Explore Norway with fjord cruises
More than 100 years ago in Norway, savvy Richard With opened the first regular sea route to transport goods and mail. Soon the cabins for passengers were made at the mail liners as interest to the route increased with each year passing. ‘Hurtigruten’ was the name of the route that combined cruise ferries and mail liners and connected key points on the steep Norwegian coast.
Today, Norwegian fjords cruises are one of the most popular destinations in the world. They allow visitors to plunge into the mysterious and alluring world of the country. However, if you wish your journey to be interesting and useful, without unpleasant surprises, you should carefully prepare.
When to go
The best time to visit the Norwegian fjords is from late spring till early autumn. Although, thanks to the warm sea currents, the navigation in the region is open all year round. Fjords are lovely in any weather: both in the spring with the slopes covered with flowering trees and in the winter with inaccessible cliffs covered with snow and ice and hanging over the water – it is a real Troll’s Kingdom. But remember that many cruise routes to the fjords are closed in winter (since November till April).
What clothes to take
In Norway, the weather is very unpredictable, so we advise you always to have warm clothes, water and wind-proof jacket, walking shoes for excursions. In winter, early spring and late autumn, warm hat, scarf, gloves and layered clothing are required. Take goggles to protect your eyes from the sun and sparkling snow, as well as a bathing suit because on board of many ships there is a Jacuzzi.
You can set off for the Norwegian fjords cruisesboth from Norway and any other European country, choosing the best cruise company. In general, the conditions on the ships of different companies are about the same. But since most of the cruise in Norway is operated by Hurtigruten, we’ll offer you a closer look at their liners.
All calculations on board are made in NOK. You can exchange major currencies and traveler's checks, as well. They accept VISA, American Express, Master Card and Diners Card.
There is no doctor on board because the distance from port to port is rather small. In an emergency, the liner staff can give the first aid.
On board of modern liners, there are laundry rooms, dryers and irons. Tokens for laundry use can be purchased at the front desk. On the Liners Lofoten and Nordstjernen you can have your linen washed.
When boarding a ship, passengers are advised to visit the restaurant and reserve a table. The usual schedule is as follows: the breakfast is from 08.00 to 10.00, the lunch is at 13.00, and the dinner is at 18.00. In high season, the schedule of restaurants and cafes is posted on a special board. For breakfast, the travelers are offered buffet service with a large selection of cold meats, cheese, eggs, cereal and fruit. For lunch, there is a large selection of cold meat and fish dishes, salads, hot dishes, desserts and fruit. Dinner consists of three courses, without much of a choice. If you need a special diet (e.g. vegetarian meals) then specify this when booking.
On board of almost every liner, there are shops where you can buy souvenirs, national sweaters and other knitwear, books, postcards, stamps, and personal-care products. On board of the traditional ships (MS Lofoten and MS Nordstjernen) household stuff and small souvenirs can be bought in a coffee shop.
In high season, you’d better reserve and pay for the tour in advance, when booking your cruise as during the cruise there may be no vacant tickets. The content of the excursions may vary depending on the weather conditions and the group membership.
All cabins and public areas are non-smoking. You can smoke only on the open deck, but not during the stay in port.
Every liner is equipped with telephones; phone cards can be bought at the front desk. On board, you can use personal mobile phones, the coverage is good enough.
Popular routes of the Norwegian fjord cruises
The itinerary may be different and include not only famous fjords of Norway (Geirangerfjord, Sognafjord and Hardangerfjord), but a visit to the Norwegian capital and the cities of Bergen and Kirkenes. Meanwhile, you can choose cruises on the Norwegian fjords, which will allow you to visit Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Poland, as well.
The most attractive fjords that are usually included in the itinerary are the following:
- The largest fjord in the world is Sognafjord, inaccessible cliffs of which attract photographers trying to capture its unique beauty.
- The famous Geirangerfjord is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its amazingly beautiful waterfalls, breaking from the cliffs directly into the sea water. The most famous waterfalls have romantic names and shrouded in ancient legends: these are Seven Sisters and Bridal Veil.
- Naeroyfjord Fjord is also a World Heritage Site. Its shores sometimes converge at a distance less than 300 meters, and tourists travelling on board of the liner feel as if in a tunnel.
Along the beautiful west coast of Norway the cruises are arranged by the company Hurtigruten. This name is well known both in Scandinavia and abroad – Hurtigruten has been operating on the market for 120 years, and its experience of service the travelers from around the world shows that not all tourists want to make a standard 12-day journey. Many tourists from Europe come to Norway by car and book a cruise divided into smaller parts.
That is, tourists choose the area between the two ports (carefully read the guide, or having explored the stories of seasoned travelers, or with the assistance of a travel agency), load the car on the Hurtigruten cruise ship and cross the distance between the ports by sea. And it makes sense as some natural attractions can be seen only from the sea.
Popular routes and approximate cost
|Copenhagen – Norwegian Fjords||Royal Caribbean International||7-8 days||from UER 600|
|Copenhagen – Norwegian Fjords||MSC Cruises||7-9 days||from UER 800|
|Southampton (England) – Norwegian Fjords||Celebrity Cruises||7 days||from UER 1900|
|Copenhagen–NorwegianFjordsand North Cape||Seabourn||14 days||from UER 7000|
|Hamburg – Norwegian fjords||Costa Cruises||7 days||from UER 680|
|Copenhagen–NorwegianFjords||Costa Cruises||7 days||from UER 750|
|Bergen– Kirkenes – Bergen||-||11 and 12 days||from UER 1200 (from June till August)|
|Bergen– Kirkenes – Trondheim||-||11 and 12 days|
|Bergen– Kirkenes||-||6 and 7 days|
|Kirkenes – Bergen||-||6 and 7 days|
Norwegian Fjords are famous for their unique landscapes, legends and even the color of the water. Every tourist on board of the cruise liner unwittingly feels inseparable from the violence of pristine nature. Having charged by the energy of the fjords, people again and again come back to these wonderful places.