From Copenhagen to Oslo (or Vice Versa) by Sea

One of the easiest and most comfortable ways to travel between Copenhagen and Oslo is to go by overnight cruise-ferry. DFDS Seaways operates two ships, the Pearl and the Crown, that depart at 4:30 p.m. daily from each city, arriving in the other at approximately 9:45 the following morning.

The Pearl Seaways leaving Copenhagen. Photo courtesy of DFDS Seaways.

Departing from Copenhagen, the ship sails along the coast of Zealand (Sjælland) through Øresund, the strait separating Denmark from the Swedish province of Skåne (Scania). At the strait’s narrowest point, at Helsingør, lies Kronborg Castle, famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. (Hesingør is often known in English as Elsinore.) On the opposite shore, only 5.5 kilometers (3.5 miles) away,  is the Swedish city of Helsingborg.

Emerging from Øresund, the ship travels north along the west coast of Sweden through the Kattegat and the Skagerrak, the two large straits connecting the Baltic and North Seas. Shortly after arriving in Norwegian waters, she enters the Oslofjord for the approach to the city. It’s worth being out on deck or near a window to enjoy the scenery during the last part of the journey. From Oslo to Copenhagen, the ship travels the same route in reverse, with Kronborg Castle visible on the starboard side as you approach Copenhagen. Information about the times the ship is expected to pass specific landmarks is provided on board.

The Øresund.
The Øresund.

The ships offer several classes of cabins, all with en-suite bathrooms. The least expensive are the simply decorated Seaways Class cabins with two lower twin beds and two fold-down upper bunks. Commodore Class cabins are more spacious and offer additional comfort and amenities, including a complimentary breakfast buffet. The most luxurious cabins in this class are the Commodore De Luxe and Commodore Balcony cabins, which also include free access to the Commodore De Luxe Lounge, with free WiFi Internet, magazines, newspapers, snacks, and drinks. At the top end in terms of space, comfort, and price are the Owner’s Suites; two of the suites on the Pearl Seaways even have private outdoor jacuzzi tubs (book early to ensure availability).

Both the Pearl and the Crown offer several restaurants, including the 7 Seas all-you-can-eat buffet, as well as a steakhouse, two upscale fine-dining restaurants, a café, and an Italian pizza/pasta restaurant (new in 2014). There are also several bars on board, as well as other entertainment amenities including duty-free shops, a casino (Pearl Seaways only), a nightclub, a children’s club, and a pool area with spa.

The Crown Seaways at sea.
The Crown Seaways at sea. Photo courtesy of DFDS Seaways.

If you want to bring a vehicle, no problem: The DFDS ships are also car ferries. Just make sure you reserve space for your vehicle along with your cabin booking.

In Copenhagen, DFDS Seaways departs from the terminal at Dampfærgevej 30, just a short distance north of the Little Mermaid statue. In Oslo, the terminal is located at Akershusstranda 31, close to the Oslo Opera House.

For more information: DFDS Seaways

2 thoughts on “From Copenhagen to Oslo (or Vice Versa) by Sea”

  1. Was ferry service from Copenhagen to Oslo (Christiania) available in 1870? Writing a book on early European travel. Thanks if anybody can answer!

    1. Unfortunately I don’t know much about the history of ferry service along this route, but you might want to take a look at the website Norway Heritage ( It focuses on immigration from Norway to North America, but it has information on the various shipping lines that were operating in the region. Perhaps there is something there that would lead you to sources for the information you need. I also found this website about ships worldwide: You might find something there that will lead you in the right direction. Good luck!

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