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About Oslo

Ships sail along the tranquil Nordfjord to reach the Norwegian cruise port and capital Oslo; a spectacular city surrounded by snow-capped mountains and rolling green hills, it was founded in 1050 and has been Norway's capital since the end of the 11th century.

The modern city, an eclectic mix of ancient castles, frescoed 18th century houses, vast parks and glittering lakes, is a delight. Oslo cruise must-sees include the Viking House Museum with its display of 9th century longboats, the Munch-museet, which houses works by Edvard Munch, and the medieval Akershus Castle - a warren of secret passages, crypts, dungeons and magnificent halls.

Cruises to Oslo will also give you the opportunity to enjoy the traditional Norwegian cuisine. Near the castle, in Aker Brygge, you will find some of Norway's best restaurants serving classic dishes like fiskesuppe (fish soup), fenalar (cured leg of mutton) and multer med krem (cloudberries with cream). With such a variety of activities available for Oslo cruises make some time too for a stroll through verdant Frogner Park, home to more than 190 masterpieces by the famous sculptor Gustav Vigeland.

 

Shore excursions in Oslo

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Charming Drøbak

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

Visit the charming town of Drøbak, with its narrow streets and beautifully restored 18th century wooden houses.

Relax on board your coach as you journey to the small, picturesque town of Drøbak. Supported by the timber industry and shipping in the 1700s, Drøbak was later granted Trading Charter rights in 1842, allowing it to act as the winter harbour for Oslo, when the fjord froze and vessels couldn't reach the capital. Today the town pays well-preserved homage to the past by boasting tiny wooden houses and charming narrow streets. Strict local laws mean that many original buildings from the town’s heyday still exist, and much of the city centre looks as it did more than a century ago.

Upon arrival, a short guided walking tour will allow you to become acquainted with the town, which today is well-known for its many small arts and crafts galleries. Drøbak is also often referred to as 'The Christmas Town' due to its famous year round Christmas shop, which collects the thousands of letters written every year to Julenisse (Santa Claus). During your free time, take the opportunity to shop ahead for those special festive gifts in Scandinavia’s only permanent Christmas store. You may also choose to browse the market square stalls, purchase souvenirs in the small shops and galleries, or relax over a coffee in one of the cosy cafés.

Afterwards, head back to Olso where a stop will be made at Vigeland Sculpture Park, displaying 200 sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland in granite, bronze and wrought iron. The artist never explained his works, leaving the interpretation to the beholder.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour, as well as a few steps to negotiate.

Ice Bar and City Walking Tour

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 3 hours

Take a leisurely walk around the highlights of Oslo followed by a drink in a unique bar made totally from ice.

As you stroll past historical buildings, cosy cafés and art galleries, your knowledgeable guide will provide an interesting commentary of the history of Oslo.

On arrival at ‘Stortorget’, the big market square, you’ll see the dramatic Oslo Cathedral and the statue of King Christian IV, pointing to where the town should be rebuilt. Heading along Karl Johans Gate, you’ll pass the Parliament of Norway and the original University of Oslo buildings from 1811, before reaching the Royal Palace. Finally, you’ll stroll towards the City Hall with its 2 impressive towers and a building adorned with statues and artwork of various kind.

The highlight is a visit to ‘Icebar Oslo’, where you’ll be provided with warm clothing before entering the -5°C bar. Everything including the walls, bar counter, furniture and artwork is made from 60 tons of solid ice. Enjoy a drink served in an ice glass while you view the ice art in this unique surrounding, before taking a leisurely walk back to the port.

Essential information

This excursion will operate on foot. There is approximately 2 hours of walking over mostly flat ground with some uneven terrain and several steps. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Please dress according to the weather and carry a bottle of water. This tour will only be cancelled in extreme weather conditions. Wind and rain are not considered extreme.

Leisurely Oslo

Activity low

Duration: 2 hours

Enjoy a leisurely drive around the main sights of Oslo.

Your leisurely drive will take you past the 13th century Akershus Fortress, which is part museum and part military area, before turning towards the City Hall. The City Hall, inaugurated in 1950 at Oslo's 900 year jubilee, hosts the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony every year and is one of Oslo’s most famous buildings after its expressionist architecture won it the ‘Structure of the Century’ title in 2005. You’ll pass the eclectic Parliament of Norway building before proceeding down Karl Johan Street, named after the 19th century Swedish-Norwegian king, towards the prestigious University of Oslo, which was established in 1811.

View the impressive Royal Palace, built in 1849, which is the residence of the Royal Family. Carry on past the granite and wrought iron gates of the Vigeland Sculpture Park and begin the climb up Holmenkollen Hill. Perched high above Oslo, Holmenkollen is the cradle of ski jumping and the site of the 1952 Olympic ski jumping competition. Enjoy time here to capture photos; on clear days there are impressive views to parts of the town and the Oslofjord with its many islands.

Returning towards the town centre, drive down the busy ‘Bogstad-veien’ with its many shops, and continue along the Royal Park passing the House of Artists, and down to ‘Stortorget’ - the big market square, where you also find the Dutch baroque architecture of Oslo Cathedral, built in 1697, before returning to the port.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach. The majority of sightseeing is conducted from the comfort of your coach. Guests can remain on the coach during the stop at Holmenkollen Hill if they prefer.

Norwegian Explorers

Activity medium

Duration: 3 hours

Discover the spirit of Norwegian explorers through the ages, at three of Norway’s most fascinating museums.

As you travel to Bygdøy, you’ll pass some of Oslo’s landmarks including the City Hall, National Theatre and Royal Residence. Bygdøy, once the King's private property, is now partly laid out as a museum area, you’ll stop here for a guided visit to three interesting museums; Viking Ship, Kon-Tiki and Fram.

The Viking Ship Museum contains well preserved Viking ships, which are an example of the Viking period's daring initiative and ship building craftsmanship. The museum also houses a collection of household implements found during the excavations of the ships and a Viking Age display which includes sledges, beds, a horse cart, wood carvings, buckets and other artefacts.

The Kon-Tiki Museum houses original boats and exhibits from Thor Heyerdahl’s world famous expeditions to Ra, Tigris, Fatu-Hiva, Kon-Tiki, and Easter Island. It also has a 100 foot cave tour, cinema and an underwater exhibition containing a replica of a life-size 33 foot whale shark.

The Fram Museum shows the history of the polar explorers, including Nansen's journey across the Polar ocean, Sverdrup's expedition to Greenland and Amundsens journey to the South Pole. There are exhibits displaying animals from the Polar region and the world’s most famous polar ship, the Fram, built in 1892. The Fram is in its original condition with its interior and objects perfectly preserved.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The Fram ship is not wheelchair accessible. There are souvenir shops at the museums.

Oslo by Bike

Activity high

Duration: 3 hours

Cycle the pretty streets of Oslo for a unique view of the city.

There’s a kind of freedom that comes with being on a bike. Especially when you’re exploring a city that’s new to you. There’s a discovery around each corner and surprises in store anywhere you look.

A short walk from the pier brings you to the biking centre, where after being issued with your bike and helmet and following a safety briefing it’s time to head off. What’s nice about this tour is that you get to see a bit of everything. Oslo, old and new. Car-free cycle paths, pristine, manicured parks and charming, hidden back streets where you’ll get to see the real Oslo. You’ll even venture out along the fjord with its truly spectacular scenery.

Along the way, your guide will explain the fascinating history behind key landmarks, such as the medieval castle, the Royal Palace and the world-famous Vigeland Sculpture Park.

Afterwards, you’re free to explore Oslo on foot at your own pace, or walk directly back to the pier.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by bike and on foot. Pregnant women and children are not permitted to participate on this tour. The cycle ride is around 2½ hours over varying terrain, and includes some hills and steep inclines. Participants must be in good physical condition and some cycling experience is required. Please wear clothing suitable for bike riding and take sunscreen. Helmets are provided which must be worn.

 

A selection of cruises to Oslo

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