Disney Cruise Line Norwegian Fjord Cruises - Family Traveller (USA)

Why Go

Are you, or your family members, are a fan of Disney’s “Frozen”? Then you may be interested in visiting the country that inspired the film. Since 2015, Disney Cruise Line has sent the Disney Magic to Copenhagen, Denmark for week-long Norwegian fjord cruises. Along the way there are plenty of opportunities to take in some of the spectacular scenery of Norway’s western fjords. Of course, since this is a Disney Cruise of Norway, there is also some “Disney Magic” thrown in such as Queen Elsa and Princess Anna’s make their only official appearance in Norway. The landscapes and fjords of western Norway have been called “the most impressive on the planet,” and Disney Cruise or not, they are a sight to behold.

Courtesy of Dave Parfitt

Where to Go

The Disney Magic departs from Copenhagen, Denmark and sails to Stavenger, Ålesund, Geirganger, and Bergen, Norway before returning to Copenhagen. On the way to Norway from Copenhagen and back there are two days at sea rounding out the 7-night itinerary.

First stop Stavanger, the hub of the oil industry in Norway, but the port does not evoke an industrial town.  Excursions in Stavanger include a trip into the Norwegian countryside where we visited Bakernes Paradis (Baker’s Paradise), a vacation enclave of the Stavanger Bakers Guild surrounded by scenic vistas of the mountains and fjord.  Following a Norwegian treat of waffles topped with sour cream and homemade jam we boarded boats for a guided tour through the natural beauty of Lysefjord.

Next, Disney called upon the historic Art Nouveau city of Ålesund, Norway where we visited the Sunnmøre Open Air Museum. Our family strolled through the living history village where local children performed traditional dances, played music, and shared Norwegian dishes including lefse (a buttery sweetbread), svele (a pancake topped with sugar), and waffles [yes, no carbs on this cruise].  The Norwegian summer celebration culminated with the arrival of “Frozen’s” Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, her special friend Kristoff, and even a reindeer joined in for the special occasion.

Along the way, the Disney Magic calls upon two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – places designated by the United Nations as having significant natural and/or cultural heritage for humanity as a whole.  The third stop at Geirangerfjord, was our first UNESCO Site.  The entire fjord was designated significant due to its sheer crystalline rock walls and numerous waterfalls cascading from free-flowing rivers.

Final stop is the port of Bergen that contains the historic harbor district of Bryggen, the second UNESCO World Heritage Site visited on this Disney Cruise. We took a bus tour of the city that dates back to the 12th century to the Fløibanen funicular station that took us 1,000 feet up to the top of Mount Fløien.  There we enjoyed spectacular views of Bergen including the sun shining down on the Disney Magic in port.

Courtesy of Dave Parfitt

What to Do

In addition to the ports-of-call on the Norwegian fjord cruise, there are plenty of activities on the Disney ship itself. Disney characters are dressed in Norwegian folk costumes including Goofy in full Viking attire. Mickey and Minnie joined in for traditional dances and games such as a spin around the May Pole. There are also special Norwegian inspired foods and dinners, and a Frozen-themed “Freezing the Night Away” deck party.  You will also find meet & greet opportunities with Princess Anna, Queen Elsa, and Olaf from the film.

With the cooler weather of Norway, the pools were not all that crowded, although there were still plenty of children splashing in the Aqualab, swimming in the Goofy Pool, and taking a plunge down the Aquadunk drop slide.  Adults looking to swim can find an exclusive Quiet Cove Pool as well.

The Disney Magic has excellent well-themed, interactive, hi-tech kids spaces for all age groups including it’s a small world nursery, Disney’s Oceaneer Club (ages 3-12), Edge for tweens, and Vibe for teens. The Disney Magic added Marvel’s Avengers Academy where you can “become Iron Man,” try-on and control his suit before meeting Captain America and receiving a secret mission. If you’re looking for adult-only fun, there’s Senses Spa & Salon for those 18 and over as well as an adult district of nightclubs and lounges that come alive at night.

Each evening the Disney Magic stages a full Broadway-style live show in the Walt Disney Theatre, and the Norway cruise is no different. Current productions on the Disney Magic include Tangled: The Musical, Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story, and Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic.

Disney Cruise Line excels in their restaurant and food offerings pioneering a concept known as “rotational dining.” Instead of having a single main dining room, each Disney ship has three different elaborately themed restaurants, and families dine in a different venue each evening, accompanied by their same serving team. Your servers get to know you over the course of your cruise remembering your likes, dislikes, and special requests.  Main restaurants on the Disney Magic include Animator’s Palate, Lumiere’s, and Carioca’s. In addition to the main dining room, Cabanas buffet is also available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For an upscale evening, Palo is an adults-only specialty dining option that features Northern Italian cuisine.  An additional charge of $25/person applies to Palo, and the meal is worth all that and more. On our Norwegian fjord cruise, my wife and I celebrated our anniversary with a dinner in Palo as we watched the ship sail out of the stunning landscape of Geirangerfjord.

Courtesy of Dave Parfitt

Getting Around

The beauty of a cruise vacation is once you board the ship, you no longer need to worry about transportation. At every port the Disney Magic docked right at the destination, making it easy to walk on and off the ship, eliminating the need to use tender boats.