Showing posts from February, 2015

MS Stavangerfjord - Ship Visit and Photo Tour

Last week I went on board Fjordline's cruise-ferry Stavangerfjord, for a whistle stop tour of her passenger facilities during her impressively fast turnaround in the city.

To find out a bit more about her design, construction and service, take a look at my previous post here, with photos of Stavangerfjord approaching Bergen taken last December.

Otherwise, keep reading to have a look around her public rooms, cabins and suites...

With a few exceptions, Deck 7 contains all of Stavangerfjords public spaces. The gangway leads directly to the middle of this deck, adjacent to the reception desk. First impressions are good, with an attractive entrance area and smiling staff to welcome you on board.

Directly opposite the reception desk is Bungalow Wine & Tapas Bar, with the fresh food on display making this an appealing area. A grand piano stands in on corner of the space, next to the main walkway leading forward through the ship.

At the forward end of Deck 7 is the Fjord Lounge. The e…

Saga Pearl II - Ship Visit and Photo Tour

Today Saga Pearl II called into Bergen, marking the start of the 2015 season. I went on board to visit the ship. Scroll down to see the full photo tour of her passenger facilities.

Saga Pearl II was built in Germany in 1980, entering service as Astor the following year. She has taken several names during her career, which in 2009 saw her finally bought by Saga Cruises. With a tonnage of 18,500 and a length of 164m she accommodates around 520 passengers (double occupancy), served by a crew of 220.

She underwent a £20million refit in Swansea, before joining the fleet as Saga Pearl II. In 2012 she was transferred to Saga's short-lived 'adventure cruising' venture, and was renamed Quest for Adventure, before being returned to the traditional Saga brand, under which she now sails.

Saga Pearl II has an attractive design and a well-balanced profile. She had experienced some heavy seas on her way over to Bergen, which was showing on her slightly weather-beaten exterior paintwork.

Asuka II

Another update from the archive brings us to these photos of Asuka II, taken during her visit to Bergen on 16/05/2014.
Built in Nagasaki, Japan, by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, she was launched in 1990 as Crystal Harmony, and sailed successfully for American-based, Japanese-owned Crystal Cruises for many years.

In 2006, the parent company Nippon Yusen made the decision to transfer Crystal Harmony to serve the Japanese market, and she was renamed Asuka II.

With a gross tonnage of just over 50,000 and a length of 241m, Asuka II can accommodate up to 960 passengers, served by a crew of 565. This makes her, by some margin, the largest cruise ship operating for the Japanese market.
Asuka II predominantly sails short 3- or 4-night cruises, from her home port of Yokohama, but also sails wordwide on longer voyages, bringing her to ports such as Bergen.

She is a handsome ship, and her attractive profile and large number of provate balconies helping her to look younger than the 25 years she ha…

MS Lofoten - Photo Tour

Next up in our series of photo tours of the ships in the Hurtigruten fleet is MS Lofoten. She is one of 11 ships that together offer daily departures from Bergen on the express route (hurtigruten) along the coast of Norway. These ships serve a dual role as both cruise ships and cargo ships, and play a vital part in connecting many smaller communities in the more isolated northern part of the country.
MS Lofoten is a unique and charming ship. With much of the current fleet having been built in the 1990's and onwards, she retains her place as a more traditional vessel. Scroll down to take a look round her interiors and public decks.
Built in Norway in 1964, she can carry up to 340 passengers, with berths for 153. A refit in 2004 ensured her traditional features are preserved and celebrated, and she has a distinctly nostalgic feel throughout (though not in a tacky, nautical themed way - this ship is the real deal).

Lofoten has an attractive, traditional profile, and she look…