Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Home Travel 5 Independent Shore Excursions For Cruise Visitors In Flåm, Norway

5 Independent Shore Excursions For Cruise Visitors In Flåm, Norway

by Staff

From a ride one of Europe’s most famous railway journeys that twists and turns through a lush valley from a mountain plateau to fjord, to a gentle stroll past waterfalls and picturesque farms to a historic church, Norway’s Flåm offers something for everyone as a cruise port call.

If you’re planning to visit Flåm on a Norwegian fjords cruise this summer, you certainly won’t be alone. Last year, 112 cruise ships with almost 240,000 passengers called in at the small Norwegian village.

With the well-publicized ban on most cruise ships entering Norway’s UNESCO World Heritage listed fjords getting ever closer, the 2024 cruising season looks set to be one of the busiest ever in Flåm.

One issue with this popularity is the lack of availability of some cruise line excursions. Some popular organized trips, notably the Flåm Railway, often sell out in advance of the cruise setting sail. But even when cruise excursions are full, that doesn’t mean you are left without options.

Ride The Flåm Railway

Tourists worldwide travel to Flåm to enjoy the breathtaking views, tunnels, and waterfalls of the 12-5-mile-long Flåm Railway.

Highlights include the photo stop at the spectacular Kjosfossen waterfall, which is at its most powerful in the spring and early summer. Make the most of the five minutes out on the platform as it’s a wonderful spot for photography.

Although cruise excursions on the Flåm Railway sell out quickly, that doesn’t mean tickets are unavailable.

Tour operators reserve a number of carriages for use by cruise line excursions. They will be full, while there’s often still space in the regular train carriages. Book a specific departure in advance, or take a chance with availability on the day.

The train’s interior is dated, but large windows give everyone a good view. Try to board early and sit on the right-hand side from Flåm to Myrdal to get the best views. However, don’t worry too much, as there are periods of impressive valley views on both sides.

The train station in Flåm is just a few minutes’ walk from the cruise ship dock, so there really is little added value by paying a lot more for the official cruise line excursion.

Fjord Sightseeing Cruise

It may seem unnecessary to get off a cruise ship and immediately board a sightseeing boat, but there are many reasons to do just that in Flåm.

Depending on your itinerary and dinner arrangements, you may miss the sailaway from Flåm. That would be a crying shame, for the hour’s sailing down the Aurlandsfjord is one of the best landscapes in the entire fjord region.

The sightseeing cruise of the Aurlandsfjord will allow you to enjoy these sights at the brightest part of the day, with the added bonus of sailing into the breathtaking Nærøyfjord, something no cruise ship is small enough to do.

It’s also a chance to appreciate Norway’s most spectacular fjord scenery on a completely silent vessel. You’ll feel as if you’re gliding along the fjord on these stylish, all-electric sightseeing ferries.

When making an independent booking, take care to understand the timetable and the conditions of booking. There aren’t many departures, so you need to be sure of timings.

Explore The Fjord By Kayak

If you do plan on enjoying the Aurlandsfjord from the deck of your cruise ship, then how about exploring the fjord from a very different vantage point?

Suitable for beginners and families, a three-hour kayak tour of the fjord is available for independent bookings every day during the cruising season, at a cost of approximately $100 per person. Experienced kayakers may prefer to simply rent a kayak at a similar price for a full-day rental.

Self-Guided Cycling Tour

With flat terrain and spectacular sights in both directions, Flåm is ideal to explore by bicycle.

All-day rental starting at $42 allows plenty of time to explore the northern route along the shore of the Aurlandsfjord, and the southern route following the river into the Flåm valley to enjoy the waterfall Brekkefossen, old farmstead buildings, and the historic church.

For a helping hand, consider spending a little more to rent an electric-powered bicycle.

Old Flåm Village Walk

It’s not necessary to spend any money at all to enjoy some of the highlights of Flåm. Allow about 45 minutes for the walk to the historic Flåm church, a 17th-century wooden church located at the heart of the old village center.

There’s a lot to see along the way, from the well-kept houses and occasional train rumbling by to the attractive river and distant waterfall Brekkefossen.

For a closer look at the waterfall and a wonderful, elevated view of the village and valley, follow the signed trail from the village.

Flåm Cruise Port Planning Tips

A big question that will help you make the most of your time is how busy the port will be on the day of your visit. Check if yours will be the only cruise ship in dock using the cruise ship calendar maintained by Flåm Port.

If there’s more than one ship (it’s possible for two to visit if one anchors in the fjord), then booking all activities in advance will be essential to avoid disappointment.

Finally, only a few hundred people live in Flåm, so the village quickly becomes overwhelmed when even a relatively small cruise ship visits.

Opponents to cruise ships have become more vocal in recent years with grassroots campaigns growing in support. There are many locals who do support the industry and the economic benefit it brings, but if you’re visiting on a large vessel, keep this ongoing debate in mind when meeting locals.

Leave a Comment

Copyright ©️ All rights reserved. | Tourism Trends