Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
Norway Coast Cruises

Norwegian Coast and Fjords Cruise Holidays

Each season offers a new experience on a Norway coast cruise. Spring sees the Arctic thawing, with waterfalls cascading into life as you cruise through fjords. Summer transforms northern Norway into the Land of the Midnight Sun where the sun stays above the horizon all night, bathing the dramatic cliffs in hazy colour. Autumn offers cruises of contrast with trees turning red and gold and cruising above the Arctic circle brings early snow. Winter is the time to voyage in search of the Northern Lights, where the spectacular Aurora Borealis brightens the sky with swirls of green and pink.

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020 / 2021

Norway Coast Info

Starting your holiday

We offer a superb selection of voyages along the dramatic Norwegian coastline from a range of departure ports. Cruise from a number of UK ports including London Tilbury, Harwich, Newcastle, Liverpool and Hull, or fly and join the ship in the Norwegian city of Bergen or Kirkenes, close to the Russian border.

Norwegian Highlights

The beautiful village of Ulvik at the head of Ulvikfjord is located in the heart of one of Norway’s largest fruit growing districts and is the starting point for excursions to Hardangerfjord. Further north is picturesque Flam, home to the famous Flam Railway which travels through some of the most dramatic and breathtaking scenery in Norway, from cascading waterfalls to soaring mountains. Continuing north, arrive at the small village of Hellesylt, gateway to the UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord, and the town of Andalsnes, located at the start of the Rauma railway which cuts through spectacular scenery.

Many of our voyages cross the Arctic Circle visiting remote communities. The Lofoten Islands are dotted with traditional fishing villages, while the Arctic capital of Tromso, home to the Arctic Cathedral, offers the best chance of seeing the magical Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis in the Winter months. Other ports visited above the Arctic Circle include Honningsvag, gateway to the North Cape, the northernmost point of mainland Europe, and Kirkenes, close to the Russian border.

  • The Arctic Cathedral at Tromso in winter daylight
  • See the Northern Lights from your ship
  • Spring arriving at a Norway coast village
  • Spring at a Norway fishing village
  • Trondheim
  • Gerainger Fjord
  • Honningsvag
  • Orcas in the Arctic
  • MS Nordlys entering a fjord
  • Sunset at Tromso

Some of our cruises visit the Norwegian fjords before heading to the dramatic landscapes of Iceland, the Land of Ice and Fire, while others visit the remote Shetland Islands and colourful Tobermory, the capital of the Isle of Mull.

Tailor your holiday

We offer an exciting choice of optional excursions, allowing your to tailor your holiday, whatever the season. Perhaps enjoy a husky adventure in Kirkenes, kayak in the waters surrounding the Arctic capital of Tromso or take a ride on the famous Flam Railway through stunning scenery.

Norway Coast Highlights

Alesund

Alesund is built across three islands and uniquely for Norway, is an Art Nouveau town, rebuilt in this style after a devastating fire in 1904. The KUBE Art Museum is housed in the former premises of the Norwegian Bank, and upmarket shops line Apotekergata. For good views of the islands, hills and coast, take the steps from Alesund's park up to Mount Aksla. Worthy of a visit is the magnificent 12th-century Borgund Stave Church in Laerdal.

Alesund (Norway)

Bergen

The old Hanseatic port of Bergen is within walking distance of the city centre and the famous Bryggen, the World Heritage listed waterfront area of gabled traditional buildings which dates back 900 years. The outdoor fish market is one of Bergen's popular tourist attractions, along with the Floibanen, the funicular which travels up Mount Floyen close to Skomadkerdiket Lake for views of the city and the sea.

Bergen (Norway)

Bodo

Like many towns in northern Norway, Bodo was completely rebuilt after the war. It is a very modern town with a buzzing commercial centre. The Norwegian Aviation Museum is one of the most popular museums and off the coast is Saltstraumen, the world's strongest maelstrom or 'whirling stream'.

Finnsnes

This small town in Troms County is a gateway to the so-called 'Fairytale island' of Senja, with a variety of landscapes covering every type of Norwegian scenery from fjords and mountains to small traditional villages. Finnsnes has a large park which has a natural lake, and pretty white clapboard houses along its shore.

Flam

The approach to Flam through Sognefjord and Aurlandsfjord is spectacular. Flam itself is positioned between high cliffs streaked with waterfalls, and is the terminus of the Flamsbanen, the scenic railway which travels to Myrdal 2800 feet above sea level, twisting through the mountains. Flam has shops, banks and restaurants and a summer shuttle bus service to nearby villages.

Flam (Norway)

Geiranger Fjord

The village of Geiranger sits at the head of the 9-mile long Geirangerfjord, a World Heritage Site of great beauty enclosed by sheer cliffs and mountains. En route you will pass the famous waterfalls of the Seven Sisters and the Suitor. Athough small, Gerainger is a busy cruise ship port, with up to three vessel visits a day, and is also situated on the scenic Norwegian National Road. The Union Hotel has a collection of classic cars from Geiranger's early days as a tourist destination.

Geiranger Fjord (Norway)

Hammerfest

Hammerfest, the world's most northerly town, is at the same latitude as northern Siberia, but largely ice-free thanks to the Gulf Stream. The fur trade and international trade with neighbouring Russia brought prosperity, as did the growing fish processing industry. Its strategic position made it the ideal base for Germany's fleet during World War II. Visit the amusingly named Polar Bear Club for a taste of Arctic natural history.

Hammerfest (Norway)

Hardangerfjord

Over a hundred miles long, Hardangerfjord extends from the Atlantic Ocean near Bergen to Ulvik and Eidfjord. The region of Hardanger is a major fruit and berry producer, and blossom trees add to its beauty in late spring. Among the many sights are the 182-meter Voringsfossen waterfall, the Folgefonna Glacier and the Barony in Rosendal, which has a famous Renaissance garden. The open-air Hardanger Folk Museum is a popular visitor attraction.

Hardangerfjord (Norway)

Harstad

Harstad is an important port with a natural, sheltered harbour surrounded by an archipelago of small islands. Apart from its fjords and mountains, Harstad's attractions include the underground Grottebadet, a cave complex of Jacuzzi, pools, caf' and sauna, and on the Trondenes Peninsula, the Adolf Gun from World War II and 13th-century Trondenes Church. Harstad is also the base for the 1868 schooner, Anna Rogde.

Harstad (Norway)

Hellesylt

The old Viking village of Hellesylt is situated at the head of Sunnylvsfjord. It is a stepping-off point for cruises along Geirangerfjord, and is surrounded by mountains and valleys. Places of interest include the Peer Gynt Gallery, and a small bridge in the town over the tumbling waters of Hellesylt waterfall. On the mountainside there are restored old farmsteads, including Skagefla which was built on a ledge 250 meters above the fjord.

Honnigsvag

Honningsvag is the gateway to the North Cape and is Norway's most northerly municipality, set in a landscape of waterfalls and forest. A small fishing town, along the waterfront are brightly-coloured wooden buildings, and shops sell traditional goods including furs, textiles, pottery, silver and enamel ' some of them are tax free to tourists. Worthy of a visit are the North Cape Museum and Visitor Centre.

Honnigsvag (Norway)

Kirkenes

The isolated town of Kirkenes is close to the Sami communities of North Finland, and just 10 kilometers from Norway's border with Russia, situated on the extreme north-eastern coast on Bokfjorden. It is in the Land of the Midnight Sun and popular with visitors in search of the Northern Lights. The Grenselandmuseet is a museum exhibiting woodcuts and historic regional artefacts, but Kirkenes is best-known for the Snow Hotel.

Kirkenes (Norway)

Kristiansand

The pleasant port town of Kristiansand is easy to explore by train, visiting the Fish Quay, the fountain sculpture in Nupen Park, the pretty harbour and the town's beach. The old town area of Posebyen is worth a visit for its elegant and well-preserved white wooden houses. Boat trips are available to the island of Odderoya which has scenic walking trails and military remains, and nearby is the open-air museum of Vest-Agder where there are historic buildings and reconstructed streets.

Kristiansand (Norway)

Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen is the capital of the remote and beautiful Svalbard Archipelago, situated on its largest island, Spitsbergen and the gateway to the High Arctic. The town nestles between two glacier tongues on Advent Fjord and has a modern feel to it, with brightly-painted buildings, good facilities and the interesting Svalbard Museum. Longyearbyen has several research stations and the Global Seed Vault, which was dug into the permafrost and preserves seeds to ensure the future of plant diversity and food crops.

Longyearbyen (Norway)

Lysefjord

Lysefjord is the most southerly of Norway's large fjords and offers dramatic scenery, stretching for over 20 miles through a narrow channel bounded by high cliffs. Hengjanefossen Waterfall is 400 meters high, and the famous plateau of Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen, overlooks the fjord from a height of 600 meters.

Molde

Facing south along the Romdalsfjord, in the northern part of Norway's Fjordland, the colourful and modern city of Molde is known as the 'Town of Roses', surrounded by over 200 mountain peaks. The market place has an impressive city hall and Molde Church has been richly decorated by Norwegian artists. Shoppers buy local crafts including knitwear, silver, reindeer skins and glass. The area of Molde is known for its scenic roads, including the Trollstigen and the island-hopping Atlantic Road.

Molde (Norway)

Ny Alesund

Ny Alesund has a population of less than one hundred, and is a former coal-mining town situated on the west coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard Archipelago. It was from here that Raold Amundsen's successful airship flight over the North Pole began, and today it is home to the most northerly, permanently-inhabited Arctic Research Station.

Ny Alesund (Norway)

Olden

The village of Olden has a spectacular position at the head of Nordfjord, with steep mountains on either side. Cruise ships dock at the quay a ten-minute walk away from the town, mainly for visits to the Briksdal Glacier. Two-wheeled horse-drawn carts known as 'Troll Cars' take visitors through the scenic Olden Valley and nearby is the impressive 984-foot Volefossen waterfall. In Loen just outside Olden are some of the many Viking burial mounds found in Nordfjord.

Olden (Norway)

Oslo

The port of Norway's capital, Oslo, is located in the heart of the city below the medieval Akershus Fortress. Oslo is a small city located at the end of Oslofjord, surrounded by mountains and offering interesting shopping opportunities in the Old Bazaar Halls, the Kon-Tiki, Fram and Viking ship museums, the modernist building of the new Opera House at Bjorvika, and restaurants serving traditional dishes of moose, fish and reindeer.

Oslo (Norway)

Spitsbergen

Spitsbergen is the largest island in the remote Svalbard archipelago and the only one with a permanent population. For travellers continuing north, it is the gateway to the High Arctic and the last stop before the North Pole. This harsh habitat supports polar bears, reindeer and hardy flora, and is home to international research stations and the Global Seed Vault. Its dramatic scenery includes Advent Fjord, the Monaco Glacier and jagged granite mountains.

Spitsbergen (Norway)

Stavanger

Stavanger cruise port is situated beside the old wooden seahouses of Gamle Stavanger which now house restaurants, bars and shops. The city is built across several islands, linked by bridges and has a well-preserved 12th-century cathedral. The former sardine canning factory provides an insight into the region's historic fishing industry, and nearby Pulpit Rock is a famous viewpoint overlooking Lysefjord.

Stavanger (Norway)

Svolvaer

Svolvaer is the main port and capital of the Lofoten Islands, and its harbour is idyllically set below a ring of mountains. It's renowned for the special qualities of its natural light which attracts painters and sculptors to the town, built across small islets connected by bridges. For such a small town, there are plenty of shops, restaurants and good public transport links to smaller towns nearby.

Svolvaer (Lofoten Islands, Norway)

The Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands

These beautiful, mountainous island chains, rising to 1,000 metres in places, are some of the oldest in the world, fjorded during the Ice Age. Many of the fishermen's cabins are built on stilts along the waterfront in the small settlements here. Tiny islands like Rost are home to nesting seabirds such as puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes, eider ducks, cormorants and sea eagles. See the Legends of the Lofoten Islands Tour, which spends more time here.

The Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands (Norway)

Tromso

Tromso is the capital of the Arctic, and has been the starting point for many Polar expeditions. In the waterfront Polar Museum there are exhibits related to these and the history of hunting and trapping in the Polar region. There are shops, cafes, the stunning stained glass Arctic Cathedral and the world's most northerly botanic garden in the town, which benefits from the Gulf Stream.

Tromso (Norway)

Trondheim

Trondheim is an attractive city partly encircled by the River Nid and was once the capital of Norway. Its waterfront is bordered by brightly-painted wharves and the old town bridge leads to the lively Bakklandet neighbourhood where there are numerous wooden houses, shops and cafes. The town's chief sight is the ancient cathedral of Nidaros which was built in the 11th century over the burial site of St Olav.

Trondheim (Norway)

Vadso

This small town in Norway is well known for King Crab fishing and for the airship mast which was the departure point for Amundsen's North Pole crossing aboard the airship Norge. The landscape around its archipelago is dramatic, with mountains, lakes, and Arctic habitats of flora and fauna including cliff-side bird colonies and sea eagles, and is a popular destination for hikers.

Vardo

Norwegian Vardo is a small fishing village close to the Russian border, and the gateway to the North-east passage and the Barents Sea. Attractions include the 18th-century Vardohus Festning fortress and colonies of razorbill and Brunnich's Guillemot at Hornoy and Reinoy. Brightly-painted buildings line the harbour, and there is a memorial to the victims of witch hunts conducted here in the 17th-century. On the day when daylight returns after the darkness of winter, a two-round salute is fired from the fortress guns to announce a day's holiday.

Norway through the Seasons

Norway Coastal Voyages - cruises for all seasons

Endless day, endless night. Each season casts its own spell on the Norwegian coastline. As the ship changes latitude it may feel as if you are travelling through all the seasons in a single journey. Between the extremes of Midnight Sun and polar night, and between the temperate south and the Arctic north, natural light always plays an important role, dramatising the scenery and enhancing the experience. Whenever you choose to go your voyage will be unique.

The Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun

An invisible line at 66º 33’ north is known as the Arctic Circle. This is the southernmost point at which the sun shines uninterruptedly for 24 hours at least one day of the year. This takes place at the Arctic Circle around 21 June, when the polar day reaches its climax and the sun never dips below the horizon.

The equinoxes on 21/22 March and 22/23 September are the two occasions each year when the day and the night are of equal duration and of course, as you head north between these two dates, you get more polar days and longer summers.

Similarly, if you plan to take a voyage after the autumnal equinox, you will sail towards the polar night as you pass the Arctic Circle. Most people say they do not experience insomnia so much as inspiration when they spend time in these extreme regions.

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon caused by electrically charged solar particles passing into the Earth’s atmosphere. Also known as the Aurora Borealis, which means ‘dawn of the north’, the aurora can appear abruptly, filling the sky with incredible speed with great arcs as ghostly wisps in green, yellow, red and violet dancing above the horizon, before disappearing again.

Inspiration to artists and poets, myths and legends, there is no better way to experience the Northern Lights than by sailing through the sheltered coastal waters, on board a ship from the Hurtigruten fleet with the Aurora Borealis set against a dark sky, free from artificial light.

A celestial show which truly needs to be seen to be believed, no-one has seen the Northern Lights and not been caught in awe by this magical display.

Winter

Winter Scenery

As we sail through the Arctic twilight, we become one with the peaceful atmosphere that descends around us. Clusters of houses glow like embers along the coast, small towns become cosy refuges as we pull into harbour to welcome new passengers on board, and the backdrop of snow-clad mountains reflects the polar light to bathe us in eerie shades. A magical time to travel, winter is also the best time to see the Northern Lights.

Spring

Fjords in Spring

Rising higher and higher each day, the sun works overtime to thaw the land. Each week there is a marked difference in daylight hours and blossom through the fjords. Green leaves bud on bare trees, and colour flows back into the landscape. The sea begins to sparkle once more and long shadows enliven the views.

At higher latitudes, the winter struggles to maintain its grip on the Arctic regions and eventually recedes under duress. Snow is still often seen as the voyage skirts the Finnmark plateau and takes us along the coast which has been kept largely ice free, due to the warmth of the Gulf Stream.

Summer

Norway in Summer

This is when the Land of the Midnight Sun lives up to its name. With 24 hours of daylight north of the Arctic Circle, and every fjord, fell and bay glistening in the powerful sunshine, you have to force yourself to fix a time for ‘night’ and go to bed. The most popular time of the year for exploring the Norwegian coast, it is also when the ships can get very busy - this is the European holiday period, so you will need to book early.

Autumn

Autumn Fjords

With vivid shades of russet, ochre and rouge the autumnal colours creep through the leaves of the deciduous forests, and we witness Nature prepare for the long cool winter ahead. At this time temperatures remain pleasant and the landscape glows with an unearthly light.

With fewer passengers on board, this is an incredibly tranquil time to travel, and as the planet draws down its blinds in the far north it is almost possible to feel the change in the air as we pass over the Arctic Circle.