Norway is one of our newest destinations for 2018 and we’re incredibly excited to be sailing the Norwegian Fjords and visiting ports such as Kristiansand, Oslo, Stavanger and Olden. We’ve got an exciting array of shore excursions planned for this itinerary, but today we’re looking solely at the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bergen, its history and just some of the things you can do during your time here.
Bergen is one of Norway’s most notable cities and for many reasons. As well as being a UNESCO city, it is also the gateway to the wonderful Norwegian Fjords and a European City of Culture. There’s no shortage of things to see and do here and undoubtedly, the Fjords are one of the biggest highlights.
Norway’s impressive fjords were formed through several ice ages. The sea majestically carved itself through the coastline, leaving behind a beautiful landscape with snow-capped mountains, stunning waterfalls, deep gorges and glaciers. Tiny villages are dotted along the fjord line and these are often just as impressive as the natural scenery. The wooden houses seem as though they could fit in the palm of your hand when towered by a huge mountain. This breath-taking landscape is what brings thousands of people to Norway every year to explore the fjords and the best way to see them is via a cruise ship. Bergen is perfectly placed for fjord cruising, as the city sits between the Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord.
Looking back into the history of Bergen, we can tell you that the city was founded in 1070 AD by Olav Kyrre, King of Norway. The son of King Harald Hardrada, Olav was 10th in line and his reign was one of peace, growth and a flourishing trade.
The country has seen its fair share of changes over time. It was replaced as the capital city by Oslo in 1299, the Black Death plague arrived in 1349 from a foreign ship and fire ravaged the city several times, destroying many of the wooden buildings. Some buildings that were made from stone did survive and they included St. Mary’s church which is the oldest building in Bergen.
Today, Bergen is a modern city with one of Europe’s largest harbours, making it hugely popular for cruise ships, and we’re looking forward to calling there for the first time in June 2018. There are several museums in the city that offer a sense of the history of this fascinating place, including the Hanseatic Museum, Theta Museum and the Bryggens Museum.
If you would like to do something more scenic, then the Mount Floyen Funicular is an absolute must. Board the train and travel up vertically to the top of the mountain. Here you will be rewarded with stunning views across the city and into the Fjord. It is breath-taking. You can also embark on several nature walks from the top, the majority of which lead you back to street level.
Aegean Odyssey will be embarking on her ‘The Norwegian Fjords’ sailing in June 2018. This 15-day itinerary includes 10 tours in 3 countries – it is also a highlighted no-fly cruise option for our UK guests. Special offers now available on this sailing and several other summer cruises, view them on our website.