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Getting To Know Stavanger – Cruise Port Guide
Let our Stavanger cruise port guide help you build the perfect itinerary for your next visit.
Stavanger is one of Norway’s oldest cities and can lay claim to being the area where the modern Kingdom of Norway was united with the Battle of Hafrsfjord in roughly 872 AD, where King Harald Fairhair declared himself King of Norway. Officially founded as a city in 1125 with the construction of the cathedral, the history of Stavanger has been one of boom and bust, but at its heart the sea has always played a prominent role in its development, and now as one of Norway’s most popular cruise destinations, you too can add to the success the sea has brought the city.
On one side its inner city retains a small town character in and amongst its white wooden 18th and 19th century merchants houses, where the all-important fish canning industry and wharfside storage buildings dominated the economy. On the other, as the onshore hub and capital of Norway’s booming oil industry, a visitor to the city can experience the importance of the discovery of offshore oil at the Norwegian Petroleum Museum and view some of the many oil platforms that line the harbour.
Further afield you can explore Viking history at the Museum of Archaeology and even visit an Iron Age Farm and archaeological site, and view the fantastic Three Swords Monument, positioned where they believe the Battle of Hafrsfjord is likely to have taken place. If you want to get your fjord fix, Stavanger is located within easy reach of the Lysefjord, where you can either take a fjord cruise to view the stunning rock formations and waterfalls, or take the challenge of hiking up to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), which overhangs the fjord 604 metres below.
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).
The cruise piers in Stavanger are positioned around the Vågen (Harbour) right at the heart of the city centre, within easy walking distance of all the major attractions. The Strandkaien berth is located directly opposite Gamle Stavanger, the old part of the city with the restored wooden 18th and 19th century houses. This area is cobbled and has some steep streets to traverse to fully appreciate it, however you’re likely to be able get a fantastic view of the area from your ship as they tend to tower above the area.
In contrast to Gamle Stavanger, make sure you visit the street called Fargegaten (official street name is (Øvre Holmegate). This pedestrianized street is a kaleidoscope of colour, as all the buildings have been painted in bright colours, from pink to blue, green and yellow. It was after a local hairdresser decided in 2005 to lobby for the area to brightened up to attract visitors, and it seems to have done the job, as people now come to the street to take photos and stop in one of the many coffee shops or boutiques.
Stavanger’s most popular museum is the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, which has interactive exhibits and engaging multimedia detailing the importance of the oil industry to Stavanger, Norway and the World.
Stavanger Museum is a collection of natural and cultural history museums and these can all be visited on a multi-entry ticket quite easily in one day should you be interested.
Fjord cruises to visit Lysefjord depart from the Vågen and are run by Rødne Fjord Cruises. Departures vary depending on the season, but in the summer months there are several departures a day and prices start from 580NOK per person.
Destination photos courtesy of Sam Whiteside ©
Key highlights of Stavanger
- Gamle Stavanger
- Stavanger Museum
- Museum of Natural History
- Maritime Museum
- Children’s Museum
- Printing Museum
- School Museum
- Art Museum
- Norwegian Canning Museum
- Leedal (Royal Residence)
- Breidablikk Merchant Villa
- Archaeological Museum
- Norwegian Petroleum Museum
- Valberg Tower
- Stavanger Cathedral
- Three Swords Monument
- Jernaldergården – Iron Age Farm
- Flor & Fjære Tropical Garden Island
- Leprosy Museum
- Fjord cruise to Lysefjord and Pulpit Rock
Regular cruise line visitors
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
- P&O Cruises
- SAGA Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Celebrity Cruises
- Viking Ocean
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