The feeling of cruising through the icy Norwegian Sea and gazing upon the stunning vistas of Norway is nothing short of enchanting. With its rugged, frayed edges, the land breaks off into multiple small islands and the waters flow down deep between the cracks, forming the country’s iconic fjords and lakes. There are so many Natural Wonders to See on a Norwegian Cruise. As snow-peaked mountains frame the horizon, emerald-green valleys and glistening waterfalls await you in Norway.
As water is such a key element to this country’s natural beauty, a cruise is the perfect way to enjoy it. Here are three natural wonders to look out for on your Norwegian cruise.
After enjoying some authentic cultural delights in Bergen, the main homeport of Norway for most cruises, you’ll soon be setting off atop the deep, icy waters. Be sure to look out for pods of dolphins in the wake, playfully following the ship as you begin your adventure. Along the nation’s west coast, expect a dramatic coastline where waterfalls burst out of the sheer cliffs, and the rocky headland provides a home for hundreds of birds.
Stopping off at the picturesque ports of Eidfjord, Flam or Stavanger offers plenty of opportunity to grab a kayak and float deeper down the majestic fjords, perhaps passing a whale en route. If you need some time with your feet on dry land, be sure to enjoy a hike along one of the many trails that lead you through lush meadows and up into the lower parts of the mountains to enjoy some panoramic views of the valley below. Look out for reindeer and elk, which have been bred throughout Norway for centuries for their meat, milk and pelts.
If you choose a cruise that enters the Arctic Circle, you’re in for a real treat. Depending on the time of year, there’s an abundance of natural wonders to be found at the northernmost reaches of our planet. In the winter months, from September through to April, the aurora borealis is high on the itinerary for most Arctic explorers. This stunning natural display of green, pink and purple light is both magical and endearing – and it’s something you have a great chance of seeing on your cruise at this time of year.
On a summer cruise to the Arctic Circle, be prepared to witness the midnight sun – the phenomenon by which the snowy wilderness is blessed with constant sunlight for up to 76 days each year. Multiple types of whales can be seen in this region, including sperm whales, orcas, humpbacks and even the colossal blue whale – and with 24 hours’ of sunlight each day, there are even more opportunities to spot some of these giant sea creatures.
The west coast of Norway is teeming with islands that make perfect habitats for many species of wildlife, from pelicans and white-tailed eagles to red king crabs and puffins. Be sure to bring your binoculars to enjoy seeing the flocks swoop fish from the ocean and nest on the rocky islands.
If you continue your adventure further north, into the Svalbard Archipelago, you may even see polar bears, arctic foxes, walruses and seals on the ice. If your cruise doesn’t go this far, there are special ice safari trips you can book, with activities such as snowmobiling and dog-sledding available at certain times of the year.
A place like no other
There’s no doubt about it – a Norwegian cruise is one of the most picturesque experiences you could have. This magnificent landscape, teeming with staggeringly beautiful views and rare animals, plus the hospitable and welcoming towns and cities in between, offers the trip of a lifetime for any traveller.