I love visiting Copenhagen, and I hate to leave this great city, but knowing I’m heading up to Oslo on an enjoyable mini-cruise makes it a whole lot easier to head back home.
This time Gabrielle and I had been on a long weekend in Copenhagen. We took a flight from Oslo to get there, but decided that we wanted to splurge a bit on our way back home and truly enjoy the journey. So we booked a first class cabin on the DFDS ferry.
Here’s a few words about our journey and how you can travel and enjoy a ferry cruise between the two best capitals in Scandinavia (sorry Stockholm).
Book tickets for your cruise here (DFDS website)
The DFDS Ferry
The Danish ferry company DFDS has two passenger ferries with daily departures, one departing Copenhagen for Oslo, and one making the opposite trip back. Even though locals got their favorites, they are quite similar, so it does not matter much which one you end up traveling with.
The ferries can accommodate over 1700 passengers, and it’s a scenic, comfortable, and relaxing way to travel between the two Scandinavian capitals.
The ferry departs in the afternoon at 15:00 (confirm schedule online) crosses the Kattegatt and Skagerrak waters overnight and arrives the next day at 10 in the morning.
The ferry is divided into 12 decks, which are dedicated to car decks, restaurants and entertainment, tax-free shopping and passenger cabins. You can easily go from level to level by either by taking the stairs, or by riding the elevators.
You might also like: Travel with ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo?
Tickets for the ferry
Tickets for the ferry are best booked online and are issued once you are at the terminal. On your booking confirmation there will be a reference number which you punch into a ticket machine inside the terminal. The machine will print out your boarding pass, which is also the key to your cabin.
Passengers with cars drive onto the ferry, and passengers on foot, like us, just walk through the terminal building, and after presenting your ticket and passport it’s time to climb onboard and get ready for your mini cruise.
Note! This is not a passport control, but they need to see valid ID. For non-European travelers that would be your passport. Make sure that the name on your ticket is the same as in your passport.
Cabins on the ferry
There are different types of cabins you can choose from. All of them with their own toilet and shower room. Here are some alternatives:
- Standard interior cabin
- Standard cabin with a window (my recommendation)
- Family cabins
- Commodore cabins
- Commodore deluxe cabins
Some also have their own balcony. Most cabins, and always the commodore cabins, can be ordered with a double bed. The smaller cabins will often have bunk beds or twin beds which can be converted into a couch.
A commodore deluxe cabin is like having a hotel room onboard and it comes with a large double bed. It has big windows which give a nice view, an office desk and a couple of comfy chairs.
There’s a spacious bathroom in the commodore cabin, and you can also get room service. Included is also a 44 hour WIFI voucher (otherwise pay extra), and a fridge with some complementary drinks. What better way to start a cruise than with a glass of something bubbly!
The deluxe cabin also has access to a Commodore lounge, where you can relax and enjoy complementary wine, beer, water, coffee, fruit, and snacks.
Having a commodore and/or deluxe cabin for sure makes the cruise more enjoyable. Especially if you are the type who likes to relax in peace and quiet in your own space.
That said, I have traveled with the standard cabins many times, and find them comfortable as well. They are much smaller though, and I’d really recommend to get one with a window. It’s so nice to be able to look outside when you are out at sea.
The Ferry terminal in Copenhagen is located at the north end of town inNordhavn, the north harbor You can easily reach it with a DFDS shuttlebus, taxi or by public transport.
If your hotel is close to the central station or Nørreport I can recommend booking the shuttle bus when you get your ticket. If not you might be better off with a taxi, or take a local train to the Nordhavn Station and do a short walk from there to the terminal.
As the ferry is about to leave my favorite place to be is out on deck. You can exit at any time onto deck from several places on the ferry. It’s nice to get outside to enjoy some fresh air, and in the summertime when its warmer there is also a bar open.
When the ferry starts moving you glide out of the harbor of Copenhagen with the wind in your hair and nice views of the harbor and some new fancy neighborhoods. To the south you can spot the Øresund bridge, connecting Sweden and Denmark.
We are on this cruise in early November and can therefor enjoy an early sunset as we say goodbye to Copenhagen and set the course towards our hometown Oslo.
Facilities on the ferry
The ferry has a large duty free store, or tax free as we call it. You find plenty of good sea deals on everything from clothes and cosmetics to chocolates licorice and other sweets. Much of it typical Scandinavian candy.
Even if you don’t plan to buy anything its nice to pass some time checking out all the store has to offer.
For a Norwegian, the biggest savings are on Alcohol. Prices on the ferry can be up to 60-70% cheaper than what you’d pay in Norway. It’s worth noting though, that Danish alcohol prices aren’t as high generally, and the savings aren’t as dramatic for a Dane.
Anyways, this is an opportunity to pick up a bottle of good Norwegian aquavit.. matured at sea.. And have a sample or two to find your favorite. Just remember that there is a limit to how much tax free alcohol you can bring across the border (ask on board).
Read more about the facilities on the DFDS website.
A guest service center on board is the ships reception and can help with any questions about the ship. The ferry got plenty of different things to offer both for kids and adults. A game room with arcade games will keep the kids busy. Or you can go for a swim in the bubble zone.
Read more about the facilities on the DFDS website.
Restaurants & Nightlife
On of many courses I had at the big buffet! It for sure was a Viking feast 😀
In terms of food, you can find a café selling pastries, sandwiches and salads. A range of restaurants offer different kinds of cuisines. Perhaps you want to try the Pizza at the little Italy restaurant. Or do like us, try out the buffet at the 7 seas restaurant.
This is a big buffet, with plenty of good quality options such as seafood, cured meat, vegetables, steak, deserts, cheese, fruit and so on. You can have a full 5-course meal here, if you’ve got the appetite for it!
TIP! If you travel on a budget you can buy some sandwiches/salads in Copenhagen and bring it with you onto the ferry. Enjoy a picnic out on deck or in your cabin.
In the evening you find various types of entertainment. Watch a troubadour play in the Navigator bar, or there’s a band playing in the later evening in the Columbus club. You can even join a music quiz to try win a bottle of champagne
We end the evening with a nightcap in the Columbus Club. Looking down at the wake of sea foam next to the ferry, and the Kullen lighthouse blinks to us from afar, as we look forward to waking up in Norway the coming day.
Arriving to Oslo
We wake up early the next morning, enjoying the views and the break of dawn from our cabin. After a long night sail at sea the ship is surrounded by land on each side, dotted with trees and white painted houses. This is the Oslo fjord. I can not think of a better way to arrive to my home country Norway.
A big breakfast buffet and freshly brewed coffee awaits us up on deck 8. A great way to start the day. There is a nice selection of bread, different spreads, pastries, and they got my favorite, Norwegian waffles.
We enjoy a leisurely breakfast before we decide to head out on deck for a better view of the fjord.
It’s a bit of a gloomy and chilly morning, but we’ve put on several layers, and eventually the sun rises and warms us up. Eventually more people come join us, and we all enjoy the fresh air and great views of the surroundings.
As we approach Oslo we get some amazing shots of the city, and it reminds me again what unique way it is to sail into the capital of Norway, which I am proud to call our home.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and that it inspired you to try out this mini-cruise for your next journey from Copenhagen to Oslo. Remember that it can also be taken the other way around starting in Oslo. Also check out the YouTube-episode I made about this trip.
Ship o Hoi!