With the sea playing such an integral role in Norwegian culture and many of Norway’s most beautiful views being on the coast (hello, fjords!), it’s no wonder that one of the most popular ways to experience Norway is on a cruise.
Now, unlike a lot of other cruises where most of the entertainment happens on board, the highlight of a Hurtigruten cruise along the Norwegian coast line is definitely the views and the perfectly planned excursions off the ship. Of course, the deliciously fresh, locally sourced Norwegian seafood on board does add immensely to the whole experience and waiting impatiently for meal times has its own reward!
Can there be anything more relaxing?
Chef cooking up a lovely meal. Lunch anyone?
I took Hurtigruten’s Classic Voyage North with my family from beautiful Bergen all the way up to Kirkenes, high above the Arctic Circle. The entire journey, was interspersed with day excursions on land in beautiful spots like Ålesund, Trollstigen and of course Trondheim! While I was most excited to sail north to be able see the midnight sun, the journey to the Norwegian Arctic ended up being just as exciting, especially with all the shore excursion along the way, that really brought the beautiful locations to life.
One of my favorite stops on the Hurtigruten cruise that I don’t think anyone should skip is Trondheim. Due to its compact size, the city can be explored on foot, either as part of an organized walking tour or independently. Trondheim was actually Norway’s capital city for a long period during the Viking Age, and you can still feel a strong sense of that history today as you explore its cobbled streets.
While it’s Norway’s third largest city it still has a small-town vibe and being an University town, the city center is full of boisterous young people who all seem to know each other! It also just feels very Norwegian – while Oslo and Bergen feel more like big European cities, Trondheim’s characteristic architectural features of slightly pointed arches, barrel vaults and cruciform piers supporting vaults makes the town distinctly Norwegian.
The harbor is beautiful with its line of colourful houses. It’s also only a short walk to the city square where you get to see the statue of Olav Tryggvason, the founder of the city. As you continue to walk south from the city centre, you will reach Trondheim’s most famous site: Nidarosdom Cathedral!
Nidarosdom is the biggest cathedral in Northern Europe, and it really is so majestic in person. You can admire it from outside but it is absolutely worth buying a ticket to visit the inside of the cathedral.
From Nidarosdom you must head to Bakklandet, which by far is my favorite part of the city: To get to Bakklandet, you have to cross an old wooden bridge, which offers beautiful views of the old wharf along the River Nidelven. If you’ve seen photos of Trondheim before, they were probably taken from this very spot and I would highly recommend that you stop here for selfies and that perfect Instagram shot to make your friends go WOW!
Bakklandet was established as a tiny suburb in the 1600s (though nowadays it’s actually right in the city center) and walking around its cobblestone streets will take you back in time. There are lots of bustling cafés and pubs here where people can sit around and people watch. The little wooden houses here are so beautiful and feel as if they are straight out of a fairy tale!
As you return to your cruise in the evening, I am sure you would have already fallen in love with Trondheim – I definitely did! This is also why I loved my Hurtigruten cruise – while the journey took us up Norway’s coast, I was able to get little tastes of Norwegian life and culture in all the beautiful places that our cruise ship anchored in.
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