Norway is an unforgettable cruise holiday destination with its incredible natural attractions like fjords, mountains, midnight sun and Aurora Borealis. On a Norwegian cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to visit many popular ports of call, from Bergen, famous for its colourful wooden houses to Tromsø, the best place to see the northern lights. In this guide, we’ve given you a range of top things to do in each port of call – tried and tested by ROL Cruise!
The coastal town of Ålesund is, for many, just as beautiful as Bergen. On a much smaller scale and far less touristy than Bergen, Ålesund offers exciting activities based on both nature and culture. You can go for a boat trip, wander along marked paths on the mountains, cycle around idyllic islands, or participate in a sightseeing tour by boat, city train or on foot. The possibilities are endless.
Things to do in Ålesund
- Aksla viewpoint - Make your way to the top of Town Mountain to the Aksla viewpoint where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the beautiful town centre and the amazing Sunnmøre Alps. Walk the 418 steps to Aksla viewpoint, go by car or take the city train up to Fjellstua.
- Alnes Lighthouse - Alnes Lighthouse, built in 1876, is a protected relic of Norwegian costal culture. Here you can enjoy exciting historical exhibitions and buy local handcrafted souvenirs. Take the steep steps up to the top and be dazzled by the striking view of the ocean.
- Wildlife sea safari - Experience two action-packed hours filled with breath-taking nature on a wildlife sea safari. Travel along the Ålesund coastline in a high-speed RIB-boat, visit a seal colony and Runde’s famous bird colony with eagles and puffins.
Most tourists in Bergen find the atmosphere, cultural landscape and architecture more compelling than the typical sights, so pick a few things to see and spend the rest of your time in Bergen sitting down in a park or café, strolling around the city, enjoying a concert or hiking the mountains. On sunny summer days, stay downtown until late to enjoy the sunset in the north.
Things to do in Bergen
- Horse riding - Experience the scenic views of Bergen on horseback. Head out among the hills, mountains and green meadows on the outskirts of Bergen or enjoy the view of the North Sea. Tour lengths vary but all will be adapted to your past horseback riding experience.
- Bryggen in Bergen - Beautiful Bryggen has been an important area of Bergen for many centuries. Steeped in history, Bryggen has a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Spend a day here taking in the old Hanseatic wharf and buildings, stroll through the narrow alleyways and overhanging galleries, step back into the mists of time and a bygone era.
- Hiking in Bergen - Bergen is surrounded by seven mountains, making it the ideal spot for hiking lovers. The most popular mountains are Mount Fløyen and Mount Ulriken, which is the highest mountain in Bergen. If walking isn’t your thing then head up on the Ulriken cable car instead.
Situated at the head of the Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the mighty Sogne, Flåm nestles between high cliffs streaked with waterfalls. It is the terminus of the Flåmsbanen, the mighty railway line that travels just 12 miles to Myrdal through stunning scenery and a gradient of 1 in 18.
Things to do in Flåm
- Segastein viewpoint - Situated 650 metres above Aurlandsfjord is the spectacular Segastein viewing platform. The structure, which juts out 30 metres from the mountainside, offers an unparalleled panoramic view of the fjords, mountains and surrounding landscape.
- The Flåm Railway - One of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, The Flåm Railway runs from the end of Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sognefjord, up to the high mountains at Myrdal station. Over the course of an hour, the train runs through spectacular scenery, vertiginous mountainsides, foaming waterfalls and 20 tunnels.
- Ægir Brewpub - Ægir Brewpub, which opened in 2001, is one of the best craft breweries in Norway. Beer tasting and Viking-inspired menus take you on a voyage of culinary discovery.
This pretty village nestles at the tip of perhaps Norway’s most photographed, if not most renowned fjord. The voyage along the fjord passing such famous waterfalls as De Syv Søstre (The Seven Sisters) is spectacular.
Things to do in Geiranger
- Traditional Herdal Goat Farm - Explore Geiranger on a memorable half-day tour. By bus, experience the Eagle Road with its 11 hairpin curves, enjoy the breath-taking views of Geirangerfjord and visit the idyllic Herdal Summer Farm where you’ll find goats, cows and fjord horses.
- Bike rental - Hire a mountain bike or electric bike to see Gerainger a little differently. Experience the spectacular surroundings at close quarters, with a fantastic view of one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world.
- Geiranger Skywalk - Geiranger Skywalk is a spectacular platform 1500m above sea level. Situated at Dalsnibba, you’ll be able to see panoramic views of the fjords, snow-capped mountains and the World Heritage Area – all at the same time!
At its eastern end, the magnificent Nordfjord divides into three arms beneath the glaciers of the Jotunheimen Mountains. Olden sits at the beginning of the southernmost of these arms. It is an utterly delightful charming village, set in green meadows which are ablaze with colourful flowers throughout the summer.
Things to do in Olden
- Visit Olden Old Church - Located on the north end of the Oldedalen valley, Olden Old Church was built in the mid-16th century. Seating about 250 people, the church features religious paintings and statues as well as a Holy Bible which dates back to the reign of King Christian III of Denmark.
- Kayaking in Nordfjord - Experience the magnificent views of Nordfjord by water. The kayaking tour will take you along the green fjord where you’ll be surrounded by steep mountains, soaring waterfalls and blue glaciers.
- Troll-car to Briskdal Glacier - For more than 100 years, the farmers in Oldedalen have transported tourists around Olden. The tour starts in Briksdal and takes you to the stand about 700 metres away from the glacier. Here, you’ll enjoy a lovely walk to the glacier into the Jostedal Glacier national park before heading back to Briksdal.
Stavanger is home to a myriad of natural wonders – from Pulpit Rock, one of the most popular and photographed sites in Norway to Lysefjord’s breath-taking landscape of waterfalls and mountains.
Things to do in Stavanger
- Visit Old Stavanger - Located on the west side of Vågen, Old Stavanger comprises of 173 wooden buildings from the turn of the 18th century. Most of the wooden buildings are small, white cottages but there are also many galleries and boutiques too.
- NUART street art walking tour - Organised annually, NUART is a street art festival with art ranging from situationism, graffiti, post-graffiti, muralism, comic culture, stencil art and activism. NUART’s street art walking tour takes you through more than 15 years of NUART Festival’s impressive street art history and the evolution of Stavanger into one the world’s leading destinations for street art.
- Eat at The Fish Market - The Fish Market is a seafood restaurant where the menu is based on the day’s catch. Offering simple and tasty dishes for both lunch and dinner, The Fish Market focuses exclusively on local produce and has a professionally drawn up wine menu – the perfect compliment for every dish!
Situated 400km north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø’s climate is surprisingly moderate. The main part of the town stretches along the east shore of the island of Tromsøya, linked to the mainland by a gracefully arched bridge.
Things to do in Tromsø
- Aurora Hunt - Named as the best place to see the northern lights in Norway, Tromsø is a great spot to join a fascinating quest for Aurora Borealis. Enjoy a homemade meal, take photos and exchange stories around a bonfire with newfound friends on a northern lights chase.
- Feed reindeers - Be introduced to the Sami culture on a reindeer feeding tour. You’ll have the chance to feed a herd of 200 reindeer and work on your lasso skills, indulge in traditional Sami food and hear stories about Sami traditions around the campfire.
- Whale watching - Not only is Tromsø the top spot for seeing the northern lights in Norway, it is also the best place for whale watching. Take a tour on a RIB boat for a chance to see whales swimming, hunting and playing amongst the fjords surrounding Tromsø.