As I have mentioned in my previous post, our trip to Norway wasn’t that well planned as my usual trips. And this might largely be due to the fact that I was like a kid on Christmas about taking this big ass boat overnight from Kiel to Oslo. I wasn’t thinking very much about what would happen after that ferry docked in Oslo. Oops.
Before booking this roadtrip, we had weighted our options of flying into either Oslo or Bergen versus taking the Color Line ferry, but in the end the ferry obviously won. When we looked at it from a cost perspective, both options were pretty close together, but taking the ferry would give me a whole new experience which I was really excited about.
Also by going by boat we would be able to bring our own car and wouldn’t have to bother with a rental. Nice added bonus. So ferry it was!
What I didn’t think through enough though was that to take the ferry in Kiel, we would actually have to drive to Kiel first and then back on our last day. About 750 kilometers to cover which took us about ten hours both times. Fortunately Germany allows some high-speed driving, so that at least sped things up a bit. But it was still a long, dull drive both times. Thank god for funny road games, tasty snacks and great company.
On the first day of our trip, we arrived in Kiel right on time to board our ferry around 12am. You can easily notice that the people running the operation are very well organized as everything went so smoothly. By 1pm we were already enjoying our first drink with a view on the harbor of Kiel. As the boat left for the open water at 2pm we made our way onto the sundeck and watched Germany disappear behind us.
Considering we were all pretty exhausted from the long night drive from home to Kiel, we decided to already test our cabin beds and take a nap before dinner. I slept like a baby for two blissful hours. Unbelievable! We went back to the deck for about an hour to enjoy a drink before we headed to the Mama Bella Restaurante to enjoy one very delicious pizza. Options to eat on the boat are pretty limited, but I can definitely recommend this place. We even went back to the same restaurant on our way back.
When the weather allows it, you definitely need to make sure you’re on the sundeck to witness the sunset over the open sea. It’s such an amazing experience to see the colors in the sky change. And for the early risers; the sunrise is just as beautiful. I – reluctantly – got up at 5:30am to watch the sky turn a beautiful shade of pink and the sun peek from behind the horizon. After that I did crawl back into that comfortable bed until we docked in Oslo.
On our way back, we were a little less exhausted -surprisingly- so we also familiarized ourselves with other entertainment parts of the boat. We gambled with the last of our Norwegian Krones in the casino (I wasn’t very lucky), played a round of air hockey in the games room (no luck there either) and then spent most of our evening in the Manhattan Bar sipping cocktails. When you’re coming from Norway where alcohol is hella expensive, these cocktails were suddenly the cheapest thing ever. Hallellujah!
And while I was afraid that I wouldn’t get a good night’s rest on that swaying boat, I slept so well again in that little cabin. Of the entire trip, it were the best beds! Norway’s beds are just way too soft.
When you’re traveling with your car, making a reservation on the boat is highly recommended, especially during high season. For three people and one normal-sized car we paid 798 euros. This may seem like a lot of money, but when you consider you don’t only get the transportation to Oslo and back but also two overnight stays, that isn’t that bad at all.
The pizzas and pastas in the Mama Bella Restaurant are between 15 and 20 euros, and cocktails at the Manhattan Bar are between 8 and 11 euros if I recall correctly. For breakfast I brought my own stuff which I stored in the little fridge in our room. There is a breakfast buffet and a few other options on the boat as well, but I was glad to be able to sleep in and then quickly have my bowl of overnight oats in my room.
I honestly had an amazing time taking this ferry and I do recommend it, but when I go back to Norway, I might just opt for a flight the next time around. After two times twenty hours you’ve just about seen it and that drive from Kiel back home was just murdering. But for a first-timer, it’s great fun!