Cruising doesn't get much more scenic than the spectacular and dazzling natural beauty of the Norwegian Fjords, which are best experienced from the water; it's no wonder that the Norwegian Fjords are one of the most popular cruising destinations. Natural phenomena from the Northern Lights, best viewed between October and March, and the Midnight Sun in July add an extra dazzle to a Norwegian cruise. The splendour of the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, the historic and colourful Bryggen area of Bergen, the Folgefonna glacier on the Hardangerfjord, the famous Flåm Railway, and Norway's longest fjord, the Sognefjord, are just some of the highlights to look forward to.
The magnificence of the fjords, and the colourful charm of Norwegian fishing villages and historic cities can be enjoyed without the need to fly, with a number of cruise lines offering no-fly cruises from various UK ports for seven nights or longer, with many longer itineraries travelling further north, or combining visits to the Arctic region. Most cruise lines operate between May and September to make the most of the long summer days, and the mild to warm weather during this period (although, of course, weather at this latitude can change quickly, so be sure to take note of the cruise line's advice on what clothes to take!). Some cruises, however, will sail in the colder, winter weather to offer passengers the chance to witness the spectacle of the Northern Lights.
The locally-based cruise line Hurtigruten sail Norway's long coastline year-round with a fleet of ships servicing all coastal towns between Bergen and Kirkenes, offering exciting excursions including husky sleigh-rides and snow mobile trips. Hurtigruten's ships provide a lifelife to the Norwegian coastal communities, sometimes being used by locals almost like a ferry service, but they're also comfortable cruise ships in their own right, particularly for those wishing to experience the best Norway has to offer. Although they have a number of themed cruises, and a variety of different itineraries, their most popular itinerary is the 11-night round trip from Bergen on what has been described as the 'world's most beautiful voyage'.