A guide to Norway’s Cruise Ports
Tuesday, 26 October 2021
With breathtaking landscapes, rich history and idyllic towns and cities, Norway really is one-of-a-kind. For those who want to cruise the Norwegian Fjords, the amount on offer is fantastic and can have you walking in the footsteps of Viking kings to hiking glaciers one day to the next.
If you want to learn a little more about the cruise ports you can visit on a Norway cruise and what you can do there, read on.
Surrounded by seven hills and seven fjords, Bergen is Norway’s second-largest city and is known as ‘the gateway to the Fjords’. This idyllic city may be large in Norwegian terms but it has small-town charm and an intriguing atmosphere. One such reason for this is Bryggen, the old town of Bergen which shows you a peek into the city’s heritage thanks to its beautifully preserved wooden buildings. For those in the city for the first time, visiting this UNESCO World Heritage site is a must.
And, that’s not the only thing Bergen has going for it, with amazing links out into the natural side of Norway, you can easily escape the city and find yourself amongst beautiful scenery whilst here on a stopover. One of the best places to do this is Mount Fløyen, offering views over the city. You can hike the mountain with ease (the most direct route will take you around 45 minutes) or catch the Fløibanen funicular if you’d rather take it easy.
Located at the innermost point of the Eid Fjord, an arm of the Hardangerfjord, is Eidfjord, and wow, is this a place where you can take in some incredible vistas. The charming town itself sits on a flat surrounded by towering mountains and is truly a sight to behold all in itself, so we suggest you try and get a seat on deck whilst arriving.
One thing that everyone should do whilst here is to visit the Vøringsfossen Waterfall. At 182 metres tall, the water here runs from high in the Hardangervidda mountain and you might just find yourself believing in magic for one minute whilst you gaze upon it. The best view you can get is on the newly constructed bridge, which allows you to walk over the waterfall itself.
At the innermost bank of the Aurlandsfjord, surrounded by steep mountains, thundering waterfalls and narrow valleys, you’ll find the small village of Flåm. Like Eidfjord, it’s situated on a small flat and surrounded by towering mountains, in fact, the name Flåm even originates from the Old Norse for ‘plain, flat piece of land’, flá.
By far, the most popular thing to do in Flåm is take a ride on the Flåm line, a train line that spans between Flåm and Myrdal. At just over 20 kilometres long, it may not be a long journey but it’s a beautiful one and features one of the steepest railway tracks in the world and a few spirals for good measure.
READ MORE: What to eat in the Norwegian Fjords
Viking heritage in Norway doesn’t get much stronger than in Haugesund and the surrounding area. Only 8km away is Avaldnes, the birthplace of Norway’s first king Harald Fairhair, and that’s why this area is known as the Homeland of the Viking Kings. It’s actually the local shipping lane that gave Norway its name, known by the Vikings as the Way to the North, or Northway.
We’d suggest taking the opportunity, whilst in Haugesund, to visit Avaldsnes if you want to learn more about Norwegian and Viking history. Here, as well as a stunning Middle Age church you can find a small, forested island that is home to a Viking Farm. The farm shows an ordinary Viking society and will instantly transport you back to the 10th century.
Olden is a charming village and is really the place to go for those who want to spend some time outdoors on their Norway cruise holiday. Here you can enjoy kayaking, glacier hiking, cycling and a wealth of hiking routes. If there is one stop that you decide to explore the natural landscapes more than the rest, we recommend it’s this one.
One of the most amazing things you can do in Olden is visit the nearby Tystig Glacier. The views from the summit of this hike are like nothing else on earth, and it’s a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
As you can see, the amount of beauty on offer at Norway’s cruise ports is endless and this is just one reason why Norwegian Fjord cruises are so popular. If you want to visit glaciers, traverse breathtaking Fjords and learn more about Viking history, why not try one for yourself?
For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our blog page.