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Showing posts from 2014

The Best of 2014

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In July this year I started this blog as a place to keep my growing collection of cruise ship photos. Since then I've had some great feedback and the blog has already grown into what I hope is an interesting and informative place for my readers. So far over 70 ships have been featured, with many more planned.

To mark the end of the first (partial) year I've put together a few of my personal favourite posts from the past 6 months.
SEABOURN LEGEND
In July, Seabourn Legend made her final call into Bergen before being transferred to the Windstar Fleet to make way for newer tonnage. She is a ship I remember well from the film Speed 2: Cruise Control, which, although absolutely dreadful in many respects, provided fantastic access to the ship and her interiors.

She visited Bergen on a fantastic summer day, and I was lucky to catch her departure through the fjords whilst out on a boat trip, which gave me the opportunity to see her underway.
QUEEN MARY 2
Cunard's flagship Queen Mary …

Azamara Journey

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Another update to the archive, with new photos from Azamara Journey's call to the city on 16/06/2014.

Built in 2000 as one of the 8 ships in the R-class for Renaissance Cruises, Azamara Journey started life as R Six. Following the collapse of Renaissance Cruises in 2001, these eight almost brand-new ships were suddenly without an operational owner, and over the following months and years the fleet was scattered throughout the industry, as various lines took up the opportunity to add a modern mid-sized ship to their fleet.

Since her short spell as R Six for her original owners, she has sailed as Blue Star (2003-2005) and Blue Dream (2005-2007) before being transferred by parent company Royal Caribbean International in 2008 to their new premium brand Azamara Cruises (now Azamara Club Cruises), along with sister ship Azamara Quest (previously R Seven).
Azamara Journey has proved successful in her new role, and currently sails worldwide on a selection of itineraries.

Stavangerfjord

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A regular sight in and around Bergen are Fjord Line's cruise ferries Stavangerfjord and Bergensfjord. Operating between Norway and Denmark year-round on the Bergen-Stavanger-Langesund-Hirtshals route, these ships now constitute the only regular international ferry service from the city.

The following photos were taken as Stavangerfjord approached Bergen on Saturday afternoon.

Built in Gdansk, Poland, in 2012, Stavangerfjord entered service the following year. With a length of 170m and a gross tonnage of around 25,000 she can accommodate up to 600 vehicles and 1,500 passengers, with a minimum crew of 70.

Stavangerfjord is notable as being the world's first cruise-ferry powered entirely by LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). This technology has been used on large ships before, but it did initially throw up a few challenges, and Stavangerjord's timetables during 2013 had to be modified to account for unexpected difficulties with refuelling.


Fortunately, after a necessary change of r…

MS Trollfjord - Photo Tour

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Up next in the series of photo tours on board the ships of Hurtigruten is MS Trollfjord.

Regular readers of this blog will know the drill by now; MS Trollfjord is one of a fleet of 11 ships that together offer daily departures from Bergen on the Express route along the coast of Norway. The ships serve a dual roll as both cruise ships and cargo ships, and are vital in connecting many of the smaller communities in the northern part of the country.

Scroll down to take a look around her interiors and public decks.

EXTERIOR

A sister ship to Midnatsol, Trollfjord is one of the newer and larger vessels in the fleet. She makes for a handsome sight whilst moored alongside at Hurtigruteterminalen, Bergen. With her slightly squat but attractive profile she is a well presented ship.

Built in Norway in 2002, she has a gross tonnage of 16,140 and can accommodate 822 passengers (640 in berths).

After passing through check-in at the terminal building, passengers are given a short video safety briefing…

Queen Elizabeth

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Cunard's youngest ship, Queen Elizabeth, has called into Bergen several times since she entered service in 2010. The photo below was taken during her visit to the city on 27/07/2013.

Unfortunately this is the only photo I have from this visit. Queen Elizabeth is due into Bergen during August 2015, so I plan to get some better pictures of her then.

In the meantime, you can take a look at our recent photos of her sister ship Queen Victoria, and Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2.


MS Polarlys - Photo Tour

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Take a look around the interiors and open decks of MS Polarlys with our full photo tour,

These pictures were taken whilst she was alongside in Bergen, preparing for the 11-day round trip she operates from the city along the coast of Norway. The route is popular with cruise tourists keen to experience 'the most beautiful voyage in the world', and also serves as a lifeline for many smaller communities in Norway's more isolated north.

EXTERIOR

Polarlys was built in Fosen, Norway, and entered service in 1996. She is one of Hurtigruten's class of six near-sisters, affectionately known as the '90s ships'. With a length of 123m and a gross tonnage of 11,340 she can accommodate 619 passengers, with berths for 473.

Despite her 18 years of service Polarlys is a nicely presented ship, with an attractive, well-balanced profile. Her smart red and black hull makes her instantly recognisable as a member of the Hurtigruten fleet.

Polarlys has a lot in common with her near-sister…

MS Vesterålen - Photo Tour

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One of the more unusual members of the Hurtigruten fleet is MS Vesterålen. She operates on the 11-day round trip from Bergen, calling at 34 ports along the coast of Norway. The route is popular with cruise tourists keen to experience 'the most beautiful voyage in the world', and also serves as a lifeline for many smaller communities in Norway's more isolated north.
Take a look inside her passenger decks with this full photo tour.
EXTERIOR

Built in Norway in 1983, Vesterålen has undergone a number of refurbishments during her career, including a substantial rebuilding and extension in Germany in 1989. These have left her with a slightly awkward profile, and a disjointed interior layout. With a gross tonnage of 6,261 she can accommodate up to 510 passengers, with berths for 294.

Vesterålen's sister ships have all since left Hurtigruten, making her a unique member of the fleet. At the time of writing, she is the second-oldest and second-smallest ship operated by Hurtigrute…

Club Med 2 & Grand Mistral

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This update to the archive features new photos of Club Med 2 and Grand Mistral, taken during their visits to the city on 27/07/2013.
CLUB MED 2

With her striking design, Club Med 2 turns heads wherever she sails. Built in France in 1992, her traditional diesel-electric power plant is supplemented by seven computer-operated sails. With a length of 194m, she is one of the largest sailing ships in the world.

Her elegant lines and five enormous masts made for an impressive sight as she made her departure.

GRAND MISTRAL

Built at Chantiers de L'Atlantique in 1999, Grand Mistral was originally named Mistral, and was the first new ship for Festival Cruises. With a gross tonnage of 48,200 she can accommodate 1700 passengers served by a crew of 670. Following the collapse of Festival Cruises in 2004, she was bought by Iberojet (now Iberocruises) and in 2007 took the name Grand Mistral.

In November 2013 (just a few months after these photos were taken), parent company Carnival Corporation mad…

AIDAsol

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As the cruise ship season in Bergen is now over for the year I will be working through the archives and adding more photos and information from the ships I photographed before starting this blog in July this year.

These photos of AIDAsol were taken during her visit on 31/05/2013.

AIDAsol has been a regular visitor to the port over the last two years. She is one of seven Sphinx-class ships operated by the Germany-based AIDA Cruises.

Built in Meyer Werft in 2011, she entered service to meet the rapidly growing demand from the German speaking cruise market. Brightly painted hull motifs and a large glass section in the central superstructure make AIDAsol and her sisters instantly recognisable.

Following a sunny day in the city, AIDAsol pulled away from her berth at Bontelabo and made her way into Byfjorden to continue her cruise.