While we’d approached Bergen under grey cloud our cruise along Geirangerfjord past Hellesylt towards Geiranger itself was under blue sky and bright sunshine, although with the rock faces of the fjord being as close to the cruise ship as they were for most of the serene and impressive voyage we had plenty of shade over the decks and balconies of the Crown Princess. We had a balcony so our view of one rock face was impressive but it was evident that we were probably missing out on a completely different rock face we could also be looking at so we decided to venture up to the top deck. Where other people were. I know. Us, and other people, in the same place. Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?

We had an excursion booked – a hike, including the chance to walk behind a waterfall – which was listed as a strenuous activity in the Princess Cruises excursions guide. We’re not fit people at all but we figured we knew that the average person on a cruise ship would be probably older and about as unfit as us. How strenuous can this excursion really be? As we sat in the theatre waiting to disembark with our group we became aware that everyone else was younger than we’d realised, leaner than us (not a difficult thing), and wearing more hiking-related gear than us (a staggeringly easy achievement). We started to get worried but shrugged it off as a couple of other people of similar age and stature turned up and shared raised eyebrows with us that said “Oh, we also thought that this would be a gentle ramble with senior citizens and are instantly regretting this excursion decision but are glad that we won’t be alone when the helicopter is despatched to airlift our cardiac arrest-riddled bodies from the mountainside.”

We took the tender boat from the cruise ship to shore giving us lovely views of the Crown Princess as well as P&O Adonia and Celebrity Eclipse which were also visiting the Norwegian fjords at the same time.

Hiking Excursion

A coach took us part of the way up one of the steep hills and mountains that surrounded Geiranger before we all got out and started the ascent with our two guides. It wasn’t long before we realised it was more strenuous than we were hoping and a lot warmer than expected and we started to lag behind the others. There were a number of rests along the way, partly for everyone’s sake and partly to allow those of us at the back to catch up but, importantly, we didn’t give up, unlike some other people who did eventually turn around. We may have been the last to arrive at the highest point we were supposed to hit but we made it and, since there was another group behind the waterfall at the time preventing our group from getting in there, we didn’t hold anyone up. And my wife didn’t kill me when I asked if she was okay twenty times on the climb. But I’m glad her eyes weren’t armed.

The views of the fjord on the hike were stunning and I managed to get plenty of good pictures of Geiranger’s wonderful landscape. Taking photos also helps to give you a short rest but that’s only 95% of the reason why I did it.


After a small wait for another group of hikers to vacate the location, for us to get our breathing back to normal, and return to something approaching a sensible temperature we made our way behind the waterfall we’d hiked up the fjord landscape to see.

Westeras Farm

After the short visit to the waterfall we made our way back down some of the route we’d already hiked and headed towards Westeras Farm. This gave us the opportunity to have a snack and, more importantly, take on some liquid refreshment to combat the exertion and surprising heat of the day and stupidity of hiking up a mountain with one small water bottle between us.

We made our way from Westeras Farm back to our coach and took the short drive back down to where the tender boats were coming ashore.

Departing Geiranger

It’s perfectly possible to get to this part of the world if you’re doing a Norwegian road trip instead of going all fancy-pants and cruising like us, and Geirangerfjord is listed as one of Kat’s favourite fjords among the best places to see in Southern Norway when she visited this country. We were more than happy to know there would be no driving for us after our strenuous activity, though. The Crown Princess made its way out of Geraingerfjord the same way it had come in which allowed us to stay in our cabin and on the balcony this time around as we’d seen both sides of the fjord during the morning’s approach. With still mostly clear skies we were nevertheless still in the shade for most of the slow cruise out due to the proximity of the rock walls again.

For the cruise out of the fjord between Geiranger and Hellesylt our cabin was on the correct side to see the Seven Sisters Waterfall. This waterfall consists of seven streams which cascade up to 250 metres into the fjord below. On the opposite side of the fjord is a single waterfall that is supposed to be the suitor for whom the seven sisters dance and flirt. The tale behind these waterfalls has in more recent years been adapted into numerous humiliating dating TV shows.


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