You won’t find a more relaxing way to experience coastal Norway than on board a cruise ship.
It’s a floating hotel, giving you all the comforts of home, while gliding past the delights of Norway’s long coastline.
Watch the everyday life of both locals and wildlife along the coast...
...and enjoy tasty food on your plate, made with fresh ingredients from the local areas you pass.
Experience the fresh arctic air and the rough Norwegian coastline in a relaxing hot tub...
...or seek out new adventures on land when the ship is in port!
There are lots of activities to try, including dog sledding and sightseeing tours!
Want to experience the most beautiful highlights of the Norwegian coast in a short amount of time? A cruise gives you comfort, stunning views and a chance to see it all in just 11 days.
A moving base like this will save you a lot of unpacking and repacking, and give you ready access to restaurants, bars, and activities.
Don't expect an endless party, though. Most passengers travelling along coastal Norway are looking for tranquillity and relaxation, spectacular scenery and beautiful landscapes, and a taste of some local specialities along the way.
In Norway, there are two main Norwegian operators along the coast: Hurtigruten and Havila Voyages. Hurtigruten, which has sailed since 1893, has daily departures and calls at 34 ports on the voyage between Bergen in the west and Kirkenes in the north. With the two new routes available from 2023, the Svalbard Express and the North Cape Express, you can now also travel from Oslo to North cape and back to Bergen, or from Bergen via North Cape to Svalbard, and back through the Lyngen alps down to Bergen.
Havila had its maiden voyage on the coast in 2021 and operates the same routes as Hurtigruten, from Bergen to Kirkenes and back. The line's brand-new ships use cutting-edge technology, running purely on electric and LNG power, and steam so quietly that you experience a true feeling of being in harmony with nature.
Havila and Hurtigruten both offer a variety of trips. Travel along the whole coastline – one way or return. A classic round trip takes about eleven or twelve days (six to seven days per leg). Bear in mind that the ships dock at different times depending on whether they are heading north or south, so the return journey can offer a very different experience.
It's also possible to travel all the way to Svalbard with Hurtigruten.
Norway has one of the longest coastlines in the world, and more fjords than any other place on the planet. In fact, the word "fjord" is Norwegian in origin.
Other amazing natural phenomena you may experience from the comforts of a cruise ship include the northern lights and the midnight sun. You might also spot eagles soaring in the sky, and often also see whales and seals frolicking in the deep fjords.
Hurtigruten has now launched a Northern Lights Guarantee for the cruises going in the winter. This actually means if the Northern Lights do not occur within sight of your ship, Hurtigruten will give you a 6-day southbound or 7-day northbound Original Coastal Express Classic Voyage free of charge!
Imaging sliding silent on the sea, while the northern lights dances above you.
The new Havila Voyages cruise ships are some of the world's most environmentally friendly coastal ships. Equipped with LNG (Liquefied natural gas) engines and some of the world's largest battery packs, the ships can sail through the world heritage fjords with lower emissions than vessels that use traditional fuel. NOX emissions are reduced by 90 per cent and CO2 is reduced by 25 per cent on hybrid vessels.
The food served aboard Havila ships is made with fresh ingredients, sourced from local suppliers along the route. Enjoy delicious food that reflects the cool and clean nature of Norway – served by award-winning chefs.
When travelling with Hurtigruten and Havila Voyages, you also have the chance to make short excursions while your ship is in port, depending on the sailing plan.
Though you might not have time to venture far inland, most trips provide passengers with ample time to experience the most interesting cities and towns along the coast.
If you feel extra adventurous – join a package deal with Hurtigruten to experience dog sledding tours and other guided trips. You can also explore on your own, of course, just make sure you're not so mesmerized you forget to return to the ship in time!
The busiest time to visit the famous fjords is during summer. If you want a calmer and more serene adventure – travel out of season instead!
In fact, the mountains and nature are even more majestic in winter, with frosty fjords, icy waterfalls, and snow.
A cruise is also magical in spring when melting snow in the mountains makes the waterfalls extra powerful and the plants awaken, or in autumn as you glide past vibrant autumn colours.
From 2023, Hurtigruten offers to new International routes that goes all the way up to the North Cape. MS Maud departing from Dover, and The Otto Sverdrup ship travelling from Hamburg.
You can also travel to Norway with international cruise lines that depart for Norway from a variety of European ports. This makes it easy to get here with minimum hassle and maximum comfort.
But to get a true sense of Norway, choose a cruise that starts and ends in Norway. That way, you will get a couple of extra days inland and a chance to explore more of the country.
In Norway, there are over 50 ports along the coastline, but not all of them are reachable by international ships. This is a result of strict rules that have recently been introduced to limit emissions in UNESCO World Heritage fjords.
Four car ferry operators sail daily from Denmark, Sweden, and Germany to several destinations in Norway. There is also a popular cruise ferry sailing from the Netherlands several times a week.
Most operators offer package deals for cars with passengers and discounts for seniors, students, and children. Some vessels are more focused on transportation, while others are more like regular cruise ships, offering cabins, entertainment, spas and multiple dining options.
If you are employed by a cruise line, tour operator or travel agency, Cruise Norway can help you with information about Cruise Norway member ports, destinations, attractions and other services provided by partner companies.
Cruise Norway is a collaboration between Norwegian port authorities, transport companies, and other Norwegian suppliers, which aims to simplify the cruise planning process.
Cruise Norway has also defined a set of guidelines for Norwegian cruise ports and destinations, helping them to deliver the best possible quality and service.
Find more information on Cruise Norway's website.
See our selection of companies that work hard to make you happy all through your trip.
There are many ways to experience the Norwegian coast. Filter your search and check out the boat and ferry services below.
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