Nordfjorden, Norway

© Terje Rakke/Nordic Life AS/

Why a Norwegian fjords cruise will take your breath away

Visit unforgettable natural wonders and take in otherworldly sights while sailing around Norway’s unique waterways

February 2024

By Ashleigh Arnott

There are some experiences that only a sea-based adventure can unlock, and the magnificent fjords – long sea inlets often edged by steep cliffs – in northern and western Norway are never more beautiful than when seen from the water. As well as making Scandinavia’s stunning nature all the more accessible, a Norwegian fjords cruise from Southampton takes so much stress out of the journey. You can forget about airport waits and hand-luggage restrictions – sail from the UK with Princess and you’ll have unlimited luggage allowance, ideal for all the layers you might need.

Excited by the idea of a Scandinavian adventure? Here are just a handful of the highlights you can see on a cruise around the Norwegian fjords.

See the drop at Pulpit Rock, which sits over 600 metres above Lysefjorden

See the drop at Pulpit Rock, which sits over 600 metres above Lysefjorden © Princess

Pulpit Rock

A staggering 604 metres above Lysefjord, a fjord located in south-western Norway, is a naturally formed platform known as Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock). The 25-square-metre flat slab of rock offers views so spectacular that it attracts around 200,000 visitors a year, and the 8km round-trip from the trailhead to the top has become Norway’s most famous hike. If you’re not keen on making the climb on foot, you can opt for a coach ride up, or even take in the spectacle from above in a helicopter tour with Princess, embarking from the port of Stavanger.

Åsafossen waterfall

Even in a country known for its magnificent waterfalls, Åsafossen is a special sight. The best views are from its thundering base, which is easily accessible on foot, thanks to a hiking route that was completed by Nepalese sherpas. Alternatively, you can admire it from a distance as part of a drive along the highest mountain pass in northern Europe, the Sognefjell National Tourist Route, which is accessible from the port of Skjolden.

Meet the friendly resident sheep at the mountain farm of Kringsjå

Meet the friendly resident sheep at the mountain farm of Kringsjå © Viking Adventure AS

The wild sheep of Kringsjå

At the top of Steinsfjellet mountain, which overlooks the ancient fishing community of Haugesund and its North Sea shoreline, you will find a small farm called Kringsjå. Run by locals, it’s worth a visit for tea and a slice of their delicious apple cake alone, but, with the help of tour guides from Viking Adventure AS, you can also meet the resident sheep living wild on the mountains. If the weather’s fair, the panoramic views from the farm are spectacular, especially if you’re there at sunset.

Mountain biking around Nordfjord

Discover the stunning region of Nordfjord on two wheels © Norway

Europe’s deepest lake

A tour of Nordfjord – the area around Norway’s sixth biggest fjord, Nordfjorden – will not only reveal beautiful forests, white-sand beaches and snow-capped mountains, but also another very special body of water: Hornindalsvannet. With a depth of up to 514 metres in places, Hornindalsvannet is Europe’s deepest lake, and its still, clear waters make it an excellent spot for kayaking. If you’d rather stay on dry land, you can enjoy guided walks, hikes and cycling in abundance in Nordfjord, as well as excellent sea trout and arctic char, which the area is famous for, in the local restaurants.

Briksdal glacier

From the port of Olden, embark on a hike through Jostedalsbreen National Park to see the majestic Briksdal Glacier. This unique crystalline formation is in fact a 1,200-metre-long frozen river that’s embedded in the Briksdal Valley. As the glacier has receded in recent decades, a small glacial lake has become exposed at its foot. The hike itself isn’t too challenging, but you’ll need to come prepared with the right footwear, and, of course, your camera…

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About the Author

Ashleigh Arnott

Ashleigh Arnott

Ashleigh is a freelance writer who plans her travels around delicious dinners, elegant bakeries and rowdy taprooms. She'd always choose verdant hills over sandy beaches and lives in the UK's greenest city, Sheffield, where you are very likely to find her in a good pub with a pint of stout, even in summer.