For the ultimate in scenic cruises, a voyage to the fjords of Norway should be on every boomer travel list. And, saiing in style makes for an even better experience as Sheila Beal shows us in this guest post about cruising in Norway with Seabourn.
White glove, silver tea service, caviar on demand and fine dining every evening—I could get used to that. And, I did for 14 nights this summer and 9 nights last summer when I cruised aboard the Seabourn Sojourn with my husband.
Last summer’s 9-night cruise through the majestic fjords of Norway whet our appetite to discover even more of Norway this summer. As if getting spoiled rotten on the Sojourn wasn’t enough, the views were the icing on the cake—green hillside-landscapes dotted with colorful Norwegian homes and lacy waterfalls cascading down sheer cliffs in Norwegian fjords.
Knowing that we’d have scenic cruising between ports was one of the things that attracted us to Norway. Sailing was magnificent, peaceful and oh, so picturesque. At times the fjord water was smooth as glass, reflecting the fishing cabins and farm homes. We can’t even begin to guess at the number of waterfalls we saw dancing down the glacier-hewn mountains.
One of the most memorable days at sea included sailing the inside passage and enjoying the constant scenery. We took in the views as we exercised on the outdoor walking loop. Then, we rewarded our exercise by relaxing in one of the outdoor whirlpools located at the aft of the ship. From there, we further soaked in the scenery.
Once in port, we had the chance to go on long country or city walks where we’d admire the architecture in the cities, tour botanical gardens and savor the fragrance of wild flowers in the country. If you love beautiful scenery, Norway does not disappoint.
Organized excursions provided a deeper look into the landscape and history. Though we did book a few excursions through Seabourn, we enjoyed the ports where we didn’t take group tours much more. The group tours were fine and for the most part the tour guides were knowledgeable. If there’s one area Seabourn could improve, it would be to offer more excursions for guests who like being active and adventurous.
Into the Arctic Circle and the land of the midnight sun
Our most recent cruise practically covered the entire coast of Norway, including the northern cape in the Arctic Circle. Sounds frigid, doesn’t it? Actually, we enjoyed sunny days with the temperature in the upper 60’s at the mountainous Lofoten Islands and in Tromsø. The weather did take a chilly turn (in the 40’s) at the grassy covered landscape at Nordkapp—the northernmost point of Norway and Europe.
While we were in the Arctic Circle during the height of summer, the sun never set. Seeing the sun at midnight was a unique experience. We almost felt as if the clock was playing a trick on us.
Norway with Seabourn: the Sojourn experience
The 450-passanger ship is tastefully decorated. There’s no cheesy art or loud carpet that makes you dizzy. Each cabin offers a sitting area, walk-in closet and far more storage space than we needed. Each bath has double sinks, step-in shower and separate tub. The dual sinks alone make for happy partners and roommates.
We’ve traveled enough to know good dining. Seabourn offers exceptional dining. White tomato soup, numerous lobster dishes—including Lobster Mac and Cheese— were among the most memorable dishes.
We loved the all-inclusive experience of never worrying about signing checks or if we had enough cash for gratuities. The all-inclusive environment allowed us to relax and enjoy the luxury.
Honestly, our two cruises through Norway on the Sojourn were such great experiences, we’re not sure that we could possibly top it with any other cruise around the world. However, we won’t stop trying.