Norway

Norway

Norway boasts one of the most dramatic coastlines on the planet. Taking a cruise of its majestic fjords and stopping in remote port towns offers the perfect introduction to one of Europe's most picturesque destinations.
 
Norway's iconic fjords were sculpted by glaciers over millions of years, and passing through the narrow inlets in a small cruise ship or kayak is an exhilarating experience, keeping watch for local wildlife such as puffins, whales and porpoises.
 
Norway's natural beauty doesn't end at its coastline either; inland sightseeing tours of areas such as the Geirangerfjord World Heritage Site take in cascading waterfalls and sweeping mountain vistas.

Destination Overview

  • Currency - Norway is not part of the Eurozone. The local currency is the Norwegian Krone. Coins come in one, five, 10 and 20-krone denominations, and notes come in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000-krone denominations. 
  • Population - Norway is relatively sparsely populated, with most of its five million inhabitants living in major cities. Ethnic Norwegians are by far the largest group, though the country is also home to a significant population of Scandinavia's indigenous Sami people and has a growing number of foreign workers and immigrants from around the globe.
  • Language - Norwegian is the official language and the most widely spoken, with 95 per cent of the population using it. The language bears some similarities to those of neighbouring Sweden and Denmark. English is learned as a second language and many Norwegians are fluent.
  • Time Zone - Norway uses Central European Time (CET), which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+1). The country observes Daylight Saving Time, moving forward one hour in the spring and back one hour in the autumn.
  • Weather - Norway has brief summers and long winters. Coastal regions enjoy slightly warmer winters and cooler summers than inland regions. Despite sharing the same latitude as Alaska, Greenland and Siberia, Norway's climate is comparatively mild.
     

Did you know..?

Norway is known as the 'Land of the Midnight Sun,' as the sun never sets over its northern regions during the summer months. The reverse occurs in the winter, when regions such as North Cape receive little to no sunlight.
 

Who goes there?

Many European and international cruise lines operate cruises of Norway's fjords as far as the Arctic Circle during the summer months.
 
Royal Caribbean International offers cruises from Copenhagen to the fjords, while Celebrity Cruises operates longer tours departing from Amsterdam. MSC Cruises runs Arctic Circle tours and round trips taking in the fjords, North Cape and Spitsbergen. Luxury cruise options include Silversea and Seabourn, which use smaller ships well suited to travelling the fjords.
 

Best time to go?

Norway's cruise season is from May to August when temperatures are at their warmest, though some cruises continue until October. Special Northern Lights and Christmas-themed cruises operate in the winter months.
 

Highlights

  • Oslo - Norway's scenic capital is the natural starting point for many cruises of the region’s magnificent fjords, and is well worth an extended stay. Smaller and more intimate than most other European capitals, Oslo's main attractions can be easily reached on foot. Oslo is well known for its historic castles and the impressive outdoor sculptures at Vigeland Park.
  • Bergen - the 'Gateway to the Fjords' and a picturesque city in its own right, Bergen is a popular destination all year round thanks to its mild winters and seaside atmosphere in the long summers. Visit the World Heritage-listed quay and pristine parks just a short walk from the cruise dock and sample the best of Norwegian cuisine at award-winning restaurants.
  • Geirangerfjord - if this is your first time exploring the fjords of Norway, Geirangerfjord will make a striking impression with its rugged bays, sheer mountains and towering waterfalls, which include the Bridal Veil and the Seven Sisters. Take a more intimate cruise of the fjords in a kayak or go ashore and take a memorable hike to the mountain farms and stunning summits.
  • North Cape - travel to the northernmost point in Europe to witness the natural wonders of the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights. Enter the Arctic Circle via Tromsø and take in the views from the top of Mount Storsteinen, where you might even see wild reindeer roaming the plains.
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