As well as a relaxing stay in Stofjord hotel, one of the main reasons that I wanted to come to Norway was to tick a Fjord Cruise off my bucket list. Fortunately, Storfjord Hotel is managed by 62ºNord, an experience company who can put together bespoke itineraries for guests to experience in their properties in on the north-west coast of Norway. As well as Storfjord, 62ºNord look after the Hotel Brosundet in the centre of Ålesund and the historic Hotel Union Øye.
As soon as I booked my stay at Storfjord Hotel, I was put in touch with 62ºNord and informed of the excursions that they offered including helicopter flights, skiing and hiking. But I had only one thing on my mind. That bucket list fjord cruise.
Despite the cold January weather, it was no problem for 62ºNord to organise a private yacht trip on the MS FJORD EXPLORER so that I could live out a dream. The Storfjord packed us off with two bags bursting with snacks plus that all important bottle of bubbly to enjoy aboard our journey. From there it was a very short drive to the port and our beautiful boat for the day.
Climbing aboard we were soon introduced to our captain Thomas who was an absolutely fantastic guide during our trip.
Though it was cold outside, inside the 48 foot boat was warm and spacious with a cosy seating area, seating the steering house and room up top should we fancy a bird’s eye view accompanied by an icy blast of wind! Comfortably sitting in the steering house with Thomas, we set sail for our adventure for the day.
So what exactly is a fjord? Wikipedia says ‘fjord or fiord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by a glacier.’ and the result? Stunning scenery perhaps the most beautiful I’ve ever seen!
Named after it’s setting, the area nearest the hotel is the Storfjord itself and as we left the port I caught a photo of the most glorious light on the water.
Appearing like a sunset or sunrise – I actually took this photo at 11am!
Every now and then Thomas would stop the boat so that we could run out and see the beautiful scenery for ourselves plus take lots of pictures of course.
The highlight of the trip was to experience UNESCO world heritage site, Geiranger Fjord, a 20 kilometre long fjord that encompasses famous waterfalls such as the Seven Sisters, The Suitor and the Bridal Veil. Each waterfall has a romantic tale from folk lore, the seven sisters are seven separate streams which dance playfully for the Friaren waterfall (‘The Suitor’) in the opposite side of the fjord. The Bridal veil gets its name because of the way it drops over the cliff edge.
At this time of year the waterfalls were mostly frozen but still spectacular to behold!
The mountains are around 1700 metres above the Fjord and tower majestically over the water. As I mentioned before the air in Norway was so crisp and fresh and it felt even fresher (if that’s possible!) surrounded by these snow capped mountains!
Geiranger itself is a small and scenic holiday village in Sunnmøre – there’s a hotel, a chocolate factory and a church…
And some cute chalet-style shops selling souvenirs and ice cream… but during the winter it’s pretty much a ghost town and we had the whole village to ourselves.
With twenty minutes to stretch our legs we took a quick look around the village and took a moment to appreciate the spectacular scenery there is the reason why it has been named the best travel destination in Scandinavia by Lonely Planet.
Back on the boat and we cracked the bubbly open and took a moment to appreciate the warmth!
Once we were settled back Thomas told us about a mountain called Åkerneset which had a split down one side and could eventually collapse. The mountain breaking down could cause a tsunami that would wipe out the village of Geiranger! You never know whether it could happen today or in 100 years!
The final hour of our Fjord cruise went by all too quickly and soon we were arriving back into the port for Storfjord Hotel.
Theresa and I had the most fantastic time on our once-in-a-lifetime bucket list private Fjord cruise to Geiranger. I’ve said before luxury isn’t all about opulence, it’s about getting a unique insider perspective from a local and getting close to what is genuine and real – and that’s the USP of 62ºNord
A huge thank you to Thomas and to the team at 62ºNord who organised everything so flawlessly!
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I paid a media rate for our Fjord Cruise.