Top 12 best cruises in Norway for a fantastic Scandinavian adventure

By Alina GoncharovaFeb 25, 2024 10:11 AMNorway
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Top 12 best cruises in Norway for a fantastic Scandinavian adventure
Fantastic Norway. Source: Image adriankirby/Pixabay

At 63,000 miles long, Norway boasts the second longest coastline in the world. From unrealistic snowy landscapes sparkling with billions of crystals in winter to the ghostly midnight sun in summer, this unique Scandinavian country offers many opportunities for an amazing trip that will create memories to last a lifetime. Numerous islands, bays, fjords, coastal towns and villages create the perfect backdrop for the best cruises in Norway at any time of the year. A sea voyage includes not only incredible breathtaking views but also a variety of meals, master classes and performances by astronomers and professional photographers. The presence of many ports allows you to organize informative excursions to explore the sights of the region, both natural and cultural and historical; in addition, activities such as fishing, kayaking, or even wildlife safaris are often organized.

No matter what season you choose to travel, cruising in Norway will give you an unforgettable experience. All you have to do is choose a tour that suits your preferences and travel style.

Norway: exploring from head to toe

Top 12 best cruises in Norway for a fantastic Scandinavian adventure
Fjords overboard. Source: Image Julian Leicht/Pixabay

Hurtigruten has been providing transportation, cargo and postal services for remote coastal locations along the picturesque Norwegian coast since its inception. The company currently has several unique expeditionary ships at its disposal. Some of the vessels have research and scientific centres on board, so the trip will be not only exciting but also very informative.

On the occasion of its 130th anniversary, Hurtigruten is launching the North Cape Express, which will offer the most exciting moments of exploring the Arctic. The first voyage of this magnificent Norwegian cruise will start from Oslo. The ship departing from the southernmost city in the country crosses the Arctic Circle, and the last point of the route is Honningsvåg, the gateway to Cape Nordkap.

The cruise includes stops in 13 ports. Among them, the picturesque coastal village of Leidingen deserves special attention, as well as the small historic town of Stokmarknes located on the island of Hadsel, Westerålen archipelago. It was here that the Coastal Express route was created under the leadership of the maritime pioneer Richard With, the total length of which is 2500 miles.

The cost of a 14-day North Cape Express cruise starts from £2028. Departures on the MS Trollfjord from Bergen to Oslo are scheduled for the period from October to April, there is no extra charge for individual travellers.

Have fun with whales

This top-rated cruise in Norway is carried out on the sturdy M/V Quest. The ship has 26 cabins, each with a private bathroom. Travellers will enjoy an interesting and eventful itinerary that includes the following activities and entertainment

  • whale watching;
  • master classes on board;
  • photo workshops;
  • husky safaris, etc.

In addition, you will travel on a unique Arctic train from the pedestrian centre of Narvik to Tamok Camp. Passengers spend two nights in Tromsø, a picturesque town in the north of the country located on the riverbank. The location is known not only for its cosy restaurants and eclectic cafes but also for the extraordinary Arctic Cathedral (Tromsdalen Church), the exterior and interior of thich are inspired by phantasmagoric ice shapes. Weather permitting, you will be able to apply the knowledge gained during the photography workshop by taking pictures of the colourful sky.

The duration of the Northern Lights Arctic Fjord Whale Watching Cruise is seven nights, and the cost of the trip starts from £4,150. The ship is scheduled to depart on February 22 and March 12, 2024, so you can choose the best time. The cruise includes a variety of activities and hotel accommodation in Tromsø (two nights).

Svalbard under sail

Built back in 1747, the three-masted schooner S/V Rembrandt Van Rijn served as a luger for herring fishing. Next summer, the fully restored and transformed sailing vessel will sail through glaciers in the untouched Svalbard wilderness. While sailing at an average speed of 6.5 knots, passengers are likely to see whales, Atlantic walruses, polar bears and numerous birds such Norwegian grouse.

In addition, one of the best cruises in Norway includes a passage through the Forlandsundet Strait, a visit to a former mining town, and a fascinating excursion to the seabird nesting rock at Alkhornet. Now a polar research station, Ny Ålesund was once the starting point for Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer who made a series of intrepid expeditions to the North Pole.

The cost of this eight-day North Spitsbergen Voyage Longyearbyen roundtrip with Regent starts from £2960, and the cruise is scheduled to depart on May 15 and 24, 2024. The ship carries 33 passengers and 12 crew members.

Entertainment for families

P&O Cruises' new state-of-the-art ship, Iona, offers cruises for all generations and provides the following amenities

  • four swimming pools;
  • babysitting services;
  • great kids' clubs with lots of entertainment;
  • 30 places for recreation and dining, etc.

You can choose a trip of seven, twelve or sixteen days, and there is a wide range of departure dates available, so it's easy to organize a trip during school holidays. For example. Iona's itinerary includes visits to Ålesund, Nordfjord and Alden, and passes through several picturesque fjords.

As part of the cruise, passengers will enjoy a hike to the symbolic Pulpit Rock, which offers incredible panoramic views of the Lysefjord, a RibRide tour on boats in the harbor of Olusund, and a cable car ride. Travellers will also take part in the North Sea Cycle Route on bicycles, which leads to the mountains, lakes and beaches around Stavanger. The cost of this one-week Norwegian cruise starts from £799, and departures are made between March and October, as well as in December.

For those with a sweet tooth

Top 12 best cruises in Norway for a fantastic Scandinavian adventure
Watching the Northern Lights. Source: Image Tommy Andreassen/Pixabay

Chocolatier Mark Tilling and expert representatives of the ORCA charity will join select departures of the Magic of Northern Lights on Saga's Spirit of Adventure. This beautiful Norwegian cruise is scheduled for spring.

The exciting journey begins and ends in Portsmouth, including visits to Bergen, the fjord village of Flåm, Tromsø, Alta and Ålesund. To maximize the chances of seeing the Northern Lights, the itinerary includes an extended stay in Alta, with an evening excursion to a romantic lantern-lit camp outside the city.

Tilling will open the curtains of his skill during a demonstration in a specially equipped confectionery and chocolate-making workshops that passengers can attend. During the cruise, volunteers from ORCA, a marine mammal research organization, will be present on deck with binoculars, looking for whales, dolphins and seabirds, telling everyone about the migration routes and the many representatives of marine life.

The cost of the Magic of the Northern Lights cruise starts from 4394 pounds sterling. The total duration of the trip is 15 days with departure on March 2, 2024. If you want to attend master classes, we recommend booking a ticket for March 19. Regardless of the choice, passengers will enjoy three excursions, a transfer to the port, and unlimited drinks.

Enjoy the myriad of stars

For those who enjoy endless views of the sky, Havila has announced astronomy cruises in Norway for 2024. The duration of the Astronomy Adventure with Havila trip will be 11 days, and its cost will start from £1058 (from Bergen to Kirkenes).

The cruise, scheduled for March 2, will be accompanied by John Zarnecki, former president of the Royal Astronomical Society. The prominent English scientist will tell guests about the potential for life on other planets, spaceships, and conspiracy theories. Ian Ridpath, editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy, will join the trips on February 1 and October 30. The scientist will talk about stars and comets, the mesmerizing Northern Lights, and Apollo space missions.

Stylish research

Ponant boasts stylish "research yachts" inspired by French explorers. For example, one of the vessels was even named after Joseph René Bello, who participated in numerous expeditions to the Arctic. Passengers of such a yacht, designed for 92 cabins, can be sure that they will enjoy maximum comfort. Each of the rooms has a balcony with incredible panoramic views. There is also a swimming pool on board, an underwater lounge with windows behind the sound system that reflects the underground acoustics.

The itinerary of one of the best cruises in Norway includes sailing along the famous Bear Island (Bjørnøya) in the Barents Sea, and travellers will also spend a whole day in the Rhine on the Lofoten archipelago. According to Greenpeace, the largest seabird colony in the northern hemisphere is located along the Bjørnøya. In Hammerfest, you can see the Struve geodesic arc, which consists of 34 triangulations and stretches from Norway to the Black Sea. This unique landmark is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The duration of the Nordic Discoveries and Traditions cruise with Mundy Adventures is 11 days, and the price starts from £9292. The research yacht is scheduled to depart on March 10, 2024. The price includes two nights' accommodation at the Paris airport.

The perfect combination

Summer opens up even more opportunities for exciting adventures and interesting itineraries, including a cross-country voyage offered by Viking. The ship departs from Norway to Iceland, passing through Svalbard, Longyearbyen and the Jan Mayen Islands. These remote landscapes can be explored on foot or by kayak. You can take an RIB (rigid inflatable boat) safari in an area called Fuglefjell ("Bird cliff") not far from Longyearbyen to observe nesting seabirds, including:

  • colonies of common eiders;
  • parrots;
  • guillemots;
  • Arctic terns;
  • gulls and others.

After crossing the Norwegian Sea, the Viking Mars, which always has a resident historian on board, disembarks in Isafjordur, on Iceland's picturesque west coast, before stopping in Reykjavik.

The Scandinavian atmosphere is felt throughout the ship, from the warmth-infused menus to the earthy-hued décor with an emphasis on the natural environment and the modern spa. This magnificent 16-day Iceland and Norway's Arctic Explorer cruise is priced from £6,390, with excursions in each port included. The ship departs on May 25, 2024.

Travelling during the summer solstice

The Princess Cruises journey, which begins in Southampton, includes stops in nine ports, including:

  • Svolvær;
  • Tromsø;
  • Honningsvåg, the gateway to Cape Nordkap and others.

The cruise, which coincides with the summer solstice on June 21, includes a variety of excursions in large numbers. For example, you can brave the Trollstigen Highway to be rewarded with views of the spectacular waterfall in the Gudbrand Gorge, or travel to the Stappen Islands for bird watching. In addition, hike to the Briksdal Glacier and be sure to ride one of the most exciting cable cars in the world, the Loen Skylift. On the way back, the Emerald Princess makes an additional stop at the port of Edinburgh before docking in Southampton.

The Land of the Midnight Sun and Summer Solstice cruise starts on June 17, 2024, and its price starts from £1521.

A real fairy tale for children and adults

Popular cruises to Norway from Southampton sell out very quickly, so you should hurry up to ensure that you get on board a huge modern ship, especially if you want to have an unforgettable summer vacation. With unlimited entertainment, clubs for children of all ages and teenagers, water parks, and even characters from your favourite cartoons, no one will be bored here. In addition, during the cruise to Ålesund, Stavanger and Haugesund, passengers will have the opportunity to learn how to make chocolate at the Freyja factory and overcome the longest bobsledding track in Norway. Adults will especially enjoy the panoramic views from Mount Aksla, the fantastic scenery of the Briksdal Glacier, and visits to cosy, warm cafes in Ålesund and Haugesund.

Amenities available to guests on board include:

  • Senses Spa with a full range of treatments;
  • theme parties for all ages;
  • exclusive events exclusively for adults;
  • children's breakfasts with Disney characters.

The cost of the Northern Europe and Norwegian Fjords Cruise with Disney starts from £8084 for a family of two children and two adults. The trip lasts seven days and departs on August 5, 2024.

Voyage with the Queen of the Fjords

Queen Anne, Cunard's long-awaited new ship, will make her debut in May for her first sailing season. The ship will sail to Norway in the summer. Departures take place on June 23, 2024 from Southampton, and the cost of this nine-night Norwegian Fjords cruise starts from £1,299.

The fourth ship in the company's fleet offers the following amenities:

  • a spa centre with 9 treatment rooms;
  • a full-size tennis court;
  • a wellness studio on the top deck with a separate cafe;
  • a pavilion with a swimming pool and a retractable glass roof;
  • a variety of dining options;
  • a cinema and much more.

The Sky Bar, where you can drink cocktails and enjoy incredible views of the vast expanse of sea and majestic fjords, is particularly interesting.

As part of the route, the ship will pass through Innvikfjord, Sognefjord, and Nordfjord. Passengers will also have the opportunity to visit Bergen and the fjord village of Flam and Haugesund, known as the home of the Viking kings. This cruise is perfect for individual travellers as the ship offers a wide range of cabins for them, as well as a variety of entertainment, excursions, food and drinks.

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