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Stavanger

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

15th September, 2015

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Stavanger flourished in the early 19th century as a centre for the fishing trade. Also renowned for its shipbuilding and oil, this city’s economy is thriving. Stavanger is like most of Norway, very affluent. Being split almost into two halves, there is a modern side full of high-rise buildings, but also a historic old centre where there’s lots of cobbled streets and pretty traditional clapboard residential buildings, dating from the 18th and 19th century.

For those wondering ashore independently, there is a lot to see. It has an impressive cathedral dating back to 1125, the only cathedral in Norway to retain all its original features. Stavanger is also known as being the birthplace of the famous novelist Alexander Kielland, whose former home, Ledaal Manor, can be viewed from the outside.

Our excursions on offer today were; ‘A Slice of Paradise, Lysefjord Boat Trip, Stavanger City and Cathedral and also The Occupation of Stavanger’. The most popular tour today was ‘A Slice of Paradise’. Now I didn’t know whether or not it was for the breath-taking views of the Norwegian landscape of mountains, valleys and farmland, or the fact it had a refreshment stop at a rather appealing café, which served freshly-made waffles with sour cream and jam. Whenever I’m in Norway waffles and coffee are always a must!

‘Lysefjord Boat Trip’ today took our guests to Pulpit Rock, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the south-west of Norway. This chartered boat then sailed across to Lysefjord, a ribbon-like waterway that actually stretches 30 miles into the heart of the fjordlands. This trip also offered waffles and coffee, but at Helleren Beach under the shelter of an overhanging cliff. What a wonderfully picturesque setting!

An interesting tour today was ‘The Occupation of Stavanger’ which gave an insight into life in Stavanger during the Second World War, after it was occupied by German soldiers on the 9th April 1940. Up in the Drawing Room, the ever popular string quartet performed their concert ‘Romantic Interlude’ with works by Grieg and Handel. With a picturesque sail away, the sound and view really couldn’t have been any better. Main show time saw the welcome return of The WestEnders. Another show stopping performance which saw six vocalists command the stage. Finishing the evening with a mixture of 60’s love songs was Paul Johns, an acoustic guitarist and vocalist.

Once everyone was back on board we prepared to set sail towards our final destination, home. This will also be my farewell to Sapphire as I will hand her over to Captain Philip Rentell, wishing him smooth sailing and an enjoyable time on board.

Thank you for spending your time reading my blog, and until next time, Good Bye.

Captain Krzysztof Majdzinski

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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