You’ll weave between glowing lighthouses and picturesque islands, as you approach the quaint Norwegian town of Arendal. Set on the southern coast, and spanning seven islands, Arendal is a place to slow the pace, and unwind surrounded by Norway’s easy-going beauty. Ferries – and boat hiring opportunities - make exploring easy, or you can get out on foot or two wheels to throw yourself into the thick of the area’s outstanding natural beauty. View more
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Discover two places connected by famous playwright Henrik Ibsen: a brewery and a charming, picturesque town. Enjoy a pleasant half-day excursion spent exploring the town of Grimstad and taking a tour of the well-loved Nøgne Ø microbrewery, enjoying a tasting of superb beers.
Tour and Taste at Nøgne Ø Brewery
Depart the pier and drive 30 minutes to "Nøgne Ø" brewery. Dedicated to creating "fantastic full-bodied, hand-crafted beers," Nøgne Ø is the largest craft beer producer in Norway. Interestingly, the brewery is also the first maker of sake - a fermented rice wine originally from Japan - in all of Europe. The name Nøgne Ø means "naked island," in reference to the famous playwright Henrik Ibsen's description of the many rock outcroppings nearby off the southern Norwegian coast.
Nøgne Ø was founded by two men passionate about home-brewing and bringing uncompromising quality beers to the public. Enjoy a tour of this unique brewery and learn more about its history. And of course there is the chance to taste a sampling of Nøgne Ø's signature beers, which have become internationally renowned for their well-crafted flavour.
Grimstad Village City Walk
Next, transfer 15 minutes via coach to explore Grimstad, with its lovely white-painted wooden buildings, quaint cobblestone alleyways and bustling waterfront. Upon arriving in town, take a brief walk with your guide before having time to explore on your own. Stop at the local fish market to see the fresh catch of the day. Discover the pedestrian-only streets near the waterfront that are begging for a photographer's eye.
There are some interesting facts of which Grimstad can boast: it was the home of the playwright Henrik Ibsen, and is also the sunniest municipality in the country, with 266 hours of sunshine per month in the summer. Discover this cheery place for yourself for an hour or so, and then it is time to return to Arendal along a scenic coastal road.
Please note: This excursion involves moderate activity of 500 meters of walking (plus optional walking), with some stairs to negotiate, making some portions of the tour unsuitable for wheelchairs. However, guests in a wheelchair must be able to transfer from their chair, as the brewery is otherwise suitable for wheelchairs. Guests must be able to board the coach with limited assistance. If guests with limited mobility can manage this much walking and a few steps with a travel companion, then the tour may be suitable for them. This tour is not suitable for children. Guests are recommended to comfortable clothing and shoes. Space on this tour is extremely limited; we suggest you book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Embrace the splendid natural beauty of Hove in a unique new way during this invigorating, half-day hiking excursion.
Tromøy Island and Hove Nature Area
Depart the pier for the short drive to Hove, a beautiful nature and recreation area on the southern part of the island of Tromøy. Hove is part of a protected moraine, and has been adapted for nature walks with resting places along the shore. The area is used for hiking in both summer and winter, and suitable for guests of all ages.
Guided Nature Hike
Upon arrival in Hove, begin your guided nature hike from the camping area, along the coast and back to the countryside. The paths are many, and stretch from Hove to Alve and along Spornes Beach. The beach consists of boulders and rocks, and sand when the sea permits. Upon reaching the end of the trail, return to your coach and commence the approximately 40-minute drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of hiking for approximately 7.4 miles (about 12 kilometres), at times over dirt and gravel surfaces and inclines, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. This tour is not suitable for guests suffering from a fear of tunnels, guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing in layers with flat, closed-toe walking shoes, and bring sun protection, raingear, and a sweater or light jacket from the ship; a backpack is suggested to carry your gear. Guests must be at least ten years old to participate on this tour.
Experience the splendid beauty of the southern Norwegian coast and its charming local villages during this scenic sightseeing excursion.
Coastal Drive and Risør
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately one-hour drive to Risør, a picturesque, heritage-preserved wooden village offering cultural festivals, a large archipelago and a long history of wooden boat-building. En route, take in wonderful panoramic views along the coast of southern Norway. Upon arrival in Risør, proceed for a photo stop at the city centre.
Next, re-board your coach and continue on to lovely Tvedestrand Village, which features a white-painted town centre and irregular streets climbing steep hills around the harbour. The municipality's natural beauty and numerous islands make it a popular tourism and boating destination. After a photo stop here, re-board your coach for the approximately 30-minute drive back to the pier via the coastal road, and take in spectacular vistas over the Skagerrak Sea.
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking, with a slight incline at the Risør Viewpoint and a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair, but is not suitable for guests suffering from a fear of tunnels. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes, and bring sun protection, raingear, and a sweater or light jacket from the ship. The tour sequence may vary.
An adventurous day is in store for you on this rafting tour of the River Otra in the scenic Sedestal Valley. Travel through picturesque rural terrain for 80 minutes by coach, past small family farms, thick forests and glassy, tree-lined lakes to arrive at the Troll Aktiv Rafting Centre in Evje.
Meet your rafting guides and get set up with rafting gear: don your wetsuit, helmet, wetsuit boots, windproof jacket and swim vest. After a safety briefing it is time to push off; receive a basic lesson in rafting and paddling on calm water before embarking down the Otra River.
The lovely Otra River is 152 miles long (making it the 8th longest river in all of Norway), and feeds into many beautiful lakes. It has powerful rapids (some of which you get to discover on your adventure), allowing it to be the energy source for 12 hydroelectric power plants that power much of Southern Norway!
On your 2.5-your rafting experience you are accompanied by a guide and another 4 to 7 passengers beside yourself. Expect whitewater classified as Class III and IV, which provide a fun challenge for experienced rafters and a doable rafting experience for novices.
Enjoy a well-earned a rustic lunch after your journey is complete. Make the return 80-minute drive back to Arendal and return to the ship.
Please note: This excursion involves extensive physical activity, with strength required to operate an oar and stay balanced on a very active river. This tour is not suitable for individuals with mobility limitations. There is a weight limit of 120 kg (265 pounds) and the age minimum to participate is 12 years old (children must be accompanied by a guardian). Waterproof gear is provided, but guests are recommended to comfortable clothing. Space on this tour is extremely limited; we suggest you book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Discover the coastal splendour and villages of southern Norway during this picturesque, half-day sightseeing excursion.
Coastal Drive and Lillesand
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately one-hour drive to Lillesand. En route, take in splendid panoramic views along the coastal road and highway. Upon arrival in Lillesand, begin your guided walking tour of the village. Local sights include the Lillesand Church, and Town-and-Maritime Museum. Afterward, some free time is made available to explore your surrounds at your leisure.
Next, re-board your coach and continue along the coastal road to Grimstad. This little maritime town is nestled amidst many small islands, and features a harbour, long pedestrian shopping street, small market square, church, and museum dedicated to the early life of Henrik Ibsen. After a short photo stop here, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier via the coastal road.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 750 yards (about 686 metres), at times over uneven and cobblestone surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. Walking in Lillesand is at the discretion of each guest. This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility, but is not wheelchair-accessible nor suitable for guests suffering from a fear of tunnels. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes, and bring sun protection, raingear, and a sweater or light jacket from the ship.
Connect with the ancient heart of Norway's southern coast on this fascinating tour of Jærnes and Tvedestrand. Discover a well-preserved iron shop at the Næs Ironworks Museum and see some of Norway's oldest churches in Tvedestrand, dating as far back as the 12th century.
Næs Iron Work Museum
Board your coach and drive from the city of Arendal to idyllic Jærnes along the central road to visit the Næs Ironworks Museum. This museum is a truly unique place, consisting of one of the country's most well-preserved ironworks that is nearly 100% intact. Tour the buildings, machinery and equipment that date as far back as the 17th century.
When it was operational, the iron works was famous for producing wrought iron, particularly at its height of popularity when it was making elegant stoves in the early 19th century. Interestingly, the iron works (the second largest in the country) was also a major refinery, processing its own raw materials to a significant extent. On the campus were foundries, a forge, steel mills, and factories making horse shoes and other products needed at that time.
After your guided tour, enjoy a coffee and local pastry called munke, before transferring to your next destination.
Tvedestrand Walking Tour
Drive just 15 minutes to Tvedestrand centre for a guided walking tour through this quirky and picturesque village. Tvedestrand is known for its irregularly-shaped streets, which created opportunities for interesting architecture, including Norway's narrowest house, surely one of the most photographed buildings in the town.
The charm of the white-painted buildings and the beauty of Tvedestrand's natural surroundings that frame the harbour make this town a popular destination for tourists. Tvedestrand is particularly popular in summer, when its population doubles for the high season. Walk past the lovely black and white Dypvåg Church, built in approximately 1200, and the Holt Parish Church, built even earlier, in 1100.
When it is time to make the return trip to Arendal, enjoy panoramic coastal views along the North Sea route. Return to the ship.
Please note: This excursion involves moderate activity of 800 meters of walking (plus optional walking), with approximately 10 stairs to negotiate, making this tour unsuitable for wheelchairs and guests with limited mobility. Guests must be able to board the coach with limited assistance. Guests are recommended to comfortable clothing and shoes. Space on this tour is limited; we suggest you book in advance to avoid disappointment.