MV Voyager - Ship Visit and Photo Tour (Part 1)

Last Friday morning I went on board MV Voyager as she was alongside in Bergen, to complete a full interior photo tour. To find out a little bit about her history, take a look at our post with pictures of her departure later in the afternoon. Otherwise, keep reading to have a look around her public spaces...

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Gangway
Passengers head down the gangway to enjoy a day in Bergen
Voyager looked good alongside at Bontelabo, helped by the spring sunshine in Bergen. I stepped on board and was greeted at reception by a very friendly crew before being taken for a look around. My guide was Voyager's Deputy Entertainment Director Jamie Leeke.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Reception
The smart reception desk is right beside the embarkation area
The first stop on the tour was Discovery Deck (Deck 5), which is the location of many of Voyager's public rooms. For a ship of her size Voyager has an impressive selection of bars and lounges; perhaps a happy leftover from her previous life as a casino ship in Asia.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Lookout Lounge
Forward facing windows in the Lookout Lounge
At the forward end of Deck 5 is the Lookout Lounge. This is a comfortable room, and serves a variety of purposes, with plenty of seating, a fully stocked bar, and a reasonable stage area for live music and other shows.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Lookout Lounge
The Lookout Lounge
The forward corner of the room is used as an Internet centre. It is certainly not the most cohesive space on board Voyager, but does provide a pleasant environment, and some nice views out over the ship's bows.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Darwin Lounge
Ready for an audience; Seating in the Darwin Lounge
On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Darwin Lounge Stage and Dancefloor
The stage area and dance floor
Just aft of the Lookout Lounge is the Darwin Lounge; Voyager's main entertainment venue. The room is light and airy, and the stage area is used for live music and production shows by Voyager's resident troupe of performers.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Darwin Lounge
Light floods into the booth seating along either side of the Darwin Lounge
The Darwin Lounge spans the full width of the ship, so passengers need to use this space to move between the Lookout Lounge and forward stairwell. Plans are in place to add an enclosed walkway along one side of the room during her upcoming April 2015 drydocking and refurbishment in Germany. This will also include an upgrade to the sound and lighting rigs, allowing more ambitious shows to be staged.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Dancers
Keeping perfect time; performers rehearse for the evening's show
On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Darwin Lounge
Sight lines for the stage are good, despite a few slim pillars
After a taste of the shows in the Darwin Lounge, we moved aft through Deck 5 to Scott's Lounge. This is Voyager's largest bar, and has plenty of attractive seating throughout. Another small stage area sits at the forward end of the room. In total Voyager has 4 live music venues, which is well above the usual for a ship of her size.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Scott's Lounge
Scott's Lounge
On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Scott's Lounge
The stage is ready for Voyager's resident pianist
The fully stocked bar offers an appealing range of drinks, from coffee to cocktails. The staff here were incredibly polite and friendly - something true of every one of the ship's employees I met during my tour.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Scott's Lounge
Sit back and relax in a comfortable armchair...
On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Scott's Lounge
...or prop yourself at the bar to work your way through the cocktail menu
Tucked into one corner of Scott's Lounge is the future cruise sales desk, offering guests special offers and incentives to book their next trip before they even disembark.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Future Cruise Sales Desk
The future cruise sales desk
Also in this area is a small shop, situated in the centre of the deck between the entrances to Scott's Lounge. This stocks the usual range of clothing, gifts and travel essentials.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Shop
The small but well-stocked shop
Voyager's Library was next on our tour, and unfortunately serves a dual purpose as the corridor to the main restaurant. This turns what should be a tranquil, tucked-away space into one of the busiest thoroughfares on the ship around meal times.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Library
The Library/Passageway
The room itself is pleasant, with large picture windows and inviting leather sofas, but it certainly feels like this would be better positioned elsewhere on board.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Library
A good  range of books is provided for passengers to enjoy throughout the voyage
The main dining venue on Voyager is the Discovery Restaurant, and it would be fair to say that the decor here is disappointing, considering the pleasant interiors found throughout the rest of the ship.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Discovery Restaurant
The uninspiring Discovery Restaurant
Of course this room will feel much more lively with the tables laid and a room full of passengers, but it's hard to see this space ever really buzzing. Let's hope the drab colour scheme, dated furniture and nauseating mirrored walls meet their end during the upcoming refit.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Discovery Restaurant
There is not much in the way of interior design to breathe any life into the space
The main focus of the dining room on any cruise, of course, is the food, and a group of passengers I spoke with later in the day were full of praise for the meals they had enjoyed so far on their trip.

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Discovery Restaurant
Tables in the Discovery Restaurant
The last public space on Discovery Deck is the small 'overflow' room for the adjacent restaurant. The design of this area has obviously been given consideration, and it is a very attractive and nicely furnished space. Hopefully this will be the template for any updates made to the main dining room!

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Dining Room
The overflow for the Discovery Restaurant is a marked improvement on the main room
Things really took a turn for the better when we headed up to explore Voyager's upper decks, with expansive open spaces and additional lounges and dining options. These are featured in part 2 of this tour, which will be added over the coming days. Be sure to check back soon!

On Board Voyages of Discovery's Cruise Ship MV Voyager - Swimming Pool and Open Decks

Click here to continue to Part 2 of the tour...

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