Few destinations can rival the phenomenal beauty and exhilarating experiences of Norway.  From spectacular waterfalls to magnificent mountains, the stunningly rugged natural scenery is sure to astound anyone who visits. As if the natural landscape isn’t breath-taking enough, the vibrant cities and enchanting villages that make up the ports of Norwegian Fjords Cruises are rich in history, art and culture.

If you’re keen to experience the wonders of a cruise to Norway, we have a few handy tips to ensure your time in Europe’s northernmost country is as perfect as possible!

Which Cruise Lines offer cruises to Norway?

A great cruising experience is made up of two things – a fantastic destination, and an equally fantastic ship. Here are some of the cruise lines with ships offering cruises to Norway.

P&O Cruises

See Norway aboard Iona. You can chill at their oasis spa, enjoy marvellous shows in their sky bar, or enjoy a tipple at their on-board gin distillery. P&O will take your to some of the most popular Fjord destinations including; Olden, where you can see the aqua blue ice of the Jostedal Glacier cascading down the stunning Oldedalen Valley, as you navigate the spindly fjords of Norway!

We asked our cruise experts who recently went on-board Iona for a Norwegian Fjords sailing! We asked them 3 questions to gain an insight into their great experience on-board.

How would you describe your overall experience on-board?   

“I loved this sailing; I have never sailed before this cruise and was extremely happy with how it went. Staff were amazing and all the passengers were having a great time on-board. They had so many activities on board we didn’t have enough time to do them all. They had something for everyone, the staff who performed the quizzes really made our night they so entertaining! They remembered if you were in the previous evening and towards the end of the sailing they all shared inside jokes with the passengers.” – Hannah Chisnall, Sales Concierge.

Do you think guests get good value for money on-board?  

“Yes! there are loads of choices of restaurants without having pay a supplement. Speciality dining is reasonable, and lots of activities are free including the cinema.”Amelia Brinley, Sales Manager.

What would your top tip be for passengers sailing the Norwegian Fjords be?

“Walk, walk and walk in the fjords, they are stunning! Get up early to watch the sail in, its breath taking! and I would recommend to book excursions as there isn’t a lot to do near the ports apart from Olden, so a bus tour would be a good idea!” – Sam Richardson, Sales Manager and Sam Bender, Sales Concierge.

Princess Cruises

Experience the magnificence of Norway aboard Sky Princess or Island Princess. Sky princess boasts a wine bar as well as a stunning European style Piazza, whilst Island Princess provides movies under the stars in their open-air amphitheatre. Both ships also include Vegas-style casinos.

Norwegian Cruise Line

For a relaxing visit to Norway, book one of NCL’s Prima ships, which offer infinity pools and glass walled saunas. Many of the NCL sailings visit stunning destinations such as the coastal town of Ålesund which some claim to be one of the most beautiful towns in Norway due to its characteristic Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) buildings. There’s no doubt NCL have mastered the Fjords can supply a once in a lifetime experience onboard there ships.

Celebrity Cruises

Both Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection offer Norway Cruises. Sip a refreshing craft beer at Celebrity Silhouette’s craft social bar or play your favourite outdoor games at Celebrity Reflection’s lawn club. Both ships also host fabulous silent discos and offer tours of the ship’s galley and kitchens.

Royal Caribbean

The perfect line for those wanting an action-packed cruise to Norway, Royal Caribbean offers Norwegian Fjords Cruises on both Anthem of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas. Passengers on-board Anthem of the Seas can enjoy bumper cars, roller skating and skydiving whilst Voyager of the Seas’ cruisers are treated to laser tag, ice skating, and a rock climbing wall. Anthem of the Seas’ North Star viewing deck, best described as the London Eye at Sea, is an amazing way to take in the sensational views of the Fjords.

MSC Cruises

Those who choose to visit Norway aboard the MSC Virtuosa can enjoy a stroll under the stunning sky dome of the Galleria Virtuosa indoor promenade or enjoy a delicious drink made by a Robot Bartender.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

The small boats of Fred Olsen cruise lines are ideal for slipping down narrower Fjords and getting close to the gorgeously rugged scenery of Norway, which you can view from the ship’s observatory. All Fred Olsen ships contain inflatable RIB boats for passengers to experience the more hidden areas that the Norwegian Fjords has to offer.


Follow Viking trading routes on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth or Queen Victoria. Peruse the Clarenden fine art gallery on-board the Queen Victoria, play croquet on the stunningly art-deco Queen Elizabeth or stargaze in the Queen Mary 2’s planetarium.

What is the best time of year for Norwegian Cruises?

The peak of the Norwegian Cruise season is between June and August, as this is when the weather is most optimum for hiking and for experiencing the midnight sun in the far north.

However, for cruisers desperate to enjoy the spectacle of the world-famous Northern Lights, we advise travelling during arctic winter which takes place from late September to early March. This time of year is also ideal if you’re hoping to experience Norway’s snowier activities like dogsled rides and skiing.

What are the top Norwegian Cruise destinations?

Every port in Norway offers something unique and interesting. Here are some of the most iconic and unmissable spots:


No Norwegian Cruise would be complete without a trip to beautiful Bergen, the Gateway to the Fjords. Nestled among seven hills, with the spectacular Mount Floyen as its backdrop, this exquisite cocktail of old and new architecture is full of things to see and do. Shop at the traditional Norwegian fish market, where flowers and handicrafts can be found alongside the seafood stalls. Or take a stroll through historic Bryggen, the city’s old wharf. This UNESCO world heritage site contains a museum where you can learn the fascinating details of life in medieval Bergen.

Visit the Hanseatic Museum, housed in a 300-year-old cod liver oil warehouse. Or perhaps you’d rather take a trip to the 800-year-old Rosenkrantz tower, one time home of King Eirik Magnusson, or the medieval royal residence of Haakon’s hall.

For more recent history, World War buffs shouldn’t skip the Bergenhus fortress. Music lovers, on the other hand, should see the home of Edvard Grieg, Norway’s most iconic pianist and composer.


Whilst not all Cruises to Norway stop in the Capital, it’s worth finding one that does.

Oslo is a dream city for art fanatics, housing the Edvard Munch museum (the artist best known for The Scream) as well as the Vigeland and Ekeberparken sculpture parks. Plus, with the amount of incredible street art on display, the whole city is like a giant open-air gallery.

The city is also full of amazing museums, including the Nobel Peace centre, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, and the Kon-Tiki museum.


Architecture enthusiasts will love the folklore-inspired Art Nouveau style of this vibrant port. Kayak through the Brosundet canal to view the city’s fantastical buildings. Or learn about their construction at the Art Nouveau centre of architecture.

If you want to work up a sweat, you can hike 418 steps to the Mount Aksla viewpoint. Or to gaze over Ålesund’s heavenly landscape in a more relaxed manner you can access the same spot via the Bytoget city train.

Other notable spots include the Sunmøre Open Air museum, the exceptional artwork of the KUBE art museum, or Northern Europe’s largest saltwater aquarium- the Atlanterhavsparken.


Named the ‘Town of Roses’ in honour of the delightful rose gardens that cover the port, Molde is one of the prettiest and best-smelling places in Norway. Admire 222 mountain peaks from the town’s Varden viewpoint or pay a visit to the fascinating Romsdal folk museum.

For those taking Norwegian Cruises in July, you may get to experience Moldejazz- Europe’s second oldest jazz festival.

The church above the city is also well worth hiking up to, as it was decorated by Norway’s leading artists. And if that isn’t enough art for you, you can also visit the Møre and Romsdal art centre.


Tromsø is sure to be a favourite port if you like a drink, with more pubs per capita than anywhere else in Norway! However, it’s not just great for bars. Gaze on the magnificent iceberg shaped Cathedral, learn about arctic expeditions at the Polar Museum, or climb the 12,000 step Sherpa staircase up Mount Storsteinen.


Only 21 miles from Europe’s northernmost point, Honningsvåg is one of the best locations for experiencing either the Northern lights or Midnight Sun, depending on the time of year. That isn’t the only draw of this wonderful town though. It also boasts a fabulous pine forest, and you can sip delicious beverages at the Artico ice bar.

Honningsvåg is yet another port that art lovers should not miss, as it is home to the Nordkappmuseet, Once Upon a Dream and West of the Moon art galleries.


The quaint village of Flåm is most well-known for its railway. Trains departing from Flåm offer a glorious ride through the nearby scenery, which includes the breath-taking Kjoffossen waterfall and the Aurlandsdalen (Norway’s Grand Canyon).

Near to Flåm is Njardarheimr, a living Viking village where you can learn Norse history from incredible Viking tour guides.


If you like museums that are on the quirkier side, Stavanger is the port for you. Pay a visit to the Norwegian Canning Museum or the Norwegian Petroleum Museum to learn the history of two of Norway’s biggest industries.

Stavanger isn’t only known for its unusual museums though. Another claim to fame is the rainbow-hued houses of the old town. No visit to Stavanger would be complete without a stroll down Øvre Holmegate- the Colour Street.

Another key Stavanger location to visit is Pulpit Rock, named one of the nation’s most remarkable sights by Lonely Planet.


This charming port is best known for the nearby majestic Birksdal Glacier. However, the Glacier is not the only attraction. Take the Loen sky lift up to Mount Hoven to bask in stunning panoramic views. Or pay a visit to Olden’s quaint wooden church.


The mountaineering capital of Norway is wonderful for hikers young and old. There are a number of excellent trails to follow, from climbing Mount Neskalska to the easier and more child-friendly Litlefjellet hike.

One major attraction of Åndalsnes is the awe-inspiring Trollsveggen mountain wall (Troll Wall)- Europe’s tallest vertical rock face.


A port packed with activity, Kristiansand has something for everyone. The zoo and theme park are fantastic for families, whilst thrill seekers will love the Aquarama waterpark. If you want to immerse yourself in Norwegian history, you can visit the open-air museum comprised of over thirty historic houses, or instead pay a trip to the Cannon Museum at Møvik fortress.

Art lovers can wander around the SKMU art museum. Those looking to relax can take a calming and scenic train ride along the Setesdalsbanen railway line, on a train that is over a century old. And, on a sunny day, you can chill on the white sands of the Bystranda beach.


Kirkenes is home to the world-famous Snow Hotel, a luxury igloo accommodation that is rebuilt from scratch every year. If you happen to stop at this port whilst cruising in Norway, make sure to get a look at this Instagram-worthy masterpiece.

What to pack for a Cruise to Norway

On top of the usual items packed for a Cruise (toiletries, formal wear, etc) there are a few important items to bring on Norwegian Fjords cruises in particular.

  • Layers: Norway is a cold country. Even if you visit in the summer months it’s handy to have plenty of cardigans, hoodies, jackets and thermals to layer up with.
  • Hiking boots: With plenty of Norwegian Fjords cruises offering hiking-based and other outdoorsy excursions, you’ll want the appropriate footwear.
  • Waterproofs: With Bergen being the rain capital of Europe, you’ll want to make sure you have raincoats and umbrellas in your luggage
  • Knitwear: If you’re taking a cruise to Norway from September to March, or if you are travelling into the Far North at any time of year, you’ll need to pack jumpers, woolly hats, earmuffs, scarves and gloves.
  • Swimwear: To enjoy the pools on-board the ship, and to partake in the many water-based excursions of Norwegian Cruises such as Kayaking you’ll need a swimming costume. You can also bring your own wetsuit if you’d rather not wear a rental.  
  • Binoculars: So you don’t miss a single detail of those fabulous views.

Preparing for Norwegian Fjords Cruises

Once you’ve booked your cruise to Norway, you’ll need to look through the cruise itinerary to plan your dream trip. Book excursions in advance to avoid disappointment and research the ports you will be visiting to plan the sights you want to see.

Booking your Norwegian Fjords Cruise

Now you have an overview of the amazing options of ships and destinations available for Norwegian Cruises, you’ll have a good idea of which vessel you’d like to call ‘home’ and which exciting ports you want to stop at. Thanks to our article, you already know how to pack and prepare.

Mandi Webb