We've arrived at Norway’s largest city and capital, Oslo.
As I opened my curtainsin my stateroom, I saw something that puts almost any other port to shame – directly outside the ship was the imposing Akershus Fortress. When I went to the other side of the ship, the difference was dramatic and very stark: tall modern condominiums and office buildings mixing in with the fishing boats in the harbor below. Oslo is a city that likes to show both sides and does it better than I have ever seen. You can tour easily on foot; it’s extremely easy to walk around, though they have a great hop-on hop-off bus service, if you’re so inclined. I started my day walking through the harbor over to the main section of the city, passing through sculpture gardens and flowerbeds that make beautiful photos. Sights that are must see are the Nobel Prize museum, City Hall and the Opera House. From there I headed back toward the ship, but not without a tour of the fortress.
Akershus is more than just a castle; there's essentially an entire town within its walls. Once you head up the hill, you feel like you have been transported 700 years into the past. You can tour the grounds and surrounding buildings free of charge. The castle itself does have a nominal entrance fee but is well worth it. This royal residence is somewhat different in style from what I've seen in other countries. As typical with Scandinavian design, simple and clean is appreciated. At 1:00pm there is a changing of the guard if you can time your visit to see this ceremony.
As this is the last day on this cruise, I want to thank the wonderful crew of Oceania’s Insignia for a fantastic time. After 18 days onboard, they might have to drag me off, as I don't want to leave. Oceania Cruises offers an amazing product at an amazing value. There's little room to disappoint. They strive for the highest levels of food, service and quality throughout, making theirs a cruise vacation you will never forget and will want to return to again.