Scandinavian cruises focus on destinations like Oslo and Bergen, though some will extend the itinerary into the wider Baltic Sea region. The star of the Nordic cruise show are Norway’s majestic fjords, which offer an unforgettable landscape dotted with pine trees and crashing waterfalls. Admire the view from a luxury cruise ship or get out into the wilderness on a kayaking or hiking excursion. You’ll stop off at charming fishing villages and venture far north into the frozen landscapes of the Arctic, Northern Lights overhead!
Bergen, Norway - Scandinavia / Nordic Cruises
Stavanger, Norway - Scandinavia / Nordic Cruises
Tromso, Norway - Scandinavia / Nordic Cruises
Kirkenes, Norway - Scandinavia / Nordic Cruises
Gothenburg, Sweden - Scandinavia / Nordic Cruises
Visby, Sweden - Scandinavia / Nordic Cruises
Copenhagen, Denmark - Scandinavia
Stockholm, Sweden - Scandinavia
Oslo, Norway - Scandinavia
Surrounded by majestic fjords and rugged mountain landscapes, Bergen’s natural beauty is one of its star attractions. This colourful Norwegian port features neat rows of wooden houses positioned along its historic wharf, as well as a thriving Fish Market where you can sample the catch of the day. Don’t miss a trip on the funicular up the Fløyen Mountain to enjoy the sweeping views and hiking trails at the top.
The gateway for excursions into the Lysefjord’s amazing cliffs and waterfalls scenery, Stavanger offers a traditional Nordic charm all its own. You can also learn more about the town’s heritage with a visit to the Stavanger Cathedral, Norwegian Petroleum Museum or Canning Museum. Have a wander around the harbour and Old Town to see colourful wooden homes, or pick up souvenirs on the Øvre Holmegate shopping street.
Positioned 400km above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is surrounded by gorgeous polar landscapes and fjords. It’s a great place to see the Northern Lights, and you can admire its unique architecture including the peak-roofed Arctic Cathedral and modern Polaria aquarium. Despite its remote location, there’s a lively atmosphere in this university town, with loads of cultural events and the most pubs per capita in Norway!
With its location near the Finnish and Russian Borders, the small town of Kirkenes is known as the gateway to the East. See the incredible Kirkenes Snow Hotel, built from scratch each year out of fresh snow! In the summer you can see puffin colonies, while winter brings dog-sledging trips, reindeer safaris and ice fishing. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get the perfect view of the spectacular Northern Lights overhead.
You’ll see the maritime side of laid-back Gothenburg when arriving by sea, with its fantastic aquarium and seafood restaurants lining the waterfront. The city centre boasts attractive Neoclassical architecture and stately 17th-century canals, making it well worth a wander. Stroll down the Avenyn with its boutique shops and cafes; and visit the botanical gardens or Liseberg amusement park to soak in the greenery.
Visby is the capital of Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea. You’ll love wandering its cobbled lanes, dotted with brightly painted cottages and medieval ruins. Learn more about the island’s history at the Gotland Museum, enjoy the floral displays at the Botanical Gardens, or see the centuries-old city walls. The town springs to life in the summer with its Medieval Week, with much dancing and feasting.
Do you fancy strolling along a canal-side promenade, viewing Rococo architecture or visiting Renaissance palaces? Then Copenhagen is the place for you! This Danish city offers plenty of charming landscapes, with 18th-century buildings and outdoor cafes. Don’t miss the chance to see the pretty landscaping at Tivoli Gardens or the iconic Little Mermaid sculpture dedicated to famous storyteller Hans Christian Andersen.
Built up on 14 islands with over 50 bridges to cross, Stockholm’s cityscape blends gracefully into its natural Baltic Sea surroundings. If you’re in the mood to explore its heritage, head to Gamla Stan Old Town with its cobbled streets, 13th-century buildings, and Royal Palace. Get onboard a ship whether it’s the Vasa maritime museum or a ferry. For vintage shopping and independent cafes, visit trendy Sodermalm.
Norway’s capital city boasts a newly developed waterfront lined with bustling shops and eateries. Take a seat in one of the outdoor cafes to watch the street musicians, or visit the Norwegian Maritime Museum and Viking Ship Museum. Art fans won’t want to miss a visit to the Munch Museum, home to ‘The Scream’ and other masterworks. Oslo also boasts the Nobel Peace Centre, along with an abundance of green spaces!
As one might expect from cruising this far north, the best time to visit the Nordic region is during the summer months. The peak travel times are during the months of June through August, but you can also find cruises in May or into September, and expedition cruises often sail year-round. Summer temperatures are quite mild, making it a pleasant time of year to visit port cities like Oslo. Weather can be unpredictable even in the height of summer, so it’s always good to plan for a day or two of rain! If you want to experience the midnight sun, venture north of the Arctic Circle.
There’s a friendly charm to many of Norway’s top ports, starting in Bergen with its famous Fish Market and art museums. Tiny towns like Flam offer direct access to the fjords, with outdoor recreations and mountain railways. Gieranger is another gateway to the Norwegian landscapes, particularly the famous Geirangerfjord with its dramatic waterfalls and scenic viewpoints. Stavanger is the base point for excursions to Lysefjord, and it also is home to interesting little museums teaching more about the history of the petroleum and canning industries. Within Oslo you’ll find plenty of cultural attractions including the Nobel Peace Centre and Munch Museum.
Planning for your Nordic cruise is simple, as British citizens can enjoy free access to Norway without a visa. You’ll be able to enter with just your passport provided you’re visiting for touristic purposes and for three months or less. Just be sure it’s valid up until your departure date, and you’ll be fine! This is true if you plan to visit Svalbard as well as the main Norwegian ports. Are you looking at longer Scandinavian itineraries including destinations like Sweden and Denmark? Your passport will suffice for these as well!
Nordic cuisine is definitely having a moment, with a focus on slow cooking using traditional techniques and fresh, local ingredients in the New Nordic style of restaurants. Try pickled herring or super-fresh seafood in Norwegian fishing ports. Open-faced sandwiches called smorrebrod are particularly delicious, typically consisting of eggs or fish and preserved vegetables on top of hearty rye bread. You might dine on Norwegian waffles with cloudberry jam or enjoy a taste of the regional goat’s cheese, which is an unusual shade of caramel brown. Feeling adventurous? Why not try a main dish of elk or reindeer while you’re up north!
"Bergen was exactly as I imagined - as you see on many of the picture postcards of the little multi coloured houses and the smell of fresh fish being cooked outside."
"Norway is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It's home to more natural wonders than we can count and it has stunning cities, fascinating history and really happy people."
"Skjolden is a tiny village with only 200 people living there but it is so pretty I would literally move there in the morning. Its the most picture perfect place, exactly how I pictured Norway to be."
"Norway is a fabulous place to visit so if you haven’t been yet you know what to do.Cameras cannot really capture the beauty it is one of those things you have to experience to enjoy."
By: Bickley, Glenrothes on 3rd Dec 2018
The scenery was second to none, the buildings were amazing and everyone was.so friendly. Trips were of a similar cost to other lines and not more expensive as we'd thought they may be...
By: Bates, Shrewsbury on 6th Nov 2018
I was blown away when I first saw the ship and couldnt wait to get to our cabin. Our first port of call was Stavanger where we cruised up a fjord and drank glacier water...