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23rd March, 2014

Alesund Norway

Alesund Norway
On route from Narvik, the weather was looking a bit bumpy so I organised a Pilot from the Krakvagfjorden Pilot station down the coast, and take advantage of the shelter the fjords offered us, so all could have a comfortable sleep. Berthing this morning was right in the middle of a squall. We started our approach in calm conditions but then I could see a snow squall approaching which increased the wind speed considerably and I had to use quite a bit of power to keep the ship off the berth to position for the gangway. Anyway all was done gently and we were all fast for 9:00am. With the snow-capped mountains that surrounded the harbour, and the distinctive and unique architecture this is quite unusual compared to the typical Norwegian town. Alesund is one of the prettiest ports of call this cruise, crammed with art nouveau buildings which were built in 1904 after a fire devastated the city. Many went on the Art nouveau city walk which really showed the highlights of the city. On this tour they visited the Art Nouveau Centre housed in the picturesque old swan Pharmacy set beside the Brosundet Sound. There were several on this tour today to the delight of the guide, and with the great weather it was a fine day to go walking. Enjoying a cup coffee and cake in the café before turning back to the ship was a perfect way to finish off the tour.

Alesund Norway
Today’s most popular excursion was the islands of Giske and Godøy. Again here they got to see the art nouveau quarter which replaced the more traditional Norwegian buildings. On this excursion they also visit giske the famous birthplace of the Viking King Rollo who conquered Normandy in 1911 and was an ancestor of William the Conqueror. On this excursion most can be enjoyed from the comfort of a warm coach, which is always nice when it’s rather chilly outside. Interestingly many of our guests who went on the Geirangerfjord tour today had previously done this excursion but at a different time of year. Seeing everything covered in snow however makes the scenery look so much different. On this full day tour our guests departed Alesund only to embark on a modern cruiser for the first part of the excursion. Cruising from the harbour through Storfjorden, and onto Geirangerfjord was a breath-taking experience for most. This 3 hour boat ride took everyone past dramatic scenery which included the majestic Seven Sisters Waterfalls. I was rather envious of those on this excursion today as I’ve been well informed of how fabulous the boat ride was, as well as the buffet lunch at the Union Hotel.

All aboard today was at 5:30pm as we prepared to set sail sadly towards our final port of call being flam. It was pleasing to meet 3 pilots who joined us, all familiar faces, I recognise them and they me, and one who had been on the bridge with me leaving Bergen this cruise in the hurricane force conditions. So today was such a contrast. The main show time this evening was Hollywood Nights which was a magical tribute to all those big screen blockbuster movie soundtracks. Supporting the cast I watched from the comfort of my cabin which is still a novelty to me. A superb show it must be said featuring song and dance renditions from Hollywood’s finest. Later there was music for dancing with the Saga Sapphire orchestra, late night cabaret and cocktails with the perfect mood duo up in the drawing room and classic sing along tunes with Martin Orbidan’s through in Coopers.

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.