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ūüė䬆Has anyone cruised to the Norwegian Fjords? It‚Äôs¬†been on my bucket list for years and we are traveling there next year on Windstar‚Äôs Star Legend. Tell me about your experiences.

Edited by cathardt
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I'm thinking about the Norwegian Fjords in summer 2023. I'd like to see the midnight sun. I'd also like to see Geirangerfjord. I love beautiful scenery, but I'm not really a hiker. I don't want a whole lot of sea days. (I have also been to England and Scotland - including Edinburgh and the Orkneys so don't want to spend extra time doing that.) I'm looking for at least 11 nights, but probably more.

 

I've looked at Hurtigruten's regular coastal trips, but, since they generally don't stop in ports for very long, their excursions are very expensive because they always have to get you to another port to pick up the ship.

 

Hurtigruten Expedition cruises are round trip Hamburg, so they have sea days at start and finish. I can't really tell which excursions are included and which are not; their website isn't particularly clear on it.

 

I looked a Viking's Into the Midnight Sun, which only has London at one end (Bergen is the other), but it spends too much time in Scotland for my taste, with only 5 excursions in Norway.

 

Can anyone direct me to other cruise lines (preferably on small to medium sized vessels) that might have something for me? (They don't have to have 2023 schedules up yet; I'm happy to see what they have planned to 2022 as an idea of what 2023 would be like.) Are there any ports that you particularly consider to be must-sees?

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

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I am also looking to book a fjord cruise for summer of 2022. I‚Äôm debating if doing the typical 7-9 night if the usual stops for the fjord cruise, or going all. In and doing the cruise all the way to the north cape. ¬†Most likely, we will do celebrity, royal, or MSC. Anyone done both ‚Äúitineraries‚ÄĚ?

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The fjords and scenery in southern Norway are amazing - further north is primarily North Cape (Honningsvåg) and of cause the midnight Sun - smaller ships might also visit Lofoten Islands and navigate Trollfjord,

If midnight sun is a must no alternative to northern Norway. 
My recommendation is the Magnificent Norwegian fjords.

 

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There are a few main categories of Norwegian coastal cruises:

 

1. The coastal ferry. Hurtigruten is no longer the sole operator, but the route and timings are the same. Most of the ships have been upgraded and are marketed more to tourist visitors than the classic ferry transport, though you still run into port-to-port travelers. With short port calls, this is not a port-intensive trip and instead is very much about the scenery from the ship. While you see the entire length of the coast, you won’t see much of the fjords themselves as the route sticks mostly to the outer coast.

 

2. The traditional Norwegian fjords cruises stick to the southwest coast. Most depart from continental Europe with a day at sea on the way out and back and then several days spent in and around the iconic fjords. Typical highlights include Bergen, Geiranger, and Flåm.

 

3. Full-coast cruises head farther north and are typically longer than the fjord-only cruises. Some sail up to North Cape, and some even sail up to Longyearbyen. These typically include a few fjord ports on the way up and back, and call in some of the other cities along the coast.

 

Highlights in the north are the stunning Lofoten Islands (typical ports are:¬†Leknes, Gravdal, Svolv√¶r) and Troms√ł. The landscape up around North Cape is very different, but North Cape itself is generally underwhelming. Svalbard is incredible, but requires a bit of ambition since most cruiselines don‚Äôt offer much for excursions (a dedicated Svalbard multi-day expedition cruise is a unique experience with wonderful scenery and wildlife).

 

4. The ‚Äúwe tried to squeeze in Oslo‚ÄĚ itineraries show up from time to time. I would avoid them. Oslo fits much better in a Baltic itinerary, and trying to combine Oslo with the fjords means a long time sailing around the southern end of the country. I always recommend skipping these. If you want fjords and Norwegian coast, stick to that. If you want Scandinavian capitals, stick to that. If you want both, try to find a back-to-back with two more focused itineraries.

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On 4/18/2021 at 11:26 AM, PhillyTravelBug said:

I am also looking to book a fjord cruise for summer of 2022. I‚Äôm debating if doing the typical 7-9 night if the usual stops for the fjord cruise, or going all. In and doing the cruise all the way to the north cape. ¬†Most likely, we will do celebrity, royal, or MSC. Anyone done both ‚Äúitineraries‚ÄĚ?

If you decide on the fjords you should take a look at the Jewel of the Seas August 31, 2022 sailing.  Hard to find Flam, Geiranger and Alesund all on a 9 night itinerary......

 

Date Port Arrive Depart
Wednesday, August 31  Amsterdam, Holland   5:00pm 
Thursday, September 1  At Sea    
Friday, September 2  Olden, Norway 8:00am  5:00pm 
Saturday, September 3  Flam, Norway 7:00am  5:00pm 
Sunday, September 4  Geiranger, Norway 10:00am  7:00pm 
Monday, September 5  Alesund, Norway 7:00am  4:00pm 
Tuesday, September 6  At Sea    
Wednesday, September 7  Kristiansand, Norway 8:00am  6:00pm 
Thursday, September 8  At Sea    
Friday, September 9  Amsterdam, Holland 6:00am 

 

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13 hours ago, LEtue said:

If you decide on the fjords you should take a look at the Jewel of the Seas August 31, 2022 sailing.  Hard to find Flam, Geiranger and Alesund all on a 9 night itinerary......

 

Date Port Arrive Depart
Wednesday, August 31  Amsterdam, Holland   5:00pm 
Thursday, September 1  At Sea    
Friday, September 2  Olden, Norway 8:00am  5:00pm 
Saturday, September 3  Flam, Norway 7:00am  5:00pm 
Sunday, September 4  Geiranger, Norway 10:00am  7:00pm 
Monday, September 5  Alesund, Norway 7:00am  4:00pm 
Tuesday, September 6  At Sea    
Wednesday, September 7  Kristiansand, Norway 8:00am  6:00pm 
Thursday, September 8  At Sea    
Friday, September 9  Amsterdam, Holland 6:00am 

 

We didn't sail to Alesund, but Flam and Geiranger were both amazing.  Olden was an unexpected highlight, because the expensive but outstanding Loen Skylift was there.  The Briksdal Glacier was a nice drive and lovely hike to a glacier hit hard by global warming.  As long as you know not to expect an impressive glacier, an excursion to the Briksdal glacier is quite enjoyable.  

 

On 4/17/2021 at 4:08 PM, gnome12 said:

. I love beautiful scenery, but I'm not really a hiker.

 

Don't worry - many of the ports are used to cruisers with limited mobility, and there are lots of ways for people who don't want a great deal of physical excursion to enjoy the views.  We saw lots of amazing views on our cruise, with a 2 and 5 year old in tow (and you might want to read my review in my signature line since we had to minimize hiking for our kids and also love beautiful views)

 

The Loen Skylift near Olden will take you to the top of an amazing mountain.  At the Briksdal Glacier, there are golf carts for rent ahead of time to reduce your hike (to my amazement my 2 year old was actually able to slowly but steadily hike all the way to the glacier).  The Geiranger Skywalk is something else to consider, but be smarter than me and note prior to booking your cruise that  the road leading to it opens seasonally and don't go in mid may, or you might miss out like I did.  You can take a bus tour of Geiranger, which is absolutely stunning and doesn't require much hiking.  In Flam, you'll love the views from the railway.  

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On 4/19/2021 at 4:22 PM, LEtue said:

If you decide on the fjords you should take a look at the Jewel of the Seas August 31, 2022 sailing.  Hard to find Flam, Geiranger and Alesund all on a 9 night itinerary......

 

Date Port Arrive Depart
Wednesday, August 31  Amsterdam, Holland   5:00pm 
Thursday, September 1  At Sea    
Friday, September 2  Olden, Norway 8:00am  5:00pm 
Saturday, September 3  Flam, Norway 7:00am  5:00pm 
Sunday, September 4  Geiranger, Norway 10:00am  7:00pm 
Monday, September 5  Alesund, Norway 7:00am  4:00pm 
Tuesday, September 6  At Sea    
Wednesday, September 7  Kristiansand, Norway 8:00am  6:00pm 
Thursday, September 8  At Sea    
Friday, September 9  Amsterdam, Holland 6:00am 

 

This is the one I‚Äôve been having my eye on!ūüėä

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We just booked Cunard's M234A 'Norway and Northern Lights' cruise. This is definitely not a midnight sun cruise - it does feature some overnights, including two nights in Tromso from 6 -8 November.

 

The Norway port schedule looks like

11/04/2022 Bergen 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
11/05/2022 Cruising -- --
11/06/2022 Tromso 01:00 PM --
11/07/2022 Tromso -- --
11/08/2022 Tromso -- 01:30 AM
11/09/2022 Trondheim 09:00 AM 06:00 PM
11/10/2022 Alesund 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
11/11/2022 Stavanger 09:00 AM 05:00 PM

 

 

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Looks like fun.  And COLD!

 

Hard to see the Lights from a moving ship, especially one where it is unlikely they will turn enough ship lighting off to make the sky dark enough to see a good Aurora, but hopefully there will be a strong show to see

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1 hour ago, Nitemare said:

Looks like fun.  And COLD!

 

Hard to see the Lights from a moving ship, especially one where it is unlikely they will turn enough ship lighting off to make the sky dark enough to see a good Aurora, but hopefully there will be a strong show to see

Cold indeed. Shop Will be docked two nights in Troms√ł - very likely northern lights excursions.

But possible to see northern lights from a moving ship. Two pictures from my Hurtigruten voyage January 2019 - one from the upper deck in Svolvær and the otter from the bow of the shop when sailing through Raftsundet.

74BCAEA3-B85D-47E6-8BF0-D594F66D61BB.jpeg

90D1927C-9048-4524-8ED3-D666BEC45145.jpeg

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On 4/18/2021 at 11:43 AM, hallasm said:

The fjords and scenery in southern Norway are amazing - further north is primarily North Cape (Honningsvåg) and of cause the midnight Sun - smaller ships might also visit Lofoten Islands and navigate Trollfjord,

If midnight sun is a must no alternative to northern Norway. 
My recommendation is the Magnificent Norwegian fjords.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, waverley7 said:

Thank you for sharing this. I am just beginning to research and not sure which Baltic cruise to do. This is beautiful , big help

Happy to help - normally Baltic cruise doesn’t include Norwegian Fjords but the area round the Baltic Sea.

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On 4/27/2021 at 9:04 AM, hallasm said:

Cold indeed. Shop Will be docked two nights in Troms√ł - very likely northern lights excursions.

But possible to see northern lights from a moving ship. Two pictures from my Hurtigruten voyage January 2019 - one from the upper deck in Svolvær and the otter from the bow of the shop when sailing through Raftsundet.

74BCAEA3-B85D-47E6-8BF0-D594F66D61BB.jpeg

90D1927C-9048-4524-8ED3-D666BEC45145.jpeg

Nice shots!

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18 hours ago, phabric said:

Princess does a 7 day Norwegian Fjords with 4 ports.

 

I am doing the 7 days Norwegian Fjords (May 28, 2022) followed by Princess 7 day Scandinavia (June 4, 2022) on the Sky Princess.

You have these backwards; the Scandinavia cruise is before the Norwegian Fjords cruise. However, you are wasting a lot of time sailing back and forth; both of these cruises are roundtrip Southampton.

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On 4/17/2021 at 12:18 PM, hallasm said:

Yes, several times - please post your itinerary. Norway Coast does include a lot of very, very different locations - also very depending on time of year.

.

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Loved reading your review. Thanks for that. 

 

I just didn't catch the time of year you went.

 

I was on the Alaska cruise in 2019 and a few people told me the Baltic was more beautiful than Alaska. Would this be the area they would have been referring to as opposed to an actual Baltic cruise? 

 

Janice

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35 minutes ago, waverley7 said:

Would this be the area they would have been referring to as opposed to an actual Baltic cruise? 

An Alaska cruise cannot be compared with Baltic cruise - a Baltic cruise does include cultural cities like Copenhagen, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Riga - Might  have meant a Norwegian Fjords Cruise - the deep Norwegian fjords are impressive.
Many Baltic and Norwegian Fjord cruises originate from Copenhagen and are ideal for B2B.

Just be aware that not all Norwegian cruises does include the long fjords - look for itineraries like Geiranger, Flåm, and Olden - a Norwegian fjord Cruise should include at least one of these ports - preferable two in order to navigate the scenic fjords in my video in post #7.

 

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I would agree that the scenic beauty of the Norwegian fjords outshined the beauty of Alaska for us.  I also loved our Baltic cruise, but that was all about museums and exploring cities. 

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