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13th July, 2017


After a superb day's cruising in the Norwegian fjords yesterday we entered Byfyorden at 0600 for our run into Stavanger. Our pilots returned to duty and helped guide us into the port. It was a beautiful morning and Captain Horne again conducted the manoeuver – it is clear he is a very experienced ship handler. After swinging in the inner harbour we “backed” down to our berth and were all fast alongside by 0730. We had the “premium” berth right in the centre of town which was fabulous for our guests to go ashore.

Stavanger has always prospered from the riches of the sea. During the 19th century huge harvests of brisling and herring established it as the sardine capital of the world. A resident is still called a Siddis – the S from Stavanger and the Iddis which means “sardine label”. The city’s symbol is the key of a sardine can. While other towns in Norway have suffered with the decline of the fishing industry, Stavanger has kept its economy booming by diversifying, first into shipbuilding and then into oil. These contrasting industries have created a city of two halves – a modern area of high-rise buildings and a historic centre with cobbled streets and old wooden houses.

With lots of choice from our shore excursions including A Slice of Paradise, Stavanger City and Highlights, Lysefjord Boat Trip, The Occupation of Stavanger, and a Helicopter Flightseeing over Pulpit Rock, I gave myself an early birthday present of a helicopter trip. At 1255, along with 4 Guests, we were whisked away to the airport and 30 minutes later we were airborne and what a flight it was. A full 30 minutes in the air over-flying the city, the beautiful off-lying fjords and a 360’ around Pulpit Rock – what a great start to my birthday!! (photos attached). Arriving back on board at 1445 I was still on a “high” from this tremendous flight.

With everyone on board by 1630 we slipped our lines shortly thereafter and then headed back out through the fjords. The pilot was away at 1830 and we set course for Dover. I hosted my Farewell Cocktail party, which was a great event with everyone in such great spirits.

Well this is my last Blog for a few months as I go on leave on 15th July and return 14th September ready for the 21 night cruise to Canada. Have a great summer.

Captain Julian Burgess

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