Located in south-west Norway, and with about 126,000 residents, Stavanger is the name given to both a city and municipality. The Stavanger region has been described as the shortcut to the Norwegian fjords, providing a convenient, central spot from which you can experience the natural beauty on offer.
Dating back to the 12th century, Stavanger has a varied history, going from a poor regional centre to a key economic power in Norway. Throughout the years Viking battles, a fishing boom and a strong canning industry have had an impact on the area.
The city of Stavanger has been known in more recent years to be the ‘oil and energy capital’, thanks to a booming petroleum industry. Despite this, the core of the city centre retains a lot of its historical character due to the protection of many of the wooden houses built in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Most locals speak excellent English, which makes exploring the city quite easy.
The Stavanger Cruise Port is located in the heart of the city, with ships docking in sight of the market, shops and cafés.
The cruise terminal has limited facilities for passengers, but the tourist office provides maps to passengers to help them find their way around the city.
How To Get Around
Most attractions in Stavanger city are within easy walking distance of the cruise berths, making it easy to spend the day strolling from place to place. Parts of the inner city are pedestrian-only zones, which facilitates spending the day on foot.
If you are not keen on walking, there is a hop-on/hop-off bus available, with a stop adjacent the cruise docks. It visits the tourist information office, Stavanger Cathedral, the Petroleum Museum, Stavanger Museum, Museum of Archaeology, Stavanger Art Museum and the royal home of Ledaal. Buses leave every 30 minutes and take about 45 minutes to complete the circuit. You can purchase tickets on board or at the tourist office.
Travel times from the port:
- It is a 5 minute journey to the Stavanger Cathedral
- It is a 10 minute journey to the Norwegian Petroleum Museum.
- Currency - The local currency in Stavanger is the Norwegian Krone (NOK). Coins appear in 50 øre (1/2 krone), 1, 5, 10 and 20 kroner denominations. Notes come in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kroner denominations.
- Time Zone - Stavanger uses the Central European Summer Time Zone (CEST), which is two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Daylight savings time operates between March and October, putting the city three hours ahead of UTC.
- Weather - Stavanger has a maritime, mild temperate climate, typically experiencing pleasant summers and cool winters. Stavanger is warmest in July and August with an average temperature of 18 degrees Celsius and coldest in January and February with an average temperature of 3 degrees Celsius.
- Lysefjord - Thought to be named after the colour of the rocks, Lysefjord (translating to ‘light fjord’) is a 42-kilometre-long fjord about an hour away from Stavanger by boat. If the drawcard of the beauty is not quite enough to convince you to make the trip, the journey features the Hengjanefossen Waterfall, which cascades from a height of 400 metres and Pupit Rock, which is an impressive 604 metres high. Fjord cruises to Lysefjord take about 3.5 hours in total, and leave from the same port your cruise ship docks at.
- Norwegian Petroleum Museum - The Norwegian Petroleum Museum is located in Stavanger and is a testament to the significant role this industry has played in the development of the oil capital. It has exhibitions detailing everything you could ever want to know about the oil industry, including why there is oil in the North Sea, how it is extracted and what life is like on an oil rig. It also takes visitors through the refining process, giving visitors thorough insight into a range of topics. The museum is open daily from 10am to 7pm throughout summer. The rest of the year, it is open from 10am to 4pm Monday through Saturday, and until 6pm on Sundays.
- Stavanger Cathedral – The Stavanger Cathedral is Norway’s oldest cathedral. Construction is thought to have begun around 1100, and completion is thought to have taken place between 1125 and 1150. Originally built in Anglo-Norman style for St. Svithun, the cathedral was damaged by fire in 1272. The Stavanger Cathedral is open to visitors Monday through Saturday, 11am to 7pm in the summer. During winter, cathedral closes at 4pm.