Geiranger (Photo:Andrey Armyagov/Shutterstock)
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Geiranger

Geiranger is a tiny little village, situated at the end of the UNESCO World Heritage-protected Geirangerfjord. The real draw is the fjord itself, with its green mountainsides, snowcapped peaks and fairytale-esque waterfalls. You'll get up close views of the fjord -- and the famous Seven Sisters and the Suitor waterfalls -- as you sail in and out of Geiranger; in summer, it'll be light out for both the early morning arrival and afternoon or early evening departure. The scenic cruising will be the highlight of a Norwegian fjords itinerary.

About Geiranger


Pro

Geiranger is where passengers will find the too-stunning-for-words Gierangerfjord

Con

Geiranger is more remote than other ports, and fog can seriously inhibit views

Bottom Line

If you're lucky enough to be booked on a cruise that calls here, don't miss the fjords


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The town of Geiranger can be traversed from end to end in about five minutes. It's got the requisite souvenir shops, restaurants serving up reindeer and caramel-tasting brown goat cheese, a charming old church and the Fjordcenter to get your fjord 411. But mostly it serves as a jumping-off point for tours in the area. For a bird's-eye view of the fjord scenery, head up to scenic viewpoints like Dalsnibba or Eagle's Bend or take to the skies in a helicopter. Or go the other direction, and hop in a kayak to get closer to nature and feel the enormity of the mountains above you. For a bit of history and culture, visit a mountain farm and learn about how people live in this remote area.

About 150 to 200 cruise ships visit Geiranger every year, bringing more than 700,000 tourists during the May-through-September tourist season. With up to five ships in port at a time -- you wouldn't think the harbor could fit that many -- tours book up and the streets in town get packed. If you've got your heart set on a specific tour, do your research and consider booking in advance. Geiranger is such a beautiful place, it would be a shame not to see it to its fullest.

Where You're Docked

Ships tender to the Geirangerfjord Cruise Terminal, three short piers side by side. Amazingly, given the tiny size of the town, a maximum of five ships can call in Geiranger in one day, with a limit of 8,000 cruise visitors.

Good to Know

Norway is very expensive. Be prepared for sticker shock if you're planning on dining in town or doing any shopping.

Also, the weather in Norway can be changeable, though bad weather can linger for hours before clearing up. Wear layers and bring rain gear -- even if it seems nice when you're preparing to debark. If you're booking any kind of tour in advance, make sure you're willing to go even if the weather is overcast or wet. On our day in Geiranger, many people reported the scenic overlooks to be fogged in with no view to be had.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Currency is the Norwegian krone (NOK). Check www.xe.com and www.oanda.com for current exchange rates. An ATM is located at the supermarket, and you can exchange currency at the Fjordbuda souvenir shop.

Language

Norwegian is a varied language, with two written forms --Nynorsk and Bokmal. When speaking, Norwegians use their own regional dialects but generally can understand each other. Most people speak excellent English, as kids learn it in school from an early age. A few key phrases to know include: hallo (hello); tak (thank you); ja (yes); and nei (no).

Shopping

In Geiranger -- as in most Norwegian ports -- you can buy the country's signature (and expensive) knitwear, as well as troll figures and other souvenirs. For a local-to-Geiranger buy, head to Geiranger Sjokolade and purchase some chocolate made in the factory on-site. It sells funky chocolate flavors such as brown cheese, aquavit and cloudberry, and you can taste before you buy. You can also buy local jams, such as molte syltetoy (cloudberry jam). If you can't wait until you get home, the cafe there makes and serves coffee and hot chocolate, baked goods and, of course, its own chocolate -- and sells Kulinaris ice cream, a Norwegian brand. Geiranger Sjokolade is located in the Holenaustet boat house off the main pedestrian shopping street. (Open daily April to September 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.)