Looking for a new and exciting cruising destination for 2018? Then look away from the crowds, off the beaten track and into the allure of Norway’s horizons. In recent years, Norway has opened up as a superyacht destination offering a cruising alternative to the well-trodden seas of the Mediterranean and Caribbean hotspots, particularly aimed at those with an insatiable appetite for adventure. Here are just some of the reasons why you should go.
1. The scenery
From its famous Western fjords, world-class mountainscapes to its colourful coastline cities and everywhere in between, Norway boasts more breathtaking natural wonders than you can count. With over 25,000km of rugged and stunning coastline, it would be rude not to cruise here. As well as mainland Norway, there is also the pristine arctic north up in the Lofoten Islands, with picture perfect fishing villages and dramatic mountain peaks, they shouldn’t be missed.
2. The activities
If the scenery alone isn’t enough to cruise Norway, then the activities should sway the decision. Norway is a country with a perfect landscape and unsurprisingly, where adventure is encouraged. There are so many hike and cycle routes to enjoy, and you’ll often have them all to yourself. Or if you’d rather be out on the water hop in a kayak, allowing you to get close to nature whilst staying dry. If you fancy getting in, pack a dry suit and go diving. Rich in biodiversity with plenty of interesting shipwrecks, you’ll be blown away by what Norway has to offer under the water. If adventure makes you hungry, try your hand at fly-fishing for the famous Norwegian salmon.
Away from the water, enjoy the lively cultural scene as well as gorging on the freshest seafood in the country’s cities. The small town feel of the UNESCO city of Bergen, makes for a great day out. Get above the landscape and take a helicopter sightseeing tour, allowing you to peer down on the ice-capped mountains, towering waterfalls and small fishing villages.
3. The wildlife
Norway is one of Europe’s most varied wildlife watching destinations, nature lovers and photographers will be in their element here. From orcas casually swimming through a fjord, humpbacks breaching and dolphins jumping on the coastline, to the Svalbard archipelago where polar bears easily outnumber the human population. Off the boat, there are herds of reindeer roaming, moose and eagles to be spotted too.
4. The itineraries
Conveniently Norway’s geographical makeup allows for plenty of varied cruising options, all dependent on timescales, passing through a number of latitudes and diverse landscapes. A popular destination for yachts is the west coast, home to those majestic fjords and waterfalls. A good starting point is the gateway to the fjords, Bergen, located between the two most famous fjords, Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord. With most yachts preferring the west coast, head further north into the Arctic circle to the less explored lands of the striking Lofoten Islands. For the more adventurous, head into the ice fields of the Arctic wilderness, up to Svalbard.
5. The Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun
Home to these fascinating phenomena, the long summer days are even longer in Norway due to the midnight sun. During summer you can witness these endless days up in northern Norway, particularly in June and July. With the sun never setting, activities and adventures aren’t paused for sunset, you can spot wildlife roaming free into the night and you have light to extend your cruising day if you wish.
For the Northern Lights, you’ll also need to head north but you can expect to see them from October to March. Not one for your summer cruise but definitely worth a visit if you’d consider planning a trip later in the year.
If you still need convincing… Norway was voted the happiest country in the world in 2017, so go and join them this summer.