Norway’s rugged coastline and majestic fjords have been attracting tourists from all over the world, and cruising is the best way to experience the natural beauty of this Scandinavian country. The Norwegian fjords are known for their stunning scenery, quaint villages, and unique culture. In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the best ports to visit and activities to try when cruising in the Norwegian fjords.
Best Ports to Visit in the Norwegian Fjords
The Norwegian Fjords offer several ports of call for cruise passengers to explore. Here are some of the best ports to visit:
Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway and often serves as the starting or ending point of a Norwegian fjord cruise. This charming city is surrounded by seven mountains and is known for its historic harbor, colorful wooden buildings, and lively fish market. One must-visit attraction in Bergen is the UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf, where you can see the city’s iconic Hanseatic commercial buildings from the 14th century.
Geiranger is a picturesque village located at the end of Geirangerfjord, one of the most popular fjords in Norway. The village is surrounded by steep mountains, cascading waterfalls, and lush greenery, making it a favorite stop for photographers and nature lovers. One of the most popular attractions in Geiranger is the Seven Sisters Waterfall, which consists of seven separate streams of water that cascade into the fjord.
Flam is a small village located at the end of Aurlandsfjord and is one of the most scenic ports in Norway. The village is surrounded by steep mountains, cascading waterfalls, and rolling hills, making it a perfect place for hiking and outdoor activities. One of the must-do activities in Flam is taking the Flam Railway, which is one of the steepest train rides in the world and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and fjords.
Alesund is a coastal town located on Norway’s west coast and is known for its art nouveau architecture and scenic surroundings. The town was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1904 and is now considered one of the most beautiful towns in Norway. Alesund is also a popular starting point for exploring the nearby fjords and islands.
Activities in the Norwegian Fjords
The Norwegian Fjords are full of natural beauty, and there are plenty of activities for cruise passengers to enjoy. Here are some of the best activities to consider:
The Norwegian fjords offer some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the world, with stunning views of the fjords, mountains, and waterfalls. Some of the most popular hiking trails in Norway include the Trolltunga trail, the Romsdalseggen Ridge, and the Besseggen Ridge.
One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Norwegian fjords is by taking a fjord cruise. From the comfort of your ship, you can admire the stunning scenery and get up close to waterfalls and glaciers. Some of the most popular fjord cruises in Norway include the Geirangerfjord, Sognefjord, and Hardangerfjord.
For a more active way to explore the fjords, you can try kayaking. Kayaking allows you to get closer to the waterfalls, cliffs, and wildlife of the fjords. Many cruise lines offer kayaking excursions, or you can rent a kayak and explore on your own.
Norway has a rich Viking heritage, and there are several places in the country where you can learn about the Vikings’ way of life. One such place is the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, where you can see authentic Viking ships and artifacts. In the town of Stavanger, you can visit the reconstructed Viking settlement of Jernaldergarden and experience the daily life of a Viking.
Take a scenic train ride
The Flåm Railway is one of the most scenic train rides in the world, offering breathtaking views of the fjords, mountains, and waterfalls. The train ride starts in Flåm and ends in Myrdal, and takes about an hour each way.
Fishing is a popular activity in the Norwegian fjords, and you can catch a variety of fish, including salmon, trout, and cod. There are many fishing tours and charters available that cater to both beginners and experienced anglers. You can also rent equipment and fish on your own.
Tips for Cruising in the Norwegian Fjords
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your cruise to the Norwegian Fjords:
- Pack for all weather: The weather in the fjords can be unpredictable, so it is important to pack for all types of weather. Bring warm layers, a rain jacket, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Book shore excursions in advance: Some shore excursions can sell out quickly, so it is a good idea to book them in advance. This is especially true for popular excursions like the Flåm Railway.
- Bring a camera: The Norwegian Fjords offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, so make sure to bring a camera to capture the stunning views.
- Be prepared for the cost: Norway is an expensive country, so be prepared for higher prices than you might be used to. However, the stunning scenery and unique experiences make it worth the cost.
- Take advantage of onboard activities: While sailing through the fjords can be an amazing experience, don’t forget to enjoy the onboard amenities and activities. Many ships offer spa services, entertainment, and dining options.
- Be respectful of local culture: When visiting ports of call, be respectful of the local culture and customs. Dress appropriately and be mindful of local traditions and customs.
Cruising through the Norwegian fjords is an experience that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. With stunning scenery, charming ports of call, and a variety of activities and excursions, a cruise through the fjords is sure to be a memorable journey. By following these tips and planning ahead, you can make the most of your cruise and create lasting memories. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore the beauty of Norway’s fjords on your next cruise vacation.
The best cruise lines for cruising to Norway
When it comes to cruising in the Norwegian Fjords, there are several cruise lines to choose from, each with their own unique offerings and itineraries. Here are a few of the best cruise lines for cruising to Norway:
- Hurtigruten: This Norwegian cruise line offers expedition-style voyages that take you to the heart of Norway’s natural wonders. With a fleet of small ships, you’ll get up close and personal with the fjords and wildlife, and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of outdoor activities.
- Princess Cruises: Princess Cruises offers a range of itineraries that visit Norway’s most popular ports, including Bergen, Flam, and Geiranger. Onboard, you’ll find plenty of amenities and activities to keep you entertained, including shows, restaurants, and pools.
- Holland America Line: Holland America Line offers a variety of itineraries that explore the Norwegian Fjords, with stops in ports like Alesund, Stavanger, and Oslo. Onboard, you’ll find a range of activities and amenities, including culinary experiences, music performances, and fitness classes.
- Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Cruises offers a mix of itineraries that explore the Norwegian Fjords, including cruises that depart from the UK and those that visit other Northern European destinations like Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Onboard, you’ll find a range of dining options, entertainment, and relaxation spaces.
No matter which cruise line you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience cruising in the Norwegian Fjords.