Spectacular surprises on a Flam fjord safari in Norway

Spectacular surprises on a Flam fjord safari in Norway


The warm sun beamed down, its rays transforming the smooth surface of the deep blue sea into a galaxy of sparkles. The majestic Norwegian fjords rose up around us, stealing the scene with their craggy snow-capped peaks, lush hillsides and waterfalls that burst out of seemingly every crevice.

At the centre of it all was the picture-perfect village of Flåm, where a colourful row of traditional wooden buildings lined the quiet harbour ready to welcome another day’s worth of adventure seekers heading out on a fjord safari.

Flam fjord safari
Flam fjord safari

Fjord cruise from Flam

Today, I was one of those day trippers who arrived in Flåm, Norway as many others do: by boat. Our Viking Cruises ship had quietly sailed overnight from Stavanger through the famous fjords, passing Sognefjord (the largest in Norway) then Aurlandsfjord which was at one time the only way to access the hamlet.

When dawn broke and the curtains were flung open to reveal the breathtaking scene, it was enough to elicit gasps from guests overwhelmed by the magical sight of perfect peaks creating seamless reflections off the emerald water.

Flam fjord safari
Another way to experience the spectacle is by booking a Flam fjord cruise, as we had the fortune of doing that sun-soaked morning. It only took a couple minutes of walking along the harbour to get from our ship to the dock, where we were greeted warmly by the team at Fjord Guide Service.

Within seconds we were pulling on toques, goggles and fluorescent green coveralls that seemed more appropriate for an oil rig worker than a tourist chasing waterfalls, but as it turned out all that gear would soon come in very handy.

Flam, Norway fjord safari
What to see during fjord tours

We flopped into the RIB boat, weighed down by our new outfits as our jovial guide Jorgen gave us a quick safety briefing and rundown of what to expect during our hour-long tour. He promised that not only would there be scenery galore, but also a chance of seeing wildlife including golden eagles, seals, porpoises, lynx and even wolverines. 

Flam, Norway fjord safari

The adrenaline rush started immediately, as Jorgen expertly steered the zodiac between the fjords, zipping left and right at speeds of up to 70 km/hour to make waves and leave us shrieking with delight. As the cold wind pounded into us, the goggles and coveralls blocked out the chill, leaving us free to enjoy the scenery as we passed tiny farms perched precariously on the steep cliff sides.

When a trip of mountain goats bleated out a greeting, Jorgen shut off the engine so we could float close to them, getting a good look at the friendly kids.

RELATED: Things to do in Flåm Railway: Cycling and the scenic Flam railway

Flam fjord safari
Flam fjord safari

Just a short distance away, he pointed out what looked like a tiny house tucked high into the cliffside. Instead of being the home of a recluse, it turns out the hardly-accessible house is a popular bed and breakfast—so popular in fact, that there’s a two-year waitlist despite guests having to climb all the way up themselves!

Flam fjord safari
From there, we zipped past waterfall after glorious waterfall, sometimes maneuvering the boat right under it so we looked straight up at the thundering falls, feeling the spray of it on our faces as the reflection of the bright sun created rainbows.

Flam, Norway fjord safari
Flam fjord safari
Entering the gorgeous Nærøyfjord on our RIB safari, we found ourselves surrounded by steep mountains with white-tipped peaks stretching 1800-metres above sea level. The scene is so spectacular, it’s no wonder Disney drew inspiration from the area including villages such as Gudvangen when creating the popular movie Frozen.

Flam fjord safari
Flam, Norway fjord safari
Flam fjord safari
But the final surprise of our Flåm fjord safari was still to come. As we made our way back from the Nærøyfjord, Jorgen suddenly let out an excited cry and cut the engine. He pointed to an area of still, emerald water about 50 feet from us, and as we all watched in silence a tiny grey fin shot out. It was a porpoise!

Over the next few minutes we stared in awe as the porpoise was joined by another, and the pair effortlessly leapt out of the sea over and over again.

Flam, Norway fjord safari
Flam, Norway fjord safari
While wanting nothing more than to follow them, instead we watched the creatures fade away into the distance before turning back to Flåm for the final leg of our fjord safari. As we glided into the harbour our faces were pink from being kissed by the sun and wind, our heads were swimming with new memories, and our hearts burst with pure joy.

Book a Flam fjord safari:



This article was originally published in June 2016 and updated in September 2020



Globe Guide explored Flåm in partnership with Visit Norway and Viking Cruises. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles. 

This post may contain affiliate links, which Globe Guide receives compensation for at no additional cost to you.

25 thoughts on “Spectacular surprises on a Flam fjord safari in Norway”

  1. Flåm is such a gorgeous little town! We visited a few years ago, but we came by train and stayed for a couple days. We did some hiking and took a ferry on the fjord, but we didn’t do the safari tour. I’m wishing we did now though because it looks like so much fun! I would love to head back and check it out sometime. That’s awesome you were able to see a porpoise, too–how fun! Great photos!

    1. So great that you got to spend a couple days there! We managed to do the fjord safari and the train/bike ride down in one day, but would have loved to stay longer and explore even more!

  2. I’ve just arrived here in Norway a week ago and have also done a similar RIB boat trip so I can imagine how amazing this trip you’ve done has been as well! I missed out on this place though but now that’s something to come back for 😉

  3. Oh wow that looks beautiful! What a unique way to travel by fjord safari. I didn’t know about this other mode of transportation. Also, I can’t believe there is a two years waitlist for that bed and breakfast! But I am sure its quite a great way to escape and see all these gorgeous views of Norway!

  4. Sign me up for some waterfall sightseeing, wow, that sounds like a magical way to spend a day, especially moving right in under the fall. The weather, arghhh… sure beats the -2degrees I have woken up to here in Canberra.

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  13. Hi there, do you have any idea what the b&b with the 2-year waitlist is called? We just did this fjord cruise last week and also saw and heard about it from our guide, but failed to catch the name. My Google searches have been failing me so far!

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