A region best explored by cruise, the Norwegian Fjords is one of the most popular European cruise destinations – and with good reason. Offering breathtaking scenery, towering snow-capped peaks and history-laden towns and cities, the Norwegian Fjords have much to offer both experienced cruisers as well as those looking to book a cruise for the first time.
If you’re thinking about a cruise that takes in the highlights of this stunning region, then read our Norwegian Fjords cruise guide for advice regarding everything from the best time to travel to the best shore excursions currently on offer with some of the world’s finest cruise lines.
Best time to explore the Norwegian Fjords on a cruise
The optimum time to explore the Fjords is during the summer months, particularly between mid-June and August. Temperatures can regularly hit a comfortable 25 degrees during this period but be warned; the weather in the Fjords can change quite dramatically and its not uncommon to experience heavy rainfall even when the climate is at it’s mildest. You should also note that Norway’s summer season is when the days are at their longest so depending on how far north your itinerary takes you, you might even get to experience the world-famous Midnight Sun.
What to pack on a Norwegian Fjords cruise
Factoring in the changeable weather, packing your suitcase for a Norwegian Fjord’s cruise is a slightly more complex task than it would be for a summer Mediterranean voyage. We’d recommend packing something for all weather eventualities – even if you’ve checked the forecast before leaving. The key here is to pack lighter layers which can be easily removed when the sun (hopefully) beams through, alongside a waterproof jacket, preferably with a hood and fleeced inner lining.
In addition to this, you might want to add the following to your suitcase:
- A hat that covers your ears in the event of a chilly breeze when on higher ground
- Sensible walking shoes for hiking and trekking on uneven terrains
- Warm socks that go above the ankles to keep your feet and shins warm
- Sunglasses – even if the sun is shining then you’ll still want to gaze up at the stunning peaks, a decent pair of sunglasses will prevent to much squinting.
Also – and this probably goes without saying – make sure you pack a camera as you’re going to want to document everything you see so that you can share the experience when you return home.
Recommended ports of call on Norwegian Fjords’ cruise
You’ll be delighted to know that the a cruise along the Norwegian Fjords offers much to explore when your ship stops at a port of call. After all, this region is rich in history and each port – whether it’s a city, town or tiny fishing village – has something unique to offer those visiting on a cruise holiday.
Here are some ports that you should keep an eye out for when choosing your itinerary:
Bergen – The former capital city of Norway (which is now Oslo), Bergen is a frequented by many ships on their Fjord transits. Picturesque and with a history that dates back to 1070, Bergen offers a combination of historical architecture and modern, cosmopolitan ambiance.
Alesund – A fairy-tale city in every sense, Alesund is comprised of a cluster of small islands and set against a magnificent backdrop provided by the Sunnmor Alps. A heady combination of twisting spires and Art Nouveau architecture, Alesund is a fairly new town having been rebuilt following a fire over 100 years ago. Alesund is also home to one of Europe’s largest aquariums, the Atlantic-Sea Park.
Tromsø – Proclaimed to be the “Paris of the North”, Tromsø serves as the gateway to the Arctic and is situated on Norway’s north-western tip . Visit the Arctic Cathedral – a stunning example of modern architecture, and immerse yourself in it’s scenic setting, surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks and deep-blue fjords.
Flåm – . Situated in the heartlands of the Norwegian Fjords, Flåm has been a popular tourist destination since the turn of the 20th century. A trip on the Flåm Railway is highly recommended and will take you on a journey through some of Norway’s most incredible beauty spots and is lauded as one of the top train journeys in the world.
Recommended Norwegian Fjords Shore Excursions
For those seeking to enhance their Norwegian Fjords experience further there is an exciting variety of shore excursions and land-tours operated by many of the cruise lines that visit the region. For example, choose a voyage with Regent Seven Seas and enjoy the Panoramic Bergen tour, which will allow you to absorb the city’s most scenic highlights on a guided coach trip that visits Hanseatic Pier, Rosenkrantz Tower and Mary’s Church – the oldest building in Bergen.
Those who wish to indulge in something a little more active should take a look at Oceania Cruises‘ Fjord Kayak Adventure which is available on itineraries that stop in Geiranger. Lasting half a day, this no-experience-required tour will see you enjoy a gentle cruise down the Geiranger Fjord in a kayak, taking you between steep rocky walls and past thundering waterfalls.
Other recommended excursions include Crystal Cruises‘ tour of Giske and Godøy, two islands situated a short trip away from the mainland. Here you will be able to explore ancient Viking monuments against a remarkable mountainous backdrop.
Have you been on a Norwegian Fjords’ cruise recently? If so, tell us about your experience in the comment’s field below!