Sailing from Newcastle aboard Marella Explorer
Newcastle • Bergen, Norway • Olden, Norway • Molde, Norway • Honningsvag, Norway • Alta, Norway • Tromso, Norway • Bodo, Norway • Flam, Norway - Newcastle
If culture-packed cities and dramatic scenery are your holiday must-haves, our cruises from Newcastle fit the brief. You’ll get to hop between Medieval old towns on our Baltic itineraries, which take in destinations like Tallinn, Riga and Helsinki. Alternatively, some of our holidays from Newcastle zero in on Norway, ranging from 7-day taster cruises to 14-nighters.
Bergen is famous for being the birthplace of the great Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg. With its brightly-coloured houses and maze-like cobbled streets, one thing’s for sure, this city was made for strolling.
• Don’t miss one of Bergen’s main attractions, Troldhaugen, Grieg’s home. Beautifully set on Lake Nordaas, the Swiss-style house was built back in 1885. Every summer from then until his death in 1907, Edvard Grieg lived and worked here. As well as the house itself, you can visit the Edvard Grieg Museum. There’s even a concert hall where you can listen to some of his finest work.
• Scale the heights of Mount Floyen to see the city from a different perspective. The higher you get, the more jaw-dropping the views, so banish all thoughts of vertigo and reach the top.
• Take a walk down to the old harbour where you’ll find the famous Bryggen quayside, bordered by impressive merchant houses. Take your pick from the waterfront cafés and tuck into a tasty fish lunch.
This sleepy hamlet sprang into life in the 18th Century. Today, it's best known as the gateway to the gleaming Briksdalsbreen Glacier, one of Norway's 'must see' sights.
• Gaze in wonder at the million-year-old glacier. Walk along a weaving path skirting gushing waterfalls. Nothing can prepare you for the awesome sight ahead of you - the glacier is a shimmering mass of blue ice that'll leave you lost for words.
• Uncover the secret of Olden Lake’s looks. This huge body of water is known as Norway’s most beautiful lake and its unique green appearance has something to do with a substance called ‘glacier milk’.
Known as the Town of Roses, Molde is tucked away in one of the rugged pockets of Norway’s famous fjords. You might catch your reflection in a mirrored 16-storey hotel on the waterfront, and if you turn the other way you’ll see snow-capped mountains across the strait. The city centre boasts a cosmopolitan blend of cafes and boutiques, but the most talked-about spots are in the hills surrounding Molde. A 10-minute drive will get you to Varden, a beauty spot where the panoramic views are the stuff of Instagram dreams.
• Fresh fish is one of Molde’s foodie highlights. Saltwater fishermen haul in nets brimming with cod, pollock and mackerel. They all make the menu at the city’s best seafood restaurants, along with salmon and trout hooked from the region’s rivers.
• Moldejazz attracts more than 100,000 music fans every July, and holds a place among the longest-running festivals in Europe. It was started in 1961 by a local jazz club, and has evolved into a week-long party featuring the likes of the legendary Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins.
• The Romsdal Museum is one of the biggest of its kind in Norway. Work started in 1912, with more than 50 buildings from across the region painstakingly moved here to create a traditional village set-up. There are open-hearth houses and a chapel, plus a main street with an authentic Norwegian smokehouse.
The village of Honningsvag is tucked deep inside the Arctic Circle, on the island of Mageroya. It’s the most northerly point in Europe, and your gateway to the Northern Cape – a chunk of land that juts out into the sea. Guarded by the eerie Midnight Sun that floats overhead, it’s Norway’s most soul-stirring attraction.
• Stand on the 1,000 foot high cliffs at the Northern Cape to see what many have written about but few have seen – the Midnight Sun. Hanging above the Arctic Ocean, the sun casts its ever-present glow. It's a sight you'll never forget.
• Climb aboard a deep-sea raft and play fisherman for a few hours. The King Crab is one of Norway’s most famous exports, and you can head out into the deep blue to help reel in the daily catch. Afterwards, you’ll get to prepare and taste the delicious crab meat for yourself.
Alta’s the biggest town in Norway’s north. As such, it’s billed as one of the best places to hunt for the Northern Lights. In fact, that’s what inspired the town’s spiralled cathedral, which looks even more impressive when the swirling Aurora Borealis fill the sky. But there are plenty of other things going on, too, including a UNESCO-listed museum, a salmon-filled canyon and a fancy ice hotel.
The biggest city above the Arctic Circle, Tromso's been the starting point for countless polar expeditions. Norwegians call it the Paris of the North, and one thing's for sure - it's a city to fall in love with.
• Don't miss the iceberg-shaped Arctic Cathedral, which glistens in the haunting glow of the ever-present Midnight Sun
• Call in at Tromso Museum, home to the world's largest exhibition on the traditional Sami culture as well as some great examples of religious art.
• Fancy a meal 1,300 feet about sea level? Then take the cable car to Mount Storsteinen and drink in sensational panoramic views while you tuck into a tasty meal.
• Meeting the Sørensen family is no easy feat. Mum Tore, dad Tove, and their three children live at the Wilderness Centre on Whale Island, along with 300 huskies. The family race the fluffy dogs all around Greenland and they’ve got books full of stories to tell.
You’ll find Bodo just north of the Arctic Circle, perched on a peninsula with a backdrop of rocky peaks and dramatic fjords that make it incredibly easy on the eye. Known as the Sea Eagle Capital, it has the largest population of white-tailed eagles in Europe. And, during summer, it conjures a little bit of magic in the form of a midnight sun, which bathes the city in daylight around the clock.
In Norwegian, the word Flam translates as ‘little place between steep mountains’. And, although that description hits the nail on the head, it fails to really conjure up the incredible scale of the place. Flam is cradled in a deep tributary of the Sognefjord which, at 204 kilometres long and 1308 deep, is the world’s longest and deepest fjord. Surrounded by towering cliff faces, the rustic wooden lodges of Flam’s town centre look like miniature models, which adds to the charm when you’re walking around.
• Ride on the world’s steepest railway. The Flamsbana travels to 865 metres above sea level and the line is made up of a series of sharp bends and cliff-edge tunnels. The journey may seem white-knuckle, but the railway has been running safely since the Forties.
• Adventure into the White Caves of Gudvangen. This underground labyrinth is made all the more spectacular with light shows and a soundtrack of classical music.
• Sip your way through a frothy cappuccino from the coffee shop of the Stalheim Hotel. This historic building is perched at the top of the Naeroy Valley, and the views are jaw-dropping.
At a glance....
IMarella Explorer is stepping up to the plate, with more facilities than any of the other ships. This includes a bumper 10 restaurants and 10 bars, as well as an indoor cinema and a Sport & Family Deck. You can expect fleet favourites like Snack Shack and Kora La, plus brand new spaces like Indigo – a swanky bar, club and casino.
10 restaurants, 10 bars, lounges, nightclub, casino, 3 whirlpools, 1 swimming pool, Champneys beauty salon, boutiques, health club, sports deck, medical centre, internet access, air-conditioned throughout, stabilised, worldwide satellite telephone, telex and fax.
|Beam (width)||32.2 m|