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Norway in Focus: Get on a boat!

Norway is a long and narrow country, with a whopping 53,199 km of coastline (or as little as 25, 148 km... it turns out coastal measurement is a touchy subject. Who knew?). But no matter how you hold the ruler, the country can safely list an expansive coast among its attributes.

And, do you know what makes up a vast majority of that ample coastline? Fjords. Many, majestic, glorious fjords, big and small. You know what else? Charming, colourful towns; cascading waterfalls; and stunning vistas rewarding you at the end of invigorating hikes.

Would ya look at that view over Nærøyfjord !
Would ya look at that view over Nærøyfjord !

 

It is because of all these little (and not-so-little) things that cruising along Norway's scenic coast is widely considered one of the most beautiful  sea voyages out there.

From Kolbrún (Kolla, for short), one of Nordic Visitor's Norway experts: "There is always something new to see as you sail along the coastline, since the voyages are typically from Bergen, at 60° North, and go all the way up to Kirkenes, which is on 69° North. So the landscape changes significantly. So, for example, if you are sailing in the spring you might have beautiful summer weather in the south but there might still be snow covered peaks in the north. It's wild!"

Here is just a glimpse of the sites you can take in whilst enjoying a Norwegian coastal cruise:

Alesund

The art nouveau city of Alesund is gorgeous from sea, land, and from above!
The art nouveau city of Alesund is gorgeous from sea, land, and from above!

 

Alesund is Norway's stunning art nouveau city, and is a hub for travellers in the country, playing host to the Hurtigruten ship terminal, an international airport, and being nearby many sites and attractions. Stroll through the gorgeous architecture, or, better yet, do as our Norway experts Kolla, Petra, and Bjarni suggest and head to the top of Mount Aksla for sweeping views over the region.

Geirangerfjord

Nordic Visitor traveller Ivan Glaser with his daughter Nat overlooking Geirangerfjord in Norway.
Nordic Visitor traveller Ivan Glaser with his daughter Nat overlooking Geirangerfjord in Norway.

 

Says Kolla: "The cruises are particularly great if you sail into Geirangerfjord, as there you feel like you can touch the sides of the mountains on each side!"

Petra also adds that there are great local chocolate makers in the area producing a range of flavours, including... blue cheese! Petra says it's really good, but if you're in the area and give it a try do let us know what you think.

Lofoten Islands

Says Petra: "In Lofoten you have sandy beaches which are said to be the most beautiful in Norway." But the islands also boast towering mountains, lush greenery, and charming local cultural traditions still in practice.

Don't let the crystal clear waters fool you: the Lofoten islands are a long way from the tropics!
Don't let the crystal clear waters fool you: the Lofoten islands are a long way from the tropics!

 

Tromsø

In addition to being one of Lonely Planet's top destinations for winter almost every year, Tromsø is just a genuinely cool place! From a tasteful mix of historical Norwegian architecture and modern glass structures, to numerous cultural attractions, to mind blowing scenery in every direction, Tromsø is worth the visit no matter how you get there. Oh, and if you venture to this arctic oasis in the winter months, it's one of the best places for spotting the elusive northern lights.

Tromso Harbour Collage
Tromsø is a true gem in Norway's North. It is one of the best places in the winter for spotting Northern Lights, and a colourful oasis under the summertime midnight sun.

 

North Cape

A trip to North Cape truly feels like a voyage to the end of the world! Though another peninsula on Magerøya, the Finnmark island that is home to North Cape, reaches farther north than this famed viewpoint, looking out to sea from these cliffs provides a pristine view of the vast arctic abyss. As Bjarni put it: "I'm at a loss for words. There's no describing North Cape"

Incredible North Cape is the second northernmost point in Europe.
Incredible North Cape is the second northernmost point in Europe.

 

Lest you start thinking that a cruise is all about the scenery... on the daily port calls you can find yourself on a husky safari, sea kayaking, bird watching, sampling innovative Norwegian cuisine, and more!

"What makes the cruise tours along Norway’s coastline so great is that they are not the traditional cruises, such as those that are offered all around the world. The main focus and attention of the sailing is the nature, and the experiences that you can try on the shore excursions," says Kolbrún. "The shore excursions often start in one town, and then you meet the ship in the next port after the tour and go back on board."


Happy cruising! Check out Nordic Visitor's popular Independent Cruise travel packages in Norway for some quality time at sea.

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Post by: Catharine

Catharine Fulton is a Communications Specialist with Nordic Visitor. Though born and raised in Canada, she's found herself stuck in the Nordic region since moving to Finland in 2007 to pursue her MA and then migrating to Reykjavík, Iceland in 2009,  where she lives with her Icelandic husband and tries (albeit unsuccessfully) to master the Icelandic language.

More posts by Catharine

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way, check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.

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