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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

18th May, 2018

Early in the morning, whilst most passengers were still sound asleep in their cabins, we quietly lifted off our berth in Haugesund and proceeded southwards weaving between islands towards Stavanger.

A few hours later we found ourselves passing oil rig standby vessels and oil rigs, before approaching our berth in Stavanger city centre – just opposite the Opera House. Being breakfast time by now, most were up and about taking a keen interest in our whereabouts. The sun was shining and the day looked very promising indeed.

Starting its life – as most coastal Norwegian towns have done – as a fishing port, Stavanger has adapted with the changing times, maintaining a strong economy by diversifying first into a shipbuilding centre and now into oil. As with many larger cities nowadays, it retains its older more traditional and well-preserved historical half, as well as housing a more modern part, that of high-rise buildings and the like.

Today our ship’s tours whisked passengers away on various exciting excursions, including city tours, boat trips along Lysefjord and even helicopter ‘flightseeing’ rides over the surrounding mountains and fjords. A slightly more sedate option was also offered in the way of a wander around some local botanical gardens.

After completing a morning of “Captainey” tasks, I became hungry and yearned for a nice juicy local reindeer steak – a treat which I had been partial to before when visiting Norway. Therefore I headed ashore at lunch time in search of this prize local delicacy. It was a beautiful afternoon to wander around the streets, passing many traditional shops and restaurants (and not deviating inside) as well as an interesting looking local place called “Chilli Chocolate” (into which I did deviate). I emerged 10 minutes later with a large carrier bag…

A great wander around complete I had not, however, located any restaurant serving my desired meal. Upon enquiring in one of the last I came across, the young lady behind the counter raised her eyebrows before explaining quite factually that it was not reindeer season, and to come back again another time of year. Now I understood why nobody had it on their menu. Instead, I satisfied myself with a large ‘spicy’ beef steak accompanied by a small glass of the local brew to wash it down, whilst sitting on the waterfront admiring my lovely little ship lying across in the opposite side of the harbour.

Evening came upon us several hours later and it was time to let go our lines and weave back through the fjords – this time almost 100 miles inland to Eidfjord. So, I shall speak to you again from there!

Captain Kim Tanner

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.