view of fjords below from preikestolen norway

Our Norway adventure was motivated by my desire to return home after thirty-five years. I am what is known as a third culture kid. My father’s job moved us overseas when I was five-years-old. We made a one year stop in London and then headed to Stavanger, Norway for nine years. This is where I spent my formative years, with many opportunities to travel to other European countries. And then much of my summers split between east Texas and Minnesota. Thus our Bergen Stavanger journey was more than just a trip. It was also a return to the place that shaped me.

There are several ways to get from Bergen to Stavanger. In addition to driving, there are short flights, popular buses and scenic ferries. We opted for the ferry as it seemed a good way to see the coastline. I was surprised how inexpensive it was. But as I didn’t even look at bus pricing so was surprised to find out that it is actually cheaper than taking the bus.

View of Bergen from the ferry.

Rick Steves dismissed Stavanger as no more than a launch pad to visit Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock). I beg to differ. Stavanger is similar to Bergen with its harbor and its charming cobblestone streets lined with pretty homes originally build in the 1600-1700s. But it is home to one of the more important events in Norway’s history. It is home to oil exploration. This transformed the country and left its mark on Stavanger in particular.

Bergen Stavanger Ferry

Piecing together transportation throughout Norway was an interesting exercise for us Americans used to driving everywhere. We knew that a car didn’t make sense for Bergen. And, we wanted to experience the Norway in a Nutshell from Bergen to Flam. But once we arrived in Stavanger, we did want a car as we had a daytrip to Preikestolen planned. And, much of the trip was focused on visiting my old house, school and other spots that held fond memories from my childhood.

Views as Fjord Line ferry departs Bergen for Stavanger.

The entire Norway trip required a mindshift for me. Typically the actual travel part of the trip is the least fun. But in Norway, the travel part is where you take in the breath taking views. The ferry from Bergen to Stavanger was no different

So, a ferry from Bergen to Stavanger seemed to be a scenic way to get to our final destination. As a bonus, it is an electric ferry.

We booked tickets directly at Fjord Line. With a little basic research I realized that the tickets did not include reserved seats. Not knowing how crowded, or really anything about the layout of the boat we also opted to add on Air Seats. You could also add a car or bike to your ticket price.

Fjord Line Seating

I have no idea how busy it was compared to normal. But if you don’t opt for Air Seats then it is open seating. First come, first served. There certainly was a line of people at the gate rushing to grab the seats they wanted.

We didn’t find this necessary the day we traveled. There was plenty of seating. We lucked out with a beautiful day so would spend time out on the deck where there was a playground for our son to expend some energy. And, then we’d go in and read, or rest at the Air Seats. Then back out to wander around the ship checking out the restaurants. I finished reading a book out on the deck, with just a few distractions: glistening water, beautiful islands and cute farms with sheep.

Fjord Line Food

Food was a bit lackluster and overpriced. But we’d expected that. The views more than made up for it. This grill on the top deck was the better of the more affordable options. Though I will admit we did not try the buffet or brasserie.

The day we traveled was a holiday and many people were enjoying their drinks out on the deck.

We located a shop with all kinds of fun candy. So, the kids picked out a couple of souvenir items. Then we went back up to the deck to enjoy ice cream. No shortage of ways to spend money on board.

Insider Tip: Fjord Line is our of Denmark and currency used on board is the Danish Kroner. Credit Cards are accepted.

View of the Norwegian coastline from the Fjord Line ferry.

I spent most of my time on the deck taking in the stunning views of the Norwegian coastline. We sailed around islands many had almost hidden inlets with quaint farms, past huge wind mills, and by incredibly long bridges. We have taken a couple of cruises and the views of the water bring me peace. Even more so on this mini cruise.

The port where the ferry docks is very close to Stavanger SOLO Airport. It was a short cab ride there to pick up our rental car. Then on to explore Stavanger!

I’d highly recommend this way of getting from Bergen to Stavanger.

The Return Home: Bergen to Stavanger

Liana Moore

Liana Moore is a third-culture kid with a hangover from those days that is a severe case of wanderlust. She is more comfortable driving the cliffs of Amalfi, Italy or the dirt roads of Costa Rica or attempting to decipher the street signs of Osaka, Japan than navigating the theme parks of Disney World. But she loves it all. She doesn't believe a vacation is complete without an adventure. Her husband and kids know well that "adventure" often is code for mishap or challenge and it usually results in a good story. They seek outdoor experiences whether in the mountains, on a beach or in the jungle of a tropical country. Her favorite vacation is... all the ones she hasn't yet taken, as well as those she plans on taking again. And, that list is so, so long. But she continues to extensively explore her home state of Colorado, spends lots of time wandering Texas, California, New Mexico, Costa Rica, Mexico, Norway and has even explored Kazakhstan.

Leave a Reply

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