The port of the city of Stavanger is one of the most frequently visited ports in Norway by cruise ships. In the pre-Corona year 2019, 241 calls by cruise ships were counted. The number of passengers was 506.000. Stavanger is the administrative seat of the province of Rogaland and the center of Norwegian oil and gas production.

Stavanger - Cruise ship IONA at StrandkaienStavanger - Cruise ship IONA at Strandkaien

Stavanger – history in a nutshell

The first evidence of the settlement of the region has come down to us through rock carvings made in the Bronze Age. With the establishment of a bishopric at the beginning of the twelfth century, the city, named after the first Bishop Reinald of Stavanger, was given city rights. Originally, urban development was quite hesitant; Stavanger experienced an upswing only with the start of herring fishing towards the end of the 16th century. At that time fewer than 1.000 people lived there. With the founding of the city of Kristiansand in 1641, Stavanger lost importance again. Epidemics such as the plague and typhus as well as city fires did the rest. A census carried out in 1700/1701 counted only 1.385 people.

It didn't pick up again until the 1800s, when herring fishing, shipping and canning brought prosperity. In 1801 there were already 36.202 inhabitants. Stavanger remained an industrial city until the early 1950s. After that it turned into an administrative center. Stavanger is Norway's fourth largest city. It has (as of January 2023) 146.000 inhabitants.

Norwegian Graphic and Tin Can MuseumNorwegian graphic and canned jam

Kristiansand – economy, transport and administration

The offshore oil discoveries discovered in the late 1960s and the oil and natural gas production that began thereafter in the North Sea helped the community develop into a major city and Norway's "oil capital". International oil companies have headquarters in Stavanger. Former industrial areas moved to neighboring Randaberg and Sandnes. 

Stavanger is a transport hub. The town is connected to the Ryfylkes fjord landscape by passenger and car ferries. Liners commute between the city and Denmark as well as Great Britain. The Sørlandsbanen runs from Stavanger to Oslo. There are also numerous intercity bus routes connecting Stavanger and the airport is 15 kilometers away.

Stavanger - the Breiavatnet city lake

Stavanger - the Breiavatnet city lake

Stavanger Central Station

Stavanger Central Station

 The authorities of the Rogaland provincial government and the high command of the Norwegian armed forces are based in Stavanger. In addition to the headquarters of the armed forces, NATO maintains its Joint Warwara Centre, a training center.

Stavanger – education and culture

Since 2005, Stavanger has been home to a university divided into three faculties.

The city welcomes street artists. Numerous wall paintings characterize the old town.

Important cultural meeting places are Sølvberget, the library together with the culture house and the concert hall. The latter offers culture and entertainment from a wide variety of music genres. The concert hall has two halls, an atrium and a restaurant.

Stavanger - Concert HallStavanger - Concert Hall

Stavanger for cruise ship guests

As mentioned at the beginning, Stavanger is one of the most important cruise destinations in the country. Cruise ships mainly dock in Vågen, the old city port, or in Sandnes, about 15 kilometers from Stavanger.

Vågen - Kristiansand's old town harbour

Vågen Bay offers berths for ships at Strandkaien or Skansekaien. The depth of the Vågen is advantageous for ships. Even large ships with a lot of draft dock within sight of the historic city center. There are often only short distances between the berths and Stavanger's "eye-catchers". Stavanger is a city of short distances. Small expedition ships also dock at Skansegata.

The port of Sandnes

If several ships call at Stavanger on one day, there is the possibility that one of the ships will head for the town of Sandnes, 15 kilometers away, as an alternative port. This alternative destination is nowhere near as convenient as the city port of Vågen; yet Sandnes is not out of place. The regional train L5 and several bus lines offer good connections to the center of Stavanger.

Sandnes - Sculpture in front of the bus stationSandnes - Sculpture in front of the bus station

The L5 station is less than a kilometer walk from the cruise ship dock. Local trains to Stavanger run every half hour. The journey takes 13 minutes.

The closest bus stop to the cruise ship pier is Schweigaards gate. Cruise ship guests can reach the stop within a few minutes' walk. From there, buses of various lines go to the center of Stavanger. If you want to see one of the top sights of the city - the "Sverd i fjell" (the swords in the mountain) - on the way to the center, take bus line 6 or X60 in the direction of Stavanger Sentrum. The exit is at Madlamark kirke. From there you walk almost a kilometer down to the swords in the mountain. See also Stavanger sights.

The onward journey to the city center takes place at the Madlaleiren stop. Various bus routes stop there. All buses stop at Stavanger Sentralstasjon, the terminus of the regional train. It lies in front of the Breiavatnet, the big city lake.

August 2023

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