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21st March, 2014

Narvik Norway

Our run from Tromso was one of a challenge. First of all we could not sail all the way inside as dredging work is still going on in some of the narrows so we had to go out to the open sea, and down the coats and back in again south of the dredging work and then carried on down to lodigen. At about 11:00pm the pilot informed me that due to excessive winds of 45 knots and blizzard conditions, the narrows at Lodingen were obscured and too dangerous to proceed and as such the Cruise ship Marco Polo had aborted her transit north. I knew the weather was due to reduce at about 2:30am so the pilot and I agreed to keep going just north of the narrows, and if the conditions and visibility were still poor, I would abort and hang around to the north of the bridges. So we slowed right down as we could see the conditions were not safe to proceed. But patience paid off and the snow cleared and wind dropped sufficiently for us to proceed so off we went against 5 knots of current!!

We then headed off for Narvik, were we started to make our approach at 7:30am. We were all fast by 8:00am again in another chilly port..

Narvik is a town and an ice-free seaport in northern Norway, near the head of Ofotfjorden. Narvik is a major trans-shipment point for iron ore shipping some 25 million tons of iron ore from the port annually. This modern town lies 140 miles inside the Arctic Circle, and actually came into existence in the 1870s. The industrial heritage that helped shape the town now forms the basis for some of its most popular tourist attractions. This export trade and some fishing are its economic mainstays.

Once again there were several tours departing throughout the day with the Ofotbanen railway being the most popular. This tour passenger’s travel through the spectacular scenery to the Swedish border. This 26 mile train journey takes you from Narvik to Riksgransen, which lies just half a mile inside the Swedish border. Other excursions available today were the Pride of Narvik, Polar Zoo Wildlife Park and City Sightseeing and War History.

There was some good feedback from the City sightseeing and War History museum today. Starting the tour from the comfort of a coach, whilst learning about Narvik’s fascinating war history from a local guide was enjoyed by all. For those who had free time during their excursion, souvenirs were of course a priority. All aboard today was at 6.30pm which gave those on tour an opportunity to venture off independently as well.

On sailing, someone had anchored a very large Bulk Carrier off our starboard side!! So I had to squeeze around but again always up for a challenge!

The show this evening was with our resident production cast Explosive Productions, presenting Come on over to My Place. This was a tribute to the iconic music of the legendary Drifters, with vibrant costumes and energised dance routines. Later there was music for dancing from the Sapphire Orchestra with our gentlemen dance hosts as well as music from the Perfect Mood Duo up in the Drawing Room, and good old fashioned sing along tunes with our cocktail pianist Martin Orbidan’s. This evening was nice and relaxed in preparation for a busy sea day tomorrow, full of classes’ lectures and sporting activities.

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.