7 things to do on a Norwegian Fjords cruise
A cruise through Norway’s majestic fjords makes for a holiday packed with adventure, culture and breathtaking scenery. Here, we’ve listed seven must-do experiences in this spectacular region
Norway’s fjord region is like nowhere else on earth. Its soaring mountain peaks, calm waters, magnificent glaciers and welcoming communities provide unparalleled opportunities for adventures of all sorts. Arcadia, Aurora, Azura, Britannia and Ventura all offer Norwegian Fjords holidays that are packed with exciting itineraries. Here, we’ve listed seven can’t-miss experiences to bring out your inner explorer.
1. Navigate the fjords
Cruising through the deep-blue waters of Norway’s UNESCO-protected fjords is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the ship has docked, why not take time to explore them from a different perspective? There are plenty of shore excursions that will provide you with the opportunity, including in Alesund, where you can get a bird’s-eye view of the fjords and islands on the Kayak Adventure or RIB Safari; or on the Vision of the Fjord shore excursion in Flåm, which takes you through the beautiful Nærøyfjord. Many Norwegian Fjords cruises also sail by Sognefjord, the world’s longest and deepest fjord.
2. Go glacial
Norway’s majestic landscape was shaped by glaciers during the ice age, and a visit to these frozen giants is nothing short of awe-inspiring. From Skjolden, visit Jostedal Glacier National Park to see the largest glacier on the European mainland, covering 188sq miles, or explore the beautiful Briksdal or Kjenndalen glaciers in Olden for a closer look at these powerful forces of nature.
3. Walk in the footsteps of Vikings
The Viking era, which spanned the 9th to 11th centuries, has long been a source of fascination for everyone from history buffs to Hollywood producers, and the fjord region is rich with the stories of these ancient warriors. To learn more, try the Stavanger Highlights shore excursion, which will take you to historically significant locations such as Hafrsfjord, where Viking King Harald Hårfagre defeated the last of the regional princes and united Norway into one kingdom. In Haugesund, the Historic Avaldsnes and Viking Village tour will give you a fascinating insight into the homeland of the Viking kings.
4. Bask in the midnight sun
Norway offers plenty by way of incredible natural events, no matter what time of year you visit. In the summer months you can experience the surreal phenomenon of the midnight sun, when the sun remains visible late into the night – or, around the summer solstice, doesn’t set at all. Grab a drink and a prime spot on deck to see it for yourself.
5. Visit charming seaside cities
Thoughts of Norwegian towns and cities bring to mind colourful waterfront buildings surrounded by spectacular scenery. Bergen in particular serves as a picture-perfect example of this. Norway’s second-largest city is a former European Capital of Culture, and its charming 11th-century wooden buildings are sure to impress. Explore it on the Bergen Walking Tour shore excursion, or take the cable car and see it all from above on the Heights and Highlights tour. Stavanger is another gem – its scenic old town makes for a great stroll. To really get under the city’s skin, try the Wanderlust Norwegian Home Visit package, where you can visit a private home and learn all about Norway’s culture and customs from a local resident.
6. Tuck into the regional cuisine
‘New Nordic’ food has been enjoying something of a boon, with restaurants specialising in the creative cuisine popping up in cities all over the world. Newer to the scene is ‘Neo Fjordic’, which hones in on the food culture of Norway and the bounty of ingredients available on its doorstep. Local specialities include berries, herbs and shellfish galore. Tuck in at one of the region’s many fantastic restaurants.
7. Relax on board
After an adventurous day on shore, take some time to relax and unwind back on board the ship. Treat yourself to a tension-blasting massage in the Oasis Spa, discuss the day’s events over drinks at one of many on-board bars and cafés, or simply curl up with a good book on deck while you savour the views.