My boyfriend surprised me and took me for a day cruise to Oslo 🙂 We hopped onto the ferry in Copenhagen, spend the night on board, and then 6 hours ashore in Oslo before heading back to Copenhagen.
It was a lot of fun!! Even though 6 hours are not a lot, we had a blast!
The weather was terrific; the sun was shining, autumn leaves were falling everywhere. Perfect day 🙂
It takes a while to get to Oslo. We boarded at 4 pm and arrived in Oslo slightly before 10 am. The same was on the way back.
In the beginning, I was a little worried about what we are going to be doing during all that time on board. One thing for sure, I was not bored at all! We didn’t manage to do everything that we have planned!
The ship has a couple of restaurants on board. On the first night, we went to SJØ Restaurant. It offers Scandinavian dishes made of local products that were inspired by the surrounding landscape. The prices there are a little bit on the pricey range, but nonetheless, it was a fantastic experience to eat a delicious five-course meal during the sunset on the sea 🙂
On the way back, we tried Explorer’s Steakhouse. The food was also excellent there, and the price for the menu was more affordable than in the first restaurant 🙂 It offered, as the name suggests, steaks and grilled chicken.
It is hard to compare both as they are two different categories of dining 🙂 Netherless still delicious.
There were also some other places to eat: Italian Pizza place that had a fantastic smell around, a restaurant with a buffet, coffee shops and bars, which offered nice drinks both on the top deck and inside. Surprisingly, the prices didn’t vary that much from what you pay for a drink in the Copenhagen City Center.
There were both entertainments for adults and kids. There were several arcade games on the ship, though good luck trying to fight your way in with all those kids!
During the evening, the bar area was serving drinks for grownups while the kids were dancing and playing to the Disney music. It was a lot of fun, sipping your cocktail and singing along to Lion King 🙂 Yeah, we are all kids inside! In the evening, the place turned into a disco with live music, where you could dance.
There was a sauna, an indoor and outdoor pool and jacuzzis, though the outdoor pool was closed. I did enjoy a relaxing soak in warm jacuzzi water when we were leaving Oslo. I just sat there and immersed myself in watching the surrounding fiords.
There was also a spa with massages and manicures, though from what I saw, the prices were quite steep.
If that is still not enough, you could go shopping in the tax-free store 🙂 Yes, they did have a lot of candies 😀
There are different cabins available, according to what you want and what your budget is.
We have stayed in the Commodore cabin that came along with many perks, like one big bed, tv with Danish channels, free wifi on board (standard cabins – it’s 200 DKK for two days), free breakfast, the possibility to leave the luggage in the cabin while you explore Oslo and a glass of champagne.
There are two other Commodore cabins types, coming with even more perks, like a balcony, a private lounge, jacuzzi, and steward service. One can dream 😀
Beside Commodore, there are standard cabins with berths for 2-5 people.
Check out this link to see all the options available.
What to see
Once the ferry arrives in Oslo, the other part of the fun begins – exploring the city 🙂
Six hours is not a lot, but enough to see some things and want more. We bought an Oslo 24h pass on the ship (~250 DKK), which allowed us to travel for free with all kinds of transport and granted free entrance to the museums.
We started with the Akershus Fortress, as it was right next to the ferry terminal.
It is a medieval fortress, castle, and prison dating back to 1300. It was built to protect and provide a royal residence for Oslo. It survived many sieges along the years by Swedish and Danish forces and is still serving as a military area, but it is open to the public during the day. It is possible to enter the castle, but we were told it is only on Sundays, what a bummer! Next time!
The castle’s Royal Mausoleum is the final resting place of several Norwegian royal figures, and the castle has been used as the venue for official events.
There is a couple of museums on the grounds like the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum and Norway’s Resistance Museum. We haven’t gone there as they were not on our top list to see, but maybe next time 🙂
As we couldn’t enter the castle from the inside, we strolled around grounds, and then we headed to our next destination.
Vikingskipshuset (Viking Ship Museum)
My boyfriend and I are really into the whole Viking thing 🙂 So when we saw that there is a museum that has Viking Burial Ships, we decided to check them out.
The museum has the world’s best-preserved Viking ships in the world, and one of the vessel – Oseberg ship is the largest excavated burial ship in the world!
Viking Ship Museum houses in total three burial boats from Viking age found around the Oslo Fjord. What surprised us was that they were found buried in the ground instead of sunken in the water. For some reason, I always thought they shot at the boats with deceased, and then they got sunken down. But apparently, they were burying the dead with their ships in the tombs.
Besides the boats, the museum shows other discoveries, like small boats, sleds, a beautiful cart, tools, textiles, and household utensils.
Norsk Folkemuseum (The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History)
Ten minutes’ walk away from the Ship Museum lies the Museum of Cultural History.
It is one of the world’s oldest and largest open-air museums. There are around 155 traditional houses from all around Norway and a stave church dating back to the year 1200.
While exploring, we could enter some of the houses. From what I have read, during the summer, all the houses are open, and there are many exhibits with traditional handicraft items, folk costumes, and more. Unfortunately, as our visit took place in October, most of the houses were locked down.
Also, during the summer, the museum hosts many events and activities, guided tours, demonstrations, and much more. So I would recommend checking the event calendar before going.
Even though the museum was not fully open, we still had a lot of fun walking around and looking around 🙂
Vigelandsparken (The Vigeland Park)
We decided to check the park out as it came highly recommended and the weather was fantastic. I did not have much hope for it, but it ended up being the highlight of our trip 🙂
The reason why I was not sure about it was that the whole park is dedicated to Gustav Vigeland and is displaying more than 200 sculptures. And I have to admit, I am not a huge art fan.
But those sculptures were so weird and bizarre that we spent quite some time discussing and laughing at what we saw. Adding to that, the autumn foliage, amazing weather, we just had a blast!
Det Kongelige Slott (The Royal Palace)
Royal Palace was the last stop on our trip. The Palace was officially taken into use on 26 July 1849 by King Oscar I, so it is a fairly new building. It is the place for the daily work of the monarchy and where the King and Queen live.
We checked it out only from outside as it is only to the public during the summer season.