Fjords Expedition Cruise from Dover

Fjords Expedition Cruise from Dover

Fjords Expedition Cruise from Dover

Fjords Expedition Cruise from Dover

Travel information 11 days MS Maud
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Explore five of Norway’s most beautiful fjords on this springtime expedition cruise, sailing direct to the stunning Norwegian coast from Dover.

Norway’s ‘royal’ fjords  

This expedition cruise encompasses five of Norway’s most beautiful fjords in spring. Discover why Sognefjord is nicknamed ‘King of the Fjords’ as we sail into one of its arms to visit the charming village of Flåm. From there, your ship continues to Skjolden at the end of Sognefjord, passing snow-capped mountains and remote settlements along the way. You’ll then soak up the scenery of magnificent Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage site hailed as ‘the jewel in the crown’ among the Norwegian fjords.

High peaks and lush valleys  

In Nordfjord, you’ll see high peaks and glaciers, fertile valleys and beautiful sandy beaches. We’ll anchor at Loen, where stunning views await at the top of Mount Hoven. Next, you’ll explore the wild, lush valleys of Hardangerfjord, ‘Queen of the Fjords’, and home to the prettiest apple orchards in Norway. Cap off your spectacular fjord adventure at Lysefjord and take in the iconic Pulpit Rock viewpoint before sailing back to Dover.

Spring is in the air 

Sailing in May, the sun has returned to Norway’s skies bringing longer, warmer days which awaken local flora and fauna from their winter slumber. Snow still covers the mountains, but as it thaws, meltwater gushes down rock faces, powering beautiful waterfalls and adding a deep colour to rivers. Down in the valleys, pastures are green, fruit trees bloom and idyllic fjord villages emerge from hibernation. 

Fjords Expedition Cruise from Dover Fjords Expedition Cruise from Dover
  • Day 1
    Dover, UK

    Setting sail

    We set out on our expedition cruise to Norway’s famous fjords from Dover. If you have time, walk atop the iconic white cliffs before embarking your comfortable expedition ship, MS Maud.  

    Once on board, you’ll pick up your complimentary expedition jacket, settle into your cabin, and attend a mandatory safety drill. Head out on deck and gaze at the fishing boats and seagulls as we bid a fond farewell to Dover.   

    Take some time to get acquainted with the ship, elegantly designed using natural Scandinavian materials. Locate our three restaurants and the Explorer Lounge and Bar. Head to Deck 5 to discover the Science Center and get familiar with Deck 9 where you’ll find the Observation Deck, gym, sauna and hot tubs. We have a feeling you’ll be spending a lot of time up here.  

    Later in the evening, we’ll call on the port of Harwich, which is one of the most important ports on the Essex coast and boasts a rich maritime heritage. Famous explorers such as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Richard Hawkins, and Sir Martin Frobisher all departed from here on several expeditions of discovery. Perhaps most famously, the town was the home port of the Pilgrim ship ‘Mayflower’ and birthplace of the captain, Christopher Jones.  

    In keeping with Harwich tradition, and to celebrate the start of our journey, you’ll enjoy a local sea shanty performance before crossing the North Sea.

    Day 1
    Dover, UK

    Setting sail

  • Day 2-3
    At Sea

    Northbound to the fjords of Norway

    You’ll have plenty of time to relax on board today as we sail to Norway. Take in the fresh spring air out on the Observation Deck or from the hot tubs, settle down with a good book in the lounge or grab a tasty snack from Fredheim restaurant. If you’re feeling energetic, you can make full use of the gym or take a few laps out on deck.   

    The Expedition Team will prepare you for the adventures ahead with lectures and talks in the Explorer Lounge. Handpicked for their extensive knowledge of Norway, they’ll share their expertise with you and lead the way in excursions. As we sail towards the fjords, the first topic they cover may well be the geology of the fjord landscapes you’ll be seeing and how these incredible mountains, fjords and plains were formed.  

    We also support a number of Citizen Science projects that you can join in. These projects include Happywhale, where your photographs help identify and track whales across the planet. Or the Globe Observer project which combines your observations of clouds and sky conditions from below with data collected by satellites. Not only will you be supporting the scientific community, you’ll also be getting a better understanding of the world around you. 

    Day 2-3
    At Sea

    Northbound to the fjords of Norway

  • Day 4
    Flåm, Aurlandsfjord, Norway - Anchored - Half Day

    Spectacular fjord landscape

    Sognefjord is Norway's longest and deepest fjord. Nicknamed ‘King of the Fjords’, it stretches over 124 miles inland and has many tributaries, some of which themselves require a full day to explore. One such example is Aurlandsfjord. Deep and narrow, it’s flanked by mountains soaring almost 5,000 ft above sea level. You’ll find the charming village of Flåm, our destination for the day, at the innermost part of the fjord. 

    Surrounded by steep mountainsides and cascading waterfalls, Flåm couldn’t have a more scenic backdrop. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty around you through various activities, including nature walks, biking or kayaking on the fjord. For a panoramic view of Aurlandsfjord, head up to the Stegastein platform. An architectural masterpiece jutting out from the mountainside, you’ll be standing over 2,000 ft above the fjord.  

    Flåm’s most famous attraction is Flåmsbana, the Flåm Railway, recognised as a masterpiece of engineering and one of the steepest railways in the world. Pop into the Flåmsbana museum right beside the train platform to whet your appetite for one of the world’s most picturesque railway journeys. It tells about the early days of Flåm and the impressive engineering work of building the railway, which opened in 1941. 

    The train will take you past deep ravines and gushing waterfalls on an hour-long journey. You’ll feel the pull of nostalgia as you whisk past breathtaking mountain scenery sitting in a vintage carriage. Just be sure to have your camera ready for the five-minute stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall. 

    • Included Flåm - Stegastein Viewpoint
    Day 4
    Flåm, Aurlandsfjord, Norway - Anchored - Half Day

    Spectacular fjord landscape

  • Day 5
    Skjolden, Sognefjord, Norway - Full Day

    Idyllic fjord villages and stave churches

    As we sail deep into Sognefjord, head out on deck to get a sense of the scale of the fjord landscape around you. You’ll see isolated farms perched precariously on steep, snow-capped mountains, seemingly cut off from everything. As the warmth of spring thaws the snow, the ice melts into trickles of water that soon turn to cascading waterfalls crashing down the jagged rocks into the fjords, delighting the senses.  

    Occasionally, we pass idyllic fjord villages nestled along the fertile plains. One of these is Skjolden, home to 200 residents and our base for today.  

    Enjoy a trip to nearby Urnes Stave Church. Urnes is the oldest stave church in Norway, built in the 12th century, and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An outstanding example of traditional Scandinavian wooden architecture, it brings together Celtic art, Viking traditions and Romanesque style. Marvel at the church’s exquisite interior carvings, notable for both their artistic and historical significance.  

    As you’ll find out from the Expedition Team’s talk today, friluftsliv is a very Norwegian life philosophy that combines a deep respect for nature with a love of life outdoors. You’ll have the chance to put friluftsliv into practice by joining optional excursions that explore Lustrafjord, such as fantastic mountain hikes with the Expedition Team or a thrilling kayaking trip. 

    In the evening, we may do a scenic cruise of Nærøyfjorden, a UNESCO World Heritage site selected for having “among the most scenically outstanding landscapes in the world”. Nærøyfjord is also singled out for its dramatic contrasts; the narrowest fjord in the world – 250 metres at its narrowest – bookmarked by towering vertical mountain walls as high as 1,700 metres. It’s also the deepest fjord in the world. 

    Day 5
    Skjolden, Sognefjord, Norway - Full Day

    Idyllic fjord villages and stave churches

  • Day 6
    Geirangerfjord, Norway - Anchored - Full Day

    Seven wonderful waterfalls

    After breakfast, we sail into the fjord system leading to Geirangerfjord in the Sunnmøre region of western Norway. The deep emerald green colour of the fjord itself and the fairytale landscape has led to Geirangerfjord often being referred to as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Norwegian fjords.

    Springtime is arguably the best season to see Geirangerfjord: there are fewer visitors; the weather will be milder; the sun may glisten on the fjord and warm your face; and the snow will have started to melt into mesmerising waterfalls. Looming above you, undaunted by the sun, will be majestic snow-capped mountain tops. 

    Wrap up and get out on deck today as you won’t want to miss a thing. We’ll be sailing past Geirangerfjord’s famous waterfalls: the most well-known being Brudesløret – the Bridal Veil. You will most definitely notice De syv søstrene, the Seven Sisters, one of the most photographed waterfalls in Geirangerfjord. They comprise seven waterfalls that thunder down the mountainside right next to an abandoned farm, the contrast merely emphasising the power of nature.

    Frieren, the Suitor, lies across the fjord from the Seven Sisters. The way the water diverts into two streams as it tumbles down the rock walls makes the entire waterfall resemble a bottle.

    We will choose a totally secluded spot in the fjord itself to drop anchor, one that affords us the most spectacular views. Tender boats will take you ashore to further explore the special nature of the fjords and its many small communities. We have handpicked some fantastic optional activities for you to enjoy in Geirangerfjord. Among them is the chance to kayak on the fjord, as long as the weather is favourable to do so.

    Inspired by the outstanding natural beauty you’ve seen today, when we head back on board, you may wish to express this creatively in an art and craft workshop or perhaps hear from the Expedition Team how nature has inspired Norwegian art and culture. Once the sun has set and the shadows of the mountains stretch toward us, we will raise anchor and sail towards our next port of call, Nordfjord. 

    • Included Norwegian Fjord Center
    Day 6
    Geirangerfjord, Norway - Anchored - Full Day

    Seven wonderful waterfalls

  • Day 7
    Loen, Nordfjord, Norway - Anchored - Full Day

    The view from the top

    In the morning we enter Nordfjord, the sixth longest fjord in Norway. This fjord was created by the Jostedalsbreen Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in Europe. Aside from breathtaking glaciers and fjords, you’ll see mountains, fertile valleys and beautiful sandy beaches.

    Our chosen destination to explore the best of Nordfjord is Loen, at the base of the fjord and of Mount Hoven. We dock outside Loen itself, and use small boats to reach the small town. Loen’s Skylift cable car is one of the steepest in the world, climbing 1,100 metres at a gradient up to 60°. From the top of Mount Hoven, you’ll have spectacular views of the mountains, valleys and the fjord.

    For optional excursions, if weather allows, you can join guided hikes along alpine trails. Down on Loen’s green banks, you can opt to see the fjord from a different perspective, out on the water aboard your own kayak. Another of Nordfjord’s popular attractions is the impressive Briksdalsbreen Glacier. This glistening, blue solid ice mass flows over the mountains and squeezes through the high peaks. The nearby Kleivafossen waterfall is also a popular attraction.

    We set sail out the fjord as the sun sets in the west. We sail past the Hornelen sea cliff, the tallest in Europe. It will mark our farewell to the fjords in the north.

    • Included Loen Skylift
    Day 7
    Loen, Nordfjord, Norway - Anchored - Full Day

    The view from the top

  • Day 8
    Rosendal/Sunndal, Hardangerfjord, Norway - Anchored - Half Day

    Your first fjord in spring bloom

    Welcome to Hardangerfjord, the fifth-longest fjord in the world, and the second-longest in Norway. The climate here is mild, and in spring the hillsides are blanketed in the white blossom of some of the prettiest apple orchards in Norway. The region is understandably famous for its apple products, from jams and juice to its award-winning cider, which one food writer described as ‘Nordic Champagne’.

    Today, we’ll explore either of the villages of Sunndal or Rosendal, depending on local conditions. From Sunndal, located close to the Bondhus Glacier, you can explore the area on a scenic hike, or go kayaking with the Expedition Team as optional excursions.

    With only 800 inhabitants, Rosendal is a small, charming village. The biggest attraction is the 16th century Barony, a manor famous for its beautiful rose garden and landscaped grounds. Why not also stop in at one of the small cafés in the village and sample the delicious local produce?

    • Included Rosendal – Folgefonn Centre
    Day 8
    Rosendal/Sunndal, Hardangerfjord, Norway - Anchored - Half Day

    Your first fjord in spring bloom

  • Day 9
    Lysefjord, Norway - Anchored - Full Day

    On a high at Pulpit Rock

    In the morning, we sail as deep as possible into imposing Lysefjord towards the iconic viewpoint at Preikestolen. Lysefjord is 25 miles long, up to 1,384 ft deep and boasts some of the most striking vertical cliffs of all the Norwegian fjords.

    Preikestolen, also known as Pulpit Rock, is perhaps the most famous tourist attraction in Norway and the popular subject of many social media posts. As we approach Preikestolen, we hope to be treated to a fine view of this incredible rock formation from below. We might also see the equally renowned Kjæragbolten, where a giant boulder seems precariously wedged in a mountain crevasse.

    If weather conditions allow, you’ll have an optional excursion to do the five-hour guided hike to the Preikestolen viewpoint 1,982 ft above Lysefjord.

    If you’ve remained on the ship, you can spend time out on deck drinking in the magnificent scenery, looking up at the majestic mountains towering above you. After a scenic cruise of the fjord and collecting our tired but exhilarated hikers, it’ll be time for us to set sail for Dover.

    Day 9
    Lysefjord, Norway - Anchored - Full Day

    On a high at Pulpit Rock

  • Day 10
    Sea day

    Three cheers for Norway!

    Today is a day at sea. By this stage of your journey, you’ll have made friends with your fellow explorers, finding that you have much in common in terms of your interests and passion for nature.

    You can spend time chatting with them over a snack at the bistro-like Fredheim, perhaps recalling the best moments of your expedition cruise together. Enjoy drinks at the Explorer Bar while swapping friendly banter and stories of past adventures. You might even catch a couple of the crew and Expedition Team here too. Today is Norway’s national day so there may also be some festivities on the ship.

    Make the most of your day on board MS Maud. You may want to soak your tired limbs in the hot tub, work out in the gym, relax in the Explorer lounge or edit the photographs from your trip. Don’t miss the Expedition Team as they review the highlights of our memorable expedition cruise to the fjords of Norway. As we cross the North Sea, you may spot seabirds and dolphins that like to follow the ship.

    Day 10
    Sea day

    Three cheers for Norway!

  • Day 11
    Dover, UK

    Un-fjord-gettable memories

    We pass the White Cliffs of Dover during the early morning hours and dock at the harbour. After breakfast, it’s time to leave your home for the past 11 days. As you head back, you’ll have some unforgettable memories of the magnificent fjords along Norway’s west coast.

    Dover acts as the gateway to the English countryside, the verdant counties of Kent and Surrey, and beyond to the city of London. But before you rush off, Dover itself has a number of attractions you won’t want to miss either.

    No trip here is complete without walking alongside or atop the iconic white cliffs that have become a symbol for England. One of the best places to do so is on a walk to St. Margaret’s Bay which offers great views of the chalky coastline from its wide shingle beach.

    You might also like to visit Dover Castle, tipped to be the largest in England. There is a rare Roman lighthouse here, one of only three in the world and reputedly the UK’s oldest building. You can also go on a tour of the underground hospital and secret WWII tunnels that run beneath the castle complex.

    Whatever’s next for you, we wish you a safe onward journey and look forward to seeing you on your next adventure!

    Day 11
    Dover, UK

    Un-fjord-gettable memories

Departures

What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard Activities

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • Citizen Science program allows guests to assist with live scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna and indoor gym
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

Landing Activities

  • Trekking poles, head lamps and walking poles available if necessary
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities expected
MS Maud
Interior in restaurant Lindstrøm
Photo: Oscar Farrera
Your Ship

MS Maud

Year built 2003
Shipyard Fosen Mek. Verk. (N)
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Beds 500
Gross tonnage 16,151 T
Length 445 ft
Beam 70.5 ft
Speed 15 knots

Formerly the MS Midnatsol, the MS Maud is well-suited for expedition cruising.

Read more about MS Maud

Science center - MS Maud
Photo: Oscar Farrera

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