Norwegian Fjord Cruise – How Much Did It Cost & Was It Worth It?

How Much Does A Norwegian Fjord Cruise Cost?

Norway is, anecdotally and notoriously an expensive country to travel to, stay, eat, and indeed experience. We therefore opted for what at the time we thought seemed the most affordable way to see Norway and experience the Fjords in all its beauty. A Norwegian Fjord Cruise. And this, is how much we spent for a week.

Well, I say a week, the cruise was 7 nights but with the bookend Saturdays leaving Southampton at 6pm and arriving and disembarking the ship by 7.30 am I think that expectations should be adjusted accordingly.

I go into detail below on each place and its corresponding cost but if you are just here for the total, scroll down to the bottom for the summation!

The Cruise itself – £2556

We booked with P&O in September 2023 for travel in May 2024 travelling in term time but with May day bank holiday at the start. The cabin we chose was a deluxe balcony room onboard the cruise ship Iona from Southampton going to Stavanger, Olden, Alesund & Haugesund (which we didn’t actually get to due to weather) upon booking it cost £2556 for a family of four. £1129 per adult and £149 per child (13&9). The cabin had a queen bed, a sofa bed and a pull down bed above. It was booked with the early saver so did not pay to select the cabin or location on the boat, just the type which meant the cabin was allocated at a later date and cannot be changed.

On reflection, I think we may have paid to choose. At the time it was an extra couple of hundred pounds that we wanted to save for off boat adventures, but you do often get incentives like on board spending if you pay too. As I have described in my post The Good The Bad & The Ugly, we weren’t massively impressed with the ‘deluxe’ balcony we received, we were in the aft which was fine but not the deck. Long story short, avoid deck 15. Also when you are booking have a look at the price difference between a balcony and a conservatory suite as these are lovely (we had to move for the last two nights and ended up in one) and often not that much more. They also come with a pod coffee machine. Always a plus for me.

There is alot of facilities on the ship and I go into more detail in another post but lots are payable (spa, shows, activities, photo packages) and lots are included (like kids clubs, shows, activities, swimming, cinema, sports, entertainment) we didn’t utilise most of these ourselves but they are there, the ship comes alive around 6am until around 1/2am.

Travel – £193

Of course this will depend on your circumstances but as we are 3 1/2 hours from Southampton and with an electric car which we would have had to pay for charging and the car park charge for the week we decided to take the train. Incidentally sometimes one of the booking incentives is to include car parking in terminal so that’s worth looking into. We have a family rail card so it cost us £185 return. I guess it isn’t really in the holiday cost per se but I didn’t want to not include it. We walked when we got there (about 25 minutes) as we had alot of time to spare but on the way back we did get a taxi from Ocean terminal (really easy and simple we didn’t wait and there is staff there to guide everyone) and it was about £8

On Board Spending – £29

We actually didn’t really spend on the ship itself. There is plenty you can spend on and so this bill has the potential to be large, however as we don’t drink alcohol at the moment and are adventure in the day and get to bed early type of travellers we just didn’t buy anything. We spent £15 on drinks in the bar one evening for 4 drinks and £14 in the ice cream parlour for a couple of sundaes and a two scoop cone with toppings. The drinks if you don’t have a drinks package which you buy in advance, are about the same price as you would expect in England.

The supplementary restaurants were tricky to book in to so we didn’t end up in any of those, out of convenience rather than cost. We did dine at the Olive Grove once but there are only some items supplemented and we didn’t happen to order those. At meal times we drank water like we would at home.

Stavanger – £149

Supermarket & Pharmacy £14 As mentioned in my other post we forgot calpol so purchased some at a pharmacy and then the supermarket for two bananas and some water.

Hop on Hop off bus 1424 nok £105. Against our better judgement we opted for a hop on hop off bus. Don’t do it, especially on a Monday where you don’t hop off anyway as most of the museums are closed (don’t get me started on why they dock 5000 people in a place where attractions are closed) but you can get the public bus or walk. Don’t be us.

We wandered around the town after that and had coffee and a snack alongside a game of othello in a little book/game cafe on colourful street called Boker og Borst. 2 coffees, 2 hot chocolates, a cinnamon bun, energy balls and cake was £30

Olden – £305 

Now THIS was the expensive day. As I have explained in my other posts the lack of information on board about the actual locations visited was limited if it wasn’t a booked excursion. I didn’t like this as a company and it is, in large, what contributed to the cost and somewhat disappointment of this day.

With my in depth research (and others too I might add) we opted to take a local bus to the Glacier that would cost £2.50 each to get on instead of an excursion costing an eye watering £400 for the four of us. With knowledge that there was only one a day at 10am we waited with others in line outside the ship for an hour.

Only to discover that that particular bus doesn’t start running until mid May. We were 2 weeks too early.  A missed opportunity if you ask me but that’s for another day. Anyway not deterred we ended up paying for a more local excursion coach with Olden Cruise for 2400 nok £110 for the four of us. A huge cost we hadn’t anticipated but got us there and we hiked to a glacier which was such a fantastic experience. Plus a fraction of the P&O excursion. But if you go after 15th May, theres a local bus at 10 (and a return at 1, but the only one) which will cost SO much less.

Once we returned from that we knew we wanted to go to Loen for the Skylift views which was in the opposite direction. Unsure if we could make it by public bus due to the timetable (found online as again there’s no information available otherwise despite thousands of cruise travellers) we had no choice but to go back to the same Olden Cruise on the port side and book a shuttle bus which does a continuous loop to and from Loen. The last bus would get us back for 5.15pm. We had to be back on board by 5.30pm.

So we booked that for another £180 – with a 10% discount for having already booked an excursion. The tickets to the Skylift alone which you can purchase when you get there if you go by public bus (or order online)  are 595NOK per adult and 315NOK for children so £140 for a family. The views are amazing, we had horrific cloud so maybe not for us but usually they are, however it is essentially a cable car so it’s quite eye watering to pay that much just to go up a 5 minute skylift that you share with up to 35 people. So maybe make up your own mind on that.

Loen Skylift Olden

Coffee and a cinnamon bun in the skylift cafe was £15

Had we known all about this on the offing we would have taken the first local bus to Loen (9.15) to the skylift – and maybe had better weather and views – and then got back for the Glacier which could have afforded us some time in Olden itself too.

Alesund – £63


Arguably we liked this place the most and spent the least. We stumbled upon the most amazing coffee shop on our walk to Aksla viewing platform up the 418 Aksla steps (free) which did have the Norway elusive decaf coffee and it was so good. 2 coffees, a Norwegian brown cheese pancake and roll £15

We then got on the local bus to hop three islands to see, and go up Alnes lighthouse on Godøya. You can get them cheaper if you order online or have the app and they work in zones and times (ie you can use as many buses in that zone for a certain amount of time), but it was confusing and you can just buy on the bus so we opted for that. Just ensure you ask for a return.

Our journey had us change once and was about an hour. That cost about £14 for the four of us each way so £28. The lighthouse tickets can be purchased in the visitors centre and cost £20 for the family. It is just going up the narrow steps of a lighthouse so maybe it’s a little steep in more ways than one.

Haugesund – £0

The captain had to abandon this port due to weather. Which of course did limit the spending also but we were planning on doing a walk down the fjord line and swimming in the fjords, all of which wouldn’t have cost, but some food and a coffee we were looking forward to for our first proper meal in Norway was our planned cost for the day.

Total Cost

So with £2556 cruise & £739 spending the total holiday was £3295

(Prices accurate on booking September 2023 and travel May 2024)


A note on this is that we didn’t have any meals actually in Norway which I guess was unlike us really but we opted for making the most of our time exploring rather that eating because there was so little time everywhere we really wanted to make it count. We would have a big breakfast on the ship before we got off each day, take snacks we had brought from home to snack on and of course buy coffee along the way but then we would have afternoon tea back on the ship when we got back on and of course then its straight into dinner anyway. Honestly I felt like we were always eating and never did go without.

We did feel however that this resulted in a lack of the the cultural experiences of food that we so usually love in a new place and had we had the time ( and we wanted to do more of this is Haugesund which we didn’t get to) that would of course have added to the cost as eating out which was a little more than we would expect to pay at home (in Staffordshire).

A little tip also is that we use a Global Money Account with HSBC which allows us to hold up to 50 different currencies and avoid paying currency or exchange bank fees and can add more at any time in the app from our current account with mobile data/wifi instantly. Accepted anywhere that takes debit card and as Norway is a very much card centred country we didn’t have any Norwegian Krone cash at all and of course it keeps the holiday spend for the more fun things!

p.p.p.s We have worldwide travel insurance with our bank account and checked that they covered cruise before we travelled, but with any travel, insurance is of course a cost. Always get insurance when you book aswell rather than just before you go so you’re covered should anything change in the meantime.

Was It Worth It?

Now for the big question. Here’s where the facts are left behind and the opinions come in. First off, and succinctly, I would say for me, it’s an unfortunate no.

Let me explain.

If you like an all inclusive resort and that is where you get your joy, with seeing snippets of places being the cherry on top of the cake then this is for you my friends and yes it would definitely be worth it. I heard of lots of people who simply did not even get off the ship. They loved it. The ship (even for the food alone) was value for money, there is no doubt about that and if it’s the only way thats affordable to see Norway then book it now. Because I LOVED seeing Norway.

For us, the small amount of time spent in Norway itself (a mere and maximum 24 hours off the ship in three ports (would have been another 7/8 if we didn’t miss a stop) I believe we could have experienced the same hours for less, or a similar price, and enjoyed a more authentic experience (with alot less people) if we had travelled independently, which is what we are all about.

There is absolutely no judgement here, you do you and all that. I can just speak my truth. This is certainly not concluding that we didn’t have a good experience, we absolutely did. I guess I am just left wanting to go back and explore more and it hasn’t quite scratched the Norwegian itch that I was expecting it would.

That 5.30 sail in at Olden though. Now THAT was something.

Olden Cruise Ship Sail In

Like to know the cost of our adventures? We don’t gate keep over here, I have shared others such as the cost of Lapland 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.