Aurora Dinner Cruise Dancing Lights & An Arctic Cuisine
This is a relaxing cruise where you can enjoy an Arctic tapas dinner in a 360-degree panoramic lounge while the Northern Lights illuminate your surroundings. Here youll cruise around past snow-covered mountains and landmarks like the Arctic Cathedral. During the trip the captain will also launch an underwater drone, allowing you to have a closer look at the marine life below you.
Norwegian Fjords Cruises The Best Time To Go
As Norways weather can be misty and rainy, the best time to go on a Norwegian fjords cruise is in summer for blue skies and warmer weather.
In summer, snow-covered peaks are a startling contrast to lush green forests, forming a backdrop as pretty as the picture-book seaside towns that dot the region.
The bad news is that cruise fares tend to shoot up in summer and the shoulder seasons are cheaper and there are fewer people on the ships.
Most cruises operate between May and September and while the shoulder seasons may be cheaper, there might be limited tours, buses and ferries in spring and fall.
- May to July Best time to travel to see the Midnight Sun
Best Time To Visit Norway For The Weather
What is the best weather for you?
As mentioned previously, the warmest weather of the year is definitely during the summer. At this time, youll enjoy sunny days in the south, either for a city break in Oslo or to take on a fun excursion to the fjords.
Or maybe what you prefer is colder days with crisp air and plenty of snow to enjoy fun activities? Then come in winter.
If you like mild weather, youll probably prefer the shoulder seasons. In April, May and September, youll enjoy weather in Norway that is perfect for hiking or exploring. With plenty of daylight to do so at your hearts content!
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Best Time To Visit Lesund Norway
The charming port town of Ålesund is one of Norways most visited cities. This is in part thanks to its beautiful setting along a cluster of islands in the western fjords.
But it has also become a popular stop as part of the Norwegian Coastal Voyage. If youre cruising your way up or down the country, you could add a stopover in Ålesund. And it is definitely worth the visit!
We recommend travelling here in summer for the best experience and to enjoy all the activities available. These include angling, sailing, hiking, and kayaking, among others.
From Ålesund, you can sail to the nearby Geirangerfjord. You could also spend your days hiking to local viewpoints. Summer is the ideal time to walk up Mount Aksla and enjoy the panoramic views of the archipelago and the peaks of the Sunnmøre Alps.
What Do You Need To Know Before Booking A Northern Lights Cruise
Be flexible: The northern lights are a natural phenomenon that performs on its own schedule. So, there are no guarantees youll see them on a cruise that has Northern Lights in its name, regardless of when you sail. NASAs Space Weather Bureau website and a variety of Northern Lights apps can help remove some guesswork by tracking solar storm activity and alerting you to when the northern lights might be visible from your location.
On many cruises, when passengers or crew spot northern lights, they make ship-wide announcements. Because the northern lights often appear late at night or very early in the morning, some ships offer opt-in wake up calls for this purpose.
Bridgett Quinn Weber, an advisor with Cruise Specialists who works with expedition cruises offered the advice below.
When the northern lights do appear, “more than likely the ship will turn off most of the exterior lights,” Weber says. “But you can prepare as soon as you board the ship by scouting out the darkest spot outside, and up top on the ship.” That may be away from the ship stairways and public rooms.
“There are lot of incredible photos of the northern lights out there taken by great photographers,” one expert told us. His advice: “Take some pictures, then put your phone or camera away and just enjoy the natures wonderful show.”
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What Is The Best Time To Go On A Northern Lights Cruise
Seeing the northern lights on a cruise isnt guaranteed . But you will increase your odds of seeing the northern lights by being in the right place in the Arctic Circle at the right time.
The arctic viewing season for northern lights cruises is from late September to late March/early April, though the best months are December through March, when there are the longest hours of darkness and many clear night skies. Generally, skies are clearest near the spring and fall equinoxes in later September and March. Some late September/early October Alaska cruises can include northern lights sightings as well.
Norway Cruise Deals: How To Find A Bargain
There are websites, forums and books dedicated to finding the best deals on cruises. For that reason I won’t go into detail here, but I will share the most common bits of advice.
Last-minute deals: If you are willing to risk missing out, waiting for a last-minute deal can land you with a bargain. Cruise ships absolutely do not want to sail with empty rooms, so big discounts can be had in the weeks and days before departure. Just factor in that the cost of flights may well be higher so close to departure.
Travel off-season: Norway in high season is incredibly popular and the prices reflect that. High season is mid-June to mid-August. If you can travel in April-May or September-October, you’re more likely to find a deal. You’ll also see a more varied landscape at these times of the year.
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What To Bring On A Norwegian Northern Lights Cruise
In Norway the weather and temperature can change fast. When going on a winter or fall excursion above the Arctic circle, we always recommend dressing according to the season and in layers so you can adjust your clothing to the weather conditions. If you need an extra layer when out on one of our tours, we can offer you a winter overall suit.
Apart from that, you only need to bring a sense of adventure and a camera.
Arctic Cruise To Svalbard
Arctic cruise tourism is a growing market and Svalbard is a popular destination given its relative accessibility from mainland Europe. The glacial scenery is simply spectacular, and of course there’s an opportunity to see Arctic wildlife. While far from guaranteed, the possibility to see a polar bear is an undoubted draw on these trips.
In addition to their coastal voyages, Hurtigruten offer sailings to more remote places. These include Antarctica and Greenland, but also Svalbard.
In addition to the major cruise companies, many smaller companies run multi-day boat trips around the archipelago. This could be a great solution if you are prepared to fly to Svalbard independently. For an idea of what to expect, you can listen to an episode of the Life in Norway Show all about adventure tourism in Svalbard.
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Norwegian Fjords Tip #7
- Bring your phone and use it. I usually say you should keep your phone in airplane mode when you are at sea. However, when cruising around the Norwegian Fjords youre often close enough to land to be able to pick up 4G from land. If you are in doubt about how your phone will work at sea I have another post about that here: How do mobile phones work at sea? . I know we dont go on cruises to spend all of our time on our phone but being able to send messages/emails/photos to friends and family back home is always a bonus.Mum mostly used it to send photos of me to my dad
Most Popular Months To Visit Norway: July And August
Best for:Road trips in Norway, hiking, cruising fjords, trekking, island hopping, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, surfing, snorkelling, photography
Tourist influx: Highest
- Rainfall: 80 to 90 mm
- Average temperature: 10 to 20 degree Celsius
- Season: Summer
- Daylight: 16-19 hours in Oslo, sun hardly sets in Tromso
If you are someone who is not a fan of cold weather and snow, then July and August months would be the best time of the year to visit Norway for you. It is as warm as it gets, and the days are long and bright. There is a range of outdoor activities that you can indulge in considering the endless daylight hours and the warmer temperatures. You can explore the fjords, spot the prominent Midnight sun, hike to Pulpit rock, pick berries, bike, trail, and trek. Try to squeeze in the Sami culture celebration in Norway during these months if you are visiting the north.
This time of the year is perfect for road-trip planning across Norway, and especially a drive through Trollstigen Road . A trip to the Lofoten islands is ideal to experience water activities like kayaking, boating, fishing, surfing and snorkelling, in addition to some incredible hikes. July and August are also the best time to visit Norway to spot the migratory birds flocking the northernmost part of the country.
Top tip: hit the road and get off-the-beaten path to avoid crowds. The western fjords in particular are incredibly busy these months.
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Where To See Whales In Norway
Whether you want to see whales or orcas in Norway, the best places to view cetaceans are along the coast of Northern Norway. Some of these locations are home to marine mammals throughout the year, while other spots must be visited at specific times. Either way, taking a Norway whale watching tour from these locations should increase your chances of seeing marine mammals up close.
How Far In Advance Should I Book A Cruise
All this talk of the best time to book a cruise brings up the question of how far in advance you should book. The key to the answer is recognizing that cruise lines adjust pricing as cabins sell out on any given ship and itinerary.
Cruise lines want you to book as early as possible. Not only do they get cash in hand sooner, in the form of your deposit, but they can rest easy when a ship sells out early, knowing they dont have to work to get people to come on board and spend more money.
Therefore, cruise lines will often offer their best fares when bookings first open to incentivize travelers to book early. Cruises open for bookings a year or more in advance. For example, as of May 2022, I can book a cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines Pride of America for December 2025 and on the rest of the fleet through November 2024.
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Now, it might be the itinerary Im looking at wont be popular, and the cruise line will lower the fare closer to sailing. Or, the itinerary will sell well and prices will only go up from the original price. I have no way to know, though I can guess that peak-season trips to popular destinations on a newer cruise ship are more likely to sell quickly. Christmas and New Years cruises, top suites and limited specialty cabins also tend to sell out early.
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Read More About The Northern Lights Here
W hether you are going travelling with a partner, your family or with friends, a Northern Lights trip is fun for everyone. Maybe you saw the lights on your Hurtigruten trip and want to experience them again in a setting that allows you to take proper photos of them. Or maybe you are in Tromso on an Artic adventure vacation and want to include a relaxing sea trip to your trip. In any case, the boats are spacious and have comfortable lounges where you can chill, enjoy the views, have a cup of coffee, snacks or a light meal.
The New Option From Havila Kystruten
The Hurtigruten offer has remained broadly the same for many years, but things are about to change.
From summer 2021, new operator Havila Kystruten will take the place of Hurtigruten on some of the daily departures from Bergen. Four brand new environmentally friendly ships are under construction to service the route.
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Best Time/month To Cruise The Fjords
We are planning to have a 6-day cruise through some of the fjords next summer. Our departure choices are 5/5, 5/16, 6/7, 6/18, 7/10, 7/21, 8/1, 8/23, 9/6, and 9/11. Please tell me which departure date you would recommend . We will be starting in Bergen and heading to the northern tip of Norway .
All comments/suggestions are appreciated.
I would pick June for the beauty. Weather is unpredictable any time.
Mid-May is very fine in the south, but can still be bleak in the north.
For sure any departure in June. The weather in the fjords is unpredictable and you just have to be lucky. But June is the best month to experience the midnight sun in Honningsvag. Let me know if you need any advice on what to do in the ports of call.
Thanks for your replies. It sounds like June is the winner. 🙂
Out of interest what cruise company is basing one of its ships in Bergen? As far as I know up to now all cruise companies have had ships based outside Norway.
This question has cropped up before so it would be good to know.
There has been turnarounds in Bergen this year as well – cannot remember which company though.
I guess this discussion is about Hurtigruten as Bergen and Honningsvåg are mentionded.
Hopefully the OP will clarify.
klimaflyktning and Linda v
Best Time To Visit Norway And Iceland
To combine both these stunning countries into one epic Nordic trip, we recommend visiting in summer.
At this time of year you will benefit from longer days to make the most of your exploration. Journey from Oslo all the way to Reykjavík, passing by highlights such as the Norwegian fjords and with the possibility to tour all around Iceland.
You could even discover more of Scandinavia. Start your tour in Stockholm, passing by Copenhagen before taking on Norway and Iceland.
Popular sights can be busy at this time of year, so you could try planning your tour for early or late summer if you want a quieter holiday.
And if you would rather come during the winter, fear not, it is also possible! In fact, this season has some bonus points of its own too. Youll be able to admire the glittering frost over amazing Norwegian and Icelandic waterfalls.
This is also the time of year to travel to the Nordics if you want to catch sight of the northern lights. As the darkness sets in, from late September, it becomes easier to see them dancing in the night sky.
- Look up tours to discover Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice
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Is A Hurtigruten Cruise Right For Me
I can’t answer this for you as people’s expectations differ wildly. You won’t get a luxury experience, but you will get to spend time in more communities and get closer to the coastline than with any traditional cruise line. But if you want to be entertained in an evening lounge bar and spin the wheels at a casino, you should definitely look elsewhere. You should also think carefully if you have kids, as facilities for children are limited.
That’s all for now! I hope this guide has helped you plan your dream trip to Norway. If there’s something missing, feel free to ask a question in the comments. I want to keep this guide as complete and as updated as possible. Happy sailing!
Pilot Whales In Norway
The long-finned pilot whale is another marine mammal you can see if you travel to the Svalbard Islands during the summer months.
Pilot whales in Norway
Interestingly, pilot whales arent actually whales theyre large dolphins with rounded heads and dorsal fins that are close to the tops of their backs.
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Taking A Cruise: Recommendations And Resources
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When is The Best Time to Cruise to Norway? Season Price Guide
What Ports Do You Visit On A Northern Lights Cruise
Beyond the rewards of seeing the northern lights, the bonuses of winter season Northern Lights cruises are the stunning contrasts of scenery and the variety of onshore activities. Ports vary greatly from industrial centers and fjord villages to picturesque coastal towns and remote outposts on barren, frozen coasts.
Bodo, Norway: Industrial grit, raw nature, and public art frame Bodo, which is wedged between fjord islands and craggy mountain peaks. At the Nordlandmuseet , exhibits survey Norways history, fishing industry, Viking and Sami peoples cultures, and rediscovered silver treasure. Norsk Luftfartsmuseum showcases Norways aviation military history. And giant murals of trolls and stylized summer landscapes splash across sturdy cement buildings housing cafes, antique shops, and art galleries.
Norways Vesteralen and Lofoten Islands: These mountainous islands harbor archeological sites of Stone Age farmers and Viking colonies, as well as small farms and fishing villages, such as postcard perfect Stamsund. Winter northern lights cruises call on major commercial port Sortland, which is often referred to as the Blue City because so many buildings in town have been painted blue. A Loftoten excursion might include a trip to the tiny hamlet of Borg, which is home to the Lofotr Vikingmuseet , which features archeological exhibits and a reconstruction of the worlds biggest Viking Age longhouse, which was once home to a powerful chieftain.
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