My family (myself, husband, 16-yr-old, and 18-yr-old) is flying in to Oslo in June as the beginning of a three-week Europe trip, and we have three full days to spend there, aside from our arrival and departure days. We plan to spend two full days enjoying Oslo, but would like to get out on the water, maybe see some fjords, our third day. I've researched NIN, and it is both too long (my husband has health issues that don't affect his mobility but do cause him to tire easily) and too expensive for us to consider. Can we just get a day-trip-type boat tour right there at the Oslo harbor that will allow us some fun, relaxing time on the water? Thanks!
Several boat tours leave from pier 3 in front of City Hall. See p. 222 of Rick's Scandinavia guidebook or www.boatsightseeing.com is one of the options. You can also take a regular ferry (covered by Oslo Pass) going to and from the museum island.
The boat to the museum island Laura mentioned is one I highly recommend, both for the ride itself and the museums there. There's a "toy train" that connects the two museum clusters on the island, so there's no need to walk between them.
Ferry from the Oslo City Hall dock to Bygdøy is a great way to get to the Bygdøy museums (Fram is my favorite). But note that the definition of fjord (a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, as in Norway and Iceland, typically formed by submergence of a glaciated valley) doesn't seem to apply to the wide body of water fronting Oslo.
That said, riding the ferries of the Oslo fjord is not a bad way to pass the time if you have mobility issues. See:
Take a ferry and go island hopping between the islands in the Oslo Fjord.
With a regular public transportation ticket or an Oslo Pass you can easily get on and off any of the ferries going between Rådhusbrygge 4 (behind City Hall), Hovedøya, Lindøya, Nakholmen, Bleikøya, Gressholmen and Langøyene.
The islands are popular places to go swimming in the summer, but each island has its unique character and history worth exploring. Bring a picnic basket and a blanket and enjoy the peace and quiet just minutes away from the city centre.
Route B2: Rådhusbrygge 4 - Hovedøya - Lindøya vest - Nakholmen (Jun-Aug)
Route B3: Rådhusbrygge 4 - Bleikøya - Gressholmen - Lindøya øst - Hovedøya (Jun-Aug)
Route B4: Rådhusbrygge 4 - Hovedøya - Gressholmen - Langøyene (Jun-Aug)
Route B9: Rådhusbrygge 3 - Bygdøy (Mar/Apr-Sep/Oct)
Rest of the year:
Route B1: Rådhusbrygge 4 - Hovedøya - Lindøya øst - Bleikøya - Gressholmen - Nakholmen - Lindøya vest - Hovedøya (Aug-Jun)
Route B9 is covered by the Oslo Pass, but not by the regular tickets.
The routes have different schedules for different times of year. Check ruter.no for updated schedules.
Thank you, everyone, for your replies! We already planned on taking the boat to the museum island one of the days, so I'm glad to see it's highly recommended!
Edgar, thank you for the link about the ferries - that's exactly the thing I was looking for! Something that we could hop on, hop off, and be out in the fresh air. I realize that Oslo fjord isn't quite the same as "real" fjords - we lived in Iceland for several years, and I'm lucky enough to have seen the real things - but the ferries sound like a nice way to see a bit of the great outdoors.