Take Your Family On A Norwegian Fjords Cruise
By Nancy Schretter, Editor
Families and multigenerational groups are heading to Norway in record numbers. Family travel to Norway skyrocketed after the release of Disney’s blockbuster movie, Frozen. Set in Norway, the movie’s engaging story and beautiful visuals have made it the most popular animated motion picture of all time.
Norway is a bucket list destination in its own right though, with much to explore. It’s no surprise that Norway’s fjords region won Best Destination (Europe) in the last year’s Cruise Awards. Norway has the stuff fairy tales are made of – all in a real world setting.
Voyages through Norway’s fjords are offered by several family–friendly cruise lines including MSC Cruises. MSC Cruises’ Norwegian Fjords cruise holidays are well designed for families. These Norway family vacations offer the best of all worlds, both on land and at sea. Here are ten great reasons to take your family on a Norwegian Fjords cruise:
1. Spectacular Surroundings. Norway is an ideal destination for families seeking incredible natural beauty and memorable outdoor experiences. Norway’s landscape is one of breathtaking extremes. On Norway cruise itineraries, high snow-capped mountain ranges give way to deep fjords surrounding picturesque villages. Norway is also home to vibrant cities filled with centuries-old castles, stave churches and bustling wharves. Families are sure to make lifelong memories in this spectacular setting.
2. Idyllic Fjords Experience. Taking a cruise along the Norwegian fjords is the best way to see Norway’s charming towns and vistas in a relatively short period of time. It’s a relaxing way of travel as well. Simply unpack once and the best of Norway arrives at your doorstep. Two of Norway’s most magnificent fjords, UNESCO World Heritage sites Geirangerfjord and Naeroyfjord, provided visual and story inspiration Disney’s Frozen. Scenic Naeroyfjord is the narrowest fjord in the world, with waterfalls cascading down snow–capped mountains towering as much as a mile high over the fjord’s deep waters. Both of these destinations can be visited on one of MSC Cruises’ family–friendly Norwegian Fjords cruise itineraries.
3. Best Family Vacation Value. Traveling by land within Norway is expensive. According to a recent survey, Norway is one of the top five most expensive countries in the world. Cruises provide a reasonably priced way for families to experience the beauty and culture of Norway without breaking the bank. Instead of paying for hotels, meals and transportation in Norwegian kroner, families can save lots of money by sleeping and dining at their floating resort hotel. Certain cruise lines provide special rates as well. MSC Cruises offers special discounts for families on select Norwegian Fjords sailings. Children ages 11 and under cruise free when sharing the cabin with two adults, with taxes and fees additional. The cruise line also offers exclusive savings for military personnel and civil service members. See MSC Cruises’ website for complete details.
4. Family-Friendly Ships. Top family-focused ships offer attractions for every interest and age group. That’s one of the many reasons why cruising is such an excellent option for Norway family vacation. MSC Cruises’ combination of amenity-laden ships, strong family focus and exciting itineraries adds up to a perfect Norwegian Fjords vacation for both parents and kids. MSC Cruises has a wide variety of kids and teens programs on their Norwegian Fjords cruises. There’s MSC Baby Time for little ones under 3, Mini Club Sailors for children ages 3-6, Juniors Club Pirates for kids ages 7-11, Y-Team for young teens ages 12-14, and the MSC Generation Teen Club for kids 15-17. Engaging activities are offered each day and are fully supervised by the ship’s experienced multilingual children’s entertainment staff. In addition to separate programs for kids and teens, fun activities for the entire family to enjoy are offered as well. Parents can take advantage of MSC’s late-night “Kids Around The Clock” program from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., letting them enjoy a great evening out while kids play with their friends. Parents and kids rave about MSC Cruises’ special programming including the LEGO Experience, MSC for UNICEF Day, DOREBRO sports program, and Kelly & Kloe OnBoard themed activities and auditions. Special kids’ menus are available at restaurants onboard and the cruise line’s Happy Dinners and Fun Time Dinners programs let kids dine and have fun while parents enjoy relaxed evening meals together.
5. Cool Rides. Norwegian fjords cruises offer opportunities to experience amazing excursions. Kids love trains and the Flam Railway has been named one of the world’s greatest railway trips. The steepest standard-gauge railway in the world, the Flam Railway runs between Flam and Myrdal offering families magnificent mountain scenery, dazzling waterfalls and splendid vistas around every turn. Riding the Flam Railway up to Myrdal and biking back down can be a great option for those with older children. Families visiting Bergen will want to take the Floibanen Funicular ride to the top of Mount Floyen for great hiking opportunities, beautiful views, and family fun with photogenic goats that seemingly love posing for pictures.
6. Storybook Towns and Villages. Norway is a family-friendly country filled with folklore, legends and fairy tales. Many aspects of Frozen’s fictional kingdom of Arendelle can be found in Bergen, a UNESCO World Heritage port city located on Norway’s west coast. Bergen has been an important trading center for Norway since the Middle Ages. As one of the centers of the Hanseatic League, the historic wharf quarter of Bryggen contains colorful narrow wooden buildings with peaked roofs facing the water, similar to those seen along Arendelle’s harbor. Norway’s distinctive timber stave churches are also memorable. In Flam, families can take a tour that visits nearby Borgund Stave Church, one of Norway’s best preserved wooden stave churches built around 1180. Geiranger is another of Norway’s picture perfect villages. Keep an eye out for trolls – their statues can be found everywhere.
7. Awesome Outdoor Activities. Memorable outdoor adventures are one of the top reasons to take a Norwegian Fjords cruise. Fun-loving families can enjoy glacier hikes, kayaking on mountain lakes and Rigid Inflatable Boat rides along Norway’s deep blue fjords, mountain biking, and hikes to scenic mountain views and stunning waterfalls. MSC Cruises offers shore excursions specifically designed for families on their Norwegian Fjords cruises. These tours come with special family-friendly pricing as well. MSC’s kids programs also offer extended opening hours when the ship is in port, allowing parents to spend long days exploring Norway’s enchanting ports of call while their kids are cared for by the experienced Youth Staff.
8. Cultural Enrichment. While cruising in Europe, families can learn more about the cultures of Norway and other European countries. Make the most of cultural enrichment and learning opportunities, both on and off the ship. Cruise lines such as MSC Cruises offer families the chance to fully experience Europe on land and at sea. MSC Cruise voyages have an appealing international flair. On an MSC Norwegian Fjords cruise, both parents and kids will make new friends from all across Europe and around the world. The cruise line’s family and entertainment programs also help guests to learn more about other countries and cultures. MSC’s superb hands-on cooking program for kids, DOREMI Chef by Carlo Cracco, teaches kids how to make tasty Italian dishes. MSC Cruises also offers festivals onboard their ships, including a traditional German gala featuring delicious Bavarian foods, traditional music and fun games for the entire family.
9. Unique Attractions. Norway is home to a number of special attractions, particularly in the port of Bergen. Bergen’s highlights for families include the Bergen Science Center, historic Bryggen Wharf, Bergen Fish Market and the Bergen Aquarium. Families with history buffs enjoy visiting the city’s outstanding Hanseatic Museum as well as Fantoft Stavkirke, Bergen Fortress and the Rosenkrantz Tower. Troldhaugen, the beautifully restored former residence of composer Edvard Grieg, is another popular spot for families to visit. Norway is very family-friendly, as are Germany and Denmark. Children’s playgrounds are available in every port of call.
10. Easy Access. Utilized by MSC Cruises and others, Copenhagen is an excellent embarkation port for a Norwegian Fjords cruise. The city is served by low cost airlines and direct round-trip airfares are reasonable compared with other European flights. In addition, Copenhagen has a wealth of historical spots and attractions to explore. Warnemunde, Kiel and Rostock in Germany are also good embarkation ports. All of these cities are easily accessible from Berlin by train, so families can fly into Berlin a few days before their cruise to fully experience all Germany’s capital has to offer.
If You Go:
For more detailed information on MSC Cruises’, visit their website at MSC Cruises. Full details on MSC Cruises’ Norwegian Fjords voyages can be found on the site as well.
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