Steve’s Soujorns First Time to the fiords?
Cruising give you option of keeping costs down as Norway is so expensive food and drink wise. You can also see the Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun without the light pollution of the cities and sea eagles flying alongside are a common site.
Make sure you don’t miss the Geiranger Fiord with its sheer mountain sides and waterfalls. Standing on the cliffs at Europe’s most Northerly point of the Nord Cap with the tundra sweeping away behind you is quite an experience. The Art Nouveau town of Alesund is fascinating and do take the funicular railway at Bergen to look down on the city. Southwards the Hardanger Fiord with it orchards is an absolute must as is the majestic Lysefjord near Stavanger.
If you want thrills then the Trollfiord where you feel you can touch the sides of the cliffs as you pass through and the ship has to do a three point turn to get back out is for you.
The Norwegians use the Hurtigruten. Part taxi, part ferry, part cruise ship it plies up the coast between Bergen and Kirkenes, visiting over 100 fjords and 34 ports. There’s no entertainment but you have a dedicated cruise dining room other wise there’s a snack bar. If you plan it yourself you can stay longer in places and pick up the next ship in the morning.
The cruise ships such as Cruise and Maritime’s Marco Polo, Fred Olsen’s Boudicca and Celebrity Cruises’ Eclipse also go north but visit the southern fiords below Bergen in places such as Stavanger and Hardanger. They have all the facilities such as theatres, spas, gyms etc. but depending on their size (and thus their keel depth) they are restricted to which fiords they can visit. It’s worth remembering for your own mobility that some ports such as Geiranger may only be accessible by tender.
Excursions can be expensive. Five ports you can walk around and explore are Tromso, Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger and Hammerfest so take a guidebook with you.
If you’re going to take an excursion try shooting the whirlpools in rubber boats at Bodo or take the railway from Flam said to be the one the worlds most beautiful. The coach trip to and the view from the top of the Geiranger fiord is incredible.