Showing posts from August, 2014

Costa neoRomantica

Last weekend Costa neoRomantica made another call into Bergen. The following photos were taken alongside at Bontelabo.
For more information on Costa neoRomantica (and photos from a much sunnier visit) take a look at our report from her previous visit to the city here.

MSC Poesia and Empress

Yesterday MSC Poesia and Empress called into Bergen. I was on the Aksøy bridge (with a clearance of 62m) to watch them both sail underneath.


Built in France in 2008, and with a gross tonnage of 92,500 MSC Poesia carries up to 3,600 passengers and 1000 crew. She is one of the larger ships to regularly visit Bergen this season.

MSC Poesia was christened at the Port of Dover, UK, by her Godmother Sophia Loren in April 2008.

Her career to date has not been without incident. Just 2 months after entering service she was involved in a collision with Costa Classica after her anchor loosened. There were no serious injuries.

In 2012 MSC Poesia ran aground on a reef near Freeport, Bahamas. In this instance there was no significant damage to the ship, and she was able to resume her cruise after refloating at high tide.

After passing beneath the bridge MSC Poesia continued on to Flåm, her next port of call.


Following MSC Poesia out of Bergen was Pullmantur's Empress. She was o…


Last Friday Horizon called in Bergen. The following photos were taken alongside at Bontelabo.

Built in 1990 in Papenburg, Germany, Horizon originally entered service for Celebrity Cruises. She is one of several ex-Celebrity ships to visit Bergen within a week (see our photos of Mein Schiff 1 here).
Horizon sailed with Celebrity for 15 years, before being refitted in 2005 and transferred to Island Cruises, taking the new name of Island Star.

Following a brief spell of service for Pullmantur Cruises in 2009 as Pacific Dream, Horizon moved to the fleet of Croisieres de France, and reverted to her original name.

 Also in port were MS Hamburg and Ocean Majesty. Both are visible in the following photo.

After an unusual reverse manouvre from the quay at Bontelabo, which saw Horizon swinging very close to Ocean Majesty, she made her way through Byfjorden to continue her cruise.

Mein Schiff 1

Last weekend TUI's Mein Schiff 1 called into Bergen. The following photos were taken alongside at Dokkeskjærskaien.

 Docked nearby was Cunard's Queen Mary 2. See the full report of her visit to the city here.

Launched in 1996, Mein Schiff 1 entered service as Galaxy for Celebrity Cruises, with whom she sailed successfully for over a decade.

During her time as Galaxy she featured as the setting for the popular British TV series The Cruise, which greatly increased public awareness of the changing cruise industry, and undoubtedly engouraged many to take their first ocean-going holiday.

In 2009 Galaxy left the Celebrity Cruises fleet for a new joint venture with TUI. Following a month-long, 50million Euro refit, she emerged as Mein Schiff (the '1' was added later as more ships joined the fleet), with overhauled interiors and a distinctive new exterior paint scheme.

Despite her age, 18 years into her service life Mein Shiff 1 still cuts a modern profile. The addition of a n…

Queen Mary 2

Yesterday Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 called in Bergen. The following photos were taken of her alongside during the day, and from the Askøy bridge as she departed in the afternoon.

Entering service in January 2004, Queen Mary 2 is widely acknowledged as being the last true ocean liner in the world, and, at around 150,000 tons is the largest ever built. Designed to operate regular liner voyages across the North Atlantic, her strengthened hull, sleek lines and impressive profile set her apart from the majority of purpose-built cruise ships in service today.

Unfortunately Queen Mary 2 was struck by tragedy even before entering service. In 2003, during a visit to the nearly completed ship for workers and their families, a gangway collapsed, plunging the visitors 15m to the concrete floor of the drydock below. 16 were killed, and a further 32 injured.

As a result of this accident the delivery celebrations were scaled down in respect to those lost, but still Queen Mary 2 was complete…

Hebridean Princess

Hebridean Princess is a small cruise ship operated by Hebridean Island Cruises, with an interesting history.

Built in Aberdeen in 1964 as RMS Columba, she spent her first 24 years as a ferry in the Hebridean islands, operating on a variety of routes. Her original passenger capacity as a ferry was 600, which was later increased to 870 with the addition of extra seats on her aft deck.

In 1988 Columba was sold to the newly-formed Hebridean Island Cruises for conversion to a luxury cruise ship. She underwent a major refurbishment the following year in Great Yarmouth and emerged as Hebridean Princess.

Today Hebridean Princess carries just 49 passengers with a crew of 37. She offers a high level of service and has a loyal following. In July 2006, HM Queen Elizabeth II chartered Hebridean Princess for a week-long trip around the Scotish Isles to celebrate her 80th birthday with her family, and again for a 2-week cruise in 2010.

Hebridean Princess stayed alongside overnight, with an early mor…

Marco Polo

Built in Germany in 1965, Marco Polo has had a long and varied career.

Entering service as Aleksandr Pushkin for the Soviet Union's Baltic Shipping Company she was designed and built with provision made for conversion to a troop ship should the need arise. Used to launch the transatlantic service between Montreal and Leningrad, she sailed on her first crossing with just 36 passengers.

She soon settled into regular service, and by 1980 was one of only 3 liners operating a transatlantic route, along with Stefan Batroy and Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2.

In 1990 Alexandr Pushkin was laid up at Singapore, being bought the following year by Orient Lines for conversion to a cruise ship.

Between 1991-93 the ship underwent an enormous refurbishment, which included a near total rebuilding of her interiors and considerable extensions to her superstructure. After 30 months in the yard Marco Polo was ready to enter service.

Since 1993 Marco Polo has sailed on a wide variety of ocean cruises. …