The Basics on the Ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen
The DFDS Ferry is an overnight ferry packaged as a buy as you go mini-cruise for leisure travelers. For as little as $80 USD a night, you can get a 1-4 bunk interior cabin as big as a regular cruise ship room. It includes a comfortable toilet, sink and shower combo as well as a desk and closet area. Linens are provided and the rooms are very clean. We were able to upgrade to a room with a view (a large picture window) for no added cost once we arrived onboard.
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The trip starts in Oslo at 3pm, with boarding as early at 1245, and travels all night with just one midnight stop before arriving in Copenhagen the next morning at 10am.
The DFDS onboard experience
Boarding the ship you simply print your ticket at a kiosk and go through an identity check before getting on. We did not have to go through any type of security. As the rooms don’t open until near departing time around 2:45pm, we ambled about with our bags for a couple of hours exploring the ship’s offerings.
The entire rear of the ship on one of the primary entertainment levels offers a Duty Free shop with great prices on clothing, alcohol, perfume and other standard airport duty free wares. I bought a great dress and wore it to dinner that night for only 10 euros! (The onboard currency is in Danish Krone (DKK) but they also list the approximate Euros equivalent in the duty free shop).
The ship has several options for dining including hot dogs and beers on the back deck al fresco, or a buffet open for dinner and breakfast. There’s also a steakhouse, an Italian pizzeria and numerous bars offering views of the water. Entertainment was slim, but the lounges showcased stages and dance floors that I assume are bustling on busier ship days. Our ship wasn’t full as we were riding on a Sunday evening.
For kids they have an amazing youth club complete with a ball pit, IKEA toys and tents to play in, and lots of coloring options. My daughter loved meeting “Jack the Pirate”, a blue mascot parrot who came to visit us at dinner that night. The kids club also boasts a family friendly pool and hot tub!
The Meals on the Ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen
We ate at the Italian restaurant, which was a la carte and quite delicious. Reasonably priced, we had a bottle of wine, waters, a burrata salad, a pumpkin gnocchi, and a prosciutto pizza all to share. I had read to get there early to avoid a line, so we cleaned up and got there around 5pm. Although there was eventually a brief wait, I don’t think on the slower ship days that getting there early is necessary.
For breakfast we decided to go to the buffet for around $28 per person (excluding my 2 year old daughter, who ate free). We got a beautiful waterside table and got to watch as the ship sailed in to Copenhagen passing Hamlet’s Kronborg Castle and the North Zealand towns. Breakfast was a vast array of typical breakfast foods to suit any palette – bacon and pancakes for the Americans, baked beans and tomatoes for the Brits, pickled herring for the Swedes and cold cuts for the whole of the Europeans. Danishes, pastries and juices accompanied the feast and we were well fueled for the day to come.
Logistics When Arriving in Copenhagen
Getting off the ship we discovered four options to get to the downtown area:
Walk – a long walk would take you past the Little Mermaid and end up at the Nyhavn port that is so often photographed in Copenhagen
Taxi – a direct route to where you want to go. We paid $20 for a ride to the Sixt rental car in downtown.
Metro – a local metro train takes you from Nordhavn to Vesterport in 20 minutes.
DFDS bus – large coaches were lined up outside the ship upon disembarking. I believe they were free, but would have required us to wait for everyone and to dump our bags below the carriage of the coach. These were direct from the port to the middle of town at Norreport, where we actually ended up backtracking through a park on foot to visit the Torvehallerne food hall. The trek was nice, as it was a beautiful day, but in hindsight we could have saved $20 and enjoyed more time at the food hall. Side note on the food hall: this is great for a mid morning snack or to stock up on the regions Natural Wines, or local brewery Mikheller beers for your future days ahead! You can also buy flowers, coffee, cheese and cured meats, oysters, and take away fresh food items like seafood, meat and vegetables.
^ Torvehallerne food hall, Copenhagen
How to book the ferry
We booked through the British company Direct Ferries. The booking and changes are through them, not DFDS, so you will have two booking ID numbers – one for each company. The website was very comprehensive and easy to use.
We would 100% take the ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen (or in reverse!) again. There was plenty to eat, drink and keep us happy for a one day cruise. It was clean, ornate and felt like a cruise ship – not a ferry boat. In fact, I probably could have stayed on board another day just to cruise around and enjoy the fjord! The only downside was not being able to go to our room right away, and the extra $50 we paid to change the date of our travels from a Monday to a Sunday. Our room was cozy, the food was high quality, and the service was excellent. Well done, DFDS!