Fjord fiesta: exploring west Norway

Photography and copy from a trip to western Norway in 2016. The journey, with Cruise & Maritime Voyages, included visits to Bergen, Molde, Åndalsnes, Geiranger and Eidfjord. You can read my write-up in Cruise Adviser (below), a travel trade title, and Travelzoo Experience, both published by Waterfront Publishing, of which I am a director.

Anthony Pearce takes an ex-UK cruise from Tilbury to the spectacular islands and inlets of the west coast of Norway with Cruise & Maritime Voyages as part of our no-fly cruise special

To those who turn their nose up at a cruise, Norway is the answer. The complex, narrow network of 1,200 fjords that weave into the country’s west coast, cannot truly be enjoyed in any other way. Roads may exist where 20 years ago they did not, but exploring this region by car, although technically possible, would take considerably longer and reveal a fraction of the amount.

Just a few days ago, I left London, boarded the 1,250-guest Magellan, sailed down the Thames and crossed the heavy North Sea. Now, outside my window is the most majestic of sights: an empty, silent fjord, its banks, just metres from the ship, reaching into the sky and disappearing into mist.

There’s something special about sailing from the UK. It harks back to a golden age of travel, meaning your holiday feels less like a quick getaway and more like an extended adventure, although one with spa treatments and afternoon tea. It’s something Cruise & Maritime Voyages launched to do and has stuck by, even as it expands to launch Columbus; at 1,400 guests, it is the line’s largest ship yet.