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Bergen

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

27th February, 2014

Bergen
After a couple of lovely days at sea we reached the pilot station at Marstein, about 20 miles south of Bergen. The morning weather reminded me of my days in the North sea. I was on the bridge at 4:30am with Gale Force winds from the south, and rather chilly conditions but we are still in February!!

As we turned eastwards to make our approaches in between the rocks of the entrance to the fjord, we had to put 30 degrees of counter helm as the very strong winds were trying to push us north. So we had to steer South to make the entrance so basically we came in Sideways. This is called counteracting the weather, and we were making leeway to the north. Once we were in the enclosed fjords, the swell dropped away and the waters calmed so we slowed down as the pilot boat appeared from one of the quaint little harbours amongst the rocks. We had a female pilot this morning who we recognised each other and after the usual formalities we were making our way up the fjord. The wind was very fresh this morning blowing the ship off the quay so I took a wide swell to get the ship alongside and then used the tug boat to pin us alongside against the strong winds.

We were soon fast at 7:50am.This was our first port of call being Bergen and also I was told we were the first Cruise ship of the season to visit Bergen. With a slightly drizzly start to the day we of course remained optimistic for the rest of the day ahead. As the hours past the sun did gradually come out and the clouds cleared for those who took the funicular ride. Reaching the top of one of the seven mountains that surround Bergen great views were seen by all, of the entire city. The waterside city of Bergen really does have a spectacular setting, and with a variety of excursions available, many passengers were really able to enjoy the many sides of Bergen. Being known round the world for its charm and atmosphere, and also being founded originally as a fishing village in 1070.

Bergen

The most popular tour today had to be “A Taste of Hardanger “. On this excursion they were given a brief orientation drive through Bergen, before taking a scenic journey following the Hardangerfjord. For those who had previously visited Bergen this tour was something a little different, soaking up the serene landscapes of the region with the opportunity to capture it on film.

On arrival back to the ship, most went up into the Britannia lounge to watch a local Fire brigade brass band, who I must add were fantastic. Being Sapphire’s first visit to Bergen this year, local authorities traditionally send this wonderful band along to each vessel that arrives. Shortly after their performance, afternoon tea was served with musical accompaniment from the fabulous Martin Orbidans, our resident cocktail pianist.

Throughout the day, we had watched many warships berth ahead of us, mainly from the German Navy as there was a large Nato exercise on around Norway. We cast off at 4:00pm and of we went to out next port of call Aandalsnes, tomorrow.

Hollywood Nights was the show this evening through in our main show lounge with the Explosive Productions cast. This performance was a magical tribute to all those big screen blockbuster movie soundtracks, featuring song and dance renditions from Hollywood’s finest. Finishing the evening was the Perfect mood Duo upstairs in the drawing room, or alternatively guests could head into Cooper’s for a song or two with the very talented Martin Orbidans.

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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