Gemma's Balmoral Cruise

We sailed on Fred Olsen’s Balmoral from Newcastle on a 5 Night sailing to the Fjords. We sailed through the fjords with our first port of call of Eidfjord. The Balmoral is the perfect size ship to take you to the heart of each destination as she is able to dock at the small ports like that at Eidfjord, giving you the flexibility to get off and explore one of Norway most beautiful towns or take one of the ships many excursions.

Or if you’re looking to relax, just stay on board, get up on deck to spend time in the pool or hot tub and take in the amazing scenery around you.

On the morning of 25th August, I woke up surround by some the most amazing scenery I have ever been lucky enough to experience.! Breathtaking mountains as far as the eye could see. The mountains were clothed in a striking combination of lush dark greens and pastel shades of grey. A first impression that left me wanting to see more and one that will stay with me forever.
We docked at the small port in Eidfjord, with a lovely sunny day forecasted and the promise of sightseeing and a little adventure.

The day started sunny and bright, which we were to find out was a change as it had been overcast and raining the week before. We began our day with a little adventure and adrenaline as we took to the water in one of two R.I.B’s (Ridged Inflatable Boat) that sped us over water that was millpond still. As we were in a small craft, we were able to visit some of the smaller inlets and backwaters, quiet and peaceful places full of waterfalls, wildlife and stunning views. An outdoor enthusiast dream. As we skipped along the water in our R.I.B we saw lots of local’s sea kayaking, seaplanes landing and taking off on the water. Local Fisherman in their small fishing boats.

The crew of the R.I.B seemed very knowledgeable about the area and gave us lots of historical facts. One is that the Norwegians introduced the Japanese to salmon sushi in the 1980s.

After our time out on the water, we returned to the ship to change and get ready to do some sightseeing. As we disembarked, we seemed to step from the ship straight into the small, quintessentially Norwegian town, of Edifjord. Edifjord is a picture-postcard town full of traditional Norwegian townhouses and fjord side lodges. We started our day walking around the town visiting some of the local souvenir shops in a search for a little something to take home. The Norwegians have many folk stories and quite a few of them have something to do Trolls and Vikings so as you can imagine the merchandise is mirroring these stories.
Next, we headed to a local café/bistro where we tried a locally produced apple juice. Apple farming is very big in Norway from big industrial farming to small local farms. So, you have lots of different varieties to choose from and they are so delicious

Other local favourite foods are the big selection of homemade ice-creams, which are very well decorated, Homemade waffles with lots of toppings to choose from. And a must-try is Norwegian Apple Pie.

My personal favourite was the local Norwegian salmon.

Other things to do in Eidfjord are; visiting Hardangervidda, the local national park. This is about 15 minutes away from the town so not far from the port, visit some of the biggest waterfalls in Europe

You can either walk or take the local trolley train to Edifjord Old Church which is one of Norway’s oldest churches that dates back to 1309. The pick-up point for the train is a short walk from the ship and journey, by trolley train, is just minutes away from the cruise port.
Once you’re at the church this gives you more opportunities to experience the amazing views.

We then took a lovely stroll along the river bank back to the ship; we noticed most houses had small fishing boats and lots of campers enjoy the stunning scenery of Eidfjord and BBQ’s at the shore side

This a perfect port stop on your cruise as you really get to experience the destination and what it has to offer.

Sailing away that evening from Eidfjord as the sun was setting was the perfect ending to our day to then enjoy some of Norwegians locally produce in one of Balmoral's exquisite restaurants.

Balmoral in Olden
Balmoral Reception
Norwegian Fjords

Balmoral in Olden

We found