The Norwegian Fjord cruise has so many beautiful places on the itinerary - you can't go wrong with these ports. There isn't really enough time to do some of the more distant hikes, like Pulpit's Rock, but if the ship wasn't going north-south-north-south, perhaps there could be? I wish there was more time in the towns where the excursion options involved distance places (like Flaam).
Flaam, Norway - The train ride is truly one of the most scenic anywhere! The village is small but really pretty and many walking trails to enjoy. This is where we had the least amount of time (back by 2:30 pm) but needed the most amount of time in order to do the famous "Norway in a Nutshell". A big disappointment with the scheduling - we really had wanted to do this full tour of fjord boat/bus up to Voss/train to Myrdal and then down to Flaam.
Hamburg, Germany - Did not like Hamburg - graffiti all over and people are not very friendly towards Americans. That's my take. The Hafen City part was nice and we saw an open air concert. We really enjoyed the Miniatur Wurld exhibit.
Hellesylt, Norway - Only those who had booked the overland excursion to Geirganger were able to depart the cruise ship. It was a beautiful site to see the waterfall in the center of the town upon arrival.
Bergen, Norway - I had always wanted to visit Bergen and I wasn't disappointed. The funicular brings you up to a beautiful overlook of the city and the walk to the lake is very quieting. The moss seems to soak up the sound, making for a peaceful day in the city. The old wharf area of Bryggen reminds me of what life along the quay in old Norway must have been like - even today, having a fish market so close to the quays reminds us of its heritage and the sea that made this City so important historically.
Geiranger, Norway - The fjords into Geiranger were breathtaking!! Such sheer cliffs with water cascading off. Very serene with the quiet water of the fjords. Once in town, the Hop On Hop Off bus allowed you the opportunity to visit several places without the extreme hiking it would require without transportation.
Kristiansund, Norway - We loved this seaside town - we took a tour of the islands and saw the most beautiful and colorful houses. They love their boats here! We enjoyed some waffles at one of the islands too - reminded me of my growing up time on another island thousands of miles west!
Southampton (London), England - I did not do an excursion, but rented a car to see southwestern England before my flight. The cruise quay is far from pretty much everything. We took a cab versus walking 1.5 miles in an industrial area. There wasn't an ATM anywhere near the cruise port either.
Alesund, Norway - My favorite city! So beautiful! The Art Nouveau area is exquisite - I love beautiful buildings and this was a joy to walk around! The city is walkable, but to get to the far reaches, like the aquarium and its beach area or to the Sunnemore Museum, you will need to use a bus. Mt Aksla is on the bus routes but they aren't one way roads, so that can be an experience! The walk down is easier than up (418 stairs) but the view from the restaurant area are amazing and shouldn't be missed.
Haugesund - Haugesund is a pretty town with a quay where locals pull up for a drink. There was a great IMAX like movie of the area that showed area waterfalls & mountains in helicopter spinning visuals. Apparently it was supported in large part by local energy companies, as they discussed the energy picture almost as much as the scenery of the region.
Norwegian Jade - Get a spa pass early!
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