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Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

6th September, 2012

Our run up the North Sea , had us unfortunately experiencing northerly gales with about a 5 metre sea. But this ship really does ride the waves well. Last night we had the welcome party while the ship was moving, and the Brittannia Lounge was practically full despite the weather so it’s a credit to the sea keeping qualities of the ship.

At 0630 we approached Marstein Pilot Station 23 miles from Bergen. The high winds had decreased to nothing so we had glass like seas but a heavy swell, so once inside the fjord, we embarked our pilot for Bergen. You get to know all the pilots and they you after all the years I have been coming up here, and we reminisce on the ships we met on before as we sail north.

We arrived alongside at 0845,at the rain capital of Europe, the lovely Bergan. Nestled amongst a series of stunning mountains, and shrouded in mist, Norway’s second largest city was a sight to behold. As we tied up on the quayside, there was a throng of eager passengers waiting to see the wonders that the city beholds.

The first tour to leave the quayside today was ‘A Taste of Hardanger’. Starting off by viewing the city centre, then venturing past one of Norway’s prettiest fjords, and finishing with a performance from a local violinist, it was a fantastic tour enjoyed by all. Following that there was something for the more active explorer on the ‘Mount Floyen Hike’.

For those who were interested in the some of the city’s Hanseatic history, there was the popular ‘Bergan City Highlights’. We finished off the morning dispatch with a charming panoramic tour. From the safety and warmth of a well-appointed coach all on board were given a relaxing 3 hour tour around town, with the option to ride the famous funicular at its climax.

Back on the ship, Julian our Food and Beverage Manager, laid on a delightful 'Viennese Afternoon Tea', with musical accompaniment provided by our cocktail pianist Martin Orbidans. Guests sipped multiple cups of tea and devoured some delicious cakes, whilst listening to melodies of past classical masters. This led us into the start of tonight’s entertainment, the first event being our Britannia Club Cocktail party.

We had just cleared the fjords so I was able to go up and meet everyone in the drawing room and say a few words to our very loyal guests.

Later in the main lounge it was the time for our on board show team to shine with their first performance of the cruise, the fantastic ‘West End to Broadway’. Featuring numbers from ‘Les Miserables’ right through to the modern phenomenon the ‘Jersey Boys’, guests were entertained for a solid forty five minutes. All in all a great day was had by all as we set sail for the stunning Geiranger.

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.