Norway’s fjords are one of the most iconic sights on Earth. Carved by glaciers over millions of years, these ancient coves are doorways to some of Norway’s most picturesque towns and villages.

What is a fjord?

Fjords are created by glaciers that have retreated and left behind empty U-shaped valleys. Each steep-sided inlet is then filled by the ocean and can be deeper than 1,300 metres! The word ‘fjord’ comes from the Norse ‘fjörðr’, which means ‘der man ferder over’ or ‘å sette over på den andre siden’. In English: ‘where you travel across’ or ‘put across to the other side’. So, what could be a more fitting way to see the fjords than by ship?

Here is why fjords cruises are the best way to see Norway.

The scenery

View over Forsand from the top of one of the fjords cliffs

It goes without saying that the fjords are stunning. Rising up on either side of your ship, you are right in the middle of the action and there is always something to see.

Imagine waking up every morning to rugged mountains, misty waters and pretty, multi-coloured villages lying just outside your window. You simply couldn’t experience this if you travelled by land.

The variety

View over Alesund in Norway from Aksla Viewpoint


The fjords have countless ports offering a taste of both small-town and city life. There is Ålesund, an Art Nouveau paradise at the entrance to Geirangerfjord which was burned and rebuilt more times than historians can count. Then, of course, there is Bergen, ‘gateway to the fjords’ and a charming city surrounded by mountains. And you won’t just experience a range of ports – you will sail through a variety of fjords including Geirangerfjord, Lysefjord and Hardangerfjord, the fourth longest fjord in the world.

The comfort

Pretty red houses on the lush banks of a fjord in Norway

There is a reason why cruise ships are renowned for their comfort. From indulgent spa facilities to fantastic restaurants, every creature comfort you could want is right there on-board.

Yes, you could explore the fjords by train or by hiring a car, but on a cruise ship, all you need to do is sit back and be transported to your next beautiful port; free to admire the scenery. There is no packing and unpacking for your next hotel, either. Once you are on-board, you are on-board – it couldn’t be easier!

The cost

Woman admiring the view from the top of Lovstakken Mountain in Bergen

Lovstakken Mountain, Bergen

Fjords cruises aren’t just more comfortable than land-based holidays, they can also be cheaper, especially given the cost of eating out in Norway! Your itinerary and accommodation are both sorted from the outset, while the main restaurants on-board cruise ships are always included in the price of your sailing. Most drinks are complimentary, too, with premium alcohol packages available from many cruise lines. You can also save money on excursions when you book in advance through our Ancillaries team, rather than tracking down a tour operator or booking through the cruise line.

Have you ever cruised the fjords? Why do you think this is such a special way to see Norway? Let us know using the comment box below!

Emma Smith
Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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