Geiranger is under constant threat from the mountain Åkerneset which could erode into the fjord. A collapse could cause a tsunami that could destroy downtown Geiranger.
The Norse form of the name was Geirangr. The suffix -angr ('fjord') - a common element in Norwegian place names (see for instance Hardanger and Varanger). The first element could be the plural genitive of the Norse word geiri ('piece of land; field in a mountain side') - which is related to English gore ('spearshaped piece of land'). This would then refer to the several small farms and fields lying in the steep mountain sides around the fjord. (See Knivsflå and Skageflå.)
This third biggest cruise ship port in Norway receives 140 to 180 ships during the four-month tourist season. In 2012 some 300,000 cruise passengers visited Geiranger during the summer season. The Geiranger Port has a cruise terminal, a Seawalk, and 3–4 anchor positions depending on the size of the ships. Constructed in 2013, the Seawalk is a three-segment articulated floating pier, 236 m long and 4.5 m wide on 10 pontoons, which moves (like a floatable jetwalk) to accommodate up to 4,000 passengers per hour disembarking from a single ship.
Several hundred thousand people pass through every summer, and tourism is the main business for the 250 people who live there permanently. There are five hotels and over ten camping sites. The tourist season stretches from May to early September. Tours of the nearby historic farms of Knivsflå and Skageflå are available from Geiranger.
Each year in June, the Geiranger – From Fjord to Summit event occurs. It comprises a half marathon run and a bicycle race, both starting from the sea level at the fjord and ending at the 1,497 metres (4,911 ft) summit of Mount Dalsnibba, near the lake Djupvatnet. Since there is still a lot of snow left in the mountains at that time of year, the race is also called "From Summer to Winter".