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Norway trip

My daughter is in Norway on her sabbatical in Stavanger. My husband and I have to choose between doing a shortened Hurtigruten cruise or Norway in a Nutshell. Can someone suggest which we should do?? Really would appreciate it!


Posted by
504 posts

I've never done a nutshell tour, but I have been a passenger on the Hurtigruten. They're a good way to get to places, especially if the train doesn't go there. In my case, I traveled from Trondheim to Alesund and then to Bergen.

That said, I would guess that for a tour, as opposed to transportation, the nutshell would be better. Hurtigruten ships don't stay port very long. They discharge and pick up passengers and cargo, and then they're off again. So you wouldn't have time to explore your ports of call, unless you did something like stay for 24 hours and then board the next one. Also, they stay at sea; they don't go up the fjords.

Posted by
5789 posts

To paraphrase an American president, you've seen one fjord, you've seen them all. Not that Norwegian fjords are uninteresting, but more that there is so much more to Norway than fjords.

The NIN tour is a literal cross-section of Norway between the drier inland city of Oslo to the maritime Bergen and the Hardangervidda and inland fjords in between. The city of Oslo is worth at least two full days (three nights) and Bergen is worth at least a full day (two nights). While the NIN tour can be a one day journey, or even a 24 hour round trip, stopping at a fjord village allows one to absorb rather than check off a list.

I would also add that the NIN is multi-modal - train, boat and bus, while the Hurtigruten is a mail boat/ferry coastal ride. (The food was very good after a week of wilderness hut meals). Most of the passengers are foreigners. Some locals take the boat from village to village, but usually only short legs of the voyage.

I will admit that my Hurtigruten is limited to one night on the Nord Norge between Mehamn and Kirkenes, we did sail past numerous scenic views. My point is that you will only see a limited slice, the maritime one, of Norway.