On a three-hour Oslo fjord cruise on board a three-mastered schooner, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the Oslo fjord coastline – and eat as much shrimps as you can. Enjoy prawns – the Oslo Fjord style.
Experience the waves soothing your senses, admire the picturesque islands in the inner part of the Oslo Fjord and eat as much shrimps as you can. It’s no better way to enjoy a summer’s night in the capital of Norway, and for those visiting Oslo, they’re in for a treat.
We asked Kristian Quigstad, Chair of the Board at Norway Yacht Charter AS, when and how the prawn cruises started.
Related: Explore he Oslo Fjord Islands
“From 1984 to 2000, we arranged evening trips exclusively for enterprises in Oslo and the travel industry. The entire list of stock enlisted companies in Oslo were on our customer list, in particular interested in summer closing cruises on the Oslo fjord. This was and still is a large industry, and we’ve always been market leader in this area. Other clients of ours are the conference market and the Norwegian parliament.
In the winter of 2000, the traditional Oslo company Båtservice Sightseeing was advertised for sale, including the Bygdøy ferries. We managed to buy the company and today the tourist market represents two thirds of our turnover.
However, the tourists wanted to experience the sailing ships that otherwise had been reserved for companies only, so these are now the ships most used for our sightseeing trips.
Related: Oslo Fjord Cruises
In 2003, we started our evening prawn cruises, and the following year music entertainment cruises. It took about 10 years before the inhabitants of Oslo discovered these tours, but now, tourists and locals alike mingle at the same benches, eating and drinking and get to know each other.”
We experienced the same, being next to the company of visitors from Paris on board the S/S Cristiania. They were on a five-day visit to Oslo, and were recommended the Prawn cruise by the receptionist at their hotel. “I really wanted to go on this prawn cruise,” they said, “and I don’t regret it.”
Along the way, we could all admire the picturesque islands in the inner part of the Fjord and sail through the bustling Oslo harbor, passing Hovedøya, the Dyna Lighthouse and the peninsula of Bygdøy, home to many interesting museums, among them the Maritime Museum and the impressive Fram Museum, and wonderful beaches, like the Huk beach. Oslo, with its superb location, offers unique opportunities on and around its fjord which stretches almost into the city centre.
S/S Christiania, fully restored to its former glory, was sailing through narrow inlets and into sheltered bays and gave us fabulous photo opportunities as you can capture the capital from many different angles. S/S Christiania is one of Europe’s largest sailing ships, and also the last one built as a cargo ship. It was bult in Finland in 1947, but the then poor country couldn’t afford to buy an engine.
During our cruise, a local Norwegian buffet of shrimps was offered, and in the bar, we could purchase a wide range of both hot and cold drinks. The “Shrimp buffet Fjord Style” with bread, butter, lemon and mayonnaise is extremely popular, and we watched people going down to the vessel’s storeroom to fill up their plates more than twice.
Enjoying the fjord in exceptionally good summer weather with shrimps in abundance, wine and beer and locals and tourist mingled together, what can be a more pleasant evening in Oslo? The skipper on board this evening was the entertaining and charismatic Sildakongen (King of Herrings).
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Quigstad has collected a number of good stories over the course of 37 years. Personally, he was the skipper of his own ship the first time the KGB met the CIA in Oslo. They were on a three days meeting in the 90s after the end of the Cold War. 30 lively guys enjoyed their lunch and were fishing together on the Oslo fjord.
Quigstad has also been responsible for arrangements in connection with the Crown Prince’s wedding, a Pope’s visit, not to mention celebrities like Madonna and Bruce Springstein.
“Yesterday, somebody sent me an old picture from Swedish Aftonbladet, showing me catching Madonna’s children,” Kristian Quigstad told us.
Enjoy Prawns – the Oslo Fjord Style, written by Tor Kjolberg
All images (except the Madonna photo) © Tor Kjolberg/Daily Scandinavian