|Its all about ships
Oslo is the capital and largest city in Norway. Although it
encompasses some 170 square miles. much of the area is lakes and
farmland. The population of the Municipality of Oslo is only about
560,000. Consequently, the city is not overcrowded. Moreover, its
numerous parks and gardens give Oslo a clean and open feel.
Located at the end of a 60-mile fjord on Norway's southeastern
coast, the approach to Oslo is quite scenic. The city itself is
surrounded by forrest-covered hills.
As the capital, Oslo is the seat of Norway's government and is
home to its Royal Family. It is a business and educational center as
The downtown area is walkable by those used to walking
distances. Locals often use bicycles to get around and there are
places to rent bicycles. Oslo public transportation includes buses,
trams and a subway system. There are usually a few taxis at the
Oslo boasts more than 50 museums as well as many art galleries.
There are also places of historical interest and majestic buildings
(See Places of Interest).
The main shopping area is concentrated around Karl Johans Gate.
However, one will find shopping stalls at the cruise terminal as well
as shops in other parts of the city.
The Norwegian currency is the krone. There are 100 ore to the
krone. A value added tax is added to most purchases. However,
cruise passengers can recover the tax by completing VAT refund
applications when they depart Norway. Major credit cards are
often accepted in the shops.
Above: The cruise terminal is located in the shadow of the
Below: Queen Elizabeth 2 at the cruise ship terminal.
Right: Holland America's Rotterdam berthed at a
Below: Queen Victoria at the cruise terminal.
Above: The tall ship Christian Radich berths in Oslo
harbor not far from the cruise ship terminal. Built as a
training ship, this vessel has won a number of tall ship
races and still does cruises in which members of the
public can sign on (for a fee) as trainees. She
appeared in the movie "Windjammer" and the television
series "The Onedian Line".
AND CRUISE PORT....................................................................................Page One
PLACES OF INTEREST...............................................................................Page Two
The rock outcroppings that one can see around Oslo and along
Oslo fjord are some of the oldest on earth, dating back hundreds of
millions of years.
A place of human habitation since Viking times, a settlement was
built at the head of Oslo fjord in the 8th Century.
Oslo itself was founded in 1050 by King Harald Hardrade (Hard
Ruler) who established a commercial settlement on the banks of
the Aker River.
The 12th Century saw various struggles between rival factions
vying for the Norwegian throne. However, during the reign of
King Harkon V, peace returned to Norway. The King selected
Oslo as his residence and decreed it the capital of Norway. To
defend it, he built Akershus Castle.
In 1397, however, Norway, Sweden and Denmark united in the
Union of Kalmar. Its purpose was to counteract the German
Hanseatic League, which was dominating Scandinavian commerce.
The idea underlying the union was that the three countries would
retain their sovereignty but be united under a common king. In
practice, Denmark dominated the union.
The Kalmar Union was to last for more than a century until
Sweden decided to break away. Taking advantage of Norway's
weakness, Denmark then unilaterally declared Norway to be a
province of Denmark. Not surprisingly, Oslo's role as a capital
was diminished during this period.
In 1624, Oslo was devastated by fire. The Danish King Christian
IV rebuilt the city including modernizing Akershus Castle. He also
renamed the city "Christiania" -- after himself. The city
nonetheless prospered and became Norway's largest city.
Denmark sided with France in the Napoleonic Wars and
following Napoleon's defeat in 1814, it was required to cede
Norway to Sweden, which had been on the winning side.
In 1905, the Norwegian parliament declared Norway's
independence. A Danish prince was chosen as king and
Christiania as the capital. The city reverted back to its original
name in 1925.
Nazi forces invaded Norway in 1940. Despite a desperate
defense by the Norwegians and their British allies, the Germans
occupied the country. One Norwegian victory, however, took
place in Oslo Fjord, with the sinking of the German heavy cruiser
Blucher. The Nazi occupation lasted until May 1945.
The post-war period in Norway was marked by industrial
development and prosperity largely due to the discovery of oil in
the North Sea adjacent to Norway.
THE CRUISE PORT Oslo is a popular cruise
port. In 2010, there were 150 calls by cruise
ships carrying over one quarter of a million
passengers. Approximately two thirds of the
cruise passengers visiting Oslo were on Baltic
Norwegian fjord itineraries.
The main cruise terminal is in the heart of the
city next to the Akershus Castle. It is an easy
walk to the City Hall. The terminal itself has a
tourist information desk and stalls selling
souvenirs and Norwegian products.
When there are multiple ships calling, some
have to dock at piers that are usually used for
cargo. These are further from the center of
town and the ships often have a shuttle bus to
take guests into town.
The Radhuset (Town Hall).
In the heart of the city are trees and
Cruise destination guide - - photo tour - - Oslo, Norway - - page 1
* This photo tour and the accompanying commentary should only be viewed as a general guide that is based upon one writer's research
and experiences. Accordingly, readers should do their own research prior to their journey. Beyondships is not affiliated with any of the
entities depicted or mentioned herein and assumes no responsibility for their actions and for the products and/or services they provide.
Nor is inclusion in this photo tour a recommendation of the entity shown, its products, services or facilities.
Oslo University is located amongst the wide
tree-lined streets several streets behind the
Radhuset in an area called Studenterlunden (the
The approach to Oslo along Oslo Fjord is guarded by a
small fortress. During the invasion of Norway in 1940, the
Germans regarded this defense as antiquated and sent the
modern heavy cruiser Blucher down the fjord to cover the
attack on Oslo with its big guns and to land troops.
Unknown to the Germans, the Norwegians had equipped
the fortress with torpedoes and sank the Blucher. The
sinking delayed the attack on Oslo long enough for
Norway's Royal Family, parliament and cabinet to escape
and for Norway's gold reserves to be moved out of reach of