Hamar is as good a place as any to pick up the 130-year-old paddle steamer, the DS Skibladner (t61 14 40 80, wwww.skibladner.no/hjem), which shuttles up and down Lake Mjøsa during the summer offering wide views over rolling forested hills to east and west. Travellers heading north may find the trip to Lillehammer tempting at first sight, but the lake is not particularly scenic, and after four hours on the boat you may well feel like jumping overboard. The best bet is to take the shorter ride to Eidsvoll instead.
Sailings run from late June to mid-August. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays the boat makes the return trip across the lake from Hamar to Gjøvik and on up to Lillehammer (just under 8hr; 320kr); on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays it chugs south to Eidsvoll and back (4hr 30min; 280kr); there’s no Monday service. Sailing times are available direct or at any local tourist office. Tickets are bought on board; one-way fares cost a little over half the return fare. In Hamar, the Skibladner jetty is handily located about 600m to the west of the train station along the lakeshore. In Lillehammer, it’s on the west side of the lake, across the bridge from the centre of Lillehammer, beside the E6.