August 16, 2018 4 min read
Beautiful Bergen, Norway is the final port of call on this 15
night cruise. Come with me to visit Norway’s 2nd largest city,
and the Gateway to the Fjords of Norway, on the final stop of
Emerald Isles cruise on Viking Sky.
Beautiful Bergen...And Beyond
By now, I’m sure you’re thinking “Where did the time go? How can this be the end of the cruise?” The saving grace to the end of the trip is spending time in Bergen, with our overnight stay onboard giving us a little extra time to explore. As a UNESCO World Heritage City and a European City of Culture, the Bergen region has the ideal combination of nature, culture and exciting urban life all year round.
Shore Excursions and Independently Booked tours are the norm for cruise ship travelers. Let’s face it, cruises are an amazing way to travel the world, but while in port, your time can be limited. However, on this particular cruise, the Viking Sky: British Isles Explorer, you have two fantastic days in Bergen, so let’s make sure to make the most of it!
The city is known for unpredictable weather which is a strange concept. (Average number of rain days is 255...so, what’s unpredictable about that? It’s most likely going to rain!) Rain is part of the ambience of the city as long as you are prepared for it. And maybe, just maybe, it's why Norwegians are the second biggest consumers of coffee in the world. So ‘when in Rome’-- you mustn’t leave without having had the fabulous creamy hot drink alongside the locals. Kaffemisjonen claims to have the best coffee in Bergen. The independently run coffee shop prides themselves of serving Norwegian coffee brewed by world class baristas. The coffee shop also hosts weekly coffee tasting sessions.
After you have a wonderful cup of joe, where do you head? Explore the many owner operated shops and boutiques, art galleries and museums, the historic area of Bryggen, the historic harbor district in Bergen, one of North Europe’s oldest port cities established as a center for trade by the 12th century, tour the famous waterfront fish market, and explore the city on foot.
And then....like the old beer tag line says “Head for the Mountains” or the fjords by way of tour, car rental or on foot.
Arriving in Bergen you will notice one of the most spectacular allures of the area is all around you: the scenery. There is a funicular that will take you up Mount Floyan or you can hike or a combination of both. From atop this beautiful mountain, you can look down upon Bergen and see as a whole, the wonder of the city. Amazingly, within a few minutes, you can leave the thriving city and be in the wilderness exploring the numerous walking paths.
Travel Tip: When I cruise and have two days at the end of the trip, I schedule a late flight out on the second day and hire a driver who will pick up at the ship, drop off at the airport and provide a tour of the city. This takes care of needing to be off the ship early and the issue of storing luggage. This also has the added benefit of a private tour by a local and allows me to stroll around the city on Day 1.
As the gateway to the Fjords, Bergen lies between the Hardangerfjord and the Sognefjord Fjords. The Norwegian fjords were formed through several ice ages as the sea carved itself through and across the coastline, leaving a beautiful landscape with snow-clad mountains, blue glaciers, deep gorges, cascading waterfalls and tiny fertile villages strung like glowing green pearls along the fjord line. There is no one best way to experience the fjords.
Your options range from full or half day organized tours, hiking, biking, kayaking and rafting. However you choose to see the Fjords, it will be the experience of a lifetime.
Dee shares: A few years I ago, I had the opportunity to cruise this region and remember waking up and going out onto the cruise ship veranda to find myself surrounded by the Sognefjord; a breathtaking experience which I will never forget. Equally breathtaking, on that same day we were in the mountains and spotted a beautiful waterfall where a local woman came out from behind this particular fall and sang (similar to Enya), making this a very surreal experience. Imagine the roar of the falls and spray of the mist with what sounds like an angel singing as you explore this beautiful area off the beaten path.
TRAEVL TIP: The best time of year to catch the northern lights in Norway is from October to March, although you may also see them as early as August.
And now my friends, it's time to explore! Bergen is truly a breathtaking place, and the vibrant blues and deep greens in the fjords and all around you will take your breath away! Thanks for joining me on this cruise. Bye bye beautiful Bergen! Up next, the Grand European Passage on Regent Navigator!
Hasta la bye bye!
Dee Serkin is a travel writer who specializes in destinations, culture, travel tips and advice. She is dedicated to inspiring travel in all and loves to share her adventures with others. Contact her at Denyce.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her site at https://travelovers.us
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