The small port town of Haugesund prides itself on its historical importance as the seat of the Viking kings and birthplace of Norway (the country was unified in the 9th century by King Harald Fairhair, who ruled from Avaldnsnes, a short distance from Haugesund). The town's origins lie in its position near an important straight, where ships could avoid stormy open seas. It was also a major source of herring. Nowadays Haugesund is best known as one of Norway's principal cultural centers. View more
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Explore the seafaring history of Karmøy Island during this picturesque, half-day sightseeing excursion through Haugesund and its surrounds.
Haugesund, City Hall, Ferkingstad and Fishermen's Memorial
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 40-minute drive to Ferkingstad. En route, pass by City Hall, voted the most beautiful in Norway, then proceed through the old, posh area where the town's ship owners lived in the 1800s. Upon arrival in Ferkingstad, a photo stop is made at the Fishermen's Memorial, a monument commemorating Karmøy fishermen lost at sea.
Skudeneshavn and Mælandsgården Museum
Next, re-board your coach and continue on to Skudeneshavn. Upon arrival, take a guided stroll through this charming old town. Along the way, learn about its history and the locals that lived here, and stroll past 130 white, wooden houses erected in the 1800s, a time when herring-fishing was at its peak. A visit is also made to the Mælandsgården Museum for a unique insight into the town's history, trades, industries and craftsmen. Afterward, some free time is made available to explore the town at your leisure. Following your visit, re-board your coach for the approximately 30-minute drive back to the pier via the east side of Karmøy.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking and standing, at times over uneven and cobblestone surfaces and inclines, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and at the sites visited. Walking in Skudeneshavn is at the discretion of each guest. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Warm, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. The tour sequence may vary.
Travel back in time to experience the place in Norway that was first ice-free area, Avaldsnes, the site is also home to the first king - Harald Fair-haired.
Nordvegen History Center
Depart the pier by coach for a scenic sightseeing tour of the city. At the Nordvegen History Center you will be given the history with modern instruments, where the senses are stimulated to enhance the overall experience. With both audio, lights, images and movie - Harald Fair-haired himself will guide us on a journey through 3,500 years.
St. Olav's Church
Outside the history centre is St. Olav's Church, built by king Haakon Hakonson around 1250 AD. Visit inside the church to learn more about how important this church is to Norway. Norway's power was then at its greatest and the church therefore can be seen as a symbol of the unification of the Norwegian Kingdom completed by Håkon Håkonson.
An interesting standing obelisk is located behind the Church, it's the sewing needle of Virgin Mary which is the only one remaining of several monumental stones which once stood around the church area. The stone leans in towards the church wall and a saga tells that "the day of Judgement will come when the stone comes into contact with the church wall"
Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking .3 mile (500 metres) on uneven grounds and 57 steps however an elevator is available. It is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and those guests who utilise a wheelchair. The St. Olav Church can close on short notice due to funerals. A visit of the exterior will then be made. The order of sights may vary. Local currency is required for restroom facilities. Local vehicles are utilised; coaches may not be equipped with air-conditioned cooling.
This is a magnificent hike along the nature and heritage trail that runs from the village of Åkra to the village of Ferkingstad.
Board the coach for a scenic 45 minute drive to Åkra. The hike starts in the north end of the beach at Åkra, along the way you will see many cultural and historical monuments lie in abundance between Åkra and the boathouse ruins at Hop. From here you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the white beaches stretching along the shore.
The hike follows a natural path, and along here you can see and sense a rich fauna and birdlife. On the south end of the beach the tour continues over to a historical area, dating back to the Viking Age. Here you will see stone monuments symbolizing the two daughters of King Augvald, one of our Viking kings. The tour continues to Ferkingstad beach, where you will have a break and a snack. Afterwards you will walk to the charming boat harbour, built in the 1960's. You will also visit the boathouse ruins, used by the Vikings to drag their ships ashore. The tour finishes at Fisherman's Memorial, a monument symbolizing local fishermen who lost their lives at sea.
Please note: This tour requires an extensive amount of walking/hiking 2.1 miles (3.8 Kilometre). It is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and those who utilise a wheelchair. Wear comfortable clothing, a light jacket, flat closed-toe walking or hiking shoes, and bring a camera, sunglasses, and a hat, from the ship. Local currency is required for restroom facilities. Local vehicles are utilised; coaches may not be equipped with air-conditioned cooling. It is recommended to bringing water from the ship for hydration.
Join this exclusive home and garden visit in Førresfjord, at the beautiful private home and garden of our hosts Anne and Leif Bjarte. She is a garden designer and he is a landscaping architect.
Anne and Leif Bjarte House and Garden
Board the coach for a scenic drive to Førresfjorden, 25 minutes from the cruise pier. Here you will arrive at the home and garden of Anne and Leif Bjarte. They live in a charming wooden house dating back from 1884. In their own description "the house and the garden live together in quiet harmony, and the simplicity is the beauty of the place".
An old stone path leads you into the old garden. This is the place for perennials and roses, and an old stone staircase with just a few steps leads you into the house. If you wish, you are welcome to have a look inside the house, which is stylishly decorated in a harmonic mix of old and new.
The garden includes several hundreds of different plant species. It is divided into sections, each with a different expression. There are quite a few herb spices to be found, and they are being used in both food and drinks. In the garden there is also a greenhouse. Here they cultivate tomatoes, cucumbers, chilli, apricots and other plants for eating.
Anne and Leif Bjarte will give thorough information about the house and the garden. Fresh herb tea made from herbs from the garden will be served, as will waffles - a traditional Norwegian pastry.
Their place offers harmony which is difficult to find other places. Nature is close and the bird life is rich. This is a place for silence and beauty. The flowering season starts in April/May and lasts until late September. In June and July the whole garden is in blossom.
Afterwards join the bus for the picturesque drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a minimum to moderate amount of walking over gravel, grass and cobblestones with approximately 5 steps. It is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and those who utilise a wheelchair. It is recommended to wear comfortable clothing, a light jacket, flat closed-toe walking or hiking shoes, and bring a camera, sunglasses, and a hat, from the ship. Local currency is required for restroom facilities. Local vehicles are utilised; coaches may not be equipped with air-conditioned cooling. It is recommended to bringing water from the ship for hydration. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed.
Discover the stunning natural splendour of the Akrafjord and its surrounds during this panoramic, full-day sightseeing excursion.
Scenic Drive, City Hall, Akrafjord and Visjer
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 1.5-hour drive to the Akrafjord. En route, pass by City Hall, voted the most beautiful in Norway, then drive from the city through the lovely countryside. After a comfort stop at Åkrafjordtunet, re-board your coach for the short drive to Visjer. Here, embark a sightseeing boat for a panoramic, approximately 45-minute cruise from Visjer to Eljervik.
Akrafjord Cruise, Langfoss Waterfall and Eljarvik Farm
The Åkrafjord is home to the majestic Langfoss Waterfall, voted by CNN to be one of the ten most beautiful waterfalls in the world. This renowned waterfall is visible from land and water, and your vessel takes you right up to the waterfall to marvel at its awe-inspiring beauty first-hand. Following your cruise, disembark at the Eljarvik Farm, which offers the finest view of the Langfoss Waterfall. During your farm visit, relax with refreshments featuring traditional Norwegian pancakes, or 'lappers'. Afterward, re-board your coach and drive to the Langfoss Waterfall for another look at this spectacular natural wonder.
Unni Marie Rosemaling
Next, re-board your coach and continue on to Ølen Village for a visit to Unni Marie Rosemaling, a tourist information centre, shop and workshop combined. Unni Marie is world-renowned for 'Rosemaling'. This traditional method of painting can be seen on both the exterior of the house, and on many different products available in the Rose Painting Shop. Unni Marie is also a passionate gardener, as evidenced by the wonderful garden in the rear of the house. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 55-minute drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 372 yards (about 340 meters) at times over uneven surfaces and inclines, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and embark/disembark the boat, and some steps at the sites visited. This tour is not suitable for guests with a fear of tunnels, guests prone to seasickness, guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Warm, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. Operation of this tour is subject to weather conditions. The tour sequence may vary. Space on this tour is very limited; we suggest you book in advance to avoid disappointment.