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Oslo

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

24th September, 2012

For the final port of this ‘Best of the Baltics’ cruise, we docked in beautiful Oslo, the capital of Norway. The city was at its splendid best as the sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky. Just a hop, skip and jump from the centre of town, all aboard were eager to disembark the Sapphire and explore all that was on offer.

The first to head on out into the glorious weather was the ‘Oslo and the Hadeland Glassworks’ tour. Taking in Norway’s oldest industrial company founded in 1762, Guests could observe the entire glass making process. All were fascinated by the skill and technique of the traditional glassblowers as they shaped the molten product into something wonderful.

Being as it was such a lovely day, the ever popular ‘Walking in the heart of Oslo’ tour was an extra special affair. First off passengers visited the National Gallery, the home of the famous artwork by Edvard Munch ‘The Scream’. Next there was a brief glimpse of the Norwegian parliament, the Town Hall and the excursion concluded at the imposing Akershus Fortress, whose battlements dominated the pier situated right next the ship.

For those who had an interest in maritime history, the last tour off the ship took in two fascinating museums. At the Viking Ships Museum, guests were blown away by the magnificently preserved Viking vessels found in ancient royal tombs, whilst at Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki Museum, passengers saw the original papyrus boat used in the 1947 expedition.

Once again a wonderful day was had on and off the ship, and to top it all off there was still the wonderful Oslo sail-out to come.I manoeuvred the ship away from the berth on a crisp fine day, swung the bow around and proceeded out of the harbour, saying farewell for the last time this season with the resounding blowing of the ships whistle. I had asked the pilot if we could sail past the Island of Askhomer where the German Battle Cruiser “Blucher” lies in 80 metres of water. I told the passenegrs the story of the night in April 1940 when the Blucher sailed silently towards Norway with troops to take over the government. As she sailed silently passed the Oscarborg fortress, an eagle eyed Norwegian Commander opened fire with his old cannons and crippled and sunk the Bluchers with gunfire and torpedoes. I said to the passengers as we sailed over, I can actually see the wreck on the seabed with our echosounder, and seeing the oil also makes you suddenly feel the poignancy of that night and the horror and the loss of over 800 souls.

We continued on after that, with many passengers out on deck to see the oil as we sailed towards Dover.

As we departed, the beautiful day only magnified the fjord’s beauty, and most of the outside decks were swamped with passengers catching some late afternoon sun. It was a fantastic port to end an extremely enjoyable cruise.

Well, we shall be in Dover in a couple of days and I will then go home on vacation for a few months, and hand over to Captain Rentell. Its been a pleasure once again to be in command of Saga's flagship and I have enjoyed getting to know the ship more. She is the finest seaship I have sailed on, I thought that the Rose and Ruby would be a hard act to follow but she is starting to settle into the fleet and gain her own reputation.

I feel sad to leave my colleagues but I know I will sail with them again soon and I am looking forward to seeing my wife and son. I wish Captain Rentell and the crew safe sailing and smooth seas and thank you for reading,

Captain McLundie, signing off.

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.

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