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A cruise is without a doubt one of the best ways to explore the Norwegian Fjords. Travelling around Norway’s coast by cruise ship enables you to get up close to view the dramatic mountains, glaciers and waterfalls of this beautiful region. And it is breathtakingly beautiful.
Suggested Read: Why a fjords cruise is the best way to see Norway
The fjords formed during the Ice Age when glaciers retreated and left U-shaped valleys which then flooded with seawater. Nowadays they are virtually ice-free and ready to be explored. The banks of the fjords are often mountainous, up to 2000 metres high and capped with snow. Dotted with picturesque fishing villages, mountainside farms, waterfalls and fruit trees, a sniff neck from gazing in wonder is a common side-effect of visiting this area.
All this talk of glaciers and snow-capped mountains and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Norway is freezing. However, the Norwegian Fjords are milder than other countries at the same latitude because of the Gulf Stream. Summer temperatures are typically around 20 degrees Celcius, perhaps up to 25 degrees on the warmest days. So you’ll certainly need to pack shorts and t-shirts, as well as some layers if you plan to be outdoors in the evenings. The weather in winter, however, can be brutal.
Whilst you’ll have great views of the fjords from aboard your ship (balcony staterooms are highly recommended here), you’ll experience the true culture of Norway on port days. Taking a guided sightseeing tour by coach, hop-on-hop-off bus or with a private tour guide are all great ways to see the highlights of each port. For a closer look at the fjords themselves, opt for a boat tour or hire a kayak. If you’re feeling active, hiking trips, horse riding tours and even dog-sledding tours are available.
The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are visible in Norway between late September and March. Mother Nature’s very own light show will make your winter Fjords cruise even more special.
The Midnight Sun, however, is a summer phenomenon. If you go north of the Arctic Circle between May and July, you’ll see that the sun never dips below the horizon, giving 24 hours of daylight.
The choice is yours. Norway really isn’t that far from the UK, and it’s possible to sail to the fjords and back from Newcastle in as little as five days. However, a cruise of 10 days or more will let you explore much more of the region, particularly if you choose to sail from a port in the South of England such as Southampton. If you choose a fly-cruise, you might fly to Copenhagen or Stockholm to start your cruise.
The Norwegian Fjords are a favourite cruise destination of travel writer Gary Buchanan. Read his recommendations here.
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