Stavanger is a Norwegian city located in the Jæren district of Norway, which is the country’s largest flat lowland, and provides a striking contrast to nearby Lysefjord. Stavanger cruise passengers can experience a variety of activities while in port. You can take off on thrilling outdoor journeys, relax on scenic boat rides, explore shops and world-class restaurants in town, and wander through historic neighborhoods and streets.
Fjord cruise itineraries embark in the beautiful summer months, so you can expect pleasant weather perfect for all those outdoor activities while on a Norway cruise that stops in Stavanger.
The Stavanger Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Norway and dates back to 1100. It has gothic architecture with two thick steeples on either side of the entrance. The cathedral serves as the seat of the Bishop of Stavanger.
Petroleum plays a big part in the wealth of Norway, and the Norwegian Petroleum Museum aptly demonstrates that. You’ll learn how oil and gas are discovered and what is done to turn them into usable substances. In addition, the museum depicts how petroleum affects life in Norway. The museum is interesting for both adults and kids thanks to the in-depth information that you’re guided through by a cartoon cat named Petro and an oil worker called Drille. The architecture of the building in which the museum is housed is also impressive since it includes elements of petroleum production, including Norwegian bedrock and offshore oil installations.
Learn more about Stavanger’s history at the Norwegian Canning Museum, which is housed in a former canning factory. The canning industry played a vital role in Stavanger’s economy from the 1890s to 1960. You’ll see how the canning factory was set up and how the fresh fish found their way into the cans. Smoking ovens are lit every Tuesday and Thursday during the summer, making it an extra fun place to head if your Stavanger fjord cruise is in port on one of those days.
Feel completely immersed in nature at Flor og Fjaere, a gorgeous garden on the idyllic island of Sør Hidle. To get there, you’ll cross the fjord on a scenic, 20-minute boat ride. Once you arrive to the garden, you’ll be led through its exotic plants by a knowledgeable guide. You can also dine at the on-site restaurant that features international cuisine and local seafood.
Old Stavanger (referred to locally as Gamle Stavanger) is a can’t-miss part of a Stavanger fjord cruise itinerary. The historic neighborhood has beautifully restored wooden buildings that date back to the 18th century. Many of the buildings once served as the home of the canning factory workers, which adds an interesting layer of history to your view as you amble past old-fashioned street lanterns on Old Stavanger’s cobblestoned streets.
The Pulpit Rock (also called Preikestolen) is the focal point of one of Norway’s most famous hikes. The rock has even been featured in Hollywood blockbusters like Mission Impossible: Fallout. The hike is five miles round-trip and takes roughly four hours, depending on your fitness level and how much time you spend at the top. It’s starting point right in Stavanger and moderate difficulty level make it a popular hike with visitors. Passengers on a Stavanger fjord cruise will want to make sure they have plenty of time to do the hike and get back to the ship in time. Once at the top, you’ll find a flat rock area with vertical cliffs that go straight down into the fjord below. Its edge is not the place you want to be if you’re scared of heights, but it does provide incredible, awe-inspiring views of the fjord and surrounding mountains.
You’ll build up those leg muscles on a visit to Flørli 4444, the longest wooden staircase in the world. You get there via a boat ride through Lysefjord that takes you to the village of Flørli, home to this iconic stairway. Heading up the 4,444 steps is far from easy, but you’ll be rewarded with one of the best views you’ve likely ever seen.
If you want to enjoy the views you can see on a Stavanger cruise, but not work up a sweat doing so, a scenic Lysefjord boat ride is an excellent way to do just that. Marvel at the sheer size of the towering landscape on either side of the fjord that majestically juts up into the sky with calm blue water lapping at its base.
Stavanger is considered to be the gastronomic capital of Norway due to its focus on locally sourced, high-quality ingredients and diverse cuisine. Whether you want something fancy or casual, Nordic or international, you’ll be able to find something to satisfy your taste buds in Stavanger. Fjord cruise passengers can check out these dining establishments while in port.
26 North Restaurant & Social Club
The dining experience at 26 North Restaurant is based around four core elements: Nordic, organic, timeless, and social. Here, you can expect local ingredients and a fun, social atmosphere.
For an excellently made burger you can enjoy in a casual restaurant located within a 19th century wooden house, head to Dognvill Burger in Stavanger’s downtown area.
You might not think of sushi while on your Stavanger fjord cruise, but you won’t want to overlook Sabi Omakase while you’re visiting. This Michelin-starred restaurant serves Edomae-style sushi in an intimate restaurant setting. The coveted chef’s table offers seating for nine.
Another Michelin-star restaurant in Stavanger is RENAA, which was the first restaurant in Norway outside of Oslo to get the prestigious star rating. RENAA’s 21-seat dining room may be small, but it provides an elaborate culinary experience that serves each guest with a chef’s tasting menu that can be paired with wine. The tasting menu features fresh, local ingredients and is an incredible example of Nordic cuisine.
Stavanger is one of the oldest cities in Norway with its origins dating back to the 12th century. It has an interesting history, with historic ties to the Vikings as well as Christian priests and the monarchy. It has long been an important port city due to its excellent natural harbor and location to the Jæren region, and was a strategic port of the shipping route along Norway’s western coast.
Today, Stavanger is a vibrant city that embraces its medieval past while clearly developing its own modern vibe and culture. This is most apparent in the food scene, which features a variety of cuisine styles and serves up some of the best seafood you can find in Norway.
Cruise ships conveniently dock right by the central part of Stavanger. Your ship will pull into one of the four berths at the Port of Stavanger. Depending which berth your ship is docked, you’ll be a five to ten-minute walk from town and most of Stavanger’s top sites and attractions.
Stavanger has a bus station with many routes covering the city and nearby Sandnes. There is also a train service between Stavanger and Sandnes. For those wanting to explore more of the sights via water, you’ll find ferry service to Lysebotn, Ryfylke, Tau, Kvitsøyruten, Hjelmeland, Haugesund, and the city islands. For those wishing for more direct service, taxis are available for hire.
Some quintessential Norwegian souvenirs to get during your Stavanger cruise port of call are troll figurines and cheese slicers with an intricately designed handle. For high-quality knitwear and sweaters, try Dale of Norway, Skagen, Oleana, and Kirkegata. A run-of-the-mill souvenir shop is located within the Stavanger Port Authority building by the harbor.
Norway’s official currency is the Norwegian krone, though some tourist-focused shops may accept euros. For tipping, small change is usually left at restaurants with 5% to 10% of the total bill being the typical tip amount left. Tipping is not common for taxi service.