WE LEAVE BERGEN BEHIND THE NEXT MORNING and sail for Flåm via Sognefjorden. We originally planned to do the classic Norway in a Nutshell tour, which would take us also to Flåm, but via the towns of Voss and Gudvangen and through Nærøyfjord. But with the help of the guy in the information center, we eventually made a slight adjustment and went for a full Sognefjorden tour with Norled, which turns out to be significantly cheaper than Norway in a Nutshell.
Sognefjorden is Norway’s longest fjord, and the journey from Bergen to Flåm takes about five and a half hours – enough to experience the power of Norway’s most iconic natural feature. The fjord has several tributaries winding their ways through a variety of landscape – glaciers, valleys, mountain ranges, and waterfalls. Our boat also makes stops in ports just long enough for us to see charming villages like Vik and Leikanger.
The journey reaches its climax with the short detour to Nærøyfjord, the most popular of Sognefjorden’s tributaries. It’s also the narrowest in Europe with a width of only 500 meters in some parts. The cliffs surrounding the fjord rise steeply, providing an otherworldly beauty that the UNESCO deemed worthy of a World Heritage List inclusion.
The trade-off with the less expensive price we paid is that this tour doesn’t go the full length of the Nærøyfjord, so we don’t reach Gudvangen, where the Norway in a Nutshell’s boat tours start. Halfway through, the boat makes a U-turn and proceeds to the Aurlandsfjord, another Sognefjorden arm. Still, it’s overall an incredible trip. The cruise ends when the boat finally docks in Flåm, our next stop.