26th August, 2019
What a fabulous day we have had today! A day in Flam involves a very early pilot as Flam sits at the South Eastern extremity of Sognefjord, Sognefjord being the longest Fjord in Norway cutting deep across the country.
Embarking the Pilot at 0230 we felt our way through the darkness surrounded by pitch-black steeped Fjord shorelines. It was breathlessly calm. With my Chief Officer, Hugo, on the bridge at 0400, I passed the ‘charge’ to Hugo and went to rest for a few hours. The only drawback with Flam is it’s an anchor port for us today which does create a significant demand on the ships team.
It was a beautiful passage inward, I have attached a few photographs taken mid-morning, about an hour or so before approaching the anchorage; quite spectacular. At 1100, we slowed down as we made our approach. I gave the opportunity to one of our deck cadets, Henry, to drive-in and drop the anchor. Many wouldn’t think it, but getting an anchorage ‘right’ can be as challenging as berthing the ship alongside.
Anchored for 1145, the ship ‘tenders’ were launched and the two ‘platforms’ rigged, one on either side. The ship was ready for debark operation by 1215, all in good time. We had also secured the services of a local tender given the high volumes of Guest expected to go ashore, both with on-tour and independents. The Flam railway is always a popular here. Indeed, at around 1500 we have over 600 Guests ashore.
It was an idyllic day and as with every day, it does come to an end. The last Flam train tours arrived at the Pontoon at 2030 and we started to strike the ships equipment and recover the Tenders. By 2100 we were heaving the anchor and quietly slipped into the darkness on our way out of Flam. The locals don’t like noise, which is understandable, their summer is filled with big cruise ships coming every day. Whilst good for business, I can imagine how irritating that could be.
I thank my team for such a successful ‘Tender’ day where great communication, team work and working toward a common goal was all in evidence. A hard day, but a satisfying one.
It’s Skolden early in the morning and I have handed over to the Staff Captain whom will see us through the night as we navigate to the North Eastern extreme of the Fjord.
Time for bed said Zebedee!
Captain Stuart Horne
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.