Monday, 20 June 2016

A Norwegian Cruise on the Disney Magic - where we stopped and what we did

On our recent cruise to Norway aboard the Disney Magic we made four stops in Norway, and I thought I'd share a little bit about what we got up to in each port. As our children are quite little we generally spent the morning in port before returning to the ship for lunch and afternoon activities. One of the things that was brilliant about this itinerary was that the ship docked right in the centre of town at each stop so it was an easy walk to see the main sights. We saw the sights independently and didn't take any official Disney Port Adventure excursions.

Stavanger


Our first stop was Stavanger, and we began the day at the The Norwegian Petroleum Museum (Norsk Oljemuseum). It's a great museum with plenty to see and lots of really interesting information about the petroleum industry and its importance to Norway, so it was a great first introduction to Norway for us as well.

Petroleum Museum in Stavanger

Directly outside the museum we discovered the Stavanger Geopark which was brilliant. The children had a great time exploring the play area made from recycled bits and pieces from the oil industry, all decorated with brightly coloured graffiti.

Stavanger Geopark with graffiti

Then we went for a short walk around the town back to the ship, taking in the lovely park and cathedral, it's a really lovely town for strolling around.

Town park and lake in Stavanger

Alesund


In Alesund we visited The Sunnmøre Museum, an open air museum located a short bus ride from the dock. The museum contains more than 55 well preserved buildings which trace the history of the area from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.

The Sunnmore Museum in Alesund

On the way back we got off the bus a couple of stops before the dock and headed for the Town Park, where we climbed the 418 step staircase up to Mount Aksla. It was a busy climb but the children managed it fine and although a little cloudy we had some fantastic views from the top, all across the town and back to the ship.

Alesund hill, Disney Magic cruise stop

Geiranger


Geiranger is a tiny town, a village really, deep in the fjords, and there are some fantastic excursions that you can book here both through the cruise line and privately. We opted for a tour on the red Hop On Hop Off bus which took us to the Flydalsjuvet Viewpoint and also made a couple of other stops. With hindsight we should perhaps have investigated a private taxi, as it was quite an expensive trip. It was worth doing though, we had around ten minutes to spend at the viewpoint which was spectacular and the journey up along hairpin bends was breathtaking also.

Disney Magic docked in Geiranger Fjord

On our way down we got off the bus at the Norwegian Fjord Centre and the top of the Waterfall Walk. The Waterfall Walk is a safe walk with steps and walkways alongside the waterfall which runs through the town. Going down was much easier for little legs, but going up it's perhaps easier to appreciate the views. There is quite a lot of spray from the water so it's a good idea to have a jacket, and the spray makes lovely rainbows if it's sunny. The walk starts right in the middle of town and it's easy to find.

Geiranger Fjord in Norway

Back at the bottom we went for a short walk around the bay, it was a nice flat stroll with a stream for the children to throw leaves in and some lovely views of the ship nestled in the fjord.

Bergen


Bergen was the largest town that we visited, but everything we wanted to see was well within walking distance. We started our day by taking the funicular (Floibanen) to the top of Mount Floyen. There was quite a queue when we arrived so we saved some time by booking tickets on our phone (using the free wi-fi there) and so were able to get straight on to a train. When we left there was an even longer queue, so if you know that you'll be visiting it's definitely worth booking tickets in advance and arriving early in the day.

A cruise stop in Bergen, Norway

At the top of Mount Floyen we had some spectacular scenic views over the town, and then the children were delighted to find not one but several different playgrounds spread across the mountain top. It would probably be a lovely walk up and/or down the hill if you were up to it, and it was really beautiful. All around the playground there were carved trolls dotted about and we had a lot of fun hunting for them, there was even a little house with a couple of trolls inside.

Wood carved trolls in Bergen forest

Then we walked back through the town, we had a quick look around the market and admired the Bryggen area with its picturesque historic houses, and spent our last few bits of Norwegian money in the gift shops.

We really enjoyed all the ports on this itinerary!

If you are interested in a cruise on the Disney Magic you can find my Stateroom review and video here, or else enjoy a video of the Adventures Away Celebration Party below!

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