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17th July, 2016


My fears were unfounded, it was not the waiters that looked like Viking marauders the next lunchtime, but John, our now bearded Cruise Director, who looked particularly scary, dressed up more like a beer house serving maid, complete with rouged cheeks, pink lipstick and hairless ankles visible under a rather unattractive baggy skirt. It was, however, a fantastic seafood buffet which Executive Chef George (in a blonde pig tailed wig?) and his team had excelled.

The sea day spent between Tromso and Molde was in calm conditions, one pilot disembarked in the early hours of Saturday and the next one joined at three in the morning of Sunday, just off Kristiansund, for the 60 mile outer fjord passage to Molde, a small town situated in the Romsdal province. Sheltered by many mountains on all sides, the scenery is quite beautiful and conditions are such that plants are protected from the harsh winds coming in from the North Atlantic. It is said that 222 peaks of the Romsdal range can be seen from the Varden viewpoint above the town, but perhaps not this day as the cloud base was rather low.

Rain stayed away and tours went off along the ‘Atlantic Ocean Road’, around this ‘Town of Roses’and to Håholmen Island where a short cruise on an 11th century replica of a Viking ship was part of the itinerary. Needless to say I did not join the latter, just to ensure I did not become part of the ‘entertainment’. Mrs R and I took a stroll just before lunch, walking along the waterside pathway passing the football stadium built by a very rich local resident of the town and an unusual glass faced hotel built in the style of a sail. The town is quite charming, old wooden buildings full of character still exist alongside those a little more contemporary. Roses were in bloom everywhere, and not a single indication of ‘Black spot’, how do they do it?

Captain Philip Rentell

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