Kristiansand, Norway

Introduction to Kristiansand, Norway

Part of the charm of Kristiansand lies in its Renaissance style, particularly of the Kvadraturen Quadrant with its formal street plans and elegant buildings. The town is also home to some of the best beaches in southern Norway, while just offshore there are small islands dotted with white houses, many of which have beautifully tended gardens.

The Christiansholm fortress on the waterfront dates from 1674 has only been used once in anger and is perfectly preserved offering great views out over the sea from the top of its two-metre thick walls. The tower of the Kristiansand Domkirke is also a great spot for seeing the town from above. As a building it is rather less attractive than the Oddernes Kirke, one of the oldest parish churches in Norway, parts of which date back nearly a thousand years. 

Don't miss Posebyen, Kristiansand’s Old Town district. Posebyen is packed with tiny but very attractive traditional houses, dating from the 17th century when the city was founded by King Christian IV. Said to be the most characteristic area in Kristiansand, Posebyen is well worth a visit. 

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Kristiansund, Norway


  • Discover the 17th century town of Kristiansand
  • Explore the open air Vest Agder Museum
  • Enjoy a visit to the former fishing village of Høllen
Panoramic Coach Tour
Price£55.00 - £65.00
DurationApproximately 3.5 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

On Norway’s sunny southern tip, facing the waters of the Skagerrak at the entrance to the Baltic, stands Kristiansand - a 17th century town of wide streets, a lively fishing harbour, market and the picturesque Kvadraturen quarter.

From your coach, admire the enchanting wooden houses, the more modern parts of town, residential areas, the small harbour and Christiansholm Fortress, built in 1672 and surrounded by an attractive park. Further on glimpse Oddernes Church – dating from around 1150 it is one of the oldest Olav churches in Norway.

A stop will be made at Vest Agder County Museum – a large open air museum with 30 or so houses collected and re-erected here from the surrounding districts. Heading towards Søgne, visit Høllen and stop to enjoy a short walk. Høllen is a former fishing village, and there is a myriad of islands off the coast. Visit the old church in Søgne with a richly adorned interior.

You return to Kristiansand via the coastal road, lined with idyllic summer holiday homes.


Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: Please note that this tour involves walking over uneven ground and steps at the open air museum, as well as walking through the fishermen’s street and at the church, where there are a couple of steps. Unfortunately it is not recommended for guests with limited mobility. The visit to the church is subject to no religious services taking place.  Please note that places of interest may be visited in reverse order from that described. 


Arkivet Foundation, Kristiansund, Norway


  • Visit the Arkivet Foundation and see the tough conditions imposed during the war 
  • The Canon Museum is home to the only remaining 380mm Krupp gun in the world
  • Admire the giant cannon remaining from the German occupation
Activity Tour
Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Learn about life in occupied Norway during the Second World War, as you enjoy informative visits to the Cannon Museum and Arkivet Foundation.

A short drive from the centre of Kristiansand will take you to Møvik and the Kristiansand Cannon Museum. The Vara Battery houses the world's second largest cannon ever to be mounted on land. The reason why these gigantic cannons came to Møvik was that during the occupation of Norway and Denmark in 1940, the Germans needed to guard the shipping lanes of the Skagerak. The 38 centimetre cannons were placed both here at Møvik and, across the shortest distance of the Skagerak, at Hanstholm in Denmark some 116 kilometres away. The Museum is home to the only remaining cannon of the four built, so you can view this 337 ton and 26 metre long weapon during your visit.

Continue to the Arkivet Foundation – a centre for information, documentation, education, research, art and culture. During World War II the basement of this very building was used by the Gestapo for prison cells and torture chambers, and they have been reconstructed today. The terrible events which took place here are illustrated with the help of realistic copies of equipment and mannequins in order to give a glimpse into the activities and atmosphere of the Arkivet between 1942 and 1945. By promoting dialogue, historical reflection and communication among different generations, the Arkivet Foundation aims to promote human rights, human dignity, peace building and conflict prevention. You can enjoy a guided visit followed by some free time, before the return drive to your ship.


Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour includes disturbing and emotionally difficult content, photo and video material, however, we have decided to include it in the tour programme for those who wish to learn more about these traumatic times. This tour is not recommended for children under the age of 12 years. This tour involves a moderate amount of walking as well as steps and stairs at both locations, therefore it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. The Arkivet visit is mainly in the basement which has electric lighting, but only two small windows, so it may not be suitable for guests who suffer from claustrophobia. The order of the visits may operate in reverse.


Kristansund, Norway


  • Discover the highlights of Kristiansand on a walking tour 
  • Learn more about this area’s interesting and colourful history
  • Be welcomed into a Norwegian home and enjoy homemade refreshments  
Activity Tour
Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 3 Hours
LimitationVery limited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Kristiansand is a charming town - the fifth largest in Norway, but small enough to be enjoyed on a leisurely and informative walk with your guide.

The fortress from the 1670’s, the Gothic-style Cathedral from the late 1880’s and Kilden, the stunning Performing Arts Centre which opened in 2012, are some of the buildings you will see during your walk. You will visit the Fish Market and the marketplace next to the cathedral which is bustling in summer with flowers and fresh farm produce.

Continuing, you visit a typical home in the old part of town, where some of the timber houses date back to the 1700’s. You will see the private back garden, shielded from the outside world, and hear about this area’s interesting and colourful history. Feel free to ask questions which will help you understand the local way of life. During your time here, you can savour some traditional Norwegian pastries to enjoy with a cup of coffee.

After this unique opportunity to gain an insight into the Norwegian way of life, you will walk back to your ship.


Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking and is not suitable for wheelchair users due to the home visit, which also involves steps. Please note that the market may be closed – in which case you will not stop here for a visit but will continue your the walking tour.


Lillesand, Norway


  • Enjoy a leisurely cruise along the Norwegian coastline
  • Admire the idyllic views and beautiful vistas
  • Explore the historic 17th century town of Lillesand 
Boat Tour
Price£100.00 - £120.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

A boat trip along the island-speckled coast to the neighbouring town of Lillesand is one of the highlights of a visit to Kristiansand. 

The voyage takes you through an island paradise of extraordinary beauty, with idyllic views in close succession – old outposts, traditional mariner's houses now romantic summerhouses, and fascinating nature.  As you relax onboard, lovely recreational areas, bathing spots and idyllic settlements pass by. This paradise of little islands offers scenic views at every glance.

On arrival in the picturesque town of Lillesand, enjoy a short stroll with your guide to explore the town which dates back to the 17th century. In the late 1880’s its ship owners owned a total of 87 sailing ships and several shipyards. Today many of the town's 10,000 inhabitants live in the 18th and 19th century wooden houses which are characteristic of the harbour and town centre. The return to Kristiansand will be by coach.


Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: The boat used has a partially covered observation deck. There is a deck five steps down from the entrance, and another observation deck eight steep steps up. There are toilet facilities on the boat, although steps will need to be negotiated. This tour is not recommended for wheelchair users. Refreshments are not included but will be available to purchase onboard. Please note that places of interest may be visited in reverse order from that described – starting with the coach ride and ending with the boat trip.

Setesdal Railway, Norway


  • Enjoy a journey on the vintage railway
  • Admire the beautiful panoramas that unfold during your journey
  • Re-live memories as you travel on the railway powered by a steam engine dating from 1901
Train Tour
Price£75.00 - £85.00
DurationApproximately 3 Hours
LimitationVery limited – Pre Booking essential
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

The Setesdal railway represents part of Norway’s transport history, and is a must do for anyone visiting Kristansand to enjoy the nearly unspoilt scenery along the line.

By coach, you will head inland through fertile forest. Following the Otra river, you will finally reach Grovane Station on the line between Oslo and the city of Stavanger. The Setesdal Railway was opened in 1896 to link the town of Kristiansand with the Setesdal Valley.

From Grovane, the narrow gauge railway (with a 1,067 millimetre/42 inch track) runs northwards along the Otra River, over bridges and dams, through tunnels and avalanche shelters. The 1901 steam engine you will travel on recreates the special atmosphere of a turn-of-the-century railway journey.

Your final destination is Røyknes, having passed the deep gorge of Beihølen with a river flowing at the bottom.  Next to the railway line you observe the timber slide which was used to transport logs down to the coast for export. 


Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves limited walking – a distance of approximately 100 metres during the changeover from coach to train, and vice versa, there will also be two high steps to negotiate to board the train.

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