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Is a Norwegian fjords cruise worth it?

Norwegian fjords cruise holidays are a must for any avid traveller thanks to the region’s fairytale-worthy landscapes and unforgettable experiences on offer.

Norwegian fjords cruises are on the bucket list of many globetrotters, with sailing this stunning area of Norway the best way to explore the world-famous destination.

First-time cruisers might be tempted by the heat of the Caribbean or the ancient history of the Mediterranean but there are countless reasons by cruising the Norwegian fjords should be in the running for your next holiday.

P&O Cruises’ Norwegian fjords cruises run throughout the spring and summer, with voyages taking place during the school holidays in August so your kids are guaranteed shedloads of entertainment and the whole family can enjoy a fun-packed getaway.

Holidaymakers of all ages can enjoy activities onboard and adventures ashore on P&O Cruises’ summer sailings from Southampton (available to book via travel agent Bolsover Cruise Club) – no worrying about airport chaos required.

To inspire you to start planning your trip north, we’ve taken a look at all the amazing benefits of a Norwegian fjords cruise 2023 to prove, yes, it is indeed worth it.


– READ MORE: What’s included on a P&O Cruises sailing?

Jaw-droppingly beautiful destinations

Af-fjord-able wonders

P&O Cruises ship Iona [above right] will carry you through the magical landscape of the Norwegian fjords, leaving you breathless as you admire the dramatic scenery of ancient peaks and rushing waterfalls and listen…to the pure silence.

Some of the best views of “Mother Nature’s wonderland,” as the fjords here have been nicknamed, can be afforded from on deck (or from your balcony). Ogling nature’s majesty in comfort with a drink in our hand? Fine with us!

One beautiful destination you’ll cruise by is Innvikfjorden [below left], a 4.5km-long arm of Nordfjord, the sixth-longest fjord in Norway’s stunning network of fjords. You can admire villages and farmsteads along the coastline and enjoy the calm waters of this gorgeous place.

Ports around here may be sleepy but there’s high-octane adventure to be sought on Norwegian fjords cruises if you wish it. Think guided kayaking, hiking tours, driving up to panoramic viewpoints and checking out the famous Briksdal and Kjenndal glaciers.


 – READ MORE: Inside the amazing spa on P&O Cruises’ Iona

Sunnylvsfjorden [below right] is another cruise-by destination. Here Iona will wend its way through 26km of towering waterfalls, craggy cliffs and serene waters. The fjord is over a mile at its widest and 600m at its narrowest while reaching 452m below sea level in depth.

Look out for Me-kernes, a historically important deserted fjord farm en route. Dating back to the 17th century (or perhaps as far back as Medieval times), it sits uniquely 100m above the water protected by over-hanging rock. Fun fact for the adults, the farm’s inhospitable setting inspired famous Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen for his 1865 tragic play Brand!

You’ll also cruise the glass-like waters of Storfjorden [below left] on this P&O Cruises Norwegian fjords sailing. Given it’s 110km long, it’s hardly surprising to learn Storfjorden means “great” fjord – in fact, it’s the fifth-longest fjord in Norway. Glide past snow-dusted peaks, tumbling waterfalls and verdant slopes as small settlements crop up along the waterfront and deserted farms sporadically appear high up the rock faces. An excellent time to play eye-spy if you ask us.

The wildlife-viewing opportunities are ample here – look above for sea eagles and below for dolphins and whales! – and anyone with an interest in photography will have myriad breathtaking material to snap away at as the splendid vistas continue to unfurl.


– READ MORE: How good is P&O Cruises with children?

Of course, P&O Cruises guests will have plenty of options to head ashore on Norwegian fjords cruises as well. Iona sails through at Geirangerfjord [below right], a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered one of the most beautiful fjords in the world. Fun fact for children, the scenery inspired Disney’s hit animated film Frozen!

A perk here is the total absence of wind due to the way the fjord basin curves between soaring mountain peaks (1,700m-tall!) providing ideal conditions for kayaking if you want to get out on the water. No paddling on foot here, though – the water drops to a whopping depth of 260m!

Other picturesque towns on this Norwegian fjords cruise 2023 itinerary include Stavanger (a former European Capital of Culture with a rich Viking history and a gateway to the scenic fjordland) and Olden [below left] (home to the biggest glacier on mainland Europe, Jostedalsbreen, and the newly opened Loen Skylift, a cable car that takes you to the top of Mount Hoven in just five minutes and offering incredible views from 400m above sea level).

There’s also the UNESCO World Heritage-listed village of Hellesylt (a former Viking settlement and a haven for lovers of the great outdoors) and Haugesund (the homeland of Viking kings and birthplace of Norway as well as featuring Norway’s longest pedestrian street). Right, where’s that Viking dress-up outfit when you need it?


– READ MORE: How to get double onboard spending money on P&O Cruises

Wonderfully delicious (and exciting!) food

Under the sea

Foodies will be sated over and over again in Norway – but you should prepare to be adventurous with your palate!

Seafood dominates the menu, with fresh salmon, Arctic cod (skrei) and King crab all Norwegian fishing specialities. Herring (sild) is also omnipresent and comes in a wealth of tasty marinades and flavours.

Meanwhile smoked salmon (røkelaks) is available as a whole fish or in delicate slivers of vacuum-packed slices (top tip: eat it with mustard sauce) and dried cod (tørrfisk) makes for a healthy seafood snack which can be bought in small portion bags. Let’s hope the children like a culinary challenge!

Meat-eaters won’t go hungry on Norwegian fjords cruises. Game here is world-class, with moose, reindeer, grouse and deer all served in restaurants and Norwegian homes.

As for more veggie-friendly options, sweet brown cheese (brunost) is a Norwegian speciality, as is crispbread (flatbrød) – a super thin dried crisp flatbread topped with cured meats and sour cream or served with soups and stew – and Lefse, a traditional thin flatbread made of flour, potatoes, milk and butter generally served folded with a thin layer of butter, sugar and cinnamon inside. Locals also love waffles if you want more sweet treats while cruising the Norwegian fjords!


 – READ MORE: Which P&O Cruises drinks package is best for you?

Comfortable and excellent-value amenities

Ship shape

Back onboard Iona your tastebuds (and everything else besides) will be satisfied during your Norwegian fjords cruise from Southampton 2023.

The ship is home to 33 eateries and bars with a range of included and speciality restaurants, from Indian cuisine at Sindhu and fancy burgers at The Keel & Cow to Mediterranean fare at The Olive Grove and fish and chips in The Quays.

There’s oodles of entertainment onboard too – the ship boasts six theatres and lounges. Expect aerial shows, theatre productions to rival the West End, live music, party nights, comedy, the latest films, guest presenters, interactive game shows and more.

If you want to work off all those Norwegian waffles and salmon snacks, then head to the gym or try a new sport. You can choose from archery, football, basketball, tennis and cricket in the Sports Arena.

Fancy some time-out? Simply relax in the spa and treat yourself to an indulgent treatment. Alternatively, enjoy a different type of therapy – retail! – over in Iona’s shops.

Should guests fancy a dip there are five pools to choose from while kids clubs will make sure children are kept well-entertained; Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep can even be found onboard!

Persuaded that a Norwegian fjords cruise is worth it yet? Should we remind you that it’s Elsa’s fictional homeland? That fresh fish can be eaten daily? That you’re getting history, views and wildlife packed into the one amazing holiday?

Nah, no need, we know you’re keen. Move over Caribbean.

Set Sail

Norwegian Fjords with P&O Cruises

Duration: 7 nights

Where: Southampton | Stavanger | Olden | Cruise Innvikfjorden | Nordfjord | Hellesylt | Geiranger | Sunnylvsfjorden | Storfjorden, Norway | Haugesund | Southampton

Ship: Iona

Price: From £563 pp

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Published 28.02.23