All the way back in 2018, I blogged about taking a Mediterranean cruise. I started it off the same way I’ll start this off – There are many factors that go into taking a cruise versus flying to a city/country to visit. I can’t think of a better example than Norway that warrants taking a cruise versus a land-based vacation.
Let me preface this by saying if you are rich and have a lot of time, a land-based vacation may suit your needs. But you should know, you will pay for that at a premium. Cruising the Norwegian fjords offers a better value for your return in my opinion. You unpack once and you get to experience multiple places at an affordable price. Norway is notoriously expensive. As an example, a can of Coke was $8.00 US. So, with that said, let’s dive into this amazing exploration of the Norwegian fjords from our starting point in Southampton, UK.
We flew to London Heathrow and then took the National Express shuttle to Southampton. Once we found the bus station, we had a bit of a wait but it couldn’t have been a more stereotypical day in London – rain! Once we boarded the bus, we were on our way, and the closer we got the clouds parted and the sun began to break through. In the following video, I will show you our journey to Southampton and some pre-cruise sightseeing you may have an interest in. I really enjoyed our time in this historic city.
We arrived at the Southampton National Express bus station and it was a short walk to our hotel, the Premier Inn West Quay. The location was perfect and within walking distance of the Westquay Shopping Center, food, drink, and sightseeing. Other hotels nearby were Holiday Inn, the Moxy hotel steps away, and other nearby hotels such as the Leonardo Royal Southampton Hotel all formed a central hub for many of the pending and former cruise passengers. The Premier Inn was spacious for two people but certainly was not fancy. It did have a restaurant on site but we never used it. The bed slept well and was perfect for our next two nights. You can see my tour of our room in the following video.
Sunday had arrived and it was CRUISE DAY! We took a taxi for what we could have actually walked within ten to fifteen minutes. The taxi was about 5 euros, but we scheduled it the night before. In the following video, you’ll see our first day on the cruise, which includes the amazing sky-diving simulator.
For such a scenic cruise, we chose to have a balcony cabin. Being on the thirteenth deck may not be the best choice for some people as there is an overhang that can impede the views. If this might be an issue for you, I would suggest you choose a cabin on decks 8, 7, or even 6. In the following video, I give you a cabin tour and you can judge for yourself if this is the right deck for you. It didn’t bother us – we were really on the go from sun up to sun down. My thinking is it would provide shelter if it rained (as it often does in Norway).
Our first port was Stavanger Norway. It’s here where we take our first ship excursion to see Lysefjord in all its beauty. Passing fish farms, expanding vistas, and waterfall after waterfall, I’m struck speechless by the magnificent beauty surrounding me. In the next video, I take you on my excursion to the Lysefjord and Pulpit Rock. Afterward, I checked out Royal Caribbean’s famous Wonderland restaurant.
The next port we would see is Flam, Norway. It is here where we take the famous Flam Railway to lakeside Voss, Norway. Along the way, we gazed at majestic waterfalls from the towering peaks of the fjords.
Our cruise closed out by visiting the port of Olden, Norway where we took an excursion hike up to Briksdal Glacier, and the last port of Bergen, Norway where we made our way to the top of Mount Fløyen. Yet another expensive excursion but well worth it, the hike up to Birksdal Glacier was an amazing experience. It was also not for those with any mobility problems and a high-exertion hike. As I state in my video below, if I had it to do over again, I would take the Troll Cars up. The last stop was Bergen and we spent the day doing our own walking tour which included a funicular ride to the top of Mount Fløyen. This was a nice relaxing day to enjoy ourselves all on our own without the stress of having to be at meeting points and taking coaches and staying with a group.
At the end of our cruise, we took the National Express shuttle back to London Heathrow Airport and stayed our final night close by to reduce any stress making our flight back home.
If you’ve never seen the fjords of Norway, this is one cruise I can highly recommend. I also recommend spending the extra money on your excursions. Also, if you are ever leaving out of the port in Southampton, if you can, take some time to do some sightseeing. There’s a lot to offer. I hope this was informative and provided you with some options for your next trip. Thanks for stopping by and as always, thanks for tripping with me.