We’re craving wide-open spaces and clean air. Big adventures and views that stop us in our tracks and make us catch our breath. Iona is designed to be the ultimate way to see the Norwegian Fjords like never before, with cruises from Southampton allowing you to cram in breathtaking scenery and culture by the boatload, as well as action-packed adventure galore.

The Norwegian Fjords are one of the most dramatic destinations in the world and there’s a reason the region is rarely missed off the must-visit list of any avid traveller. Iona allows you to see them in all their glory, with the Atrium’s three-storey windows and plenty of other features that really bring the outside in. Cruising from Southampton means no luggage limits, and shore excursions have been designed to cater for everyone from the avid adventurer to the culture vulture and lovers of lazier ways to explore the great outdoors. Best of all, once you’ve had your fun ashore, whether that involves white water rafting or snacking on something delicious in a cosy side street café, you’ll spend the rest of the day and night kicking back on a ship that comes alive in those wild Norwegian landscapes.

Iona is doing things differently in the Norwegian Fjords. Here are five ways to explore Norway onboard the Iona cruise ship. Which one is first on your list?

Get your heart racing on a river-rafting ride

Norway is famous for its fjords and lakes, but its rivers deserve equal attention. A cruise to Norway with Iona will present the opportunity to see them from a thrilling new perspective, on a fast-paced river rapid adventure.

From Hellesylt, you’ll travel to Valldal, a valley north of the Norddalsfjorden. Exploring this unspoilt slice of paradise near the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord is a treat for the senses.

Board your raft and get wet and wild as you paddle down 8km of fast-flowing river, navigating rapids and waves (and the odd calm patch). Catch your breath before the surrounding scenery takes it away again – you’ll pass soaring mountains and verdant landscapes as you travel along the river.

Your efforts will be rewarded with lunch enjoyed around a bonfire on the banks of the tranquil Norddalsfjord – the perfect end to a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Reach new heights on the Loen Skylift

Norway boasts views worth climbing for, but there’s a way to experience those mountains high that doesn’t involve such heavy exertion.

Right in the heart of fjord Norway, the Loen Skylift will whisk ‘from fjord to sky in five’. That’s five minutes by the way, one of the world’s steepest cable cars making the 1,011-metre climb to the top of Mount Hoven in record time. You’ll need a head for heights but the views from the Mountain Station are well worth it, stretching from Mount Skåla and Lovatnet Lake in the east to Jostedal Glacier and Olden in the south and the Nordfjord and Stryn in the west.

The brave can burn off even more adrenaline on the Loen Via Ferrata, a mountain climb that tackles Europe’s longest via ferrata, a 120m-long suspension bridge over a 160m-deep canyon.

Take to the skies

See the wonders of Norway in all their glory from the skies.

Take a helicopter over Bergen or the Lysefjord, the location for Tom Cruise’s death-defying stunts in the Mission Impossible Fallout film and home to Stavanger’s iconic Pulpit Rock.

Fancy a little aeroplane action? Take in the beauty of Hardangerfjord, Norway’s second-longest fjord, by light aircraft. You’ll enjoy epic views of the finest selection of western Norway’s deep blue fjords, coastal mountains and cascading waterfalls. The flight will also take you past the towns of Os and Rosendal, the Folgefonna glacier, Trolltunga and Ulriken mountains, and the Steinsdalsfossen waterfall.

Pulpit Rock

Stride out on a Nordic walk

Nordic walking is no walk in the park. It’s a high-energy activity designed to get your blood pumping, while showing you the sights of the beautiful Norwegian countryside. Twice as effective as ordinary walking from an exercise perspective, Nordic walking works the upper body muscles as well as the legs, despite the support of the poles making it feel easier. You’ll burn 50 per cent more calories than a regular walk in an all-over toning workout that doesn’t feel like exercise at all with those staggering views at every angle.

Make like the Nordic walking-loving locals and stride out on Stavanger’s most popular trails, a coastal walk around the Storhaug peninsula taking in small harbours, pretty beaches and vistas of Gandsfjord and the mountains beyond.

Cycling in Geiranger

Get cheesy

Norwegian cows, sheep and goats have got it good, grazing in the purest of pastures along the coast and high in the mountains. It’s hard to be anything but happy cattle when home looks like this, so there is little wonder that Norway’s dairy products taste so good. Sample some of the best on-farm tours or tuck into the ultimate Norwegian delicacy, Brunost.

Translated as ‘brown cheese’ Brunhost is rarely eaten beyond Norway’s borders so make the most of its sweet-savoury flavour while you can. It’s an acquired taste – the Norwegians love it, but opinion among visitors is divided. Which camp will you fall into?

Discover our collection of Iona cruises to Norwegian Fjords >>