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Norwegian Fjords 2015

A while back I said I would post something about the cruise I went on back in June 2015 but alas nothing was posted - sorry!

As I didn't do anything back then, I thought I would write something about it now as I am on a roll...

So back in June 2015, Mark and I went on our first cruise to Norway to see the Norwegian Fjords. I was very sceptical but open minded on the whole experience, because I was not sure I was going to like cruising and being stuck on a ship with thousands of people.

The cruise was calling at Stavanger, Skjolden, Geiranger and Bergen and we had only booked an excursion for the Geiranger.

It was a beautiful day in Southampton and we boarded P&O Aurora early afternoon. Our cabins were not ready straight away so went up to the buffet restaurant to grab some lunch. It started to get crowded so at this point we went off for a wander around the ship and watch us leave Southampton, passing Calshot, turning left at Cowes and then heading down to East Solent and past Portsmouth. By the time we got there it was a already a beautiful sight with the sun setting and we caught the pilot board coming alongside to collect the pilot as we exited the Solent.

We had opted for the second sitting and so this left us time to find a drink before dinner. We decided that as dinner was at the stern then we would go in the opposite direction and head to the bow to the Crows Nest. Wow! It was deserted and had an amazing panoramic view, we ordered our drinks and just took in the view. Pimm's and G&T was the drinks of choice for the whole holiday. Dinner time almost upon we walked around the outside to get to there and to view more of the sun set.

Sun set at sea

Day one was spent at sea to get up to Norway, I was up early and to the gym before breakfast for a run and to try Pilates for the first time (turned out to be the only time I did this). When I went back to the cabin it turns out that Mark was still asleep - the advantage to an inside cabin! We spent the day looking around the ship, played a bit of golf, deck quoits and a bit of retail therapy but didn't go into the pool because although it was June, it was freezing!

That evening was the first formal night and the Captains cocktail party in the Crows Nest, we attended, went to dinner and then later was the show of the evening.

Street in Stavanger
Day two and we arrived in Stavanger early morning. We had decided to get up and watch us sail into port, because of the cold mornings, we decided to stay and watch this in the comfort of the Crows Nest. As we were coming along side, there was a beach ball tournament going on. Lots of man made courts, which were in the sun and now were blunged into darkness by the ship!

After breakfast we got off and went for a walk around the beautiful town, nothing was open yet but we continued to have a look and took in the cold, crisp morning. As we had not booked anything on the ship and conscious that we had to be back by a certain time we looked around to see where we could go. Luckily we found a boat trip to see the amazing Whiskey Waterfalls and it would get us back on time - Perfect!

Whiskey Waterfalls

Day three, we arrived on Skjolden and again this was a early morning rise to see us come along side. Over night be had travelled up the longest fjord in Norway at 127 miles inland from the ocean, it is the second largest in the world. There was not much to do in this little village, so we decided to go for a hike into the mountains and walked a staggering 21,000 steps!

Early evening we were able to watch us leaving the fjord and take in the beautiful scenery. Also just before dinner we did our usual Crows Nest drink and was able to continue to watch our selves leaving the fjord.

The one feature I loved about Aurora was the stern and the way the decks are staggered, this made it a great place to view the fjord from as well as a place to relax and watch ourselves sailing.

View of the fjord from the stern

Day four saw us sail into Geiranger, where we anchored in the bay and was ferried ashore. This was the only port that we had booked anything for, but because it was for the afternoon it gave us the morning to have a look around, we were treated to more breath taking scenery.

The excursion was a coach trip up to the top of Mt. Dalsnibba,  while on the way up we were informed by the guide that the road we were on and the road to the very top had only just opened up about two weeks before, because of all the snow that was still around. As we travelled higher into the mountains you began to see more and more snow. Before we turned onto the final ascend there was packs of snow at the side of the road twice my high (5' 6") and maybe more!

While we were at the top I started to get very weak and felt sick, I was getting vertigo! At that point I went to sit in the warmth of the coach until we left, although my time was short I was able to take in the views from the top in between the clouds.

As we sailed out that evening, the Seven Sister waterfalls were pointed out to us.

View from less than half way up the mountain

Day five and the final port was Bergen. We decided that today we were just going to have a walk around the town and see the fish markets. While on the way into town we came across several christmas shops. I had not seen anything like them before and we just had to go and have a look. It was three floors jam packed full of christmas stuff! When we got off the ship we were given a map of Bergen and we had noticed an advert for a cable car called Fløibanen, so we set off to find it but it took us all morning. When we finally found it, it turns out that we had walked past it at the beginning but not noticed it because it was tucked away in a back street. 

From the top there was an amazing view of Bergen, but unfortunately it didn't take long for vertigo to kick in again, which was very odd as normally I would of been ok. Once we had taken in the scenery we headed down the mountain and then walked back to the ship for the last time.

Day six we spent at sea on the way back to Southampton, so spent the day relaxing and enjoying the ship for the last time and same as every other night, we spent our evening in the Crows Nest before and after dinner. 

View from the top of the cable car


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