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Showing posts from October, 2014

MV Funchal - Collision with the Quay

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The penultimate cruise ship call to Bergen in 2014 was a visit by Portsucale Cruises' MV Funchal last Saturday. She arrived on a wet and windy day, and had a very close scrape with the quayside as her crew struggled to control her during departure (scroll down for photos).

Built in 1961, Funchal is the last of the classic Portuguese liners. In 1984 she joined the Classic International Cruises fleet and operated as a cruise ship for the British market until 2011.

Following two uncertain years, Funchal was purchased in 2013 for the newly formed Portsucale cruises. After a substantial refit she re-entered the cruise market and has already gained a loyal following.

Throughout her 53 year career and multiple owners, Funchal has never had a name change, making her the oldest cruise ship still in operation under her original name.

Her visit to Bergen was part of her current cruise, being operated under charter to the British based Voyages of Discovery.

As she pulled away from her mooring…

MS Finnmarken - Photo Tour

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Continuing our series of photo tours on board the ships of Hurtigruten is MS Finnmarken.

Hurtigruten's fleet of cruise ships operates daily departures 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.


Scroll down to see our full photo tour of her passenger decks.

EXTERIOR

Built in Norway in 2002 at Kvæner Klenven, Finnmarken's design is a clear step in the fleet's development into a modern cruise line, offering more of the interior features and facilities that modern cruise passengers (who now make up a considerable portion of those on board) have come to expect.

With a gross tonnage of 15,690 and a length of 138m, she is one of the larger ships operated by the line, and can accommodate up to 1000 passengers (628 in cabins).

Those board…

AIDAcara

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One of the last cruise ship calls in Bergen this season was AIDAcara. A regular visitor to the city throughout the summer, she will make her final call for the year next week.

Yesterday she docked at Bontelabo. The following photos were taken of her alongside in what was left of the evening light.

Built in Finland in 1996, AIDAcara was intended to be named Clubschiff, but entered service for her German owners as AIDA.

Following her owners' acquisition by P&O Cruises in 1999, AIDA became the first ship in the now extensive AIDA fleet.

Her name change to AIDAcara came in 2001, in anticipation of the entry into service of her two near-sister ships AIDAvita and AIDAaura.

Despite being the smallest and oldest member of the AIDA Cruises fleet, a substantial refit in 2005 has kept her up to date, and she remains a popular ship.

With a gross tonnage of 38,500 she can accommodate 1,186 passengers and a crew of 360 over her 11 decks.

Having called into Bergen weekly throughout the entir…

MS Nordkapp - Photo Tour

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Next in our series of photo tours of the Hurtigruten fleet is MS Nordkapp.
Along with her fleetmates she sails 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.

Scroll down to see our full photo tour of her passenger decks.

EXTERIOR

Launched in 1996, Nordkapp is one of Hurtigruten's six '90s' ships. With a tonnage of 11,386 she can carry up to 622 passengers, with berths for 458.

Nordkapp's Godmother is Norway's Queen Sonja. Like her near-sisters in the Hurtigruten fleet, Nordkapp has a handsome, balanced profile, and her well maintained exterior makes her seem younger than her 18 years.

Alongside at Hurtigruteterminalen in Bergen, Nordkapp's passengers get a great view of their ship loading cargo and supplies for the voyage i…