Norway is considered one of the world’s happiest countries, and you can see why with all the magnificent fjords, glaciers and mountains to set your eyes on. Plus, all the delicious salmon, goat cheese and waffles to feast on!
Norway suits all kinds of travellers, whether you like to motorhome, self-drive or catch the many trains and ferries on offer. But I can tell you that the best way to see Norway, without a doubt, is to be sailing on a small ship cruise.
I recently had the pleasure of spending two weeks with APT on the MS Island Sky doing just that. Embarking in Copenhagen, Denmark we travelled up the Norwegian coast past sheer cliff faces, tumbling waterfalls and green countryside before disembarking in Tromsø in the Arctic Circle.
In such a small ship, we managed to access some of the narrowest fjords untouched by others, including the Trollfjord which is just 90 metres wide! We traversed the amazing archipelagos and visited some truly unique places such as the Lofoten Islands. We immersed ourselves in Scandinavian culture and history in the beautiful cities and quaint villages (with sometimes no more than 69 residents). More often than not, we were the only ship in the fjord and the only tourists in the village.
You will not get nightclubs, outdoor cinemas or kids clubs on this voyage. But with just 110 passengers you will get to know everyone onboard resulting in a warm and intimate ambiance. With approximately 80 crew members you are so well looked after that, in APT’s words, “you will leave your journey feeling a part of the APT family”.
Absolutely everything was included, from our meals and beverages, to all of our shore excursions. The best bit is that most days we were able to choose our adventure and while some chose a leisurely guided tour of town, I chose the 8km roundtrip hike up to Pulpit Rock - a magnificent precipice overlooking Lysefjord.
We had an expedition team who took us ashore into tiny villages where we met the farmer who produced our goat cheese, we visited the stave church built in the 1100s without queuing, we had the curator of the local museum personally explain the Norwegian culture and we had a private performance at composer Edvard Grieg’s home. Each of these experiences created an inspiring journey through Norway.
Whether you want to reunite with nature, hike to the top of mountains or explore your inner Viking, I highly recommend doing it with an APT small ship cruise.