For a cruise packed with gleaming glaciers, majestic mountain peaks, wild waterfalls and glistening lakes, the Fantastic Fjords (Explorer) itinerary takes you even closer to the stunning scenery of Norway.
* The order of the itinerary may differ depending on your chosen departure date and airport.
Day 1 – Southampton, England
Your journey starts at 4pm from Southampton Port.
Get here early if possible, as there’s plenty to explore in this busy port city. Its harbour has a large shopping complex, and its attractions include an interactive model of the Titanic and the biggest working steam ship in Britain.
Day 2 – At Sea
Take this day to relax and get to know Marella Explorer. There’s a host of facilities to keep everyone happy. Children can head to the kids club, Hideout or mini-golf, while couples can enjoy choosing from its 10 restaurants and 10 bars.
For a fantastic dining experience, try the Kora La for delicious curries and noodle dishes complete with Oriental-style lanterns, or go Spanish at the Tapas @ The Mediterranean restaurant. You can even enjoy full waiter service at the stylish main dining room Latitude 53.
Day 3 – Haugesund, Norway
Time in port: 08:00-17:00
Where better to start your fantastic fjords cruise than the birthplace of Norway, homeland of the Viking Kings.
The battle that created one country took place down the road from Haugesund in 872 AD. It’s commemorated in Norway’s national monument, an imposingly tall obelisk.
Just a 10-minute walk from the port, you’ll find characteristic timber houses with a unique pastel-pink Town Hall. Catch a taxi to the top of Steinsfjellet Mountain for panoramic views overlooking the fjords.
For part of your day you could also head to nearby Karmøy Island on a excursion with Marella Cruises. You'll visit the islands capital, Skudeneshaven, a city by name but quaint village in nature.
Take a guided tour around the Mælandgården Museum before retreating to charming cafe for a hot drink, homemade waffle or even a traditional plate of dumplings!
Day 4 – Flåm, Norway
Time in port: 08:00-18:00
You next stop is Flåm, translated as ‘little place between steep mountains’ which gives you a flavour of what to expect. This delightful village is nestled inside the world’s longest and deepest fjord. Its rustic wooden lodges look like miniature models on towering cliff faces.
Take a boat trip around the fjord to one of its most beautiful areas, Næroyfjord, now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Flåm is famous for the world’s steepest railway. Going 865 metres above sea level, it’s an impressive trip. Experience hairpin bends and cliff-edge tunnels while admiring striking mountain scenery and tumbling waterfalls along the way.
Just 25 minutes from Flåm are the White Caves of Gudvangen. This underground labyrinth is made magical with its thrilling light show and classical soundtrack.
Day 5 – Geiranger, Norway
Time in port: 09:00-16:00
Arriving in Geiranger, you’ll find snow-topped mountains, glacial lakes and picturesque working farms clinging to the mountainside. It’s no surprise this UNESCO World Heritage Site is called the ‘world’s most beautiful fjord’.
The farms have existed here for centuries. Visit one of the largest, 300-year-old Herdal Home Farm and see how goats’ cheese is made. This three and a half hour excursion takes you past remarkable views of the Geirangerfjord, Seven Sisters Waterfall and Eidsdal Lake.
If you have time, take the 2 hour tour to Mount Dalsnibba. From its peak 1,500 metres above sea level, you’ll find the most breathtaking views imaginable.
Day 6 – Olden, Norway
Time in port: 08:00-17:00
Next on the list of your Fantastic Fjords (Explorer) itinerary is Olden. Famous as the gateway to the gleaming Briksdalsbreen Glacier.
Take the bus and in 45 minutes, you’ll reach this million-year-old glacier complete with thundering waterfalls and icy shimmer. On the way you'll see Olden Lake, known as Norway’s most beautiful lake with its unique green appearance.
Day 7 – Stavanger, Norway
Time in port: 10:00-17:00
Your journey is not complete until you’ve reached Stavanger. Home to the King of Norway's residence, Ledaal Manor, it’s full of charm and history.
Docking in the city centre, Old Stavanger is just a short stroll away. It’s packed with ancient wooden houses along narrow cobbled lanes from the 18th-century. Visit the 12th-century cathedral and stroll around its colourful market square – a favourite meeting place for locals.
Take a boat tour to the famous flat-topped cliff, Pulpit Rock, towering over the sea.
Day 8 – At Sea
As you head home, spend the day lounging around Marella Explorer’s large pool. Try something new and head to the Indigo bar where flare demonstrations and cocktail-making sessions are available.
Don’t miss one of the unique 12 shows on every night in the Broadway Show Lounge. For families, catch the latest cinema screening or for those travelling alone, enjoy a luxurious treatment courtesy of Champneys own state-of-the art spa.
Day 9 – Southampton, England
After a trip to the world famous glaciers, fjords and waterfalls, you’ll arrive back refreshed and rejuvenated with memories to last a lifetime.