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Norwegian fjords/coast with kids


sjwebster
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What ports would you recommend for a cruise along the coast with kids, ages 12 and 9? I know next to nothing about Norwegian ports, but it looks like a fun place to visit. This will be the first European trip for our kids. I’d like some ports for viewing the fjords, but it doesn’t have to be solely a fjord cruise. Ports that are small and interesting for kids are a plus! Any and all advice would be helpful- thanks in advance!

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3 minutes ago, sjwebster said:

What ports would you recommend for a cruise along the coast with kids, ages 12 and 9? I know next to nothing about Norwegian ports, but it looks like a fun place to visit. This will be the first European trip for our kids. I’d like some ports for viewing the fjords, but it doesn’t have to be solely a fjord cruise. Ports that are small and interesting for kids are a plus! Any and all advice would be helpful- thanks in advance!

What time of the year are contemplating - a 'midnight sun' summertime sailing, or a 'northern lights' autumn to winter sailing?

 

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1 minute ago, TheOldBear said:

What time of the year are contemplating - a 'midnight sun' summertime sailing, or a 'northern lights' autumn to winter sailing?

 

Good question! Definitely a summertime sailing

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The itinerary must include one or two scenic fjord cruising into Geiranger, Flåm or Olden. 
Geiranger and Olden have nice view points and Flåm a nice train ride. 
Another must is Bergen - a good DIY city with a funicular to Fløyen view point. 
Most ports are very small remote cities. 
Just post itineraries of interest and get details on the ports. 

Edited by hallasm
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I’m eyeing this one from Celebrity (9 nights)- Amsterdam, Oslo, Geiranger, Flam, Olden, Bergen, back to Amsterdam. 

 

The other one that the current runner up is also with Celebrity (7 nights)- Amsterdam, Kristiansand, Haugesund, Geiranger, Alesund, Amsterdam

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3 hours ago, sjwebster said:

Amsterdam, Oslo, Geiranger, Flam, Olden, Bergen,

Very interesting itinerary - Oslo is not that often included in a Fjord Cruise  - and in addition three deep fjords and Bergen - for sure my favourite.

 

Personally I do not find Kristiansand and Haugesund that appealing.

 

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We travelled to Norway with our children, aged 5 and 2 at the time of sailing.  

 

We chose our itinerary because I really wanted to see Geiranger and Flam, both of which were amazing.  

In Flam, we first rode the railroad, which is beautiful and extremely close to the port, so you will have no problem arranging this excursion independently.  In the afternoon we spent the afternoon visiting a goat farm, exploring the beautiful town of Undreadal and having a delicious local lunch.  Flam Guide service did an excellent job of arranging this tour, and you can see the options they have at   http://www.fjordsafari.com because there are more rugged tours we couldn't take with a toddler.  They are located very close to the port, so your family will have no problem walking to their booth.

 

Geiranger is another excellent stop for families.  Please note that the beautiful scenic viewpoints at Dalsnibba are only accessible seasonally, because the road can only be open after the big spring avalanche.  It usually opens between mid-May and early June.   We had a private transport for just our family with Geiranger Fjordservice.  Our driver wasn't that great, so it wasn't worth the extra cost, but the company does have a panaramic bus that visits the highlights of Geiranger that is probably very good because the last time I checked their reviews were generally quite strong.  Please note that the roads in Geiranger are quite twisty, and if your kids are prone to motion sickness you might want to bring some medicine.  

 

Olden was the unexpected highlight of our cruise.  The Loen Skylift opened three days before we arrived, and it is amazing (although like everything in Norway expensive) and very easy for children to access.  In the afternoon, we visited the Briskal Glacier.  There are troll cars available to take you most of the way to the glacier, and the remaining walk is extremely scenic and an easy hike (surprisingly my 2 year old made it on his own).  Please note that the Briskal Glacier has been hit very hard by global warming so if you are going hoping to see an amazing glacier you might be disappointed, but the drive there is gorgeous, as is the hike so its worth it if you don't have too high expectations for the actual glacier.  

 

The only warning I make to families is that taxis are forbidden to transport children without car seats (and you can check with Norway's travel office to determine if that would affect your 9 year old).  On previous trips, when my kids would get whiny, cold and tired, I'd put them in a cab, take them to a kid friendly restaurant and get them some food, and then they'd be ready to travel again.  But in Norway the cabs were unable to transport us without car seats.  It gets cold and rainy often in Norway, so this actually affected the quality of our travels because walking in the rain with unhappy kids limits how much we can accomplish.  If we had to do it again, we would have waited until they were older or arranged more transportation ahead of time (cab companies are required to provide car seats if you contact them ahead of time).  

 

The review in my signature line has more information.  Of your potential itinerary, we also visited Bergen, but the weather combined with the lack of cabs/general difficulty with transport made it tough to appreciate it (although most people I've spoken to love it).  There are (or at least pre covid there were) some tourist buses you can use if cabs aren't an option.

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Thank you, kitkat343! That’s really helpful information, especially from a “traveling with children” perspective. I especially appreciate the tip about the taxis- something I would never have thought of. I’ll check out the review in your signature. Thanks again!

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