Showing posts from May, 2017


What did an ultra-luxury cruise ship look like 30 years ago? Prinsendam is a pretty good example...

Entering service in 1988 as Royal Viking Sun (for the now-defunct Royal Viking Line), she represented the last word in cruise ship luxury; large cabins (many with private balconies), beautiful and spacious public areas and a generous passenger:crew ratio catapulted her to the top tier of ocean cruise ships.

In 1994 Cunard purchased the struggling cruise line, and took over operation of Royal Viking Sun, maintaining her reputation as one of the best cruise ships in the world.  When both Cunard and Seabourn cruise line were acquired by Carnival in 1999, Royal Viking Sun was transferred to the latter, and operated for 3 years as Seabourn Sun.

Then, in 2002, she emerged from a major refit as Prinsendam, and took on her current role in the Holland America fleet. Her inherently attractive design and comfortable accommodation allow her to hold her own today as a very popular vessel.



Cruise ships come in all shapes and sizes, and down at the smaller end of the scale you find wondeful little vessels like Expedition.

With a tonnage of 6,334 and a length of 105m, she carries just 134 passengers, sesrved by a crew of 69.

Here is a small ship with a long and varied service history. Expedition was originally built as the Danish car ferry Kattegat. Launched in 1972, she remained on domestic routes in Denmark for 6 years, before being acuired by P&O Ferries and operating the Dover-Boulogne-sur-mer route from 1978 to 1986 (under her new name Tiger).

She then spent a full 22 years under the Swedish flag, operating as Ålandsfarjan for Viking Line. Eventually, in 2008, she was converted into an expedition cruise ship and started carrying passengers under her current name.

Expedition sails a fantastic variety of itineraries, travelling to extreme environments and unusual destinations. Later this afternoon she sailed onwards to Flåm to continue her current cruise.

Also in t…

Mein Schiff 1

Also in town today was Mein Schiff 1.

I caught a few photos of her departing the city as I boarded the ferry home from work this afternoon. You can find a more comprehensive set of photos, as well as information about the history of Mein Schiff 1, in our previos post here.

Costa Favolosa

Today it was the turn of another giant to visit Bergen; Costa Favolosa.

Built in Italy in 2009/10, she has a tonnage of 113,200 and can accommodate up to 3780 passengers and 1110 crew.

Costa Favolosa is the fourth of five 'Concordia Class' ships built for Costa cruises. The lead ship in this class, Costa Concordia, famously struck a rock and partially sank in 2012, and has since been scrapped. Her slightly luckier sister Costa Pacifica has also visited Bergen, and you can take a look a nice sunny set of photos of her here.

The following photos were taken as Costa Favolosa departed her berth at Bontelabo this afternoon, slightly ahead of schedule, and headed on to Kristiansand.