Norwegian Fjords

Nature’s the star of the show in the ‘big north’, with vast expanses of wilderness, rugged coastlines and intoxicatingly pure, clean air. If you like the great outdoors, you’ll love Norway.

If you like the great outdoors, you’ll love the ‘big north’ where nature rules and deep fjords, glaciers, picturesque villages and majestic mountains are the stars of the show. Vast expanses of wilderness, rugged coastlines and intoxicatingly pure, clean air come as standard here, nature’s assets valued and protected by National Parks and an inherently green, sustainable way of life. There is no better way to see the spectacular sights of the Norwegian Fjords than to cruise through them, soaking up Norse mythology and the beauty of the landscape as you sail by. If you are lucky, you’ll experience the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of witnessing the Northern Lights, and if the visual overload gets too much, you could take hiking or cycling excursions through the landscape or even, for the brave, have a go at white-water rafting or a husky-pulled sled ride. And while the natural landscape dominates, you’ll visit modern, vibrant towns and cities steeped in culture too.

  • Ålesund

    This Atlantic-facing harbour town is located at the entrance to the Geirangerfjord in a region of outstanding natural beauty. After a fire devastated the town in 1904, it was totally rebuilt in the distinctive Art Nouveau style of the time, with numerous spires and turrets, and has been voted the most beautiful town in Norway. There’s an impressive ocean aquarium and a variety of museums including the Sunnmøre Museum offering a glimpse into an earlier Norse way of life. A must-do activity is to go to the top of the Town Mountain to the Aksla viewpoint for a panoramic view of the archipelago, the town centre, and the amazing Sunnmøre mountains. It’s picture-perfect Norway at its finest.

  • Bergen

    Known as the ‘Gateway to the Fjords’, Bergen is most famous for the brightly painted Hanseatic buildings of the old Bryggen wharf area, formerly port warehouses but now mostly interesting shops and stores. This whole area around the bustling Vagen inner harbour is where you’ll find Bergen’s thriving flower, fruit and fish markets, historical museums, an aquarium, and impressive variety of restaurants, galleries, shops and cosy bars. Concerts and cultural attractions abound, and it’s possible to visit the home of Norway’s most renowned composer, Edvard Grieg. While in Bergen, you may wish to take a short excursion on the funicular railway (Fløibanen) to the top of Fløyen mountain for magnificent views over the city.

  • Fläm

    Tiny Flåm may be small in stature but it’s big in natural assets, set in pristine scenery of steep mountains, cascading waterfalls and narrow valleys at the end of Aurlandsfjord, the southern arm of mighty Sognefjord. Its main claim to fame is as the access point for the mountain station of Myrdal on the Flåmsbana (Flåm railway). The 20-kilometre journey between Flåm and Myrdal is simply stunning – cliffs, waterfalls and streams pass by on one of the world’s most spectacular railway routes. Excursions may follow a circular itinerary, with one part of the journey by road, taking in more of Norway’s exceptional landscape.

  • Geiranger Fjord

    This is natural Norway at its finest, deep blue water and mountain sides so steep they are practically vertical, rumbling and tumbling with waterfalls including De syv søstrene (The Seven Sisters), Friaren (The Suitor) and Brudesløret (The Bridal Veil), a haze of water droplets lingering over the slopes, catching the light and casting rainbows all around. Shore excursions typically take in the natural landscape including Flydal Gorge, Eagle’s Way (a mountain road with 11 hairpin bends) and of course the numerous cascades and falls. This whole area is UNESCO-protected and it’s easy to see why.

  • Oslo

    Norway’s capital and the country’s largest city, Oslo’s hustle and bustle will provide an altogether different experience from much of the rest of your cruise. Compared to many cities, though, it’s known for its generous green spaces and great museums, either located in the area around Oslo’s Opera House or on the Bygdøy peninsula, where you’ll find the Norwegian Maritime Museum and the Viking Ship Museum. Also on the must-see list is Vigeland Sculpture Park and the famous Holmenkollen ski jump. Tours may be organised shore excursions, or there are hop-on-hop-off city tour bus tickets available for more independent travellers.

  • Stavanger

    There are a number of notable attractions in and around the south-western oil city of Stavanger, among them Sola beach and the world famous Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), a natural viewing platform atop a cliff almost 2000 feet above sea level with outstanding far-reaching views over the Lysefjord. There’s an attractive harbour right next to the cruise terminal, and Stavanger’s city centre is compact and easily walkable, with lots of museums to visit and, in the old part, cobbled streets lined with quaint white wooden houses, considered to be Europe’s best-preserved wooden house settlement. Types of excursions include Lysefjord cruising, combined fjord cruising/hiking, city walking tours, or alternatively hop-on-hop-off city bus tickets are available too.

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