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The Best Time to Take a Cruise in Norway

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The cruise season in Norway is between June and August, but many prefer to go in late spring and early summer to beat the crowds and enjoy the long days exploring fjords and discovering wildlife including polar bears and walruses. The sun shines for 24 hours a day during the summer months in northern Norway and the ice has melted, making for exciting opportunities to spot animals during the evenings at places that can’t be reached during the rest of the year.

Norway cruises that visit Svalbard travel through an archipelago that is often referred to at the wildlife capital of the artic. Excursions that visit here are polar adventures as the region is located between mainland Norway and the North Pole. 

The fjords of Northern Norway have their own highlights, including a chance to see the Northern Lights. Far off fishing villages, hikes on glaciers in snowshoes, and discovering the Norse history through ancient artifacts make these trips once a lifetime experience.

May in Norway ushers in the summer with melting snowpack, trees in bloom, and falls cascading with water after the cold season. Norwegian Constitution Day is on May 17th, this is when the people of the country take to the streets in traditional garb for celebrations that rival New Year and Christmas. Oslo holds an all-day party during May, where children and local politicians are the focus of the holiday. Additionally, May will be a lot less crowded compared to the later summer months.

June 21st is the longest day of the year in Norway. The sun rises at around 3 in the morning and sets just before midnight. The Faerder Sailing Race is held in the middle of the month, this is the largest overnight sailing race in the world. Over 1,000 boats go from Oslo to the city of Horten. 
The weather in the northern fjords in June is stable, often reaching temperatures of almost 40℉ (4.4℃). This month is also great for whale watching, as the long days and the arrival of most prominently sperm whales give you a good chance to see these amazing creatures while cruising in between destinations.

July is the month when locals take time off to enjoy the summer in Norway. It is also the high season for wildlife. The waters of Svalbard are brimming with an underwater eco-system that attracts walruses, seals, and whales while millions of birds, including over thirty species, flock to the archipelago each summer to feed and breed. The best way to view these amazing creatures is definitely from the top of a cruise boat, so be sure to book a cruise during this month if you’re interested in Norway’s unique wildlife.

Norway in August is at the height of its busy summer season where the long days, mild weather, and summer holidays bring both international travelers and locals into the limelight. The arctic ice flows have melted making places like Spitsbergen easier to get through for exhibition ships.
From late July to early August the town of Trondheim is the site of the St. Olav Festival that celebrates the achievements of Norway’s patron saint, Olaf II Haraldsson. Historical reenactments of famous battles, pageants, music, and food make it a local favorite that shouldn’t be missed if you are in the region during this time of year.  

For more information about taking a cruise fit around your schedule in Norway, contact one of our travel experts.

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