If you’re planning a trip to Scandinavia, you’ve made a great decision. Prepare to be humbled by some of the planet’s most beautiful peaks, valleys and coastlines, and have your spirits lifted among the world’s happiest people.* Now, you’re going to need to think about a few logistics in order to really explore this massive chunk of Earth. I’m here to advise you on one: the road from Copenhagen to Oslo (or vice versa). And it’s not a road at all. It’s the Copenhagen to Oslo ferry (or vice versa).
*It’s true. According to The World Happiness Report, released to the UN in March, here’s the top three cheeriest countries:
The DFDS: Copenhagen To Oslo Ferry
What Is The DFDS Ferry
- The DFDS Ferry is a large cruise-style vessel, equipped with sleeping cabins and entertainment on board.
- The passenger and car ferry operates six days a week in both directions (off Monday)
- From Copenhagen to Oslo, it departs at 4:30pm, arrives in Oslo 9:30am (17 hours)
How To Get To The DFDS Ferry In Copenhagen
From Copenhagen, the boat departs at the cruise terminal. To get there, take a train (several lines can take you there) from the Central Train Station or elsewhere in the city. Get off at Østerport and walk 15 minutes. Check-in opens early but I recommend getting there at least by 3pm.
What You Will Need At The Port:
- Passport (you scan it to get your boarding pass and again at security)
- Luggage (there’s no checking available, so make sure you can carry it yourself)
Once On Board The DFDS Copenhagen To Oslo Ferry
First, you will need to find your room, which will be listed on your boarding card. Don’t neglect this card as it’s also your room key. Drop your bags, unpack what you may need, and then, let’s go explore. Your room should have an info pamphlet with the restaurants and other details listed. Feel free to take a look.
At 4:30pm, the boat will set sail and you will wave Copenhagen goodbye in the distance.
Eating On Board The DFDS
If you’re like me, you haven’t even left Copenhagen yet by the time you’re hungry. You’re welcome to bring snacks on board, but if you didn’t, there is a quick coffee bar stand that sells pastries and sandwiches, and a sweet roof deck bar area with food and beer.
Dinner starts at 5pm on the ferry, and most restaurants require reservations. The one that doesn’t is an Italian eatery, a step above your local Round Table Pizza, not quite at Olive Garden status. I ate there and overall, not a bad meal. But by 7pm, the line was snaking out of the restaurant and overflowing into the walkway. Get here early or make those fancy rezzys.
Look, I cant blame them for charging $15 for dranks on board, but I can blame you if you don’t heed this advice: DUTY-FREE SHOP is your friend. Grab some mini wine bottles for $5 or beer for $3 and make sure you stock up before the store locks up at 10pm. No matter how much you ask them nicely, and then try begging, followed by pointing out that it’s only 10:33pm, c’mon just this once. It’s a lost cause, just go before 10pm.
You can find a wide selection of other souvenirs, apparel and snacks at this shop as well.
Pool On The Ferry
For about $8, you can pay for pool area access — indoor pool and jacuzzi, plus a heated sauna. The area closes at 9:30pm, and your one-time payment is also good for a wakeup session starting at 8am.
The nightclub with live music opens at 8pm, and there is plenty of space to just sit and soak in the views. I hope you took my earlier suggestion and now have some cheap wine to keep you company. Cheers!
Back To The Room: Sleeping
The beds are small, but the gentle rocking motion of the boat helped lull me into a deep sleep. The room gets darker than Hades though so you might want to throw a nightlight in your bag.
Wakeup and roll call is at 8am. Not actually, but they do make an aggressively loud announcement over the intercom system so consider that your alarm. They’ll let you know that breakfast is now being served, and Oslo is just around the corner. I skipped breakfast and enjoyed the muffin I bought as a BOGO deal at the coffee shop last night.
Norway In Sight
Head to the top of the boat, and enjoy the scenery. As you pull into Oslo, look out for its famed architectural gems like the Opera House and Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.
Make sure you have your luggage packed up so you can grab it and go when the boat docks.
Arriving In Oslo
You’ll get off the boat near the Opera House, not far from the Oslo Central Station. Oslo is a walkable city, but there are also taxis available. Hello, Norway!
Related: Best Coffee In Copenhagen
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