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12th May, 2014



The superb sunset as we left Sognefjord was possibly the icing on the cake weather wise, by the following morning the cloud had closed in again and the scenery was looking somewhat grey. We passed Utsira, the island well known to some for being part of the shipping forecast and headed down towards Stavanger, which itself is known as the oil capital of Norway. There were a number of offshore bases we passed on the way, with a variety of odd looking rig supply and support ships alongside replenishing or waiting for their next contract.

As usual our berth was in the heart of the city; in fact less than a hundred yards away from the shops and directly across the water from the original white wooden houses built several hundred years ago. The passengers had a fine view of the new opera house until a great P&O job backed in and moored up. Our two Norwegian pilots were leaving us to go over there and basically repeat the same voyage, but in reverse. They weren’t in a hurry to leave, apparently not being too impressed with certain elements of that company’s ‘style’ and of course on board Saga Sapphire they had been getting the same great service that our passengers enjoy.

The day never really did brighten up, although it remained dry and the passengers I spoke with that evening at the farewell cocktail party said they had really enjoyed the day. The Flor and Fjaere gardens on the island of Sor Hidle were already planted and looking great, while the Lysefjord boat trip to Pulpit Rock is superb in almost any weather. The rock is a very small plateau that hangs out over the fjord 1800 feet above and I can remember trekking up there a few years ago. Many of the more adventurous who go actually sit on the edge, not I, far too scary.

We sailed off into the North Sea, bound for Dover, and by nightfall the last of Norway was just a thin line on a distant horizon. A relatively short cruise, but a great memory for passengers. 

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.