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29th June, 2014


After a bit of a traumatic time we arrived at the pilot station at 8:20 am. The reason for this later arrival was the fact that one of the turbo chargers cooling water system jackets developed a crack, which made the use of cooling water to this turbo charter impossible. It was feared that this would put one engine out of use. Luckily after consulting the manufacturer and service engineers we were able to use the engine on a lower load and could make our call to Sandefjord. After the pilot boarded we made our way for 30 miles along the Norwegian coast to our berth in the fjord under a partly cloudy and breezy condition, which resulted in dramatic light over the passing coast line. We were berthed at 11:00am.

Sandefjord was formally a famous health resort, with various kinds of baths for health improvement such as salt water sea baths, mud and sulphur baths. These were visited between 1837 and 1939 by royalty, prime ministers and foremost cultural personalities. The baths building has been restored. It was also a centre for whaling ships. A very interesting whaling museum tells the story. Another industry was ship and oil platform building. These yards closed some thirty years ago and are now being developed to accommodate cruise ships.


Soon the ship was cleared and the passengers could proceed ashore. The tours today were. Sandefjord and Coastal Panoramic. This tour started with a scenic coach trip to the pretty coastal town of Stavern, passing the once busy Framnes Shipyard, where Shackleton’s Endurance was built in 1912, the town centre with its 19th century red wooden buildings, the large fountain and whale monument, the old whaling vessel “ Southern Actor” and the former home of shipping magnate Anders Jahre, which is set in splendid grounds. After arriving in Stavern refreshments were taken in a local hotel followed by exploring the 17th century naval fortress and some of the many galleries found here.

Folehavna Fort. From Sadefjord this tour travelled towards the southern tip of Vesteroya. From here it was on foot along the coastal path for about one mile to reach the fort which was originally named HKB 5/980 Vesterøen by the German military authorities who occupied it during WWII. Although the four guns, which had a firing range of over nine miles, have long since been removed, there was still ample evidence of the coastal battery’s important history to explore. In 1945 the fort was renamed Folehavna after the beautiful bay and sandy beach it overlooks.

Telemark Canal Cruise. A chance to enjoy a nostalgic cruise on the historic Telemark Canal, passing through one of the nicest stretches between Vrangfoss and Ulefoss. During the hour long cruise, the canal boat slowly passed through seven of the 18 lock chambers, all of which are still operated manually, rising or descending some 144 feet in the process. This canal through the mountains, 65 miles long and dug by hand, was a vital source of power and transport route between upper and lower Telemark. After the cruise the return trip took one through the towns of Porsgun, once the cultural centre of Norway, and Skien, one of Norway’s oldest towns and birthplace of poet and playwright Henrik Ibsen and the polar explorer Hjalmar Johansen.

A Day in Oslo. This tour combined sculpture, , skiing, and the Vikings. Sights in Oslo were, Akershus fortress, parliament Building, Royal Palace, and the Nobel Institute. Visited were:

The Vigeland Sculpture Park, covering 80 acres and is home to 212 sculptures, all modelled by Gustav Vigeland who also designed the layout.

Holmenkollen ski jump, location of the first ever ski jump, built in 1892 and reconstructed in 2010. The Viking Ship Museum on Bygdoy peninsula, which houses three Viking longboats and contains two of the world’s best-preserved 9th-century ships, together with other finds such as implements, tools and harnesses excavated from Viking tombs around the Oslo fjord.

For passengers wishing to explore Sandefjord there was a shuttle bus, that took them into town.

For those passengers on board the cruise staff had organised and hosted different activities.

We had a bit of a busy day. There were two service engineers on board to help with the repair of the cooling water jacket of the turbo charger. It caused a later departure. The Chief Engineer explained it by saying that turbo charger in ships are slightly bigger than the once in a car. Departure was beautiful with the late evening sun shining while we retraced our way to the pilot station, where we disembarked the pilot and set course for Dover.

For the passengers this evening started with cocktail hour in the Cooper’s and Aviators Bar and early evening music for listening and dancing in the drawing Room, followed by dinner. After dinner the Britannia Lounge hosted music for dancing, followed by the UK’s Leading Musical Theatre Concert Tour “Beyond the Barricade”. This was followed by music for listening and dancing with the Perfect Mood Duo and a performance by Explosive Production Vocalists Darren Tremble and Gareth Evans in the Drawing Room and Late Night Musical melodies with Lloyd Hulme at the piano in the Cooper’s Bar.

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