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Top Trip Memories

  • Traveling by rail from Oslo to Bergen on the North Sea to take in an incredibly scenic panorama of mountains, glaciers, meadows, forests and villages.
  • Sailing up or down the fjord-pocked Norwegian coast on a Hurtigruten ship that travels far above the Arctic Circle almost to the Russian border.
  • Getting initiated while crossing the Arctic Circle by having ice water poured down your back -- all in Norwegian good humor.
  • Exploring the North Cape, the northernmost point in continental Europe, where the nomadic Sami people still follow their reindeer herds as they have throughout history.
  • Experiencing the Land of the Midnight Sun in summer and the electrifying Northern Lights in winter.
  • Taking a nighttime boat ride on the exquisite little Trollfjord in far northern Norway, especially striking on a moonlit evening.
  • Traveling by boat through the 126-mile-long, 4,250-foot-deep Songefjord to the little village of Flam, where goats and sheep outnumber people.
  • Riding the world’s steepest standard-gauge railway, which climbs 12 miles up a waterfall-laced valley from Flam to the mountain town of Myrdal.
  • Visiting the Munch Museum in Oslo, dedicated to the country’s most famous painter, and the Vigeland Sculpture Park, with its 192 massive granite and bronze sculptures.
  • Spending a morning in Oslo’s Viking Ship Museum, which displays the best preserved Viking ships in existence.
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Tour Tips

  • Norway’s North Sea oil wealth has made it an expensive country to visit, especially while traveling on your own, so seek out tours that take advantage of group discounts.
  • Hurtigruten ships take a week to go along the coast from Bergen north to the Russian border town of Kirkenes, and a week to return -- you can travel one way or make it a two-week roundtrip.
  • Roundtrip Hurtigruten voyages allow you to view sights or stop in ports returning in daylight that you might have missed at night traveling the other direction.
  • While most visitors take the Hurtigruten in summer, some opt for the wintertime voyages, which operate mostly in the dark but offer an unusual -- and potentially brag-worthy -- experience.
  • Tours that include scenic train rides and boat rides in Norway are ideal, but bus tours through the countryside offer their own perspective on this beautiful landscape as well.
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Norway Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5

98%

recommend

114 Reviews

  • Excellent 79
  • Great 27
  • Average 5
  • Disappointing 2
  • Terrible 1

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.6
  • Guide
    4.6
  • Activities
    4.6
  • Lodging
    4.6
  • Transportation
    4.6
  • Meals
    4.6

Tour Reviews

Walking in Norway 28th to 4th Sept

Walking the Fjords

5.0
November 2016
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
The only problem I have with waking in Norway was the tracks .
They are in a state of great repair . Ground in places need to be leveled out . Some rocks need to be removed .
New soil needs to be placed down in most places.
As below
Scenery

He was very good no issues

As above the walking tracks only

The food, accommodation and guide were 100%

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SPITSBERGEN IN DEPTH

Spitsbergen in Depth

5.0
November 2016
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
An incredible trip of a lifetime.  Stunning scenery with an abundance of Polar Bears, Walruses, Seals, Reindeer, Foxes and birds.  All accompanied by friendly, world class experts and best in class tour leaders on a great ship with the best bar/lounge viewing - 3 walls of windows to watch the world go by when it gets chilly outside.
Mette's bar talk on her times in Afghanistan.  A humourous take on an incredible life spent helping others, and she expert on the polar regions too!
The Polar bears, especially mother and 2 cubs which came right up to the ship were great too!  

Paul was excellent, driven to get the best out of any opportunity.  His photographs of the trip are simply stunning, challenging you to try different things.

Buy or borrow a good lense, minimum 400mm.  Use with a tripod tall enough to get over the ships bow.

We've been on a lot of great holidays but this was the best tour we've ever done

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SPITSBERGEN IN DEPTH

Spitsbergen in Depth

4.0
November 2016
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
The Arctic can be a place of uncertainty.  But the weather, the ice  and the wildlife (polar bears, foxes and millions of birds) did all the right things at the right time in the right places
There were several.  Seeing a mother bear with two cubs out on the pack ice, miles from land, just after they had eaten a seal.  The birds, the rock cliffs and the resulting scenery at Alkefjellet.  Enjoying the silence and the remoteness, floating motionless in a Zodiac (with ten other adventurers and the engine turned-off) enveloped in fog with the ship out of sight

Graham 'Woody' Wood is a resourceful, pragmatic and flexible group leader with many years' experience of the Arctic and its many changeable moods and conditions.  Whatever had happened to change last night's plans for today, Woody always came up with a satisfying alternative that filled our day and enhanced our experience and enjoyment of the location - the landscape, the environment, the vegetation, the inhabitants, the sea and the ice - that we were in on that particular day.   His enthusiasm inspired us all, passengers and other team members alike.

Go prepared to be surprised.  Whatever happens to change the proposed programme, something else always turns up to fill your day and your senses.  The Arctic and Svalbard in particular is a place like no other on Earth.  Empty your mind of any preconceptions and drink in the special atmosphere and all that it contains, remote from the pressures and chaos of 'civilisation', to refresh your soul and your mind  

Under the influence of Woody and his equally enthusiastic team an atmosphere of camaraderie and social inclusion quickly develops.  The joy of sharing your (new) experiences with like-minded people with shared interests from several parts of the world greatly enhances the pleasure and sense of fulfilment that comes form such an adventure  

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SPITZBERGEN IN DEPTH

Spitsbergen in Depth

5.0
November 2016
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
A true experience
The Arctic and the Svalbard Archipeligo is simply a magical place. The wild life, serenity,and the feeling of "adventure" makes this a very special experience.  Put this on your "Bucket List"

First Class.  A bit bossy at times but he had to be, especially when our safety was / could be under threat from Polar Bears.

Yes, GET OFF THE SHIP AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY or you will miss a lot of the magic.

All of the Exodus planning worked well for us ...everything was where it should have been.

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SPITSBERGEN IN DEPTH

Spitsbergen in Depth

5.0
November 2016
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
To travel through the pack ice under the wide sunny arctic skies is magical.  To do so in comfort on a ship that the Captain can position to the foot (or possibly inch) required, together with a group of extremely knowledgeable and energetic guides all working hard to show you, at close hand, Spitzbergen and its wildlife adds up to the trip of a lifetime.  And you return with spectacular photos!
There were so many!  "A few" include:
- sighting several polar bears on our first day in the ice - and so close! 
- spending over two days with a polar bear and its kill, and his interaction with a hungry female, until he left the carcass and swam off to the north, ten minutes before the ship was due to leave
- travelling through the noisy brash ice in zodiacs at the foot of a magnificent glacier which calved in front of us (at a safe distance!)
- watching a young bear exploring basalt cliffs occupied by 60,000 guillemots 
-  spending time watching and photographing an arctic fox on a rocky outcrop

Paul is hugely energetic and enthusiastic and quickly built a team spirit.  His advice and inspiration for photography is invaluable.  He sets the tone for the other experts, who are all impressive, as well as the equally cheerful competent adventure guides.  Perhaps a special mention for Noah, our ornothologist, who had the best pair of spotting eyes, and impressed on us all the beauty of the ivory gulls.  He withstood the ribbing from Paul well!

This is billed as not a cruise: true, except there is a Captain's dinner.  Remember to pack something other than base layers!
Take your laptop and lots of memory cards. 

It is tough getting back to "the real world" after this ...

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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Norway Trips & Tour Advice

It’s given the world skiing, Vikings, fjords, Norse mythology, and a parcel of notable explorers and creative artists. It’s also celebrated as the Land of the Midnight Sun, where, in the far northern summer, the sun never sets. Norwegians would say you need all that daylight just to begin to sample all their country has to offer.

Tucked away on the far western and northern reaches of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Norway’s mountainous, often sparsely populated landscape stretches far above the Arctic Circle. Those who visit enjoy some of Europe’s most stunning scenery, along with outdoor recreational activities that include hiking, climbing, rafting, skiing, and even glacier walking and reindeer sledding.

The Capital, Oslo

Most tours begin in Oslo, a modern city of 600,000 residents with a medieval hilltop fortress, a royal palace (Norway is a constitutional monarchy), and a harbor facing an island-dotted fjord. While Oslo might seem a bit staid at first, some of its major attractions -- such as the Munch Museum, devoted to the 19th century expressionist painter Edvard Munch known best for his anguished work “The Scream” -- and sculptor Gustav Vigeland’s writhing, nude figures that line the walkways of an outdoor park, might give you another impression. 

Similar ships to those displayed in Oslo’s Viking Ship Museum once carried Viking explorers like Eric the Red and Leif Ericsson off to raid distant lands, reaching the coast of North America five centuries before Columbus landed in the Caribbean. (Modern Norwegians, while descendants of the marauding Vikings, have mellowed considerably; the country’s violent crime rate is among the world’s lowest.)

Other Oslo-area maritime-related museums include the Kon-Tiki Museum, celebrating the exploits of Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl, who sailed from Peru to Polynesia on a log raft, and one showcasing the Fram, an expedition ship used by Roald Amundsen on his 1910 voyage to the South Pole.

Norway’s Scenic Second City

Bergen is a must-stop on any Norway tour. Situated on the North Sea coast, it’s the very picture of a seafarer’s city, with a busy harbor where you can sit out in summer and dine on herring and other fresh seafood.

With its colorfully painted peaked-roof wooden houses gleaming in the sun and its mountainous backdrop, the medieval wharf area has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bergen’s cultural cred is enhanced by serving as home for Edvard Grieg, Norway’s most famous composer, while playwright Henrik Ibsen, author of “A Doll’s House” and “Hedda Gabler,” began his theatrical career here.

Bergen is also the gateway to some of Norway’s most spectacular fjords -- long, deep, glacier-cut inlets (often flanked by sheer cliff sides) that are among the world’s great natural wonders. The Songefjord, leading to the village of Flam, is the most famous.

The Hurtigruten

Bergen serves as the starting point as well for the Hurtigruten ships that make their way year-round up and down the Norwegian coast for some 1,300 miles. Along the way, the half-passenger, half-cargo vessels make numerous port stops, some very brief -- others allowing for hours to tour cities like Trondheim and Tromso -- to drop off and pick up transient passengers as well as food and supplies. The latter provide a lifeline for isolated Norwegian villages that are otherwise virtually cut off from the rest of the country.

The fjord-rich, island-speckled western coast continues hundreds of miles north of the Arctic Circle and peaks at the North Cape, continental Europe’s northernmost point, before heading farther west to Kirkenes. The Hurtigruten has been called the world’s most beautiful voyage, and it’s certainly a contender.

We should also mention the Norwegian island of Svalbard (Spitsbergen) here, hundreds of miles north of the North Cape in the polar regions and an adventurer’s and wildlife-lover’s dream, reached by small-ship expedition cruises, including Hurtigruten.

Year-Round Skiing

There’s a reason Norwegians tend to do well in Olympic ski competitions: this is where the sport was born, as evidenced by Norwegian rock art depictions dating back some 4,000 years. With Norway’s glaciers and snow-capped peaks, you can usually find places to ski here year-round -- or go glacier-walking, if you prefer. Hiking and climbing among waterfalls, mountains, and meadows are other favorite outdoor pastimes.

With so much to see and do in Norway, it’s vital to pick the group tour that’s right for your preferred level of physical activity, cultural immersion, and budget. Let Stride’s easy to use tools help you find the Norwegian fjord in your very near future.

Related Guides

Continent:             

Europe

Local Attraction:  

Scenic Rail Routes, Hurtigruten, Geirangerfjord, Lifehammer and Many More

Top Activities:      

HikingClimbingExpedition Cruises, Dog Sledding & Watching Aurora Borealis

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