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9th July, 2017


After a very calm transit of the North Sea yesterday and weaving in and out of multiple gas and oil rigs we made our final approach to the southern pilot station for Bergen. With 30 knot winds and moderate seas these soon eased down as we made our way into the Fjord and made it suitable to embark the pilot. With the pilot on board at 0715 and shortly after taking the “con”,  we had 21 miles to our berth. Even though there was some light drizzle, Saga Sapphire has excellent viewing from our public rooms, bars and restaurants. We had 2 bridges to pass under en-route to our berth and in Dover we lowered our main mast to give us more clearance.

I took the con 4 miles from the berth, completed our stern and rudder tests, then manouvered towards the dock. The pier was only 130m long so with our length of 199m we had an “overhang”fwd and aft, so used a small line boat aft to run our lines. We were all fast by 0940 and gangways ready 10 mins later. 

Surrounded by mountains and sparkling fjords, the waterside city of Bergen has a spectacular setting. There has been a settlement here since medieval times and the colourful waterfront buildings of the Hanseatic wharf, known as Bryggen, are testament to its fascinating history of trade. As Norway’s best known medieval settlement, the Bryggen is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Our comprehensive selection of excursions allows you to discover the many sites of Bergen, such as the fish market and narrow cobbled streets, as well as stunning views of the city from the summit of Mt Floyen.

With “All on Board”set at 1700 our guests were back in good time so shortly after 5.00pm we were ready to sail. Our latest Captain Stuart Horne is here for his 8 day handover as I go on leave on the 15th July. He conducted the manoeuver and it was soon very apparent that he had a lot of ship-handling experience.   With 32 miles in Nordfjord and then    it was very attractive sailaway especially as the sun came out. 

This cruise is a 8 night Magic of the Fjords Cruise and is  also a Soul Music Cruise , so tonight I am looking forward to ShowTime with “The Angelo Star Band”. The late great Edwin Starr’s brother, Angelo Starr, is the original musical director of the Team and has now taken over lead vocals performing all the fantastic Edwin Starr classics. Just back from the first show and it was fantastic –lots of guests dancing, everyone having a wonderful time. They are a “class”act and I can’t wait for the next performance

Captain Julian Burgess 

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