All Boats on the Sognefjord

When navigating on the Sognefjord, it can be hard to understand which boats go where and when. This is a guide to all the boats on the fjord: all passenger ferries, car ferries and RIB boats.

A lone ferry between Hella and Vangsnes, near Balestrand

A lone ferry between Hella and Vangsnes, near Balestrand

Route Planner

When you are planning to use public transportation, you’ll find the Entur app helpful, which collects public transportation information from all over Norway. When using it for boat travel, be sure to look for place names ending in kai or ferjekai (meaning harbor or ferry dock).

Express Boat

The Norled express boat from Bergen goes into the Sognefjord all year round, ending in Sogndal. In the summertime there is an extra boat that stops in Flåm instead of Sogndal. This boat is a part of the popular Sognefjord in a Nutshell tour sold by Fjord Tours. Tickets can be booked online through Norled here. Tickets are also sold at the Tourist Information Offices in Balestrand and Flåm. Tickets can’t be changed, but they can be refunded up to 24 hours before departure. The boat ride is pleasant; you can go outside, and there is a small kiosk serving drinks and light meals. There is free seating on the boat; you can’t reserve specific seats.

We find that Norled’s online timetables can be hard to understand, especially if you don’t speak Norwegian. They have split the route into two timetables, Bergen–Sogn–Bergen for winter and Bergen–Sogn–Flåm–Bergen for summer. Below is the summertime timetable:

bergen---sogn---flam---bergen-2019-2020.jpg

The only difference between the winter and summer is that there is no extra boat between Bergen and Flåm, and the Sunday boat from Sogndal leaves later, at 3:40 p.m. instead of 10:40 a.m. Below is the winter timetable:

bergen---sogn---bergen-2019-2020.jpg

Be on the lookout for holidays you aren’t used to! Don’t be surprised by route changes on uncommon holidays like Pentecost Monday or Second Christmas Day.

Holiday Schedules

18.04.19 Holy Thursday Saturday route
20.04.19 Holy Saturday No 14:15 departure from Bergen
21.04.19 Easter Sunday No 10:40 departure from Sogndal
22.04.19 Easter Monday Sunday route
01.05.19 International Worker's Day Sunday route
08.06.19 Eve of Pentecost No 14:15 departure from Bergen
09.06.19 Pentecost No 10:40 departure from Sogndal
10.06.19 Pentecost Monday Sunday route
01.01.20 New Year's Day Sunday route
25.12.19 Christmas Day No routes
26.12.19 Second Christmas Day Sunday route, with extra departure from Bergen 10:00, arriving in Sogndal at 14:50
31.12.19 New Year's Eve Saturday route

Timelapse of the express boat HSC Vingtor from Bergen to Flåm.

Car Ferries

When driving along the Sognefjord, car ferries are unavoidable. The most important connections are Lavik–Oppedal, Mannheller–Fodnes, and Dragsvik–Hella–Vangsnes. These ferries are just like a part of the road. You can’t pre-book tickets; you pay before driving on. You can pay with cash or by card. If you are a frequent guest in Norway, it pays to buy a pre-paid AutoPASS ferry card. You get a 50% discount on all major ferries (summer ferries, like Kaupanger–Gudvangen, are not included). The minimum amount to put on the card is 3,300 kroner.

On many ferries there are small kiosks selling coffee and sveler, a traditional Norwegian pancake. Usually they are sold with brunost or buttercream.

The car ferry  Skagastøl  heading towards Gudvangen

The car ferry Skagastøl heading towards Gudvangen

Lavik–Oppedal

This route has the world’s first all-electric car ferries. On weekdays they run every 20 minutes between 10:00 a.m. and 10:0 p.m.; otherwise they run every hour or half-hour. Cars under six meters pay 109 kroner, and adults pay 41 kroner. Here is a link to the schedule.

Mannheller–Fodnes

This route runs every twenty minutes between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. See the timetable for departures before or after.

Dragsvik–Hella–Vangsnes

This route runs about every half hour during the day, but less often at night. Here is a link to the schedule. Everyone traveling between Dragsvik and Vangsnes will be asked to turn their car around on the ferry dock at Hella. This is to make all the cars face the right direction when the ferry docks at Vangsnes. It is free to take this ferry as a passenger or with a bicycle.

On some maps, it looks like there are car ferries that go from Balestrand, just next to Dragsvik. Don’t be mislead! There is only a single 7:25 a.m. ferry to Hella that goes on weekdays. Otherwise all ferries go from Dragsvik.

Solvorn–Ornes

This is a small ferry which takes only 90 passengers and 12 cars. It runs every hour between 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. from May 2nd until September 30th, and less often in the winter. A walk-on ticket costs 43 kroner for adults, and 22 kroner for children. This ferry is not included in the AutoPASS ferry card. Here is a link to the schedule.

If you are taking this ferry to see the Urnes Stave Church, you can also leave your car in Solvorn and take the ferry as a foot passenger. The church is about 5 km. from the ferry dock, a 30-minute walk. Note that Ornes is also spelled Urnes: They are the same place.

Krakhella–Rutledal–Rysjedalsvika

This ferry runs regularly throughout the day, but the timetables are hard to understand. Call Fjord1 +47 577 57 000. Here is a link to the timetable. This ferry also stops at Losna, but only when pre-booked: Call +47 415 36 370.

Nordeide–Ortnevik–Vik

This route runs infrequently, with a confusing timetable. Be careful when planning to use this ferry. Here is a link to the timetable (only in Norwegian) from Vik to Ortnevik. The departures from Nordeide to Ortnevik are on a different timetable: Here is a link. This ferry stops at Måren by request only, and Wednesday departures must be booked the day before: Call +47 415 36 317.

Kaupanger–Gudvangen

This is the only car ferry on the Sognefjord that can be pre-booked online. The trip takes 2.5 hours. Runs from May 1st to September 30th (2020). There is no AutoPASS discount for this ferry. Vehicles should be booked in advance.

Passenger Ferries

Apart from the Norled Express Boat, there are 4 passenger ferries that run on the Sognefjord. They only run in the summertime, and all can be booked online.

The electric  Future of the Fjords  on the Nærøyfjord

The electric Future of the Fjords on the Nærøyfjord

Balestrand–Fjærland

This route runs twice daily from June 1st to August 31st, leaving Balestrand at 8:00 a.m. and at noon. The trip to Fjærland takes about an hour and a half. You can combine the boat trip with package tour, the Fjord and Glacier Tour, which includes a bus ride from the harbor in Fjærland to the Norwegian Glacier Museum, and then further on to the Jostedalsbreen glacier, before returning to the harbor. The half-day tour costs 805 kroner for adults, and the full-day tour costs 845 kroner. Children 15 and younger pay half price, and children under 4 are free. The boat is called Fjord-Lady, and has space for 99 passengers. She has a small café and plenty of space to sit outside. You can book here:

 
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The tour has two versions, the half-day (leaving Balestrand at noon) and full-day (leaving Balestrand at 8:00 a.m.). The full-day tour takes you to an extra arm of the Jostedalsbreen, and you have two hours in the Norwegian book town before the boat leaves for Balestrand again. On the half-day tour you visit only one part of the glacier, and you get right back on the boat.

This route corresponds with the Norled express boat, so you can join the tour from Bergen, from Vik, and from Voss.

The Fjærland ferry is also a part of Balestrand’s Golden Circle, a tour that takes the ferry one way and a minibus on the Gaularfjell National Scenic Route the other way. See the map below:

 
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Flåm–Gudvangen

This route runs through the well-known Nærøyfjord every day, all year round. Here is a link to the timetable. Cruise takes 2–4 hours. Prices vary depending on ferry: the new electric boats Vision of the Fjords and Future of the Fjords are marked as “premium” and cost more. The older boats are marked “classic” and cost less. You can also book a shuttle bus back to where you started. These correspond with each boat arrival. The map below shows how this connection works:

Balestrand–Flåm

This route runs on weekdays from June 24th to August 16th. Here is a link to the schedule. Adult tickets cost 300 kroner, and children 15 and under pay 150 kroner. It costs 100 kroner to take a kayak or a bike. The trip takes two hours, and can be booked here.

Hardbakke–Bulandet

The island-hopping mail boat from Hardbakke to Bulandet runs on weekdays between June 17th and August 23rd, and it can be booked here. Hardbakke–Bulandet takes about 3 hours, and Bulandet–Hardbakke takes about 2 hours.

Adult tickets from Hardbakke to Bulandet cost 350 kroner. From Bulandet to Harbakke they cost 300 kroner. Round-trip tickets cost 650 kroner. If there are no tickets left available online, contact Visit Fjordkysten and they may be able to help: +47 57 74 30 00 or mail@fjordkysten.no. Bringing bicycles is allowed, but let them know in advance.

RIB Tours

The abbreviation RIB means Rigid Inflatable Boat. These are small, fast sightseeing boats, usually with 12 seats. These companies run RIB tours on the Sognefjord: Balestrand Adventure, FjordSafari Norway in Flåm, and Adventure Tours Norway in Skjolden. Charter Cruise in Vik also takes private RIB bookings.

A RIB on the Sognefjord, near Balestrand

A RIB on the Sognefjord, near Balestrand

From Balestrand

We offer two set RIB tours from Balestrand: The Nærøyfjorden Tour goes through the Nærøyfjord to Gudvangen and back every day at 8:45 a.m. from May 2nd to September 11th. It takes about two and a half hours, and costs 1,300 kroner for adults, and 780 kroner for children 15 and younger. You can book here:

 
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The Balestrand Fjord Sightseeing trip goes daily at 1:00 p.m. from April 1st to September 30th. It takes about 80 minutes, and costs 750 kroner for adults, 450 for children 15 and younger. You can book here:

 
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We also take private trips, for example to Finnabotn and Fjærland. Contact us at booking@balestrandadventure.no for details.

From Flåm or Gudvangen

The company FjordSafari runs several variations of their tour in the the Nærøyfjord. Heritage Fjordsafari goes from Flåm to Gudvangen, The trip lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes, and costs 860 kroner for adults, and 640 kroner for children between 4 and 14. There is an extended version of this trip that includes goat cheese tasting in Undredal. This one lasts 3 hours and costs 990 kroner for adults, and 740 for children between 4 and 14. You can also do this tour starting in Gudvangen.

The Basic Fjordsafari is shorter and returns to Flåm after Sagfossen, about a third of the way into the Nærøyfjord. The whole trip lasts and hour and a half, and costs 710 kr for adults, and 530 for children aged 4 to 14. An extended version of this trip includes a 1.5 hour hike to the goat farm in Skjerdal. The whole trip then lasts 5.5–6 hours, including your return to Flåm by minibus. This costs 1,490 kroner for adults, and 990 for children between 4 and 14.

From Skjolden

The company Adventure Tours Norway has a trip on the Lustrafjord, the Fjord RIB Adventure that lasts 70 minutes. It costs 650 kroner for adults, and 400 kroner for children aged 4 to 14. Children under 4 are not allowed, but exceptions are made in good weather.

There is also two extended tours: One includes a guided visit to Urnes Stave Church. This tour lasts 3–3.5 hours, and costs 950 kroner for adults, and 650 kroner for children aged 4 to 14. Another includes a 1.5 hour hike to the waterfall Feigumfossen. This trip lasts 3 hours, and costs 850 kroner for adults, and 600 kroner for children aged 4 to 14.

From Solvorn

The company Luster Nature Guides has several different tours. The first is Fjordcruise Lusterfjorden and Årdalsfjorden + Indre Ofredal. This tour departs weekdays at 1:00 p.m., lasts 3 hours and costs 998 kroner for adults. Lustrafjorden fjordcruise departs weekdays at 9:00 a.m., lasting an hour and a half. It costs 700 kroner for adults. There is an extended trip that includes a 2-hour RIB tour, taxi ride to Hjelle, and a 4-hour hiking trip to Vettisfossen. This costs 1998 kroner for adults. For booking contact steinar@lusternatureguides.no or call +47 40 00 00 20.

Below is a map with all the routes discussed in this post. Even if the fjord often feels empty, there’s probably a boat close by!

Are we missing something? Is something on this post wrong or out-of-date? Let us know at booking@balestrandadventure.no.