Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Travel: Thrills and chills you just can’t afjord to miss in Norway

Post Thumbnail

From glowing orange sunset skies at ­midnight to snow-capped mountains, fjords, the Arctic Circle and the wonders of Norway, Scotland and England, this 14-day cruise really was the trip of a lifetime.

We sailed from Bergen, to Geiranger, Molde, Tromso, Honningsvag, and Lofoten in Norway, then on to Lerwick, Kirkwall, and Edinburgh in Scotland. On our way we visited historic sites, trekked through rugged landscapes, got to know the local culture, people and local cuisine (yum!).

It’s a brilliant way to see lots of different places without having to get on and off flights, and packing and unpacking.

From check-in to check-out, everything was exceptionally well organised. From the moment I stepped on board the ship and into my gorgeous suite, I felt thoroughly pampered.

Ordering breakfast on room service is a real treat, especially when you can eat it on your balcony (which all rooms have).

The friendly staff can’t do enough to help and make you feel so welcome.

There’s under-floor heating in the bathroom and plenty of space for clothes (you need evening outfits and all-weather clothes for adventures on land, as well as swimwear and gym kit so you can take advantage of the spa, swimming pools and gym).

With seven restaurants to choose from, we were spoilt for choice. For fine dining, there’s Manfredi’s, Chef’s Table (which specialises in an eight-course tasting menu) and The Restaurant.

I am vegetarian or pescatarian, and the staff went out of their way to ensure I always had something delicious that catered for my dietary requirements.

I always thought cruises were fairly inactive, but that’s not the case here.

Some of the trips inland involve hiking along spectacular coastlines and there’s plenty of culture and history, too.

If you want to add more private or unique onshore experiences such as flying over the fjords in Norway, riding with huskies or chasing eagles in a rib boat, you can, although the cost of these is not included in your basic package.

And if you wish to do your own thing, which I did on a couple of occasions, that’s fine, too.

My onshore highlights were arriving at the Nordkapp (the northernmost point of Norway) in mist, which lifted to reveal the most beautiful coastline.

I also loved browsing round Tromso, a pretty little town with typical bright-coloured houses. I found an amazing vintage shop.

On days at sea you can relax and read, swim in the infinity pool, watch a film (there’s an open-air cinema), listen to talks, scoff high tea in the Wintergarden, enjoy the spa, or go to lectures in the theatre – I went to one on Viking history, which was fascinating. The spa was exceptional, with the added bonus of being able to go straight back to your room in a towelling robe after your massage. We sampled the Nordic Spa Ritual, an invigorating experience that involved jumping between a hot sauna and a snow room. When in Norway, do as the Norwegians do!

There’s evening entertainment in the theatre, and the Abba tribute band did not disappoint.

Every evening pre-dinner, we sipped prosecco in the Explorer Bar. For late-night cocktails it was the The Living Room bar for a lovely relaxed atmosphere. And for dancing till midnight there was Tor’s Bar, where we ended up without fail!

Then there was wild swimming in the sea on a beautiful beach with golden sand on Shetland, and visiting the 5,000-year-old neolithic village at Skara Brae and the magical Ring Of Brodgar standing stones on Orkney.

Skara Brae wasn’t included in the organised trip, so I made my way there independently.

I had such a fantastic time, and we saw so much that I felt like I’d been away for months.

I’d go back in a heartbeat.

P.S. All meals and snacks are included on the Viking Ocean Cruises package. You can have breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner in any of the restaurants or bars. Washing and drying your clothes at the ship laundrette is free, too.