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Cruise options: Alesund/Bergen VS Maloy/Ulvik

Hello all! I am hesitating between 2 cruises to norway for a future trip. They have a similar itinerary as they both leave from Reykjavik and end in London, and visit iceland and norwegian fjords in between.

The only difference in the 2 itineraries is this one:

Option A: Alesund & Bergen

Option B: Maloy & Ulvik

Which one should I pick and why? Thank you SO much for your explanations

Posted by
17869 posts

Caveat: I've spent a lot of time researching Norway for a trip that didn't happen this year, but I haven't been there yet.

I can't find an Ulsik in Norway, so I think the "Ulvik" in the text of your post is correct. That's a town (I assume very small, because I hadn't previously heard of it) deep in the Hardangerfjord. Can an ocean-going cruise ship get there, or will you be put on a smaller ship or a bus?

Maloy is new to me, too, but I guess it's the place on an island that's a bit closer to Alesund than to Bergen.

My assumption is that the Maloy/Ulvik option focuses on scenery. Alesund and Bergen are known as interesting/beautiful towns, though the coastal scenery between them will be lovely. I assume what you see along the coast on the way to Ulvik will be part of what you see traveling between Bergen and Alesund. I think a major decision factor is what you think you'll be most interested in by the time the cruise gets to Norway.

I'm very much an urban-architecture fan, so I'd choose the cities. Many others would opt for Maloy/Ulvik, I'm sure. I hope we have someone on the forum who can comment on the Hardangerfjord. It will be helpful, I think, if you can tell us whether you'd be getting there by ship or by bus. There have been some interesting comments in earlier threads about scenery-viewing preferences. Some find the view of fjords from above (such as you would get from a bus) more interesting than the view from the water. I suspect I'd feel that way after a few hours on the water, and Ulvik is deep, deep in the Hardangerfjord. On the other hand, the most picturesque fjord views are in the narrow parts of fjords, and I believe Ulvik (if by ship) will give you that experience. Just skimming along the coast will mostly expose you to the (wide) mouths of fjords.

I haven't been to Iceland, either, so I have no clue as to whether the Icelandic fjords you will already have seen are more or less specatcular than those in Norway.

Posted by
6098 posts

Will you visit Geirangefjord on either cruise? Our Hurtigruten ship, Trollfjord, went all the way into it and sailed through the Trollfjord too. . Bergen and Alesund are both interesting towns. We also enjoyed Tromso, Bodo and Trondheim. Went as far north as Kirkenes, next to Russia. I highly recommend Hurtigruten as they are Norway’s lifeline between the coastal towns and villages, authentic, fabulous food. Few from US on board which we liked.

Posted by
4601 posts

Never heard of Option B cities, but definitely have visited Alesund and Bergen. Those are great port with much to see.

Geiranger has the best fjord that we visited.