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Guests Can ‘Let it Go’ on Shore Excursions in Norway

It’s the land of fjords and waterfalls, picturesque villages and trolls. And oh yes, the home of “Frozen!” While the hit Disney movie may have debuted in 2014, Holland America Line has been offering cruises to Norway for decades.

The Land of the Midnight Sun is a glorious exploration. Mother Nature made her mark when she created the country’s incredible scenery lined with dramatic waterfalls, mammoth fjords dotted with charming homes, beautiful peaks and intriguing valleys. Legendary folklore tells tales of trolls who call the land home. Do they live under bridges as we imagine, or are they sweet, lovable rocks like the ones that raised Kristoff? With these shore excursions in Norway, you can explore the landscapes and go on your own hunt for trolls. Be sure to pre-book these popular excursions to guarantee your spot.

At Alesund, the Romsdal & the Troll Path tour is more than just seeking out the mythical beings. Guests take a short sightseeing tour of Ålesund city en route to Sjøholt village. From Sjøholt, you’ll follow the shoreline of Storfjord, an area known for both salmon fishing and furniture making. The furniture crafted here is exported all over the world. Pass the old, octagonal Stordal Church (1789) and continue to Liabygd and Valldal, renowned for growing sweet strawberries. From here, you will follow the valley towards Trollstigen (the Troll Path), passing the impressive Gudbrandsjuvet Gorge. On top of the mountain you can still see signs of the old road built in 1028 by Viking King Olav. In the center of the Trolltindene mountain range, participants enjoy a typical Norwegian buffet lunch of hot and cold dishes, desserts and coffee.

Trolltindene Mountain is an impressive sight to behold.

The Trolltindene mountain range is an impressive sight to behold.

From the highest point on the road, at 2,800 feet above sea level, you will drive the famous Troll Path with its 11 exciting hairpin bends down to Isterdalen Valley. You stop to visit the famous Troll Wall — well known to mountaineers all over the world. This wall has the highest overhang in Europe and is visited by world-famous climbers every summer. Pass Romsdalsfjord and the picturesque villages of Innfjorden, Mandalen, Vagstrand and Vikebukt before crossing Orskog Mountain to join the main road back to Ålesund. Did you find any trolls along the way?

Guest Ricky enjoyed the day and had this to say:

This was a spectacular tour for the scenery. You drive along the fjords at waterlevel and then go up into the mountains where there is still snow in June. The road is amazing in many areas with lots of switchback turns. I am not sure how the bus got through it all … Food was good with several fish dishes. The Troll Wall is spectacular. If you like mountain scenery, this is a great tour.

At Stavanger, the Lysefjord: Pulpit Rock Cruise shore excursion takes participants on a cruise through the Stavanger Archipelago for an overview of how the Norwegians live in this area. In splendid Lysefjord, you will discover one of Norway’s spectacular natural wonders: Pulpit Rock. This promontory juts more than 1,500 feet above the sea, and you will cruise directly under it. In this beautiful fjord, the water around you is as deep as the mountains are high. You will stop en route in idyllic surroundings for a snack of coffee and waffles, served in traditional Norwegian style with sour cream and jam.

Cruising along Lysefjord and the famous Pulpit Rock. Pulpit Rock photo by  Casper Tybjerg, courtesy of Visitnorway.com.

Cruising along Lysefjord and see the famous Pulpit Rock. Pulpit Rock photo by Casper Tybjerg, courtesy of Visitnorway.com.

This was an awesome excursion going up the Lysefjord in a small boat that is able to go in and out of small coves. The narration is tops. The Veendam went up the fjord the next day to Pulpit Rock but this excursion was worth going on. The stop for the delicious waffles was a real yummy treat. Wish I was younger and could do the hike to the top of Pulpit Rock. I have seen pictures of Pulpit Rock for many years but now I have really seen it. Yea!! — Guest Tess.

Guests looking for an active tour will find the Kayaking on Aurlandsfjord shore excursion at Flåm both exhilarating and breathtaking. Kayaking is a very popular way to experience the nature, scenery and the tranquility of Aurlandsfjord and Flåm.

Kayaking on Aurlandsfjord gives a new vantage point of the scenery.

Kayaking on Aurlandsfjord gives a new vantage point of the scenery.

As you paddle along the fjord you will see mountain farms that cling to the hillside, and farm animals such as goats and sheep that graze alarmingly close to the edge of the fjord. This is the perfect excursion for experienced and first-time kayakers, as it features beautiful scenery.

What kinds of tours do you like to do? Do you prefer tours that focus on scenery, or is kayaking your ideal way to see the area?

4 Comments
  • Truus Kievit

    We want to go to Norway if we have more time. we love the HAL.
    We had a great time on the baltic cruise.

  • Janay

    Flam was absolutely beautiful! Had a great time exploring the little city and then took the train up to the hotel to have waffles. Walked around up there for a bit waiting for the train to bring us back down. The waterfalls and landscape were breathtakingly gorgeous. We even realized when we got back to the ship that we had captured a picture of the troll at the waterfall :). The fjords are incredible. I hope to come back someday soon.

  • Sophia

    We’re going on a Norway cruise in May, with the Ms Rotterdam. Can’t wait!

  • Claire Datnow

    We highly recommend the Norwegian cruise aboard the Rotterdam. We enjoyed it so much we’ve published an iBook, now available on iBook Store The Passionate Travelers: Highlights of Norway, part of a series of Travel iBooks with gorgeous videos, HD photos and slide shows. We love cruising aboard HAL.

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