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15th March, 2013


Views over Bergen

We left the chilly winds of Southampton behind and headed out towards the Dover Straits and the North Sea where we had calm seas and blue skies. This was a remarkable bonus for March, even though it was a touch chilly.

The red ‘Arctic’ jackets were handed out to passengers, so there was a certain amount of ‘testing’ going on outside on the upper deck to see just how warm they were.

At the welcome cocktail party I made a humorous reference following my observations during the day, when I had come across some of the passengers ‘checking themselves out’ as they passed a mirror in their jackets.

The weather in Bergen continued to be favourable with temperatures a few degrees above freezing, relatively sunny, but chilly and cool enough for passengers to go ashore in their newly
acquired garb.

As the tours began we conducted a crew drill and enough fuel to last us for three weeks was pumped on board from two coastal tankers. With the mornings work complete, I took a brisk stroll into town to meet my wife, passing many returning passengers on the way.

A typical Bergen street

Not knowing them all of course and trying to be the friendly Captain ashore, I nodded, smiled and said hello to every red jacket that passed. I did get a strange look from one lady who turned out to be local. I should have realised she was not ‘one of ours’ by the dog she had on a lead.

We took the ‘Floibanen’, the funicular train that goes 1000 feet up Mount Floyen, which is one of the seven mountains that surround the city. We’d taken the train before, but because the views promised to be particularly special in the weather conditions we were having, we decided it was worth doing again.

As lovely as the views were, cloud loomed to the south and by the time we had returned and passed the old buildings of the Bryggen area, there were a few snow flurries.

As we departed it was clear that the best of the weather had definitely gone and as we passed through the fjords to the north of Bergen heavy snow showers were becoming a little more regular.

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.