Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.
Getting To Know Ålesund – Cruise Port Guide
Ålesund straddles three islands to form a hook shaped peninsula, considered by many to be Norway’s most beautiful city. It lies near the mouth of several converging fjords, including the Storefjord and Moldefjord, which leads into the Romsdalsfjord and is surrounded by multiple mountain peaks and islands. This is our Alesund cruise port guide.
Ålesund was originally like many Norwegian towns in that its buildings were primarily made from timber. Unfortunately, on the night of 23rd January 1904 almost the entire town was destroyed by fire. Thankfully there were no large-scale casualty numbers, but 850 houses were burnt to the ground. Despite the devastation, the fire marked a turning point for Ålesund, as the rebuild took only three years with the help of foreign aid and turned the city into an art nouveau masterpiece.
Port Location and Facilities
The cruise ship pier in Ålesund is conveniently located close to the heart of town, approximately 250m from the centre. Tourist information can be found at the pier providing maps and leaflets on the key attractions. The port is serviced by various independent sightseeing companies, including a sightseeing train, for more information of you can find it at https://www.bytoget.no/en/?lang=en
What not to miss
After the 1904 fire, the town was redesigned by a team of Norwegian master builders, who took inspiration from all over Europe and created new art nouveau buildings between 1904 and 1907.
The Norwegian Centre of Art Nouveau Architecture is where you can learn more about how the town was redesigned and rebuilt after the 1904 fire. It is located inside the former Swan Pharmacy, itself a stunning example of art nouveau architecture.
For the best view of town and all the beautiful buildings and their colours, head up to the viewing point on Mount Aksla. You may be wondering how you get up to this viewpoint? Well, you can walk straight from town and up the 418 steps to the top. But if that is too much, you could always look to take the local trolley train tour that makes a stop for people to admire the view on Mount Aksla, saving your legs in the process.
If you want to learn more about life in thus part of Norway over the past 300 years, this open-air folk museum showcases different dwellings over the centuries, plus Viking artefacts found in the region.
This large saltwater aquarium is located on the western side of Hessa, one of the islands that makes up Ålesund. The exhibitions here showcase marine life that can be found along the coast of Norway; cod, halibut and salmon are just some of the examples of fish that can be seen. The aquarium also has one of the largest seal exhibits in the world, as well as daily feeding shows of the seals and the resident penguins.
NoFlyCruises recommends https://www.visitÅlesund.com the official tourist site of Destination Ålesund & Sunnmøre.
The currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone. Norway has a reputation as one of the most expensive countries in Europe and the average price of a standard cup of coffee is around £3/$4. Budget accordingly if you plan to dine out each day, as meals are roughly around 110kr per person (£11/$13 per person).
Ålesund is surprisingly warm in comparison to other parts of Norway, but don’t let that fool you. Summer temperatures in July and August average around 15 degrees Celsius. May is the driest month and September the wettest month.
There is no real need for public transport in Ålesund due to its size, although some attractions are located outside the town, such as the Atlantic Sea-Park. The town does have a bus and ferry network should you require its use and for more information on public transport, including prices, routes and schedules check out https://en.frammr.no
For Hop On Hop Off services, including information on the routes and prices, check out https://city-sightseeing.com/en/66/Ålesund
Safety whilst ashore
Being a small town, Ålesund is very safe and the locals very friendly and welcoming, although as always caution is recommended whenever you go ashore in new places, especially when there are crowds.
What to Eat
NoFlyCruises recommends the following eateries:
Key highlights of Ålesund
- Mount Aksla
- Art Nouveau Buildings
- The Art Nouveau Centre & The Art Museum Kube
- Ålesund Church
- Atlantic Sea Park
- Ålesund Museum
- Sunnmøre Museum
- Fisheries Museum
- Atlantic Ocean Road
Regular cruise line visitors
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
- P&O Cruises
- SAGA Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Celebrity Cruises
- Viking Ocean
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