28th September, 2019
On Thursday we departed Dover for our “Norway Rocks” cruise and it was certainly a “breezy” one. With 35 knots blowing us off the berth once had let go we had to “out our foot down” to clear the harbour before we were blown too far sideways. Once clear and heading North the weather was behind us which provided a comfortable night on board for our newly embarked guests. Our day at sea before Kristiansand was fine and sunny with a high temperature of 20’C and the winds still behind us – perfect weather for our Guests to find their way round the ship and explore the open decks.
It was a day of catching up for me and then in the evening meeting up for dinner with two lovely ladies from “Elektra”, a violin duo who combine musical virtuosity and charisma in their unique shows that cover all the genres. I’ve known the owner Hazel for about 3 years so it was great to catch up and with the Doctor’s company we had a great table for 4 in the Grand Dining Room.
Today we embarked our pilot at 0645 and I gave Staff captain to carry out his first arrival docking the ship. A very cautious and measured manouver ensured we were all fast by 0750 and ready to allow guests ashore shortly after 0800. Although it was the 2nd call for this ship, somehow the traditional plaque exchange did not occur on the maiden call so at 0900 I met the duty Harbour Master and plaques were exchanged (photo attached).
Kristiansand is an important centre on the Southern Coast of Norway, with daily ferry links to Hirtshals in Denmark. Designed and laid out by King Christian IV in 1641, the town has a network of distinctive right-angled streets laid out in a quadrant plan. The oldest part of the town, Posebyen, is home to rows of charming white-painted wooden houses. With its busy harbour, lively pedestrianised shopping area and a coastline dotted with islands and series, Kristiansand is a favourite holiday destination for Norwegians.
There were 8 tours on offer which included the “Charming Little Lilesand”, “Kristiansand in World War II”, “City and Surroundings”, “Walking Tour of Kristiansand”, and the “Setesdal Vintage Railway”.
With everyone on board by 1630 we were making preparations ready to sail to Bergen. 30 minutes later we had left the berth and were heading down Byford enroute for Bergen for a 1200 arrival tomorrow. Tonight is formal night so a welcome party at 1815 and then hosting a table in the Grand Dining Room.
Captain Julian Burgess
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