Norway is a great destination for a family holiday. And what better way is there than to cruise the Fjords and see it all from the comfort of a cruise ship!
Norway is full of wonders and surprises in every port but is it good for children? I have to say that cruising the Norwegian Fjords with kids took my breath away! We recently cruised the Fjords and my children loved it. They spent their time cycling, skimming pebbles across lakes, climbing waterfalls and getting up close to nature. It really was a wonderful experience. We travelled on the Independence of the Seas but there are many cruise lines that explore the fjords.
Here are my top tips for cruising the Norwegian Fjords with children and some of my favourite things to do in each port.
Besides the fact that a cruise itself is full of wonderful things to do, hopping off at beautiful destinations will bring a different dimension to your family cruise.
Flåm days out for children
This scenic stop has loads to do and is considered one of Norway’s most beautiful Fjord stops.
- Ride the Flam Railway for amazing views on one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world and also the World’s steepest.
- Go on a Fjord safari speed boat tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Aurlandsfjord which stops at a village where they make the most incredible goat cheese.
- Visit the Flam Railway Museum
Stavanger with kids
Stavanger is a quaint town with wooden buildings beautiful shops and colourful side roads. Things to experience in Stavanger are.
- Go on a street art hunt and spot the most amazing street art amongst the quirky wooden buildings.
- Visit the Archaeology Museum with Stavanger Viking-themed activities in summer.
- Norse Oljemuseum in Stavanger is the Petroleum Museum and is one of Norway’s most interactive museums. It also has a children’s play area.
- Norwegian Children’s Museum is a wonderful indoor playground for younger kids in Stavanger.
Ålesund for the little ones
Visit Ålesund with children and take in a birds eye view.
- In Ålesund you can visit the town mountain and viewpoint Aksla. From here you can see Archipelago and all the sweet shop coloured art nouveau houses. It’s quite tiring with steep slopes and 418 steps but well with the view!
- If you are not up to the steps, catch the Ålesund city train to the top of the mount Aksla for gorgeous views over the city.
- Feed the seals at Atlanterhavsparken – Ålesund one of Europe’s largest seawater aquariums. See penguin shows and get up close to Fjord fish you can not see anywhere else in the world.
- Hakallegarden is an alpaca animal park which is great for children.
Visiting Geiranger with teens
Geiranger Fjord was stunning! We spent time under waterfalls, above the clouds and climbing mountains. We used Geirangerfjord for our tours here.
- Take a boat trip along the Fjords to see the Seven sisters waterfalls.
- Grab a hop on hop off bus
- Walk to he waterfall directly in the centre of Geiranger, no tour needed.
- Take a bus up to Mount Daksnibba. Right up your teens street if they like heights! Don’t worry it is safer than it looks (no steep drop after) the views from Dalsnibba mountain overlooking Geiranger are stunning and the rock formations are so interesting. Don’t forget to pile a Cairn! (Make a rock pile).
Touring with children in Skjolden
Skjolden is stunning and really easy to explore on your own. The waterfalls are amazing here and there are shops to visit if you do not want to walk far.
- Hire a Bike for your own tour of the pretty town
- Explore the many waterfalls with a short walk or hike.
- Skim pebbles across the water.
- Book a Llama experience which is just a short walk from the dock.
What to do with kids in Bergen
Bergen has lots to offer including stunning views, activities and plenty of shops.
- Ride the Fløbanen to Floyen – A funicular railway that connects the town of Bergen with Fløyen in the mountains with spectacular views
- Search for trolls on top of Floyen right by the children’s play park.
- Ride the zip line in Floyen.
- Hire a free canoe on the Lake Skomakerdiket.
Oslo for the day with kids
- Visit the Fram Museum dedicated to Norway’s history of arctic and antarctic exploration.
- The Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and largest museum of natural history. It also houses Oslo’s stuffed Arctic wildlife!
- Viking Ship Museum which houses archaeological finds from burial sites and pieces dating back to the viking period.
- Explore Frogner Park and the Vigeland Statues. With more than 200 statues it really is a sight to behold. With statues in bronze, cast iron and granite it is one of Norway’s top tourist attractions and free to enter.
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Cruising the Norwegian Fjords with kids tips
- Be sure to check out the local tourist board in each port. From here you can book boat trips, bus tours or hire bikes.
- Ports get very busy when a cruise ship is in so either book prior to your visit or be sure to be first off the ship.
- There are rural farms throughout Norway, many of which are open to the public so you can visit. Take a look Norway’s website for a full list.
- One of the great bits about Norway is searching for the trolls! The kids will love finding them and they are in every town.
- Pack clothes for all weathers, layers, raincoats and a down coat for the cold. You may even need sun screen for your face.
- Set the alarm early! The views as you approach the Fjords in the morning are stunning and you may save yourself a tour.
- Don’t forget your camera!
- Try and book a balcony room for the best views. Sitting on the balcony in your own peace and quiet is simply beautiful.
- The back of the cruise ships sometimes have larger balcony’s that look over the balcony below. From rear of the ship you will see right across the breadth of the Fjords.
- Check out the street art in some of the bigger cities, it really is amazing.
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