3rd March, 2019
Sadly our departure from Bergen yesterday was delayed due to a technical problem with one of our lifeboats, which in turn meant that our arrival into Andalsnes was later than expected. However the upshot was that our guests were able to enjoy a scenic sail in to Andalsnes in daylight hours.
We arrived at 12.30pm. The weather was surprisingly kind to us for this time of year. There was some disappointment that some of the Rauma Railway departures had to be cancelled, as they were morning departures and the train only takes 60 people. Our Shore Excursions team did however manage to secure 3 coaches for those guests on the morning train departures in order to do a similar tour, but by bus and as it turns out many of them said it seemed to be a better tour as they saw all of the sights and got some great pictures.
Once all of the tours had left I took a stroll around the sleepy town – particularly sleepy; it being Sunday. The Visitor’s Centre, a peculiar looking building, was open however and many guests made use of its facilities. Not sure how many bought a coffee there though – it is a bit on the expensive side here in Norway. Think quite a few were tempted by the chance of having a climbing lesson though!
I wrapped up warm, but it turns out I was a little over zealous as the sun was shining – no need for hat and mittens and I even had to unzip my coat!
The view of the fjord was outstanding. Snow peaked mountains and glass-like waters. It is a great place to just take a stroll and the fresh air certainly blew the cobwebs off. I took a walk further up the fjord and passed a few red-jacketed Saga guests on the way. All of who commented at how lucky we were with the weather.
I headed up to the view point but chose not to go all the way as I had done a couple of years ago. Instead, I took a different route and passed some picture-perfect Norwegian homes. This led me to an opening where I could get a few good shots of the Saga Sapphire amid the snowy mountains. Passing the railway tracks of the infamous Rauma Railway – deemed to be one of the most picturesque railway journeys in Norway. I found a statue in honour of the railway builders and it made me smile when I noticed that someone had decided to keep him warm in the winter months by putting a scarf around his neck. Good to see that the locals have a sense of humour!
It was only a couple of hours ashore for me but I came back refreshed and revived. Still amazed by the sunshine I spoke with Abram our Food & Beverage Managers and Hotel Director Julian and we decided to offer an “Arctic Blue” Cocktail to all of our guests at Sailaway on the back deck. I must have counted over a hundred guests, most in red jackets, who were all in wonder at the spectacular views as we sailed away. Everyone seemed in good spirits and already a number of guests that are new to Saga were telling me about how much they were enjoying the cruise, the crew’s attention to detail, the service and of course the food. Good to hear.
Let’s hope we are as fortunate with the weather in our upcoming ports of call. Now I have to make preparations for our Crossing the Arctic Line Ceremony tomorrow, where I will be playing the part of the Arctic Queen – there has to be an easier way of making a living, right?! All in a day’s work… Over and out!
Jo Boase, Cruise Director
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