red flag means that bathing is not advised. A sign with the text "Badning forbudt" means that bathing is forbidden. Obey these signs, as it often means that the water is polluted with poisonous algae, bacteria, or chemicals, or that there is a dangerous undertow.

In the city: A few districts in major cities are probably best avoided at night by the unwary - but reverse of the trends in North America, it is often the ghettos in the suburbs that are unsafe, rather than the downtown areas.

In an emergency dial 112 (medical help/fire brigade/police). This is toll free, and will work even from cell phones even if they have no SIM card. For the police in not-emergencies call 114.

Stay healthy

Health services in Denmark are of a high standard, although waiting times at emergency rooms can be quite long for non emergencies, since visitors are prioritized according to their situation. Except for surgical procedures there is no private healthcare system to speak of, all is taken care of by the public healthcare system and general practitioners. All visitors are provided with free emergency care, until you are deemed healthy enough to be transported back to your home country. Citizens from EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and certain British dependencies are all entitled to additional basic medical services during their stay, other nationalities should have a valid travel insurance for transportation home and any additional medical care needed after any emergency is dealt with, as this is not provided free of charge. As in the rest of the country, English speakers should not have any trouble communicating with staff in English.

One thing worth noting for several nationalities, is that Danish doctors don't strew out prescriptions or pills out at the rate common in North America, Japan and Southern Europe. There is a general trend of letting the body's own immune system take care of diseases, rather than using medicines. So if you show up at the local GP with minor illnesses like the common flu, expect to be send back to your bed to rest, rather than receiving any treatment, if you are otherwise of good health. Pharmacies (Danish: Apotek) are usually well stocked, but brand names may differ from those in your own country. Staff is highly trained, and major cities usually have one 24 hour pharmacy. Many drugs that are prescription-free in other countries, require prescription in Denmark, which is not trivial to get (see above), and medicines available in supermarkets and drug stores are very limited; i.e. allergy drugs and light painkillers; Paracetamol based (Panodil, Pamol & Pinex), acetylsalicylic based (Treo, Kodimagnyl & Aspirin) and Ibuprofen based (Ipren)

Dentists are only partly covered by the public healthcare system, and everyone, including Danes pay to visit their dentist. Danes and other Nordic citizens have some of the expenses covered by the public healthcare system, while non Scandinavian visitors, should generally be prepared to foot the entire bill themselves, or forward the expenses to their insurance company. Prices are notoriously high compared to the neighbouring countries, so unless it is urgent to see a dentist, it will probably be more economical to wait until you return home, or pass into Germany or Sweden.

Tap water is potable unless indicated. The regulations for tap water in Denmark even exceeds that of bottled water in general, so don't be offended if you notice a waiter filling a can of water at the sink. Restaurants and other places selling food are visited regularly by health inspectors and are awarded points on a 1-4 "smiley scale". [85] The ratings must be prominently displayed, so look out for the happy face when in doubt. While pollution in the major cities can be annoying it doesn't pose any risk to non-residents. Nearly all beaches are fine for bathing - even parts of the Copenhagen harbour recently opened for bathing (read the Stay safe section).

Smoking

As of 15 August 2007 it is not legal to smoke in any indoor public space in Denmark. This includes government buildings with public access (hospitals, universities, etc), all restaurants and bars larger than 40 sq m and all public transport. Also be aware that you have to be at least 18 years old to buy cigarettes in Denmark.

Respect

In a country which has no direct equivalent to please in their vernacular, where the local version of Mr. and Ms. has all but disappeared from common usage, and where the people can hardly muster a sorry if they bump into you on the streets, you could be forgiven to think they are the rudest people on earth, and you can get away with pretty much anything. You'd be wrong. Most of the behaviour many tourists consider appalling can be attributed to either the Danes' blatant - and when you get to understand it, quite sympathetic - disregard for formality, or their unfortunate shyness (see drink section), and there are rules to the madness, way too complex to get into here, but some of the most important ones can be summed up as follows:

  • Though officially Lutheran, Denmark is largely agnostic. Pictured: Osterlars Church, Bornholm
  • It is generally not considered impolite to omit verbal formalities common in other cultures, such as generic compliments or courteous bromides. Likewise, Danes almost never use Sir or Madame to address each other, as it is perceived as distancing oneself. On the contrary, addressing (even a stranger) by first name is considered a friendly gesture.
  • Be punctual, few things can make the Danes more annoyed than showing up later, even by a few minutes, than the agreed time, save social gatherings at people's homes, where the requirement for punctuality is much more relaxed.
  • If there are free seats on a bus or train, it's not customary to seat yourself next to strangers if you can avoid it. It is also a nice gesture to offer your seat for the elderly and the disabled. In many busses, the front seats are usually reserved for them.
  • Be aware that there are marked "quiet zones" on each train: one in the back of the back wagon and one in the front of the front wagon. Don?t talk on the phone there. In fact, don't talk at all. These are for people who want a quiet trip, usually people who need to go far, and may want to sleep, read, or work on their laptop or other things in peace.
  • Danes try to abridge differences between social classes. Modesty is a virtue - bragging, or showing off wealth, is considered rude, as is loud and passionate behaviour. Economic matters are private - don't ask Danes questions like how much they earn or what their car costs. As in Germany, Britain, and the rest of the Nordic countries, weather is a good conversation topic.
  • Greetings between people who know each other (e.g. are good friends, close relatives, etc.) are often in the form of a careful hug. It is rare to see a peck on the cheek as a form of greeting, and it might be taken as way too personal. A handshake is customary for everyone else, including people you aren't close to and people you are being introduced to.
  • When invited by a Dane - to visit their home, join them at their table or engage in an activity - don't hesitate to accept the invitation. Danes generally don't strew invitations out of politeness, and only say it if they mean it. The same goes for compliments. Bring a small gift; chocolate, flowers or wine are the most common, and remember despite their disregard for formality, to practice good table manners while at restaurants or in people's homes.
  • Even though 82% of the population is officially Lutheran, Denmark is by and large an agnostic country. Investigations into people's faith are largely unwelcome, and outside places of worship, displays of your faith should be kept private. Saying grace for example, is likely to be met with bewilderment and silence. Religious attire such as Muslim headscarfs, kippahs or even t-shirts with religious slogans, will - while tolerated - also make many Danes feel uncomfortable. If someone sneezes do not say "Bless you" under any circumstances, instead say "Prosit" or "Gesundheit" ("Prosit" is higly recommended since it's the danish way of saying it) However, words like "Oh my god" are welcome. Going to church is highly unpopular, most parents dislike it as much as their offspring.
  • If in Denmark on business, it's important to note that family nearly without exception takes priority over work. So don't be surprised if Danes excuse themselves from even the most important of meetings by 4PM to pick up kids, a burden equally shared between the sexes.

Emergency services

Police, Fire and Ambulance - 112
Road assistance (in Copenhagen) - 31 (or 142-222)
2 day 01.09.2020 Tuesday 8:00 18:00
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KIEL (HAMBURG), GERMANY
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3 day 02.09.2020 Wednesday
FUN DAY AT SEA
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4 day 03.09.2020 Thursday 8:00 18:00
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GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN
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5 day 04.09.2020 Friday 8:00 18:00
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OSLO

Take in a breath of clear, fresh air when your Carnival® cruise to Oslo, Norway, pulls in from the Baltic Sea. Oslo is a buzzing cosmopolitan capital perched on the edge of the world’s most dramatic landscapes—Norway’s snow-capped mountains, gushing rivers, and lush fjords. Explore the streets of this style-conscious city, you’ll easily find centuries-old churches and renowned museums on cruises to Oslo.

Spot the Opera House, resembling a glacier creeping into the fjord.

Central administration of the port Oslo:
P.O.Box. 230 Sentrum, Oslo N-0103, Norway
tel.: (+47-23) 492-600; fax: (+47-23) 492-601

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NORWAY

General information

Capital: Oslo
Government: Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
Currency: Kroner (NOK)
Area total: 323,802 km2
water: 19,520 km2
land: 304,282 km2
Population: 5,063,709 (April 2013)
Language: Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk) and Saami
Religion: No official religion
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)
Country code: +47
Internet TLD: .no
Time Zone: UTC +1 (CET)

Norway (Norge) is the westernmost, northernmost — and in fact the easternmost — of the three Scandinavian countries. Best known for the complex and deep fjords along its west coast which stretches from the North Sea near Denmark and Scotland into the Arctic Ocean and has borders with Finland, Sweden and the northwestern tip of Russia.

History

The petty Viking kingdoms of Norway were unified in 872 AD by Harald Fairhair. In the following period, Norwegians settled in many places, such as Iceland, the Faroe Islands and parts of Scotland and Ireland, where they founded Dublin. In the beginning of the 14th century, Norway and Sweden were unified as the Norwegian king was also elected king of Sweden. At the end of the century, the two countries and Denmark were unified in the so-called Kalmar Union.

Sweden broke out of the union in 1521. Norway remained in union with Denmark until 1814. Only a few months after the declaration of independence, Norway entered into union with Sweden, though it must be noted that this union with Sweden allowed Norway to keep a great deal of independence.

The union with Sweden lasted until 1905, which is considered the beginning of modern Norway. From 1940 until 1945, Norway was occupied by Nazi forces.

Geography

Norway is on a large peninsula shared with Sweden in the north of Europe. In the north, it also borders Finland and Russia.

Norway is well known for its amazing and varied scenery. The fjords in the west of the country are long narrow inlets, flanked on either side by tall mountains where the sea penetrates far inland. The vast majority of the land is a rocky wilderness, and thus Norway has large, completely unpopulated areas, many of which have been converted to national parks. Even outside the national parks, much of the land is unspoiled nature.

A rugged landscape shaped by the Ice Age, shows forested hills and valleys, mountains, waterfalls, and a long coastline with fjords, islands, and mountains growing directly up from the sea. Norway's highest point is Galdhøpiggen, 2,469 m (8,100 ft) in the Jotunheimen region that lies midway between Oslo and Trondheim, but away from the coast. In the far north (Finnmark), you will find flatter open spaces. Several of the worlds greatest waterfalls are in Norway, particularly in the western fjords and the mountain region.

People

Norway is one of Europe's most sparsely populated countries. With a population of only 5 million people and a land area of 385,802 km2, the population density is only 16 inhabitants per km2. Most of the population are Norwegians. The indigenous Sami people traditionally inhabit the northern part of Norway, that along with parts of Sweden, Finland and Russia outlines an area known as Sapmi (or Sameland). Other recognized minorities are the Kven people, Jews, Forest Finns, and Norwegian Romani Travellers. In recent years, immigration, in particular from the European Union, has increased greatly.

Norway is no longer formally a Christian country. In 2012, the government seperated from the church, leaving the country without an official religion. Before this, almost 85% of Norwegians were part of the national church, even though most Norwegians are either atheist or agnostic and the regular church attendance was, and still is as low as 5%.

Norway has become rather liberal in moral issues and thus similar to neighbours like Denmark and Sweden. Homosexuality is accepted by most people and recently (2008) same-sex marriage was given the same legal status as traditional marriage. For instance, a previous male minister of finance and prominent figure in the conservative party is in partnership with a prominent male business manager. With that said, some parts along the southern and southwestern coast are fairly conservative, especially in the more rural areas.

Economy and politics

Norway's primary income is the oil and gas industry in the North Sea which constitutes 20 per cent of the total production [1]. It also has several other natural resources such as fish and minerals, some industry, and a healthy technology sector. Politically, it is dominated by a widespread and continued support for the Scandinavian model, which means high taxes and high government spending to support free schools, free healthcare, an efficient welfare system and many other benefits. As a result the unemployment rate in Norway is extremely low (about 2 percent).

The Norwegian people have rejected membership in the European Union (EU) in two independent popular votes in 1972 and 1994, both times just by a few percent, after being vetoed out of membership by France in the 50s and 60s. However, being a member state of the European Economic Area and part of the Schengen agreement, Norway is closely connected to the EU, and integrated as a full member in most economic matters, as well as in customs and immigration matters. This is of great economic importance to Norway.

As one of the richest countries in the world and with a strong currency, most visitors should be prepared for greater expenses than at home. In addition, Norway has a very compressed wage structure which means that even the typical low skill work is relatively well paid. Despite the extremely high prices, Norwegians enjoy a purchasing power parity per capita significantly higher than both the US and all EU countries. For the same reason, firms try to keep the number of staff as low as possible, even for low skill service work. On the other hand, many attractions in Norway are free of charge, most notably the landscape and nature itself. Furthermore, you don't have to spend much money on accommodation if you're prepared to sleep in a tent or under the open sky. According to the Norwegian right to access, you may stay for up to two nights in one spot in uncultivated land if you keep away from houses and other buildings and out of the way of other people, provided that you leave no trace. If you move far away from people, you can stay for as long as you want.

Climate

Because of the gulf stream, the climate in Norway, especially along the coast, is noticeably warmer than what would otherwise be expected at such a high latitude. Almost half the length of Norway is north of the arctic circle. Summers can be moderately warm (up to 30°C), even in northern areas, but only for limited periods. The length of the winter and amount of snow varies. In the north there is more snow and winters are dark; on the southern and western coast, winters are moderate and rainy, while further inland the temperature can easily fall below -25°C. Even in the southeast, winter temperatures of -10ºC to -15ºC are common. Some mountain areas have permanent glaciers and patches of snow can be found in higher elevations even in the summer.

Norway's hours of daylight, temperature and driving conditions vary greatly throughout the year. Seasonal variations crucially depend on region as well as altitude. Note in particular that the area with midnight sun (north of the arctic circle) also has winter darkness (polar night) when the sun does not rise above the horizon at all.

Norwegian weather is most pleasant during the summer (June to mid-August). If you like snow, go to Norway in December to April. Along the coasts and in southern part of West Norway there is little snow or frost and few opportunities for skiing, even in winter. In the mountains there is snow until May and some mountain passes are closed until the end of May. If you come in the beginning of May some passes can be still closed, but since the snow is melting very quickly, you will get a possibility to enjoy plenty of waterfalls before they disappear. And in this time the number of tourists is very small. Spring in Norway is quite intense due to the abundance of water (melting snow) in conjunction with plenty of sunlight and quickly rising temperatures (typically in May).

Be aware that daylight varies greatly during the year. In Oslo, the sun sets at around 15:30 in December. North of the Arctic Circle one can experience the midnight sun and polar night (winter darkness). However, even at Oslo's latitude, summer nights exist only in the form of prolonged twilight during June and July, these gentle "white nights" can also be a nice and unusual experience for visitors. The polar (or northern) lights (aurora borealis) occurs in the darker months, frequently at high latitudes (Northern Norway) but occasionally also further South.

Stay safe

Norway has a low crime rate. The most likely crimes for tourists to experience is car break-ins and bicycle theft. Pickpockets do also tend to be an increasing problem in urban areas in the summer season, but it's still nothing like in larger cities in Europe. It is always a good idea to look after your belongings, this includes never leaving valuable objects visual in your car and locking your bike safely.

Single women should have few problems, although ordinary street sense is advised after dark. Especially the inner east side of Oslo has become more dangerous during night hours over the last decade. Even so, there are still relatively few violent crimes.

Norway is one of the countries in the world with least corruption. Police and other authorities cannot be bribed, travellers are strongly advised against attempting in any form of bribery.

The greatest dangers to tourists in Norway are found in nature. Every year, quite a few tourists get hurt, even killed, in the mountains or on the seas, usually after given, unheeded warnings. For example, do not approach a glacier front, big waves on the coast, or a big waterfall unless you know what you're doing, and do not walk on glaciers without proper training and equipment.

Norway has few dangerous wild animals. Car crashes with the mighty moose or the smaller red deer account for the bulk of wild animal-related deaths and injuries. Also note that in some rural districts, sheep, goats, cows or reindeer can be seen walking or sleeping on the road.

Specific rules and precautions apply to Svalbard, where you should never travel outside Longyearbyen without someone in your party carrying a weapon. The polar bears on Svalbard are a real and extremely dangerous threat for the unprepared, and there are cases involving death and/or injury almost every year. There are more polar bears here than humans. Svalbard is a fragile, dry arctic tundra with large parts almost untouched by humans. The current recommendation is that non-local visitors participate on organized tour arrangements only. Breaking the law, disturbing wildlife or being reckless can land you a fine and/or deportation from the archipelago. That said, if you come well prepared with common sense, the visit will be one of the most memorable you've ever had. The nature, scenery and history of Svalbard is simply breathtaking.

As for other wild animals on mainland Norway, there are not much more than a few extremely rare encounters with brown bear and wolf in the wilderness. Contrary to popular belief abroad, there are no polar bears in mainland Norway, let alone polar bears walking city streets. The Scandinavian brown bear is peaceful and will generally run away from humans. In any case it is extremely unlikely that tourists will even see a glimpse of one of the around 50 brown bears remaining in Norway. Norwegian wolves are not dangerous to humans. In general, there is no reason worry about dangerous encounters with wild beasts in Norway.

When hiking or skiing, be prepared for a sudden shift in the weather, as these can happen very quickly in Norway. If unsure about conditions, ask locals or go on a guided tour. You are expected to manage on your own in the Norwegian wilderness, so you won't find fences or warning signs even at the most dangerous places. Keep in mind that avalanches are common. Unless you know exactly what you're doing, stay in marked slopes when skiing. If you think you know what you're doing, think twice. Only in the first three months of 2011 12 people were killed in avalanches in Norway.

If you plan to cross the mountains by car (for instance by driving from Oslo to Bergen) in the winter season, it is imperative that you are prepared for the journey. The conditions are harsh. Always keep a full tank of fuel, and keep warm clothes, food and drink in the car. Make sure your tires are good enough and suited for winter conditions (studded or non-studded winter tires, "all-year" tires are not enough), and that you have the sufficient skills for driving in snowy and cold conditions. Roads are often closed on short notice due to weather conditions. For advice on conditions and closed roads, call 175 in Norway or check the online road reports [33] (in Norwegian only) from the Norwegian State road authorities. Remember that not all parts of the roads have cellular phone coverage.

Norway has a unified police force ("politi"). The police is the government authority in areas like crime, national security, major accidents, missing persons, traffic control, passports and immigration control. Most cities have municipal parking officers, these do not however have any authority beyond fining and removing vehicles.

Stay healthy

The water quality in Norway is mostly adequate and tap water is always drinkable (except on boats, trains etc).

The hygiene in public kitchens is very good, and food poisoning rarely happens to tourists.

Norway can get relatively warm in the summer, but be prepared to bring warm clothes (sweater, windbreaking/waterproof jacket), as they might come in handy. It's hard to predict the weather, and in summer, you may experience severe weather changes during your stay.

Tourists hiking in the high mountains (above the forest) should bring sports wear for temperatures down to freezing (zero degree C).

Norway has a high density of pharmacies. Nose sprays and standard pain killers (paracetamol, aspirin) can also be purchased in grocery stores and gas stations.

The sun is generally not as strong as in southern Europe. Keep in mind that in cool conditions (low temperatures or wind) you don't feel that the sun burns your skin. The air is often very clear and clean in the North and UV-levels can be high despite the low sun. Also keep in mind: the sun is stronger in the high mountains, radiation is multiplied on or near snow fields as well as water surfaces. Even when it's cloudy the light can be strong on snow fields. Do not underestimate the power of the Nordic sun! Bring sunglasses when you go to the high mountains, when you go skiing in spring and when you go to the beach.

In southern Norway there are ticks (flått) that appear in summertime. They can transmit Lyme's disease (borreliosis) and more serious TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) through a bite. The risk areas for TBE are mainly along the coast from Oslo to Trondheim. Although incidents are relatively rare and not all ticks carry diseases, it's advisable to wear long trousers rather than shorts if you plan to walk through dense or tall grass areas (the usual habitat for ticks). You can buy special tick tweezers from the pharmacy that can be used to remove a tick safely if you happen to get bitten. You should remove the tick from your skin as quickly as possible and preferably with the tick tweezers to reduce the risks of getting an infection. If the tick bite starts to form red rings on the skin around it or if you experience other symptoms relating to the bite, you should go visit a doctor as soon as possible. Since ticks are black, they are more easily found if you wear bright clothes.

There's only one type of venomous snake in Norway: the European adder (hoggorm), which has a distinct zig-zag pattern on its back. The snake is not very common, but lives all over Norway up to the arctic circle (except for the highest mountains and areas with little sunshine). Although its bite hardly ever is life-threatening (except to small children and allergic people), be careful in the summertime especially when walking in the forests or on open fields. In the unlikely event that one encounters the adder, the most common and effective advice to simply stomp hard on the ground (not on the adder!). The adder will feel the vibration and seek to get away, as it will only attack if all its attempts to avoid contact fail. If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical assistance. The probability of being bitten is however very small, as the adder is very shy of humans.

Contact For minor injuries and illness, go to the local "Legevakt" (emergency room/physician seeing patients without appointment). In cities this is typically a municipal service centrally located, be prepared to wait for several hours. In rural districts you typically have to contact the "district physician" on duty. For inquiries about toxins (from mushrooms, plants, medicin or other chemicals) call the national Toxin Information Office at 22 59 13 00

The Russian Embassy in Norway
Norge, 0271 Oslo 2, Drammensveien 74
Tel.: (8/10/47) 22-55-3278, 22-55-3279, 22-44-0608, fax: (10/08/47) 22-55-0070

Emergency Numbers

Before calling, find, if possible, the exact position
Police 112
Fire 110
Emergency Medical Services 113
If you are unsure which number to call, 112 is the central for all rescue services and will put you in contact with the correct department.
For non-emergencies, the police is to be called on 02800.
The hearing impaired using a text telephone can reach the emergency services by dialing 1412

Road assistance

Falck 02222
Viking 06000
AAA members may call NAF on 08505
6 day 05.09.2020 Saturday
FUN DAY AT SEA
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7 day 06.09.2020 Sunday 8:00 18:00
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ZEEBRUGGE (BRUSSELS)

Zeebrugge is a port in northwestern Belgium, 10 miles north of Brugge and 60 miles from Brussels. Interestingly, it is actually an "artificial port," built because the existing marine channel to Brugge at the time had become clogged with silt. Because of its strategic location, Belgium has often been targeted by opposing military forces, which has contributed to Zeebrugge's rich history. In 1918, during World War I, British naval forces sank block ships in Zeebrugge's harbor to block the entry of German submarines. In 1944, the entire port was destroyed by the retreating Germans.

One of the best views of the area can be found at the Markt or Market Square. Situated at the center of the ancient walled city of Bruges, the Market is lined with 17th-century gabled houses and dominated by the 14th-century Belfort or belfry. Visitors can climb the 350 steps to the top of this 270-foot tower for a beautiful panoramic view of the city.

Make the most of your stop and explore nearby Brugge. Walk its quaint cobblestone streets and over its flower-lined canals. Admire the many beautiful bridges for which the city was named ("brugge" means bridge in Flemish). Gaze upon rows and rows of spectacular gothic buildings and attractive gabled homes.

Take a quick tour of the medieval city of Gent as well, and see some of the countless works of art in its renowned Museum of Fine Arts.

Walk through the world-famous Grand Place, one of Europe's most beautiful squares. The extraordinary ensemble of Baroque façades was built on the very spot where Brussels' first inhabitants held their market in the 12th century.

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BELGIUM

General information

Capital: Brussels
Government: Federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Area: 30,510 km2
Population: 10,414,336 (July 2009 est.)
Language: Dutch (official) 57-60%, French (official) 40-43%, German (official) less than 1%
Religion: Roman Catholic 75%, Protestant or other 25% - most people aren't practising religious.
Electricity: 230/50Hz (European plug)
Country code: +32
Internet TLD: .be
Time Zone: UTC +1

Belgium (Dutch: België, French: Belgique, German: Belgien) is a low-lying country on the North Sea coast in the Benelux. With the majority of West European capitals within 1,000 km of the Belgian capital of Brussels, and as a member of the long-standing international Benelux community, Belgium sits at the crossroads of Western Europe. Its immediate neighbors are France to the southwest, Luxembourg to the southeast, Germany to the east and the Netherlands to the north.

Belgium is a densely populated country trying to balance the conflicting demands of urbanization, transportation, industry, commercial and intensive agriculture. It imports large quantities of raw materials and exports a large volume of manufactured goods, mostly to the EU.

History

Belgium is the heir of several former Medieval powers, previously named Belgae (or Belgica reference to the roman empire period), and you will see traces of these everywhere during your trip in this country.

After the collapse of the Carolingian Empire in the 9th century, the territory that is nowadays Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg, was part of Lotharingia, an ephemerous kingdom soon to be absorded into the Germanic Empire; however, the special character of "Lower Lotharingia" remained intact in the feudal Empire : this is the origin of the Low Countries, a general term that encompasses present-day Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

The widely autonomous fiefdoms of the Low Countries were amongst the richest places in Medieval Europe and you will see traces of this past wealth in the rich buildings of Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven, Tournai, Mons, etc. These cities progressively fell under the control of a powerful and ambitious family : the Dukes of Burgundy. The whole realm of the dukes extended from the Low Countries to the borders of Switzerland. Using wealth, strategy, and alliances, the Dukes of Burgundy aimed at reconstituting Lotharingia. The death of the last Duke, Charles the Bold, put an end to this dream. However, the treasures of the Dukes of Burgundy remains as a testimony of their rules in Belgian museums and landmarks.

The powerful Habsburg family then inherited from the Low Countries. Reformation is the reason that Belgium and Netherlands were first put apart: the northern half of the Low Countries embraced Protestantism and rebelled against the Habsburg rule, while the southern half remained faithful to both its ruler and the Catholic faith. These two halves roughly corresponds to present-day Belgium and Netherlands.

Belgium was called Austrian Netherlands, then Spanish Netherlands, depending on which branch of the Habsburg ruled it. The powerful German emperor and Spanish king, Charles V, was born in the Belgian city of Ghent and ruled from Brussels. Many places in Belgium are named after him, including the city of Charleroi and even a brand of beer. Every year, the Brusselers emulates his first parade in their city in what is called the Ommegang.

Belgium was briefly a part of the Napoleonic Empire. After Napoleon's defeat, a large Kingdom of the Netherlands was created, comprising the whole of the Low Countries. However, the religious opposition still remained and the split was aggravated by political differences between Belgian liberals and Dutch aristocrats. Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830 after a short revolution and a war against the Netherlands.

It was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II and has many war graves near the battle zones, most of them are around Ieper (in English archaically rendered as Ypres, with Yperite another name for mustard gas due to intensive use there in WWI). It has prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy.

Terrain

Flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, wooded hills and valleys of Ardennes Forest in southeast.

Climate

Temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy. Average annual temperature between 1976-2006 : 10° Celcius

Electricity

Electricity is supplied at 220 to 230V 50Hz. Outlets are CEE7/5 (protruding male earth pin) and accept either CEE 7/5 (Grounded), CEE 7/7 (Grounded) or CEE 7/16 (non-grounded) plugs. Older German-type CEE 7/4 plugs are not compatible as they do not accommodate the earth pin found on this type of outlet. However, most modern European appliances are fitted with the hybrid CEE 7/7 plug which fits both CEE 7/5 (Belgium & France) and CEE 7/4 (Germany, Netherlands, Spain and most of Europe) outlets. Travellers from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and other countries using 230V 50Hz which use different plugs simply require a plug adaptor to use their appliances in Belgium.

Travellers from the US, Canada, Japan and other countries using 110V 60Hz may need a voltage converter. However, some laptops, mobile phone chargers and other devices can accept either 110V or 230V so only require a simple plug adaptor. Check the voltage rating plates on your appliances before connecting them.

Stay safe

Except for certain neighbourhoods in central Brussels and the outer edge of Antwerp (the port and docks), Belgium is a safe country. Belgians are somewhat shy and introverted, but generally helpful towards strangers.

For those landing in Charleroi and Liège, those are the regions that boast the highest crime rates in Southern Belgium. But if you keep an eye on your belongings, and avoid wandering alone at night, nothing really serious is likely to happen to you. Muslims and people of North African ancestry may experience mild resentment, a problem that is particularly acute in Brussels and Antwerp. The Burqa is illegal in public.

Marijuana laws are quite lenient - possession of up to 5 grams or one female plant is decriminalised but confiscated.

The emergency phone number in Belgium (fire, police, paramedics) is 112.

Stay healthy

In the winter, like most other European countries, only influenza will cause you a considerable inconvenience. No inoculations are needed to enter or leave Belgium.

Contact

Belgium has a modern telephone system with nationwide cellular telephone coverage, and multiple internet access points in all cities, free in most libraries. Also in multiple gas stations, NMBS/SNCB train stations and diners on the highways there is Wi-Fi available. Many cafés offer free WiFi nowadays, but don't write it on the door for whatever reason...

if you can't find any you can always fall back on Quick or McDonalds which both offer free WiFi.

Respect

Don't associate the country with the European Union, or at least don't tell Belgian people about it. Although the EU has chosen to put most of its headquarters in Belgium, it doesn't mean that Belgians have anything to do with it. Most Belgian people doesn't care about the EU any more than an other person in another country in the continent. Foreigner's perception of Belgium as being 'the EU country' is not only strange to Belgians but also very offensive to them because it sounds like you bypass them to focus on a organization in which they are just one country amongst 27 (don't forget, the EU also has institutions headquartered in other countries too). You wouldn't call the United States 'the UN country' just because the UN has its headquarters in New-York, so don't do the same to Belgium.

Belgians don't like to talk about their income or politics. You must also avoid asking people about their views on religion.

The Flanders-Wallonia question or dispute and the high number of separatist and extreme-right votes in Flanders are controversial topics and you must avoid asking people about their views on these as well. Keep any opinions or biases to yourself.

Do NOT try to speak French in Flanders, and Dutch in Wallonia! Speaking the "wrong" language can be considered very offensive in the two regions, and you will either be ignored or at worst get an icy response and substandard service. However, the closer you get to the language border this will happen less frequently. The situation is also less intense within the legally bilingual Brussels though French is usually a better bet there. Across the country, the lingua franca between both Flemings and Wallons has become English especially among the younger generations, to avoid being spoken to in the "other language". That is why as a tourist, it is best to start a conversation in English or the "correct" language, that is Dutch in Flanders and French in Wallonia.

Do NOT tell the Walloons (and most of the people of Brussels) that they are French. Most Walloons, despite speaking French, are not and do not consider themselves French and dislike being associated with their neighbour France.

And for the same reason, do NOT tell the Flemish (and also the people of Brussels) that they are Dutch. Most Flemings, despite speaking Dutch (Flemish), are not and do not consider themselves Dutch and dislike being associated with their neighbour the Netherlands.

Belgians in general are very proud of their comic book artists. The "Belgian school of comic books" is hailed as a national pride. In Belgium, comic books are valuable books printed with a hard cover. There are dozens of beautiful yet expensive merchandizing items, and the Belgians are fond of them. A plastic figurine of a comic book character or a special artwork of a hailed comic book artist would be a perfect gift for your Belgian friends and in-laws, for example.

Giving tips shows that you were content with the service given, but you are certainly not obliged to do so. It is sometimes done in bars and restaurants. Depending on the total, a tip of €0,50 to €2,50 is considered generous.

Get out

For party-minded people, Belgium can be great. Most cities are close to each other and are either large urban areas (Brussels, Antwerp) or student areas (Leuven, Liège, Ghent), etc. In this little region, you will find the most clubs, cafés, restaurants per square mile in the world. A good starting point can be places with a strong student/youth culture : Leuven around its big university, Liège in the famous "carré" district, etc. You can expect a wide variety in music appreciation, going from jazz to the better electronic music. Just ask around for the better clubs and there you will most likely meet some music fanatics who can show you the better underground parties in this tiny country.

The government has a mostly liberal attitude towards bars, clubs and parties. They acknowledge the principle of "live and let live". As long as you don't cause public disturbance, vandalize property and get too drunk, the police will not intervene. This also one of the main principles of Belgian social life, as this sort of behaviour is generally considered offensive. Of course, in student communities this is more tolerated, but generally, you are most respected if you party as hard as you like- but with a sense of discretion and self-control.

Officially, drugs are not allowed. But as long as you respect the aforementioned principles, you are not likely to get into serious trouble. Beware though, that driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is not tolerated and traffic laws are strictly enforced in this matter. Especially in the weekends on main roads, you have a good chance of being stopped for an alcohol control.

Emergency services

Police - 101
Rescue and Ambulance - 100
8 day 07.09.2020 Monday 6:00 16:00
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ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
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9 day 08.09.2020 Tuesday 9:00 21:00
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LE HAVRE

Sail to good-living, art-loving Normandy on Carnival cruises to Le Havre, France. Sitting pretty on France’s north coast, overlooking the English Channel, Le Havre has risen from the rubble of World War II to become one of France’s most dynamic port towns. Modernist architecture, Monet artworks, delicious seafood, wild cliff-backed beaches—you'll find the lot on your Le Havre cruise.

  • See the light in the Monet masterpieces gracing Musée Malraux on Le Havre cruises.
  • Snap photos of Oscar Niemeyer’s volcano-shaped arts center, Le Volcan.
  • Stand in awe of Auguste Perret’s modernist monolith, Église St-Joseph.

Central administration of the port Le Havre:

Terre-Plein de la Barre, B.P. 1413, Le Havre, Cedex 76067, France

tel.: (+33-2) 327-474-00; fax: (+33-2) 327-474-29

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FRANCE

General information

Capital: Paris
Government: Republic
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 643,801 km²
water: 3,374 km²
land: 640,427km²
Population: 64,667,374 (January 2009) in non-overseas France
Language: French, some regional languages and dialects
Religion: Christianity 45 %
Atheism: 35 % Not stated 10 % Other religions 6 %(Judaism 1 %) Islam 3 % Buddhism 1 %
Electricity: 220..230V, 50Hz. Outlets: CEE7/5 (protruding male earth pin), accepting CEE 7/5 (Grounded), CEE 7/7 (Grounded) or CEE 7/16 (non-grounded) plugs
Country code: 33
Internet TLD: .fr
Time Zone: UTC +1

France is a country located in Western Europe. Clockwise from the north, France borders Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland to the east, Italy to the south-east and Spain to the south-west, across the Pyrenees mountain range (the small country of Andorra lies in between the two countries). The Mediterranean Sea lies to the south of France, with the Principality of Monaco forming a small enclave. To the west, France has a long Atlantic Ocean coastline, while to the north lies the English Channel, across which lies the last of France's neighbours, England (part of the United Kingdom).

France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for over twenty years (81.9 million in 2007) and it's geographically one of the most diverse countries in Europe. Its cities contain some of the greatest treasures in Europe, its countryside is prosperous and well tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy. The country is renowned for its gastronomy (particularly wines and cheeses), history, culture and fashion.

Climate

A lot of variety, but temperate winters and mild summers on most of the territory, and especially in Paris. Mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean and in the southwest (the latter has lots of rain in winter). Mild winters (with lots of rain) and cool summers in the northwest (Brittany). Cool to cold winters and hot summer along the German border (Alsace). Along the Rhône Valley, occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as the mistral. Cold winters with lots of the snow in the Mountainous regions: Alps, Pyrenees, Auvergne.

Terrain

Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south west, Vosges , Jura and Alps in east, Massif Central in the mid south.

When to travel

If possible, try to avoid French school holidays and Easter, hotels are very likely to be overbooked and road traffic awful.

Holidays: search internet for [french school holidays], as they vary from region to region. Mostly, the winter holidays are 10 Feb-10 Mar. The spring holidays are often 10 Apr-10 May.

Winter gets very cold, sometimes freezing. Make sure to bring appropriate clothing to keep you warm while visiting.

Hotels are very likely to be overbooked and road traffic awful during the 1 May, 8 May, 11 Nov, Easter Weekend, Ascension weekend too.

Electricity

Electricity is supplied at 220 to 230V 50Hz. Outlets are CEE7/5 (protruding male earth pin) and accept either CEE 7/5 (Grounded), CEE 7/7 (Grounded) or CEE 7/16 (non-grounded) plugs. Older German-type CEE 7/4 plugs are not compatible as they do not accommodate the earth pin found on this type of outlet. However, most modern European appliances are fitted with the hybrid CEE 7/7 plug which fits both CEE 7/5 (Belgium & France) and CEE 7/4 (Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and most of Europe) outlets.

Plugs Travellers from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and other countries using 230V 50Hz which use different plugs simply require a plug adaptor to use their appliances in France. Plug adaptors for plugs from the US and UK are available from electrical and "do-it-yourself" stores such as Bricorama.

Voltage: Travellers from the US, Canada, Japan and other countries using 110V 60Hz may need a voltage converter. However, some laptops, mobile phone chargers and other devices can accept either 110V or 230V so only require a simple plug adaptor. Check the voltage rating plates on your appliances before connecting them.

Stay safe
Crimes

Crime-related emergencies can be reported to the toll-free number 17. Law enforcement forces are the National Police (Police Nationale) in urban area and the Gendarmerie in rural area, though for limited issues such as parking and traffic offenses some towns and villages also have a municipal police.

France is a very low-crime area, and is one of the safest countries in the world, but large cities are plagued with the usual woes. Violent crime against tourists or strangers is very rare, but there is pickpocketing and purse-snatching.

The inner city areas and a few select suburbs are usually safe at all hours. In large cities, especially Paris, there are a few areas which are better to avoid. Parts of the suburban are sometimes grounds for youth gang violent activities and drug dealing; however these are almost always far from touristic points and you should have no reason to visit them. Common sense applies: it is very easy to spot derelict areas.

The subject of crime in the poorer suburbs is very touchy as it may easily have racist overtones, since many people associate it with working-class youth of North African origin. You should probably not express any opinion on the issue.

Usual caution apply for tourists flocking around sights as they may become targets for pickpockets. A usual trick is to ask tourists to sign fake petitions and give some money, which is a way to put pressure on the victim. Stay away from people requesting money without any organization badge.

While it is not compulsory for French citizens to carry identification, they usually do so. Foreigners should carry some kind of official identity document. Although random checks are not the norm you may be asked for an ID in some kinds of situations, for example if you cannot show a valid ticket when using public transportation; not having one in such cases will result in you being taken to a police station for further checks. Even if you feel that law enforcement officers have no right to check your identity (they can do so only in certain circumstances), it is a bad idea to enter a legal discussion with them; it is better to put up with it and show ID. Again, the subject is touchy as the police have often been accused of targeting people according to criteria of ethnicity (e.g. delit de sale gueule = literally "crime of a dirty face" but perhaps equivalent to the American "driving while black.")

Due to the terrorist factor, police, with the help of military units, are patrolling monuments, the Paris subway, train stations and airports. Depending on the status of the "Vigipirate" plan (anti terrorist units) it is not uncommon to see armed patrols in those areas. The presence of police is of help for tourists, as it also deters pickpockets and the like. However, suspicious behaviour, public disturbances etc., may result in policemen asking to see an ID.

In France, failing to offer assistance to 'a person in danger' is illegal. This means that if you fail to stop upon witnessing a motor accident, fail to report such an accident to emergency services, or ignore appeals for help or urgent assistance, you may be charged. Penalties include suspended prison sentence and fines. The law does not apply in situations where to answer an appeal for help might endanger your life or the lives of others.

Controlled substances

Carrying or using narcotic substances, from marijuana to hard drugs, is illegal whatever the quantity. The penalty can be severe especially if you are suspected of dealing. Trains and cars coming from countries which have a more lenient attitude (like the Netherlands) are especially targeted. Police have often been known to stop entire coaches and search every passenger and their bags thouroughly just because they're coming from Amsterdam.

France has a liberal policy with respect to alcohol; there are usually no ID checks for purchasing alcohol (unless you look much younger than 18). However, causing problems due to public drunkenness is a misdemeanor and may result in a night in a police station. Drunk driving is a severe offense and may result in heavy fines and jail sentences.

A little etiquette note: while it is common to drink beer straight from the bottle at informal meetings, doing the same with wine is normally only done by tramps (clochards).

Stay healthy
Tap water

Tap water (Eau du robinet) is drinkable, except in rare cases such as rural rest areas and sinks in train bathrooms, in which case it will be clearly signposted as Eau non potable. Eau potable is potable water. (You may, however, not like the taste which may be chlorinated, botteled water is common.)

Medical help

The health care in France is of a very high standard.

Pharmacies in France are denoted by a green cross, usually in neon. They sell medicines, contraceptives, and often beauty and related products (though these can be very expensive). Medicines must be ordered from the counter, even non-prescription medicines. The pharmacist is able to help you about various medicines and propose you generic drugs.

Since drug brand names vary across countries even though the effective ingredients stay the same, it is better to carry prescriptions using the international nomenclature in addition to the commercial brand name. Prescription drugs, including oral contraceptives (aka "the pill"), will only be delivered if a doctor's prescription is shown.

In addition, supermarkets sell condoms (preservatifs) and also often personal lubricant, bandages, disinfectant and other minor medical item. Condom machines are often found in bar toilets, etc.

Medical treatment can be obtained from self-employed physicians, clinics and hospitals. Most general practitioners, specialists (e.g. gynecologists), and dentists are self-employed; look for signs saying Docteur (medecine generale is general practitioner). The normal price for a consultation with a general practitioner is €23, though some physicians charge more (this is the full price and not a co-payment). Physicians may also do home calls, but these are more expensive.

Residents of the European Union are covered by the French social security system, which will reimburse or directly pay for 70% of health expenses (30% co-payment) in general, though many physicians and surgeons apply surcharges. Other travellers are not covered and will be billed the full price, even if at a public hospital; non-EU travellers should have travel insurance covering medical costs.

Emergencies

Hospitals will have an emergency room signposted Urgences.

The following numbers are toll-free:

15 Medical emergencies
17 Law enforcement emergencies (for e.g. reporting a crime)
18 Firefighters
112 European standard emergency numbers.

Operators at these numbers can transfer requests to other services if needed (e.g. some medical emergencies may be answered by firefighter groups).

Smoking

Smoking is prohibited by law in all enclosed spaces accessible to the public (this includes train and subway cars, train and subway station enclosures, workplaces, restaurants and cafes) unless in areas specifically designated for smoking, and there are few of these. There was an exception for restaurants and cafes, but since the 1st January 2008, the smoking ban law is also enforced there. You may face a fine of €68 if you are found smoking in these places.

Smoking is banned in metro and trains, as well as enclosed stations. Subway and train conductors do enforce the law and will fine you for smoking in non-designated places; if you encounter problems with a smoker in train, you may go find the conductor.

As hotels are not considered as public places, some offer smoking vs non-smoking rooms.

Only people over the age 18 may purchase tobacco products. Shopkeepers may request a photo ID.

Respect
On the Metro

The Metro subway system is a great way to get around Paris (or Lyon, Marseille, et al.), which is readily apparent in the throngs of people that use it to go to work, school, and the like. If you do not ride the train at home, or if you come from a place that doesn't have a subway system, there are certain points of etiquette that you may not be aware of. When boarding at the station, let those exiting the train step off onto the platform before boarding, and once aboard move to the centre of the car. If you have luggage, move it as far out of the path of others as possible (on the RER B to Charles de Gaulle airport, use the luggage racks above the seats instead). Certain stations have moving sidewalks to cover the distances between platforms - walk on the left and stand on the right! Finally, do note that the doors on French subway cars don't generally open automatically once the train has stopped at the station; rather, most cars have a small button or lever on the doors that opens them. If you should happen to be standing near the door in a crowded car you might hear someone behind you say "la porte, s'il vous plait," which means that person would like to get off the train and is asking you to open the door for him/her. Pop the door open and step aside (or down onto the platform) while that person exits the train - the driver will wait for you to get back on.

Loudness

It is considered very rude to be loud in a crowded place, such as a subway car or restaurant. Keep in mind that, though you may be enjoying your holiday, most people around you in the metro or other places are probably going to or back from work and may be tired and thus will react very coldly to tourists babbling at the top of their lungs. If you listen to the locals talk, you will notice that they talk rather softly.

Shopping Etiquette

In many shops/stores in France, you should ask the shopkeeper to take items from the shelf; as opposed to picking it up yourself. This applies in liquor or wine stores, clothing stores, etc. Failure to respect this policy might result in confused and/or angered reactions from the shopkeeper.

Dress code

Dress codes are fast disappearing, but if you want to avoid looking like a tourist, then avoid white sneakers, baseball caps, tracksuit pants, shorts and flip-flops (except at the beach). Generally speaking, business casual dress code is sufficient in cities and in all but the most formal occasions.

Usual courtesy applies when entering churches, and although you may not be asked to leave, it is better to avoid short pants and halter tops.

Some restaurants will frown if you come in dressed for trekking but very few will insist upon a jacket and tie. You may be surprised by the number of French twenty-somethings who show up at a grungy bar in jacket and tie, even if obviously from a thrift-shop.

Beaches and swimming pools (in hotels) are used for getting a tan. Taking off your bra will not usually create a stir if you don't mind a bevy of oglers. Taking off the bottom part is reserved to designated nude beaches. People on beaches are usually not offended by a young boy or girl undressed. Most resort cities insist on your wearing a shirt when leaving the beach area. Many pools will not allow baggy or "board" swim trunks, insisting on snug fitting speedo type trunks.

Breastfeeding in public is very rare but nobody will mind if you do.

Talking to people

The French language has two different forms of the pronoun "you" that are used when addressing someone in the second person. "Tu" is the second-person singular and "Vous" is nominally the second-person plural. However, in some situations, French speakers will use "Vous" for the second-person singular. While one will use "Vous" to address a group of people no matter what the circumstances, non-native speakers will invariably have some difficulty when trying to determine whether to address a person with the informal and friendly "tu" or the formal and respectful "vous." The language even has two special verbs reflecting this difference: "tutoyer" (to address a person using "tu"), and "vouvoyer" (to address a person using "vous"), each of them carrying their own connotations and implications. Unfortunately, the rules as to when to use which form can sometimes seem maddeningly opaque to the non-native French speaker.

Generally speaking, one will only use the "tu" form to address someone in an informal situation where there is familiarity or intimacy between the two parties. For example, "tu" is used when addressing a close friend or spouse, or when an adult child is addressing a parent. "Tu" is also used in situations where the other party is very young, such as a parent speaking to a child or a schoolteacher to a student. In contrast, "vous" is used in situations where the parties are not familiar, or where it is appropriate to convey respect and/or deference. For example, an office worker might use "tu" to address co-workers that he works closely with, but he would probably use "vous" when speaking to the receptionist he rarely talks to. He certainly wouldn't use "tu" when speaking with his boss. In that same vein, police officers and other authorities should always be addressed with "vous."

If that's confusing (or not confusing enough) the key thing to remember is that it's all about distance. For example, a bartender is vous up until the moment that he or she gives you a complementary drink, at which point tu becomes more appropriate, and the use of vous would be a bit ungrateful and off-putting.

For foreigners, the best way to deal with the "tu" and "vous" problem is to address people using "vous" until invited to say "tu", or until addressed by the first name. Doing so will look perhaps a shade old fashioned, but always respectful. In most cases, if French is not your native language most French people will overlook any such overly formal and polite language without thinking much about it anyway. Doing the opposite can be pretty rude and embarrassing in some situations, so it's probably best to err on the side of caution.

Simplified: Use vous unless:
the person is genuinely your friend;
the person is under 16; or
you've been explicitly told to use "tu"

Sensitive topics

As a general rule, debates, discussions, and friendly arguments are something that the French enjoy, but there are certain topics that should be treated more delicately or indirectly than others:

Politics: French people have a wide variety of opinions about many subjects. Unless you really follow French news closely, you should probably steer clear of discussing internal French politics, especially sensitive issues such as immigration - you may come across as judgmental and uninformed. Reading French newspapers to get a feel for the wide spectrum of political opinions in France – from the revolutionary left to the nationalistic right – may help. That said, don't be discouraged from engaging in political discussions with French people, just be aware of the position that being a foreigner puts you in. Also, it is considered to be quite rude to ask a person point-blank about which candidate he/she voted for in the last election (or will vote for in the next); instead, talk about the issues and take it from there.

Religion: The French seldom advertise their religious feelings, however, and expect you to avoid doing so as well. Doing so might make people feel uneasy. It is also generally considered impolite to inquire about religious or other personal issues. While France has barred religious symbols from public places including Sikh turban, Islamic hijab and Jewish kippah on grounds of secularism, this controversial topic is best avoided in polite conversations. People practicing those faiths need to be aware of the unfriendly attitudes that some in France hold to expression of religion in public places.

Money: You should also avoid presenting yourself through what you own (house, car, etc.). It is also considered to be quite crass to discuss your salary, or to ask someone else directly about theirs. Instead express your enthusiasm about how great are the responsibilities, or how lucky you were to get there, etc.

City/Rural Differences: While it is true that roughly 1/6th of the country's population lives in the Paris region, don't make the mistake of reducing France to Paris or assuming that all French people act like Parisians. Life in Paris can be closer to life in London or New York City than in the rest of France; just as New Yorkers or Londoners might act and feel differently than people from, say, Oklahoma or Herefordshire, so might Parisian customs and opinions differ from those found "en province."

10 day 09.09.2020 Wednesday 5:00
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Mardi Gras
Year of built: 2020
Length: 344 meters
Width: 42 meters
Cruising speed: 23 knots
Gross Tonnage: 180 800 tons
Passenger capacity: 6 338
Onboard Crew: 1745
Cabin number: 2641
Number of passenger decks: 18

* Dear visitors! All descriptions, cabin photographs and ship infrastructure are showed for informational purposes only and may differ from the actual.

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Deck: Deck 8
Description: With choices like brisket, sausage, baby back ribs and dry-rubbed chicken, our pros do the smoking right there over hickory wood before serving them up at your table. You’re in Guy Fieri’s house — Mardi Gras has Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse | Brewhouse. Now about the brews: this house of BBQ tradition doesn’t just satisfy your hunger — you’ll also enjoy our all-new, exclusive line of Parched Pig™ craft brews. There’s a smoked porter, a farmhouse ale, a hoppy IPA and a toasted amber, all brewed just feet from your table… and nowhere else in the world. Tip: Come by and check out the free menu at lunchtime, plus live music and lively atmosphere all day.
Description: We call Mardi Gras's onboard burger spot Guy’s Burger Joint. We teamed up with Guy Fieri to design not just the burgers and fries, but to help bring in the kind of rustic atmosphere you’d find at a roadside burger shack somewhere off a coastal highway. All signs point to ambiance — and serious flavor — so try a burger dressed up the way Guy likes it, or take it off-roading… to the nearby topping bar, where you can make it your own.
Deck: Deck 8
Description: It’s a meal, a performance, and it’s definitely unforgettable. The Bonsai Teppanyaki experience is set to delight guests aboard Mardi Gras. Take a little time out of vacation to sit down to a selection of tempting appetizers, before your chef prepares the main course featuring selections of meats, tofu, fish, shrimp or lobster… right at your table. In the teppanyaki tradition — and Carnival’s tradition of fun — expect an interactive, satisfying meal full of surprise and delicious delight.
Deck: Deck 6
Description: Maybe you take your coffee straight-up, or perhaps you prefer your pick-me-up with an upgrade. From the simply caffeinated to the simply sublime, nothing satisfies your coffee craving like JavaBlue Cafe, featuring fun twists on the hot and cold drinks you enjoy. While the coffee is the main event here, there’s more to JavaBlue — enjoy the baked treats we like to call “comfort snacks”… which you’ll call “delicious!”
Deck: Deck 7
Description: Haute cuisine meets atmosphere at Fahrenheit 555, a dining experience that stands toe-to-toe with some of the best steakhouses on land. Except this one’s at sea — aboard Mardi Gras. Ours features your choice of steak cuts, lobster, lamb and more… and inside, there’s even a full bar that pours great pairings. Outside, there’s seating for dining al fresco. These are the building blocks of an amazing experience — delectable elements that combine with great service to offer an evening to remember.
Deck: Deck 8
Description: So maybe you’ve had sushi before, but have you tried it at Bonsai Sushi? This is Carnival’s onboard seafood-and-soy-sauce spot, and we think you’ll enjoy our latest location, aboard Mardi Gras. Dine indoors or out amidst carefully-pruned bonsai trees, while enjoying a delectable menu with sit-down service. Rounding out the meal: soups, sides, sakes and desserts. So the next time you’re taking a stroll down the onboard promenade, stop at Bonsai Sushi for a roll, a box or maybe order a whole sushi ship — seaborne satisfaction for two.
Deck: Deck 8
Description: At Cucina del Capitano on Mardi Gras, who you’ve got gathered around the table is truly as important as what’s being served there. At our table you’ll enjoy delicious Italian favorites — we serve them family-style because we know that sharing large plates and sharing tales of your day’s adventures goes hand-in-hand. Speaking of which, our walls are adorned with old snapshots from our officers’ family albums, proving that the rustic Italian-farmhouse atmosphere definitely isn’t for show.
Deck: Deck 8
Description: La Piazza
Interior cabin
Interior
Interior cabin
Interior cabin
Interior cabin
Interior cabin
Interior cabin
Interior cabin
Interior cabin
Cloud 9 Spa Interior
Cloud 9 Spa Interior
Premium Interior
Premium Interior
Ocean View
Ocean View
Cloud 9 Spa Ocean View (Obstructed View)
Cove Balcony
Cloud 9 Spa Cove Balcony
Junior Balcony
Junior Balcony
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Extended Balcony
Extended Balcony
Forward-View Extended Balcony
Aft-View Extended Balcony
Aft-View Extended Balcony
Cloud 9 Spa Balcony cabin
Cloud 9 Spa Forward-View Extended Balcony
Ocean suite
Ocean Suite
Premium Balcony Suite
Captain's suite
Deluxe Vista Suite
Cloud 9 Spa Suite
Cloud 9 Spa Deluxe Vista Suite
Family Harbor Interior
Family Harbor Ocean View
Family Harbor Deluxe Ocean View
Havana Interior
Havana Cabana
Havana Extended Cabana
Havana Cabana Suite
Havana Vista Suite

Cabins

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Interior cabin
Premium Interior
Ocean View
Family Harbor Interior
Family Harbor Ocean View
Family Harbor Deluxe Ocean View

Infrastructure

On this deck there is no description available infrastructure

Get all the comforts of home and even a few extras. Since your huge Suite aboard Mardi Gras affords you VIP status, you’re in the priority line when getting on and off the ship, plus you’re going to enjoy guaranteed dining times and other exclusive perks! A Suite is the ultimate way to enjoy the ship, and the extra in-room comfort definitely goes a long way during your getaway. So feel free to put your feet up or stretch out on the extra-large balcony, there’s always room.

True or false: cruises are a time for relaxation. Our answer: whether you’re all action all the time, or chill to the core, everybody needs a chance to take it easy! And nobody will find an easier spot than Cloud 9 Spa aboard Mardi Gras. This is an oasis built from the ground up for relaxation, from a full complement of traditional spa services like massages, facials, body wraps to the carefully-designed climates of Cloud 9’s thermal suites… rooms swirling with moist or dry air, each heated very precisely. It turns out it’s true: anyone can find a reason to say “ahhh” at Mardi Gras’s Cloud 9 Spa.

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