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Geiranger

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

11th July, 2017

After a magnificent evening sail through Nordfjord we headed out to sea for approx. 5 hours before heading back into the shelter of Storfjord – which along with Geirangerfjorden is considered one of the most beautiful in Norway. We always increase our manning prior to entering any fjord from the open sea, and of course we are also under the guidance of some excellent Norwegian pilots.

Approx. 60 miles to our anchorage position at Geiranger, at 0640 we passed close to the famed “Seven Sisters” (De Syv Sostre) Waterfall, a fanciful name to go with the Friaren or Suitor) as this single waterfall looks as though it is proposing to the sisters opposite. 15 minutes later the beauty of Geiranger village opened before our eyes. Standing at the head of Geirangerfjorden the village has about 300 permanent residents and many more of course in the summer.

Geiranger is one of Norway’s most famous tourist resorts boasting five hotels and more than ten camping sites. It is encircled by majestic snow-capped mountains, some towering between 3,000 – 5,000 feet high and has been named by the Lonely Planet Guide as the best travel destination in Scandinavia.

Shortly after 7 o’clock we “let go” our starboard anchor and then moved astern towards the shore where we ran 4 lines from the aft mooring deck to a bollard on the shore – a local boat pinpoints the anchorage position and then moves aft to run the lines to the bollard. It’s a long winded operation but means you can hold position close to the shore and the distance for the tenders to run is nice and short. We were all secure by 0730 and tenders ready to take guests ashore by 0800.

We had 4 tours on offer today from an overland coach trip to a high octane Rib adventure. From our moored position we had a marvellous view up the valley and into the mountains as shown by the attached photos. This was “somewhat” altered with the arrival of an Italian “Block of Flats” – namely the MSC Fantasia. Having now been with Saga for 9 cruises and loving the whole experience I could not imagine being on a monster ship with 4-5 thousand passengers and 1500 crew – sounds awful!!

At 1400 we had everyone back from the morning tours, so slipped our stern-lines and “weighed” the stb’d anchor. 15 mins later with the anchor sighted and clear we left Geiranger and proceeded towards Hellesylt, passing the seven sisters en-route.

We arrived off of our berth at 1600 and were all fast by 1615, which was perfect as we had tours arriving back to the ship at 1630. We then stayed overnight and left the following morning at 0700 for a superb 7 hours cruising through the fjords.

I decided to host a table that night even though it was not a formal night. This gives me an opportunity with a smaller round table to meet more of our special Guests.

After dinner we headed to the Britannia Lounge for the 2nd performance by The Angelo Star Band – Angelo is the brother of the famous Motown and Soul singer Edwin Star and took over the lead for the band when his Brother died. Wow what a night – the dance floor was packed with our Guests (and a few Staff !!) dancing the night away, some ending up on stage playing maracas, and tambourine. The band went out into the audience and created a very special atmosphere. This has to be the best act I have ever seen at sea – Thank you Angelo, and all your band. (Resty’s selfie is taken back stage after the show).

Captain Julian Burgess

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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