The journey to Norway with Color Line - more than just a ferry crossing
When the huge hatch closes to the car deck, the obligatory announcements with the safety instructions have faded, a slight vibration of the ship's engines is heard and a little later the city of Kiel can only be recognized as a silhouette - then not only another crossing to Norway begins but at the same time one of the most beautiful sea voyages across the Baltic Sea. One of the impressive ferries of the shipping company Color Line will take us from Kiel to Oslo along with many other passengers in the next twenty hours. For us the perfect opportunity to enjoy this journey to Norway to the fullest, to relax and gain first unforgettable impressions on this trip already on board.
Check-in at the Color Line Terminal in Kiel
We decided on the upcoming road trip with our box van through Scandinavia for the comfortable and relaxed journey via Norway, from Kiel to Oslo, because there are still several thousand kilometers ahead of us through Norway, Sweden and Finland. That's why we travel to Kiel quite hassle-free the night before to spend the night there on the official and reasonably priced parking space (parking lot) in the Olympic marina Schilksee .
After we paid this place the next morning at the harbor master (price 2019: 12 Euro) we were then able to drive to the ferry terminal of the Color Line in Kiel (address details are available here on the website of Color Line ), park our van there and do some more things.
Alternatively one can of course use one of the other Color Line connections from Denmark for the journey to Norway. From Hirtshals (Denmark), Color Line offers crossings on modern superspeed ships to Larvik (Link) and / or Kristiansand (Link) .
At about 11.00 o'clock we receive our boarding passes as well as all further documents for the crossing at the check-in at the car counter. A short time later, our van was safely parked on the car deck of the gigantic ferry. Incidentally, 750 cars fit on board the 224-meter-long ferry - an incredible dimension. The orientation on board is easy, because a sophisticated system of colors and labels as well as overviews helps. This is how we quickly find our fantastic outboard cabin. The view from the oversized porthole is terrific and so we enjoy this view a moment before our arrival to Norway begins and we look around on board next ...
Tip: By the way, you can choose from 14 different cabin offers of all categories for your trip. From the 3 *** inner cabin to the 5 ***** Owner`s Suite with sea view there is something for every requirement. All cabins are equipped with a hair dryer, TV and shower / WC.
Although we would classify ourselves as experienced users of many ferry connections, we are actually overwhelmed at the first look in the mall of the ferry "Color Magic". Here, many small shops, restaurants and cafes line up in a unique ambience. The appealing design in conjunction with the many loving details and the color animations leave you amazed and invite you to stroll. In addition, the visible glass lifts to the individual decks convey a very special flair. No question - this is more than "just" a ferry ... We feel right at home and hope secretly that the crossing takes long enough to discover and try everything.
Mini gallery "In the mall aboard the ferry Color Magic"
After drinking a delicious coffee in one of the bistros in the mall, before dinner we enjoy the wonderful weather and the sea air on the sundeck. When it is announced that we will shortly be crossing the bridge over the Great Belt, more passengers join us. After all, you do not get this incredibly imposing structure so often offered from this perspective.
Some of the guests enjoy this view as well as the already mostly magnificent view during the crossing in the "Observation Lounge". Here the name is actually program, because in a relaxed atmosphere and delicious cocktails you can enjoy the view from the panoramic windows over the Baltic Sea intensely. This welcoming bar on deck 15 is just one of many ways to eat and drink on board.
Tip: In addition to the "Observation Lounge", ten other pubs, bistros, bars, cafes and restaurants of all price ranges invite passengers during the crossing. There is something for every taste - from a burger restaurant to a pizzeria and a sushi bar to a stylish pub.
Meanwhile, we are already very hungry and now visit the restaurant "Grand Buffet" for dinner. We briefly show our boarding passes at the entrance and sit just a moment later at the window overlooking the sea. A nice waitress picks up our order before we make our way to the huge buffet. When you look at the many delicacies and delicacies, there is much more to the question of how we should taste and enjoy all this until arriving in Oslo ...
Minigalerie "Dinner in the restaurant GRAND BUFFET aboard the ferry"
Okay, to be honest, we did not count the aisles, but in any case everything was really delicious from starter to dessert. Strengthened so you can then properly "plunge" into life on board and enjoy the evening depending on his preferences. Whether entertainment, gambling, shopping, gaming, disco, nightclub, wellness or even golf - somehow there seems to be nothing on board that does not exist. First we make our way to the big show lounge, where a sophisticated show program is offered twice in the evening. For us a welcome change, because in the coming weeks we will often and long be in the seemingly endless nature of Scandinavia on the road, where it will inevitably be much quieter ... So we end the evening quite fitting and really nice in the nightclub "Palazzo" , More is not possible 🙂
Mini gallery "Entertainment on board"
Tip: On board there are a variety of entertainment options that make your trip to an entertaining and memorable experience. A wellness and spa oasis, a golf simulator, the water park "Aqualand", the casino and various play and adventure areas for children and teenagers are just one part of the many possibilities.
If the journey to Norway is not the way but almost the destination, you almost do not want to arrive. After having simply slept in heavenly after so many impressions and so much sea air, we strengthen ourselves for the last time aboard the Color Magic, the identical sister ship of the Color Fantasy by the way. Both ships operate in commuter traffic between Kiel and Oslo. So there is actually a daily descent on this route throughout the year.
First of all we buy some things in the Tax Free Shop on board, before we - like most other passengers - enjoy the thrilling ride through the Oslofjord from the sundeck. The view is always an experience and the many colored wooden houses on the shore are a perfect match for this beautiful country.
Before us are exciting weeks in the north of Europe. Behind us lies a relaxed sea voyage with all amenities and thus the obviously perfect journey to Norway. So we arrive rested in Oslo and can already look back on the first unforgettable moments of this journey.
Here are some facts, tips and information for your next trip:
- Oslo is a central starting point for the fast onward journey in Norway as well as for routes through / over Sweden.
- You usually save an overnight stay in Denmark or Norway, as you can use the crossing for this.
- You have at the check-in in Kiel German-speaking staff to clarify any details or ambiguities in the vehicle dimensions, traveling with a pet and other specific issues.
- Whether couples, friends or families: All can thus make the ferry crossing from / to Norway as a further holiday experience or even as a special highlight of the giant in the north.
- The departure and arrival times of the ferry are perfectly chosen to integrate the crossing into the journey.
- If you want to travel from Norway, Switzerland or Southern Germany to Norway, you will save the rest of the miles in Northern Germany and Denmark. After arriving in Kiel you can relax on board before the journey continues from Oslo.
- If you want to travel to the north of Norway, the journey via Oslo is just what you are looking for. From here you need 6.5 hours driving time to Trondheim, whereas you should, for example, from Bergen just under 10 hours to Trondheim should plan (all information Google Maps for cars).
- Either turn off your mobile phone and / or tablet on board or at least disable the mobile data. The EU Roaming Agreement is not valid on the high seas and can be very costly if your phone or tablet automatically logs in to the maritime network and receives data via satellite.
- Prepare in good time before the crossing a separate backpack and / or travel bag with all the utensils you need during the crossing. During the passage on open sea you do not come to your vehicle anymore.
- Since the Norwegian Krone is board currency, you should mainly pay on the crossing with your Maestro debit card (formerly EC-card) or with a credit card, because it is actually much cheaper to get Norwegian krone in Norway at the ATM than before to change the drive.
- If your car / motorhome has a separate alarm, then switch it off for the crossing. You would not be the first passenger to be shouted because the car on the car deck caused the alarm to sound when swung during the crossing.
- Before you go on the ferry you have to close the gas supply in the camper, if you have a gas bottle on board. You should already be quiet while waiting at the Check Inn desk in the queue.
- If you use a ferry from Color Line on your crossing, you will receive a 10% discount on many campsites in Norway. Here you will find a PDF overview of all Norwegian campsites that grant you this discount.
- Since Norway is not in the EU, you can buy alcohol, tobacco and perfume duty-free on board. In general, these prices are particularly interesting for the Norwegians, but they are mostly on the level of the offers, as we know them from German supermarkets. Nevertheless, it is your last chance to acquire these products even more reasonably priced before entering Norway. Please note the import regulations of Norway, which you can easily implement as well as our saving tips for importation with the APP "Kvoten" from the Norwegian customs. (Link follows in the next paragraph)
More tips and helpful information for the journey as well as the entry to Norway can be found in these contributions from us:
Transparency: This crossing and the stay on board was made possible by the shipping company Color Line . Thanks a lot for this! Of course we publish our own opinion independently, because authenticity is our highest good and our enthusiasm can not be bought.