Best European Cruises

by Danielle Contray


The Norwegian fjords offer some of the most dramatic landscape in the world, their craggy mountainsides and verdant hills creating spectacularly narrow passageways. Many lines include Norway's west coast on their Baltic sailings, but most ships are too big to access the most awe-inspiring scenery. Better to go with a smaller, Norway-based line. Hurtigruten started delivering mail to remote villages in the late 1800s and has evolved into a line of 11 boats. These 114- to 674-passenger cruises are among the most authentic floating experiences in Europe: A majority of your fellow passengers will be Norwegian, and the cuisine leans toward salmon and more salmon. Think of it as an immersion course in Nordic living—all for a mere $1,500 per person. Start the six-day cruise all the way north in Kirkenes, near the Russian border, and wind your way down the coast past the Arctic Circle and on to Bergen. Go in late May to experience the midnight sun, when the upper reaches of the country are emerging from their long winter into the days of 24-hour sunlight. The 1,250-mile trip is jam-packed with whales, penguins, and sea eagles, plus a passageway so skinny the captain has to manually pilot the 15,000-ton boat. Shore excursions include an afternoon in the city of Tromsø, where you can take a cable car 1,800 feet up Mount Storsteinen. Further down the coast are 14th-century cathedrals, and small towns where cod dries on racks along the side of the road. Authentic Norway indeed.

Tel: 866 522 0371

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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