UNESCO World Heritage Sites you can visit on a Norway Cruise

Tuesday, 9 April 2024

Ambience cruise ship in Geirangerfjord, Norway

Norway is an incredible cruising destination, known for its Fjords, welcoming culture, and, of course, as a wonderful place to see the Northern Lights! Whatever reason travellers have for visiting Norway, they’re always left awe-inspired and blown away by the sheer natural beauty of this majestic country.

If you’re looking for yet another reason why cruising is the best way to see Norway, this article has it! Read on to discover the four incredible Norway UNESCO World Heritage Sites you can access via an Ambassador cruise.

Norway UNESCO sites you can visit on a cruise:

  • Bryggen, Bergen
  • Rock Art of Alta, Alta
  • Struve Geodetic Arc, Hammerfest
  • West Norwegian Fjords

Bryggen UNESCO Heritage Site, Bergen, Norway

Bryggen, Bergen

One of the most popular attractions in Norway and granted World Heritage status in 1979, Bryggen is a highlight of any cruise to Norway from the UK. Ready to welcome you in, Bryggen is a harbour-side area known for its Hanseatic wooden houses. The starting point of this historic city, those who visit Bryggen will be able to see the beginning of Bergen’s creation.

Established sometime before 1070 AD, Bryggen has been a crucial trading port for Norway since its conception in the Middle Ages. Throughout history, though, the area has not been without its setbacks, with many fires ravaging the wooden-built buildings.

From the popular fish market to the shops selling souvenirs, there is plenty to enjoy here today when you visit on a cruise. For those who want to learn more about the area, a trip to the Bryggen Museum can be an inciteful way to spend your time.

Lisa Stentvedt is an expert on all things Norway and blogs at Fjords and Beaches. We asked Lisa why Bryggen is such a good experience for travellers: “Visiting Bryggen in Bergen is a truly unique way to get a glimpse into the history of the city. The wharf area has been an important trading hub for centuries, with the current buildings dating back to the 1700s, showing visitors a bit of what life was like for fishermen and merchants back when Bergen was the largest wooden city in Europe!”

READ MORE: A Guide to Norway’s Cruise Ports

Rock Art of Alta UNESCO Heritage Site, Alta, Norway

Rock Art of Alta, Alta

For history lovers, you’ll be able to travel back thousands of years when you stop in Alta. The Rock Art of Alta are a set of detailed petroglyphs (cave art) that are thought to date back as early as 5000 BC. Since the first carvings were discovered in 1973, thousands more have been uncovered. You can see depictions of prehistoric life, including dancing, rituals, hunting, landscapes and animals.

Inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985, the Rock Art of Alta is the only prehistoric monument in Norway. With four carving sites and one painting site, there are plenty of petroglyphs to see, but for the best experience, we recommend you visit the Alta Museum. With scenic views over the Alta Fjord, you’ll also be able to walk around the open-air exhibit and see some of the best examples Alta’s rock art.

Struve Geodetic Arc UNESCO Heritage Site in  Hammerfest, Norway

Struve Geodetic Arc, Hammerfest

The Struve Geodetic Arc point in Hammerfest can be quite unassuming, and many may not realise that it’s part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site if they were to walk past it on a port day. However, for those in Hammerfest, taking the time to visit this obelisk will offer you a chance to witness firsthand a part of scientific history.  

Starting in the Arctic Circle at Hammerfest and stretching through ten countries across 2,820 km to the Black Sea, the Struve Geodetic Arc represent the first accurate measurement of segment of a meridian and, therefore, the first exact measurement of the world. From Hammerfest, there are now 34 commemorative points, with the final found in Odesa Oblast, Ukraine.

Ambience in Geirangerfjord UNESCO World Heritage Site, Norway

West Norwegian Fjords

We may well have saved the best for last, as the West Norwegian Fjords are the final site on the list of UNESCO sites in Norway you can see on a cruise. Comprising of Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, these two fjords sit 120 km apart and are considered some of the most beautiful in the world. With steep-sided cliff walls towering over calm waters, the fjords are best seen by boat.

With our Norwegian Fjords cruises, you’ll be able to take in the stunning UNESCO Fjords in Norway. Both of our ships have the highest level of eco-credentials possible, meaning they are able to venture where many others can’t – into the Geirangerfjord!

READ MORE: What to Pack for A: Norwegian Fjords Cruise

These four cultural sites are just some of the incredible things a cruise of Norway can offer. Whether you want to enjoy prehistory and see the Rock Art of Alta or are looking for overwhelming natural beauty at the West Fjords, you’ll find it in bucketloads with an Ambassador cruise to Norway.

If you’re looking for more guides on Norway and all of the other cruise destinations we visit, be sure to visit our travel blog.