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Bergen

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

4th June, 2014

Today we arrived at the pilot station at 6:30am and after a stately sail through the waters outside Bergen we were berthed in the port of this pretty town at 9:00am.

Bergen lies between the world’s longest fjord, Sognefjord, and one of the most beautiful, Hardangerfjord. Due to its sheltered position and its access to the Atlantic Ocean it soon grew as a trading centre after it was founded as a fishing village in 1070. Through the ages Bergen has remained the most important port on the west coast of Norway. Most of the original wooden houses, which have been destroyed by several major fires, have been replaced by brick ones. There are still a few around, which enhances the traditional charm of this town.

Soon after arrival the ship was cleared by the local authorities and the passengers could proceed ashore. The shore excursions today were. Bergen City High lights and Bergen City Panoramic. These two tours allow one to discover more about its long seafaring history. Some of the sights are Royal Hall, Haakonshallen, the old buildings of Bryggen (listed as a world Heritage Site and also known as the Hanseatic Wharf), Old Bergen Museum, the Fantoft Stave Church, the fish market, the Bergen Aquarium, St Mary’s Church, St John’s Church the Grieg Hall and vHaukeland Universaty. Included is the cable car to the top of Mount Ulriken, 2000ft above the town, or to Mount Floyen, offering a spectacular view of the town.

A Taste of Hardanger. This tour starts with a scenic drive through town and cuts through a variety of landscapes following the Hardangerfjord. One passes the Kvamskogen mountain plateau and Fossen Bratte waterfall, before stopping at Steindalsfossen waterfall, where one can walk behind the curtain of water without getting wet. The tour continues past the village of Oystese before stopping at the farming hamlet of Fykse, where one can enjoy visiting this famous fruit growing area. After refreshments of coffee and cakes, made with the local fruit, it is back to the ship.

Images of Grieg. This tour reveals the legacy of Bergen’s most famous son. Travel to the village of Paradis to visit Trohaugen, Grieg’s home from 1885 till his death in 1907.During this visit attend an exclusive piano recital of Grieg’s music and explore the exhibition and gardens.

Ole Bull and the Island of light. After a drive through Bergen the coach arrives at Buena Pier, where passenders board a shuttle boat for the 10 minute journey across to Lysoen, the Island of Light. Lysoen , is the location of the summer residence of the world-renowned violin virtuoso and composer Ole Bull, Norway’s first super star. With its onion domes and exotic ornamentals Ole called it his “ Little Alhambra”. There was a visit to the house and the gardens before a back to the ship by boat and coach.

For the passengers who wanted to discover Bergen independently one could take the short walk into town or use the shuttle bus, and for those passengers who wished to remain on board the cruise staff had organised and hosted different activities.

All aboard was at 10.30 pm, so lots of time to explore and enjoy a relaxing evening in port. The evening started with cocktail hour in the Cooper’s Bar and early evening music for listening and dancing in the drawing Room before dinner. After dinner the Britannia Lounge was the setting for music for dancing, and show time, which was opened with a short performance by the Explosive Singers and Dancers followed by the Comedy and Musical Entertainer Bruce Thompson, before more music for dancing. For those who were on deck for departure there was Dance and Sail away on the Verandah Deck with music for dancing and listening by the You and Me Duo. Of course the night would not be complete without Late Night Melodies with Lloyd Hulme at the piano in the Cooper’s Bar.

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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