A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT  

Sail into the heart of the Norwegian fjords on an 8-day cruise, discovering extraordinary landscapes of sheer cliffs, snowcapped peaks, jewel-toned lakes, and picturesque villages.

Starting at: $5,890 Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The fjord near Bergen  Bryggen, the historic wharf in Bergen. Credit: Jens Henrik Nybo/Innovation Norway  The lively harbor of Bergen, Norway

Cruising the Norwegian Fjords

From Bergen to Oslo Aboard the 184-guest Le Dumont-d’Urville

8 days from $5,890

A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT  

Sail into the heart of the Norwegian fjords on an 8-day cruise, discovering extraordinary landscapes of sheer cliffs, snowcapped peaks, jewel-toned lakes, and picturesque villages.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Sail into the heart of the Norwegian fjords, discovering extraordinary landscapes of sheer cliffs, snowcapped peaks, jewel-toned lakes, and picturesque villages. See natural wonders from the Jostedal ice cap to precipitous Pulpit Rock, and venture to historic sites from Viking settlements to centuries-old ironworks. Opt for active excursions by electric bike or Nordic walking, and explore local music, art, and cuisine.  

The Smithsonian Journeys / PONANT ExperienceEach cruise will be accompanied by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts. An excursion or activity is included in each port of call. You may have a choice of excursions in many ports, so that you can delve more deeply into subject areas of interest.  

Highlights Include

  • Alesund: Admire Art Nouveau architecture on a city tour, encounter the marine life of the region on an excursion to the Atlantic Ocean Park, or explore this stunning city of islands by electric bike. 
  • Norwegian Fjords and Glaciers: Venture deep into the fjord lands to the spectacular Geirangerfjord, and set out to explore a dramatic landscape of snowcapped mountains, verdant valleys, and glittering lakes. Then encounter continental Europe’s largest ice cap, exploring the edge of a glacier or riding a cable car for a panoramic view of the ice.  
  • Sandnes and Lysefjorden: Explore Norway’s history at the important Viking site of Ullandhaug and the oil town of Stavanger, hear a recital at the 13th-century Utstein Monastery, or discover Sandnes the Norwegian way on a guided Nordic walking excursion. Then sail the magnificent Lysefjorden along iconic Pulpit Rock, rising nearly 2,000 feet above the water. 
  • Arendal: Explore the fascinating Naes Ironworks Museum to see equipment that dates back to the 1600s and learn about the evolution of iron and steel production. Then visit picturesque Tvedestrand and enjoy free time to meander among the wooden houses of this “international book town.” Or opt for a hike along the coast in beautiful Raet National Park.
  • Gothenburg, Sweden: During a day in Sweden, discover lively Gothenburg on a panoramic tour, and visit either the world-renowned Museum of Fine Art—one of the best in Northern Europe—or the Volvo factory, where every model since 1927 is on display.  

Itinerary

Day 1 — Bergen, Norway

Arrive in Bergen, the gateway to the Norway’s fjord lands and once an important center in the Hanseatic League’s medieval trading empire. Embark the ship this afternoon and enjoy dinner as the ship makes its way north along Norway’s coast. (D) 

Day 2 — Alesund

Alesund enjoys a beautiful setting, straddling three islands with a backdrop of impressive peaks. Largely destroyed by a fire in 1904, the town was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style and is now a showcase of this early 20th-century architectural movement. Explore the town and its lovely environs on one of three possible excursions today. Take a walking tour that includes the Art Nouveau Centre and houses that exemplify the style as well as Norway's biggest fish-export harbor. Or travel to the Atlantic Ocean Park, a unique aquarium featuring the region’s marine life in tanks that resemble coastal environments. Learn about efforts to sustainably manage ocean resources; see penguins at the aquarium’s outdoor water feature; and enjoy the lovely setting on Breisundet, a wide sound where seals can often be spotted. Alternatively, set off on an electric bike, following a guide through the colorful heart of Alesund and into the surrounding hills. All excursions end on the slopes of Mount Aksla, with superb views of the town and its remarkable surroundings. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Geiranger and Hellesylt

Follow serpentine waterways deep into the fjord lands, arriving at magnificent Geirangerfjord, a World Heritage site. Here, the village of Geiranger nestles at the end of the blue fjord, surrounded by sky-high cliffs and tumbling waterfalls. Set off on an extraordinary drive through a landscape of snowcapped mountains and emerald-blue lakes, ascending to lookouts to take in the stunning panorama of peaks. Learn about continental Europe’s largest glacier at the Jostedal Glacier National Park Centre and then get a closer look at the glacier itself. Visit the village of Stryn and marvel at Hornindalsvatnet, one of the deepest lakes in Europe. Alternatively, follow Eagle’s Road through incredible mountain scenery to the summer farm of Herdalssetra. Explore this picturesque 300-year-old farm, where turf-roofed wooden houses and goats dot the hillside beneath the mighty peak of Heregga. The farm is also home to cows, sheep, and fjord horses – including the blond pony native to the west coast. Meet the farmers and learn about their cheese-making process before sampling their goat’s milk cheeses and homemade caramels. Later, visit the Geiranger Fjord Center to learn more about local life. This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the traditional village of Hellesylt. (B,L,D) 

Day 4 — Olden

Early this morning, arrive in the picturesque village of Olden, perched at the end of a meandering fjord.  Located near Jostedalsbreen National Park—home to Europe’s largest ice cap—this little village is perfect base for exploring the Briksdal or Kjenndalen glaciers. Choose an easy hike to a viewpoint over Kjenndalen glacier, and then ride a cable car 3300 feet to the top of Mount Hoven. Here, have a coffee while taking in spectacular views of the fjord and villages below, as well as the surrounding mountains. While at Mount Hoven, you may go on a short walk to soak up the scenery around you. Or enjoy a scenic drive through Oldedalen Valley to Briksdal glacier, and approach the glacier by electric “troll car.” Take a walk to the blue-hued face of the glacier and learn about the geological forces that keep the ice in constant motion. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Sandnes

Awaken on Norway’s southwest coast and go ashore at Sandnes. You’ll have a choice of three excursions today. Delve into Norway's rich maritime history on a visit to the Iron Age site of Ullandhaug, where the Viking king Harald Haarfagre defeated the last of the regional princes and founded the Kingdom of Norway in 872. Continue to the oil port of Stavanger to tour the historic district and visit the striking Petroleum Museum, set in the middle of the harbor. Or explore Sandnes the Norwegian way: on a Nordic walking excursion. Stop for a typical Norwegian trail snack of brown cheese and rye along the way. Alternatively, travel to Mosteroy Island to visit the 13th-century Utstein Monastery, now a museum, and enjoy a short music recital in the restored chapel here. This afternoon, sail between vertiginous granite cliffs on Lysefjorden, one of Norway’s most breathtaking fjords, and marvel at the world-famous site of Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), a majestic cliff in the shape of a pulpit that rises nearly 2,000 feet above the water. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Arendal

port town located Norway’s south coast, Arendal was known as a major producer of iron ore for centuries. Join a guide for a visit to the fascinating Naes Ironworks Museum, which showcases original ironworks buildings, machinery, and equipment that date back to the 17th century. The ironworks here were operational from 1665 to 1959, and the museum offers a fascinating glimpse of how iron and steel were produced in days gone by. Continue to the picturesque village of Tvedestrand and enjoy a guided walk among its white wooden houses—including Norway’s narrowest house. Tvedestrand is known as an “international book town” and presents a bookshop on nearly every corner. You’ll have free time to explore the village on your own before a scenic drive along the coast back to the ship. Alternatively, enjoy a hike along the coast in Raet National Park, established in 2016 to protect the unique topography of the moraine created by the retreat of a massive glacier at the end of the Ice Age. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Gothenburg, Sweden

Spend a day in Sweden in the lively harbor city of Gothenburg.  Take a panoramic tour, from the hilltop Masthugg Church overlooking Gothenburg to the elegant squares and boulevards of the city center. Choose to take a guided tour of the Museum of Fine Arts, home to masterpieces by Carl Larsson, Edvard Munch, Vincent Van Gogh, and Claude Monet, as well as an excellent collection of Nordic art. Tour the private collection in the museum’s Fürstenburg Gallery before heading to Haga to explore this vibrant pedestrian district on your own. Or take a tour of the Volvo factory, which tells the story of one of Sweden’s most important companies and features every Volvo model since 1927. See an exhibit of Volvo's racing history, the latest concept cars, and "the world's fastest hybrid truck," as well as a life-sized Volvo SUV constructed with LEGO bricks—a marriage of two of Scandinavia's most famous brands. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Oslo/Return Home

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)