A cruise to the fjords of Norway takes you to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world. The spectacular waterfalls, the serenity of the deep, narrow waters and the rising rugged mountains all make for an incredible and memorable cruise experience.
In order to make the most of your Norwegian cruise, it’s worth learning more about what to expect on your trip. To get you started, below, we share our top 10 Norwegian cruise hints and tips.
Tips for Norway cruises: Before you go
1. Book your holiday in May or June
Although Norway is a year-round destination, it has distinct seasons for its attractions. If you are travelling to Norway to experience the fjords, one of our top Norwegian cruise tips is to go between late spring and early summer, i.e. between May and June.
At this time, you’re likely to see the waterfalls at their best. It is also not quite peak season, meaning it will be less busy. If you go earlier in the year, some excursions may not be running, and the mountain roads could be closed.
2. Weigh up the pros and cons of your cabin location
A cruise to the Norwegian fjords is mainly about the impressive views, many of which you can enjoy as your ship sails between ports. Book a balcony cabin, and you can sit outside with ease whenever you choose to take in this magnificent scenery.
However, the North Sea is not the calmest of waters, so if you’re prone to seasickness, consider a mid-ship cabin, where you’ll experience less movement.
3. Get your cruise excursions booked in advance too
Almost everyone on a Norwegian cruise and many visitors travelling to the region via other means of transport wants to go on excursions to see the region’s highlights.
Whether it’s discovering the majestic Geirangerfjord, hopping on a guided boat tour to explore the caves and waterfalls or taking in the mountainside views from high above at Stegastein Viewpoint, these excursions get booked up fast!
Therefore, another of our best Norwegian cruise hints is to decide what you’d like to see and do as soon as you’ve booked your cruise and start reserving your places quickly.
It’s worth reviewing the different options when making these decisions. Norway is a safe place to explore, so while your cruise line will offer several shore excursions, there are also plenty of independent providers that may work out better value. There will be opportunities to explore independently, too.
4. Pack like a pro
What to pack for a Norway cruise can be a bit of a conundrum, as the weather can be so changeable. Therefore, one of the crucial tips for Norway cruises is to bring layers.
As well as warm layers, such as jumpers or thermals, bring several t-shirts as it can get surprisingly mild during the day in spring and summer. Remember a waterproof jacket, too, as rainfall can occur at any time of year.
Aside from clothes, when deciding what to pack for Norway cruises, we’d also recommend binoculars and a good quality camera, so you can zoom in on the remarkable wildlife and natural features and capture some wonderful memories to take home with you.
Other things to remember to pack for your Norwegian cruise include comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses and sunscreen – even this far north, you can still get burnt if you’re outside for longer periods in the bright sun!
5. Remember your currency
You’ll need a few Norwegian Kroner for tipping and smaller purchases in Norway. Euros are not accepted, and while, since the pandemic, credit cards are more widely used, it is still worth having some cash with you in case.
Tips for Norway cruises: During your trip
6. Take every opportunity to make the most of the views
The Norwegian fjords offer spectacular scenery like nowhere else, so we recommend taking every chance to make the most of it.
Get up early to watch the landscape pass by as your ship sails into port. If you have a balcony, you could order breakfast to your cabin as you sit out and enjoy these glorious sights.
Discover where to find the best views onboard (often at the front or back of the ship) and arrange any onboard indoor activities at other times to make the most of these sightseeing opportunities.
7. Seek out adventure
A cruise to the Norwegian fjords is an excellent choice if you love adventure. As well as walking and boat tours, there’ll be opportunities to try activities such as kayaking, climbing, dog-sledging and cycling. In Flåm, you can even experience Scandinavia’s longest zipline (and arguably some of the best views in the world!)
If you enjoy hiking, one of our tips for Norway cruises is to look for self-guided tours. Usually, there’s no charge for these, and they will allow you to explore an area at your own pace.
8. Be prepared for the higher prices
Prices in Norway are renowned for being higher than in the UK, so expect to pay more for things such as drinks and meals when you are out and about.
One of our best cost-saving Norwegian cruise tips is to have most of your meals onboard. Having said that, it’s definitely worth sampling the local food, such as the fantastic seafood, and even having the odd alcoholic drink when you’re out.
However, if you have your main meals and most of your alcoholic beverages on board, the higher prices won’t affect your budget as much, and you’ll have some to spare for the other unique activities you may want to do.
9. Arrange onboard activities for sea days
Days at sea when sailing in Norway will be different to your more tropical cruise holidays. Generally, it is not warm enough to sit out and sunbathe. However, don’t rule out the possibility of a dip in the pool or hot tub!
Instead, plan activities to do indoors. Cruise lines are aware of the need to keep people entertained while at sea, so most have plenty of inside options for you to enjoy. Head to the spa to unwind, enjoy a gym session or take part in one of the organised games or quizzes.
Another of our Norwegian cruise hints is to attend a few of the talks or workshops that are often held on Norwegian fjord cruises. These are hosted by experts on subjects such as the local wildlife or botany, the Viking history or natural phenomena like the Northern Lights, and will give you an excellent insight into the areas you’ll be visiting.
10. Be aware of the Wi-Fi limitations
The Norway fjords are in a remote part of the world, where connectivity can be challenging. Onboard Wi-Fi will sometimes be in limited simply because of the lack of coverage.
If you need to get online, plan to do so when in port. Wi-Fi availability will be better, and you’ll likely have the backup option of cellular coverage, such as 4G too.
However, as part of our final Norwegian cruise tip, we recommend checking your mobile contract to see whether roaming charges are included when travelling in Norway. You don’t want to get an unwanted surprise when receiving your next bill!
If you have any questions about Norwegian fjords cruises or would like to book one, please get in touch with our cruise specialists.// END - About the Author ?>