Cruising in Norway: 4 Norwegian Cruise Ports to Consider for Your Honeymoon

Cruise the fjords of Norway for your honeymoon for a once-in-a-lifetime trip! Norway's stunning landscape includes thousands of miles of coastline, archipelagos, beautiful fjords with intense greenery and dramatic waterfalls, and cozy towns along the way. These Norwegian cruise ports are the perfect place for you and your partner to explore its stunning beauty and warm Norwegian hospitality, and our editor-in-chief Chelsea and her husband personally experienced it and are sharing their travel insight! So get ready to learn when the best time to visit the Norwegian fjords as well as the four ports of Olden, Stavanger, Haugesund, and Flam!

How to book a Norwegian fjord cruise honeymoon

Best Time to Visit the Norwegian Fjords

Norway is famous for its breathtaking fjords and dramatic landscapes that make for a truly unforgettable honeymoon experience. However, before you start packing your bags, it's important to consider the best time to visit these fjords for an ideal experience.

Generally, the best time to visit the Norwegian fjords is during the late spring/summer months between May and September. During this time, the weather is cool to warm and pleasant, and you'll be able to enjoy long daylight hours to fully appreciate the scenic beauty of the region. (We still had dark blue twilight at 10:00pm!) Plus, this time of year offers a great chance to participate in outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking without worrying about avalanches or other snow-related challenges.

However, it's worth noting that summer is also peak tourist season, and you may encounter larger crowds and higher prices. If you're looking for a quieter and more budget-friendly experience, consider traveling during the shoulder seasons in late spring or early autumn. We went in early May on P&O Cruises because it was before the crowds, and we just wanted to fully embrace the tranquility of the fjords.

Early May is also Norway's late spring season, so temperatures were a little cooler and required our wearing light jackets, pants, and leggings. Anytime you are around water, you can guarantee rain may come! Umbrellas and raincoats are also wise to have for early May. Should you not have these things available in your part of the world due to the season, then you can purchase packable puffy jackets, knitted hats, and gloves in some of the Norwegian ports you'll stop in.

Whether you're looking for adventure or relaxation, a Norwegian fjord cruise is sure to leave you and your partner with memories that will last a lifetime. So, pack your bags, grab your loved one's hand, and set sail on an unforgettable honeymoon adventure in Norway.

Norwegian fjord cruises from Southampton England

1) Outdoor Wonders in Olden

If you and your significant other are nature lovers, then Olden is a Norwegian cruise port of call you can't miss. This enchanting valley destination is located in the innermost arm of the Nordfjord and is surrounded by the Jostedal Glacier National Park. Its alpine scenery is awe-inspiring and perfect for outdoor and leisurely activities such as glacier hiking, sightseeing, and kayaking.

One of the most popular excursions in Olden is a trip to Briksdalsbreen Glacier, a stunning glacier that will take your breath away as you will see it immediately as you sail into port. To get there, you'll need to take a bus or hike a little, but the reward is worth it. Once on the glacier, it has a blueish hue that looks surreal, and the surrounding landscape is like nothing you've ever seen. If walking on a glacier isn't your thing, then the Loen Skylift gives you that same panoramic view as you are lifted in steel cable cars to 3,317 feet (1011m) to their visitor center, restaurant, and bar on Mount Hoven. (Due to my current health challenges, we weren't able to partake in these glacial experiences, but it's on the bucket list for next time!)

Stryn Norway by way of Olden cruise port

Norwegian fjords and glaciers for unique honeymoon ideas

Most all cruises offer light to intense activity shore excursions, so if you're looking for a slow living kind of day embedded in a living storybook, take one of the tour buses further inland to see town of Stryn, Jostedalsbreen National Park Center and the surrounding mountains and waterfalls like we did. In early May, snowcaps and melting snow waterfalls make for some beautiful photos and video!

After a day full of adventures or if you prefer a spa day, you can relax with self-care treatments around Olden, such as the Hotel Alexandra Spa. You'll get to enjoy the views of the surrounding nature while you unwind.

Olden is the perfect destination for adventurous or nature-loving couples looking for a unique experience on their honeymoon. My personal favorite was the locals' portside sailaway tradition where they play popular singalong songs in English and Norwegian and wave national flags. It was such a thoughtful display of friendly hospitality that the world surely needs more of!

Stavanger Norway for Norwegian fjord cruise ports

Stavanger Norway for Norwegian fjord cruise ports

2) Enjoying the Culture and Cuisine in Stavanger

Located in the southwestern coast of Norway, Stavanger is a beautiful and charming city known for its cultural heritage, delicious food, and welcoming locals. Once a thriving fishing city until an oil discovery resulted in the city to become known as the petroleum capital of Norway, Stavanger is surrounded by little islands and bridges that connect the old with the new. If you're planning a honeymoon cruise to Norway, then make sure to add Stavanger to your itinerary.

One of the highlights of this city is the Gamle Stavanger (or Old Stavanger) area, which is a well-preserved collection of wooden buildings that date back to the 18th century. You can take a stroll through the cobblestone streets, admire the beautiful architecture, and enjoy the colorful wharf houses on Øvre Holmegate (or known to locals as Fargegata -- the street of colors). Another must-see attraction is the Stavanger Cathedral, which was built in the 12th century and is the oldest cathedral in Norway that is still in use. (At the time of visiting in May 2023, the Cathedral was still closed due to renovation, so be sure to check to see if it's open when you visit.)

For foodies and street art lovers, Stavanger is a Scandinavian paradise. The city is renowned for its internationally-inspired cuisine and seafood, especially its salmon, which is exported all over the world. Make sure to try some of the local specialties, such as rakfisk (fermented trout) and fiskekaker (fish cakes). If you're a coffee lover, then you're in luck, as Stavanger has a thriving coffee culture, and you can find some of the best cafes in Norway here. The best thing to do is wander until you find one that draws you in!

Stavanger is also home to some of Norway's best museums. The Norwegian Petroleum Museum is a fascinating place to visit, with interactive exhibits and displays about the country's oil industry as it is one of the world's largest exporters of oil. (You'll see a nod to this heritage with repurposed oil barrels into flower pots around the docks!) The Stavanger Museum showcases the history and culture of the region, including the Vikings, who once ruled the area.

For shoppers, Stavanger is your ultimate "cruising the fjords" destination with a mix of familiar international brands as well as Norwegian and Swedish known brands. Unless you visit on a Sunday! Most all retail shops are closed on Sundays in Stavanger, so you'll have to find your souvenirs in the traditional tourist shops or street market setups open especially for the cruise ships.

Overall, Stavanger is a wonderfully quirky destination that offers something for everyone, even if you just want to fill your bags with European chocolates from the local 7 Eleven. Whether you're interested in culture, food, or history, this city will not disappoint. Make sure to include it in your Norwegian honeymoon cruise!

Stavanger Norway for Norwegian fjord cruise honeymoon

Skudeneshavn for Norwegian fjord cruise honeymoon ideas

3) History in Skudeneshavn via Haugesund

To get to Skudeneshavn, have Haugesund on your cruise itinerary, the fourth-largest city in the region. This historic waterfront city is rich in culture and tradition, dating back to the Viking Age. Literally, it was once home to prominent Viking kings! It is located about 20 minutes away from Skudeneshavn, making it the perfect starting point for your local adventure.

Skudeneshavn is a small, charming fishing village located on the southern tip of the Karmøy island. The historic village dated back to the 1700s is famous for its narrow streets, white-painted houses, and cozy harbor, which are perfect for a romantic stroll with your partner. We were told by our tour guide that it rarely rains on her tours, but of course, we happened to visit on the one nonstop rainy day that she had! Don't let our photos damper your excitement, but yes, it would have been much better had it not been for the weather! Use our experience for what to pack inspiration instead.

Once in Skudeneshavn, you'll find plenty of attractions to visit, including the historic Old Town, where you'll discover some of Norway's best-preserved wooden houses, some of which are over 200 years old. The town also has a vibrant maritime museum, where you'll learn about the local fishing traditions and history of the town.

Also around the Haugesund area, nature enthusiasts will love exploring the nearby sandy beaches (look up Åkrasanden and you won't be disappointed!), islands, and mountains. You can also enjoy a boat ride to the nearby island of Møvik to discover the stunning scenery of the coastline.

After a day of exploration, indulge in some of the local cuisine. Skudeneshavn offers some of the best seafood in Norway, and you won't want to miss the chance to try the fresh lobster, crab, and other delicacies from the North Sea.

Overall, Haugesund is a lovely port for couples looking to immerse themselves in the rich maritime history and picturesque islands of Norway. Whether you're looking to relax on the beach (in sunny weather!), explore the local attractions, or go on a romantic walk around Skudeneshavn, Haugesund has something for everyone.

Skudeneshavn for Norwegian fjord cruise honeymoon ideas

Skudeneshavn for Norwegian fjord cruise honeymoon ideas

Flam Norway for Norwegian fjord cruise honeymoon ideas

4) Stunning Views in Flam

Flam is a charming purpose-built village located at the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, which is a branch of the famous Sognefjord (aka the world's longest and deepest fjord). Flam may be small but its natural beauty's impact is huge with lush green mountains and scenic waterfalls.

One of the most popular things to do in Flam is to take a ride on the Flam Railway. This railway is one of the steepest and most picturesque railways in the world, and it takes you through some of the most idyllic landscapes in Norway. The train ride is an unforgettable experience, as you pass through steep mountain sides and catch glimpses of the glistening waterfalls. Don't be like us -- book early to ensure you get a seat on the train! This was definitely the most popular excursion, and it sold out before we even got on the cruise ship, so we weren't able to experience this railway personally. If you're a museum goer, the Flam Railway does have a little museum and gift shop next to the platforms so you can see the evolution of Norwegian train travel.

Flam Railway for Norwegian fjord cruise honeymoon ideas

In addition to the Flam Railway, Flam also offers many hiking trails for adventurous couples. The hike to Stegastein viewpoint is a must-do. This viewpoint offers breathtaking panoramic views of the fjord and surrounding mountains. It's a steep hike, but the view from the top is worth the effort.

For those looking for a more relaxed way to enjoy the views, take an RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) trip on the Aurlandsfjord. This trip takes you through some of the most breathtaking parts of the fjord, and you'll get up close and personal with the majestic waterfalls. The boat trip is also an excellent opportunity to see the small villages scattered along the fjord.

If you want to see some of the most magnificent views in Flam, then take a hike up to the top of Brekkefossen waterfall. This hike is a bit strenuous, but once you reach the top, the views are awe-inspiring.

In the port itself, there is a purpose-built retail center with a variety of shops, small grocery store, bakery, Viking-style microbrewery and pub, and cafe to enjoy before your ship departs as well. Flam is truly a romantic and magical place, offering some of the most stunning views in all of Norway. Don't miss out on visiting this charming village on your honeymoon cruise.

Viking style microbrewery and pub in Flam Norway

Flam Norway for Norwegian fjord cruise honeymoon ideas

Norway is a destination that truly has something for everyone. From its stunning fjords to its outdoor wonderlands, to its traditional culture and cuisine, to its rich history and natural sites, to its breathtaking views, Norway is the ideal place to spend your honeymoon and to experience a once-in-a-lifetime romantic getaway.

How to choose the perfect honeymoon cruise

How to Choose Which Cruise Line for Your Norwegian Fjords Honeymoon

Cruising to the Norwegian Fjords can offer travelers a nature-infused romantic experience, and choosing the right cruise line and ship is key to making the most of it. While there are many cruise lines that visit the Norwegian Fjords, each one caters to different people. From onboard activities and amenities to shore excursions and luxury levels, couples (especially those new to cruising) need to do their research and pick the line that best fits their needs and wants.

Some questions to ask before booking a honeymoon cruise:
- Do we prefer a luxury experience or a more budget-friendly option?
- Do we want an adults only or family-friendly ship?
- How easy is it getting to the port from the airport or by car?
- What is the cancellation policy should another pandemic happen?
- Do we want traditional dining (same table and time every meal) or a more freestyle dining approach (you choose your dining venue and time preference every meal)?
- What is the dress code? How does the cruise define formal and casual?
- What are some amenities or onboard experiences exclusively for couples?

When it comes to choosing the right cruise line, a great place to start is reading online reviews. This can help you to narrow down your selection and uncover which cruise line offers the best honeymoon experience. Don't forget to consider the onboard dining options (especially if you have food allergies or dietary restrictions), activities, and staterooms available, as these can be deciding factors when making the final choice.

Additionally, couples should look at reviews of the shore excursions offered as these are the highlight of any Norwegian Fjords cruise. Taking the time to research the right cruise line for you can pay off in spades by ensuring that you get the most out of your trip and have the most unforgettable stress-free romantic vacation together.

How to choose the perfect honeymoon cruise

As American writer Mark Twain put it, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." Open your minds and hearts to each other and to Norway's beauty, and be sure to take a camera to capture all the amazing memories you make while on your honeymoon adventure!

Norway is the ideal destination to create beautiful memories together as newlyweds, so now that you know when the best time to explore the Norwegian fjords, a few port highlights, and how to choose the best Norwegian fjord cruise for your honeymoon, don't wait any longer and come discover this breathtaking landscape yourselves!

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