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car ferries in Norway

Does purchasing a ticket for a car and 3 passengers on the website guarantee a space on the carferry from Kaupangen to Gudvangen or can other vehicles who get in line first without a ticket cause the ferry to fill up. If not in line early, could you be forced to wait for the next ferry?

Thank you

Posted by
3387 posts

I just spent 3 weeks in Norway and only had to wait once when I was late getting to the ferry and it filled up. It was an extraordinarily busy Sunday when the weather was perfect and I think they were taken by surprise! They ditched the schedule and immediately sent the second ferry back over to pick up all of us who couldn't fit. I think that was very unusual though...other than that we never had to wait for a filled ferry - we took at least 40 separate crossings. The ferries hold a surprising number of cars and trucks!
There is a priority line at some of the ferry terminals but I didn't see them used very often. Just get there 20 mins or so ahead of the scheduled departure and you'll be fine.

Posted by
7 posts

Hi, Anita: I appreciate your prompt response to my question about the car ferries in Norway. We plan to drive to Bergen after completing the ferry ride on the fjord in the afternoon in mid-Sept. We have paid lodging reserved so definitely do not want to miss the journey on the fjord which we expect to be a highlight of my Norway experience.

We will be in Laerdalsoyri 2 nights before the fjord boat trip. To get to Kaupanger to board the ferry through the fjord, it appears we must cross the fjord by another ferry. Are we correct in assuming that will be a car ferry also or must we drive a longer route to get to Kaupanger with our car?

When you were driving in Norway did you notice traffic being heavier on weekend days. As we will be making this fjord journey on a Sat., we are wondering if the traffic on the roads will slow our progress getting from town to town.

Did you drive from Lom down through the mountains to Sogndalsfjora on Route 55? We are wondering about the road conditions on that route. We are also planning to drive the Snow Route from Laerdalsoyri to Aurland and would appreciate input on those driving conditions.

Did you get much rain while in Norway? Was there a lot of snow in the mountains?

It is interesting that you are responding from Long Beach. Two of my travel group live in San Diego County and one is from Santa Monica.

Thanks again for your assistance and advice.


Posted by
7 posts

Anita: One more question, please--had you pre-purchased your ticket when the ferry filled before you got to the dock?

Posted by
3387 posts

The maps on Fjord1 are color coded so you can see which ones are car ferries. Typically, if a road ends on the map at water, and a ferry route begins, it's a car ferry.
We did not reserve any ferry trips in advance, even the one tourist ferry on the Geirangerfjord, which is an extremely popular route. Just get there a little early and it should be fine.
The one ferry that filled and we had to wait did not have a priority line and we hadn't pre-purchased tickets. From what I could see, no one had. It was a very small dock and they were simply overwhelmed on that particular day. That dock used the smaller ferries since it is a minor crossing - the more popular crossings and fjords use massively huge ferries that can fit many cars and trucks.
We didn't experience heavy road traffic anywhere we went, even on weekends, but we were mainly driving up in the Alesund area. We didn't drive in the region surrounding Bergen. Lots of people travel in Norway with small RVs and you will see lots of these on the road.
This year there is an unusual amount of snow in the mountains of Norway. It has been a very cold spring and they had some late storms even when we were there. When we left on July 3, we were told by several people that they had more snow then, than they had at Easter...5 times as much as normal for that time of year. It didn't impede road travel though -
We had about as many rainy days as sunny days during our 3 weeks. Make sure to bring the right shoes and waterproof jackets.