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Which Norwegian Fjord itinerary is better

We are going to Norway on a cruise 7or 8 nights and can’t decide between the following two itineraries. Either cruise ship is fine with us but have only sailed Celebrity before. The itinerary is of more importance.

HAL Rotterdam includes 2 scenic cruising days of Fjords (Hardangerfjord/Geiranger) with 3 towns = 7 nights total

4th May 2024 Rotterdam
5th May 2024 Sea Day
6th May 2024 Eidfjord
6th May 2024 Scenic Cruising Hardangerfjord
7th May 2024 Molde
8th May 2024 Geiranger
8th May 2024
Cruising Geirangerfjord
9th Mav 2024 Bergen
10th May 2024 Sea Day
11th May 2024 Rotterdam

CELEBRITY - more towns but no stated Fjords - do you go through the Fjords to get to these towns 8 nights total

5th May 2024 Amsterdam
6th May 2024 Sea day
7th May 2024 Haugesund
8th May 2024 Olden
9th May 2024 Alesund
10th May 2024 Stavanger
11th May 2024 Oslo
12th May 2024 Sea day
13th May 2024 Arrive Rotterdam

Thankyou for any input. We want to see Fjords but not necessarily be on boat 4 days out of 7

Posted by
118 posts

I didn’t take a cruise but I stopped at some of the stops listed for both. I would lean towards the Rotterdam cruise. Both fjords are beautiful in different ways and Geirangerfjord is truly spectacular. I’d rather spend time seeing the amazing landscapes of Norway than just going to different cities. But, I suppose it depends on what you prefer. I guess I feel one can always go to lots of cities; how often will you see what Norwegian fjords offer? I truly enjoyed the serene, unspoiled, scenic nature of the fjords.

Posted by
2650 posts

Define "better".

If you mean more scenic then #1 seems better (without leaving the ship) because it is getting into 2 major fjords incl. one UNESCO word heritage sub-fjord.

If #2 includes an excursion in Olden to glacier Briksdalsbreen it is worth to consider (the valley to it is also very nice). If Stavanger includes excursions into Lysefjord or to Preikestolen it would be also a bonus.

Tip: if there are later ones which offer you 1 day in Bergen on May 17 (national constitution day) it is worth to look at.

Posted by
466 posts

My husband and I went on a cruise in June that included stops in Bergen, Alesund, Molde, Olden, Skjolden and Haugesund. We didn't do any excursions and didn't hike due to an injury to my knee. We just had two sea days, coming and going out of Dover, England. I thought that Olden was stunning...we went through a long fjord and it was gorgeous. We enjoyed every stop but if I had to cut one of them out, it would have probably been Haugesund. I wish that our cruise had included Geiranger, because the fjord is supposed to be one of the best. Of course, if you go on the Celebrity cruise, you could add a couple of days in Amsterdam prior to your cruise and explore it. The Keukenhof gardens will be open until May 12th (possibly closing earlier) as well as all of the sites in and around Amsterdam.

Both of these cruises sound really good and you probably can't go wrong with either one.

Posted by
11368 posts

Make sure your ship goes inside the fjords especially the gorgeous Geirangerfjord.
Go on the Norwegian coastal ship, the Hurtigruten , rather than on a regular “cruise ship.” This is the ship the Norwegian locals use to travel up and down the coast. We sailed into fjords. A wonderful experience and the food was outstanding!

Posted by
8622 posts

I think it is key to remember that not everyone has the same travel budget availability as others. Hurtigrutin is a good choice, but it can also be a very expensive choice. An individual can have a great experience on an another cruise line as well.

A cruise gets you amazing views. It does not give you many interactions with locals, so just be prepared for the trade off.

Posted by
2650 posts

In my opinion it makes no sense to compare a cruise like requested by OP with a Hurtigruten / Havila passage along the Norwegian coast:

  • number of ports is much higher
  • more excusions with often less peope and a way better quality
  • less passengers, so faster group finding and nearly no cruise bubble, especially not in smaller ports in which 2,000 passengers are simply overcrowding everything
  • closer to local culture also due to Norwegian staff and culture presentations on board
  • their smaller ships reach places larger cruise ships cannot get to
  • only 6-7 days for full way Bergen - Kirkenes
  • port-to-port option for people who want to do only part of the journey
  • car option
  • much more to tell after the journey

It is simply not a cruise as people know it; they are joining Norway's transport route #1 for a few days with a certain luxury level.