Oslo is one of those rare European cities where nature and metropolis mesh and connect in ways that cruise passengers can enjoy without a great deal of effort.
The Norwegian capital’s compact city center puts many attractions within walking distance and others only a short transit away on ferries, trams, bikes or city busses. Be sure to read our guide, One Perfect Day In Port: Oslo.
One of Scandinavia’s oldest cities, Trondheim is Norway’s third largest, with a population of 170,000. Founded in 997 by Viking king Olav Tryggvason, it was first named Kaupangen (market or trading place) but soon changed to Nidaros (still the name of the cathedral), a word referring to the city’s location at the mouth of the Nidelven River. The city was the first capital of Norway, from 997 to 1380, and still is the city where kings receive their ceremonial blessing.
Tromsø surprised visitors in the 1800s: They thought it very sophisticated and cultured for being so close to the North Pole. It looks the way a polar town should — with ice-capped mountain ridges and a jagged architecture that is an echo of the peaks. The midnight sun shines from May 21 to July 21, and it is said that the northern lights decorate the night skies over Tromsø more than over any other city in Norway.
Bergen’s epithets include “Trebyen” (Wooden City; it has many wooden houses), “Regnbyen” (Rainy City, due to its 200 days of rain a year), and “Fjordbyen” (Gateway to the fjords).
Situated at the innermost part of the world’s longest navigable fjord, the Sognefjord, the small town of Skjolden is only minutes from Jotunheimen. You would probably be considered lucky if you saw a giant when exploring the area. If you don’t, however, you could probably still be a luckier traveler after experiencing the natural beauty of this part of Norway. The Jotunheimen National Park is an Eldorado for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring the highest mountains in Northern Europe (Galdhøpiggen is the highest, at 8,100 feet/2,469 meters), glaciers, lakes and waterfalls.
Geirangerfjord is Norway’s best-known fjord. Lush green farmlands edge up the rounded mountainsides and chiseled, cragged, steep peaks of the Jotunheimen mountains, Norway’s tallest.
For Port Profiles, Shore Excursions and What To Do In Norway, click on the destinations below.