Wintertime Fjords with up Helly Aa

25th Jan 2023 9 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L2303
Sognefjord, Norway Sognefjord, Norway

Making the most of a rare wintertime exploration of Norway’s magical fjords, you’ll enjoy a very special seasonal snapshot of inspirational landscapes and enchanting destinations. Breathe in crisp, fresh air and savour spectacular scenery, from on board your ship and during time ashore, all before heading to Scotland in time for the Shetlands’ annual Up Helly Aa celebrations. [ReadMoreMob]

Ashore in Stavanger, you’re sure to feel the warmth of this culture-rich city through the winter chill, as you explore charming districts such as historic Gamla Stavanger. Heading deeper into the fjordland, a winter wonderland of awe-inspiring mountains and frosted waterfalls awaits within Sognefjord and Aurlandsfjord. In pretty Eidfjord, a choice of unforgettable experiences await. You could opt for a tour to see Vøringsfossen – one of Norway’s most famous waterfalls – in all its tumbling glory; or even visit the Hardanger Juice and Cider Factory to sample locally produced delights. To see Hardangerfjord’s colourful spring flora and impressive landscapes, perhaps join a kayaking adventure before returning to your ship for a memorable scenic cruising of the ‘Queen of the Fjords’. [ReadMoreDesk]

Then there’s Bergen, where postcard-perfect photo opportunities are yours to take advantage of at the top of majestic Mount Fløyen. Reached via funicular railway, the peak of Fløyen is the perfect place from which to appreciate Bergen’s spellbinding winter scenery. With a full day in this Hanseatic city, there’s time to uncover diverse attractions, such as the UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf and the Troldhaugen Museum, too. Finally, after leaving Norway, you’ll sail for home via the Shetlands, where your call into Lerwick is perfectly timed for the Up Helly Aa Festival. You’ll catch the Viking parade in the evening and see hundreds of guizers, dressed in traditional Viking costume and carrying flaming torches, march the streets before partaking in the ceremonial burning of a replica Viking ship. An unforgettable experience and unique end to your winter cruise adventure.  

Your Itinerary

  • A rare wintertime exploration of Norway’s magical fjords
  • Savour the spectacular scenes of Sognefjord
  • In the Shetland Islands catch the Up Helly Aa Festival
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Balmoral, carrying up to 1,350 guests is small enough to navigate narrow waterways such as Kiel Canal and bring inspirational sights and experiences closer to you.

Like the rest of the fleet, Balmoral retains a warm, welcoming atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation and lounges, stylish restaurants and plenty of open-deck space.

In recent years, we have seen a new era emerging in cruising.

There is a trend for everything to get bigger and busier, and for a cruise to be seen as an alternative to a large luxury resort, with a limitless flurry of activity. But this is not for us. Find out more 

1. WE ARE PROUD TO SAIL OUR OWN COURSE

We are free to do things a different way because we are family-run. Of course some people enjoy the bigger, busier cruises, but it is not for everyone, and it is not for us. We prefer to do things, 'The Olsen Way'.

2. SMALLER IS BETTER

We have fewer guests, so the atmosphere on board our ships is always warm and civilised. Our smaller ships allow us to visit the more interesting places that the world has to offer.

3. HAND-CRAFTED, NOT MASS PRODUCED

We pride ourselves on putting our all into the Fred. Olsen cruise experience. Our itineraries are created from scratch every year, our service is genuinely personal and each and every area of our ships is designed by hand.