Live/Silver Cloud: Norway Coast/Fjords July 1-16 Reports

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4,459 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by TLCOhio
For Meow1, the inside-the-palace pictures come out fairly well as I am experienced doing a very steady and gentle pressing of the shutter button. I also have a 10-20mm wide-angle lens that is good for these types of rooms and situations. No flash is used. It’s hand-held. Then, I use my MacBook Pro computer to “fine-tune” the pictures to brighten up, crop and improve the pictures as needed. The biggest “secret” is that I only show the “good one”. If you go to this earlier posting:
you will find many more photo tips and ideas that are shared for pictures in the Baltics, etc.
Thank you so much for such interesting inrformation. You must have really steady hands, most people cannot handle slower than 1/60sec or at most 1/30sec. Your 10-20mm focal lengths perhaps refer to your digital camera's CCD chip rather than 35mm film equivalent, for the latter, it will be in the fisheye range! You must be computer savvy, in order to use those photo enhancing programs. Your pictures are among the best posted on this cruise ciritic board, surely far superior than what I can hope for. Congratulations!
90,330 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Hi Terry, everything sounds wonderful and as usual your pictures tell a good story. Like you, we also use a Mac Book and with the strong iPhoto capabilities.

Would be interested in hearing what the weather is like when you are in port in Flam and look forward to hearing about what you do in port.

Continue to enjoy!

56 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
We depart from Copenhagen in 10 days for 8 nights on the Whisper. thank you for the photos, the information etc I fell like you are paving the way for our trip and whetting the appetite! Enjoy your cruise and keep postin.
wakefield england
477 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by TheFerret
Terry, thank you so much for taking the time to post your experiences and photos! I will be following this thread avidly and hoping you and your wife enjoy your beautiful trip and your wonderful balcony!
We appreciate your efforts with this thread Terry the photos are fantastic and have set the excitement buds flowing for us joining the Cloud in London on 3 August.We shall follow your progress have a great cruise.
4,779 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Hail! hail! the gang's all here! The weather is wonderful...mid 60s and sunny. It is 10 PM and the sun is shining brightly! This is a terrific CC crowd!
1,524 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Terry and duct tape -

I can just tell how much fun you are having! Terry's photos are fabulous (as usual) and make me feel as if I am with you. We have never been on the Cloud, or on your itinerary, so we will be anxiously watching this thread and the photos.

Thanks for taking time from your anxiously awaited vacations to share with the rest of us! Enjoy it all!


Terry - nice job on the balcony! I'm sure that MADE your wife's birthday even if it was a minor inconvenience to make the move. (I guess the ship is not quite at capacity after all?)
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Washington State
154 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
What amazing pictures and a lovely commentary! We are booked on the Cloud next year and your thread has made us wish for time to go faster! I am sure you are having a lovely cruise - thank you for taking the time to post!! We are all envious!
Columbus, Ohio
18,651 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
This morning’s report will be BOTH spectacular, but also super short? Why? So much happened great that it will take too much time to report all of the details, right now. AND, we are ready to arrive in Alesund and do a special Runde Birdrock trip we have set-up to do on our own, etc. Plus, it’s the Fourth of July!

Why was yesterday so great? Super wonderful weather! Almost “hot”, plus much sun. The fjords are so beautiful and dramatic. We had a nice, fantastic train trip up through the mountains from Flam, then Gudvangen with our private driver to Tvinde Waterfall, Stalheim Hotel and then returning by the Stalheimskleiva Road, Norway's steepest road with thirteen hairpin turns that was constructed in 1849.

Then in the evening as the Silver Cloud is sailing out through the fjords, we had a custom, five-course dinner by Chef Douglas Hope to celebrate, formally, my wife’s birthday with Hotel Director Giovanni Dotti joining us, a Broadway Rock musical program and it is light outside until after 11:30 pm. What more could be more perfectly nice and enjoyable?

Below are just a few of about 300 pictures that I took yesterday. Many more details will follow as the schedule settles down on a sea day.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

Arriving at Flam, the Captain is right there directing this process. You can see here some of the fjord mountains, waterfalls in the background. Below are more pictures and highlights from this day in the Sognerfjord that is rated as the best in all of Norway for these views.:

4,779 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Yes, it is that beautiful! The football/soccer games have been available on both the suite TVs and on the bigger screen at the pool bar. There is a faithful crowd. The Germans were VERY happy yesterday after they beat Argentina. Due to the fjord, we could not get a signal, so the Capt (in his usual wonderful way) arranged with the local hotel to have our guests go to their bar to watch the game! A good time was had by all, the last tender was delayed as was departure but we got to port this morning right on time!
Glasgow, Scotland
1,053 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Terry, please tell Giovanni Dotti, the hotel director, that the Scottish couple from the transatlantic in April were asking for him. My husband and he kidded each other constantly about football. Gianni supports AC MIlan, and we had lots of laughs about their success (or lack of it!!) He is the nicest chap, so friendly and good at his job. Pat
348 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Thanks Terry for the wonderful posts. Like so many others on these boards we really appreciate you taking the time to do this. We found your info most helpful when planning our Baltic cruise last year so I was delighted to read you were going to Norway this summer! We have booked a fjords cruise with Azamara in August 2011 and after seeing your lovely photos it can't come soon enough.
Manchester, UK
1,168 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Finally caught up with your cruise posts. I have been preoccupied with the Norwegian Epic and posts from its inaugural voyages.
Your pictures are excellent as expected. Look forward to many more to come.
I know that the best is yet to come.
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Sydney, Australia
1,746 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by TLCOhio
I use my MacBook Pro computer to “fine-tune” the pictures to brighten up, crop and improve the pictures as needed.
Hi Terry

I'm just loving your photos. Do u shoot in raw and then touch them up in iphoto? Did u use any filters on these shots (uv or polarising)?

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Columbus, Ohio
18,651 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
As I walked out to my now favorite “writers’ perch”, the Panorama Lounge and its top, rear deck of the Silver Cloud, my words were . . . “WOW!!! WOW!!!”. What a view. What a setting. It’s a nearly 360-degree vista as we sail along. There are some clouds. Some open blue skies. You can see the various mountains and hills. There are farm areas with those cute red barns. Two ferryboats are criss-crossing and another cruise ship is up above on the right. It’s a spectacular sea and land scape. The temperature is not bad, maybe upper 50’s, right now. Being outside with just your robe over your PJ’s works well at around 5:45 am. As we move north towards the Land of the Midnight Sun, it fully light and has been for some time. Great experience!

Yesterday was Alesund. Its architecture is characterized by its turrets, spires, medieval-romantic frontages and other whimsical touches that give this town its distinctive style. It is like something from a fairytale. On the night of January 23, 1904, the town, built largely of wood, was totally destroyed at night by gale-aided flames. Only one person died, but more than 10,000 people were left without shelter. Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm vacationed nearby and sent four warships with materials to build temporary shelters. The town was rebuilt in stone, brick and mortar in Jugendstil or Art Nouveau, the architectural style of the time. This design reflects a “romance with the past” and highlights Nordic mythology along its winding streets. To honor Wilhelm, one of the most frequented streets of the city is named after him. The town has an unusually consistent architecture, most of the buildings having been built between 1904 and 1907.

About 18 miles to the west is Runde, Norway’s southern most major bird rock with 240 species breeding there. It is a habitat for around one million seabirds, including 100,000 puffins. We had a rental car lined up for the four of us to journey south to this special island. The ship was offering a trip to here, but it got scrubbed as there was not enough signed up for this tour/trip. It was good (and lots cheaper) that we had made our own special arrangements in advance or we would have missed this unique island and coastal experience. It involved a five-mile ferry ride for us and the car, but that was a nice way to sample how that transportation system works. It was very timely and well run, efficient for how the cars and truck got on and off. It took 30 minutes for the trip. This ferry hold 120 cars and 350 passengers. The ferry coast $28 each way for the car and us.

It was great seeing more of the wide and beautiful variety of terrains in a way that you cannot appreciate if you are sailing by on a boat at a distance. Some of bridges were unique as we jumped island to island in order to reach Runde. Parts of Runde were so dramatic with the green grasses, rock faces, etc., that it reminded us of Ireland. Great beauty, plus lots of birds there.

As we drove back from Rune, did the ferry, etc., we wanted to do the Aksla hilltop that dramatically overlooks Alesund. Some from the ship did the 418 steps up Aksla hill in the center of town. We had our car and that made it much easier, plus you could see some of the housing where residents have great views over the town and area. Whether by walking or car, the view from there is super worth it. You get breath-taking views from this 597’ height overlooking the five islands making up the town. It is called Kniven (the Knife) and has a refreshment place at the top. But, it is all about the views as some of the photos below illustrate.

To add more on the World Cup, the interest in those game has been huge and creating an interesting “buzz”, especially among some of the staff as certain favorites lose. There has been a wide mix of feelings as some traditional favorites such as Italy (the Captain’s love), Brazil and Argentina lose. It all adds to the great International “flavor” of this trip.

There are about 268 passengers on this sailing. From the USA are 142 passengers. There are 21 from Australia as the second largest group. Many singles are traveling on this cruise, which bring the number down a little from the stated 296 capacity.

THANKS to Vival, Wripro, Patnicc, Keith, duck tape, for the nice and added comments! YES, I will share with Giovanni Dotti, the hotel director, the greetings from the Scottish couple on the April transatlantic sailing. Giovannie has been so super and highly visible throughout this cruise.

We are now getting ready to dock in Trondheim, Norway's third largest municipality. It has a population of 152,800 with major university-science-medical research facilities. It is considered Norway’s historical, cultural and religious capital. Its history goes back 997 and King Olav Tryggvason, who later was made a Saint. Its Nidaros Cathedral was built from 1070 and is the most important Gothic monument in Norway. The Norway King is still crowned here. In a town noted for timbered architecture, this is Scandinavia’s largest medieval building with a 321-foot-high tower. It was Northern Europe's most important Christian pilgrimage site during the middle Ages and has organ recitals in the summer. The town was Norway’s capital until 1217.

For the record, Trondheim is 425 miles north of Bergen. Sunrise: 3:15 am, Sunset: 11:24 pm on this day. For July 5, its average high is 64 and a low of 50. Like all of our days, so far, we will do better on those averages for temperature. Latitude: 63.5° N. Famed actress Liv Ullmann grew up here.

Enjoying! Terry in Ohio

This is the dramatic overview of Alesund from the Aksla vantage point. This spot allows a nearly 360 degree view of this setting for this island city and the surrounding mountains and islands. It is at a 597’ height overlooking the five islands making up the scenic town.:

From Aksla, here is some of the charming architecture in Alesund. This includes a canal or waterway. :

At a lower, street-level part of Alesund, here are some of the buildings along the central waterway, plus a nice statue.:

To the south of Alesund is Runde Island, famous for its birds and scenic views. This show a house on this beautiful island with the mountains on other nearby islands.:

Runde Island has a very small population, except for the thousands of birds. Here is one of the small farm there with a wall of rock behind it.:

Here’s another view from Runde Island, showing the unique bridge design allowing access to this island. It is a one-land bridge with a wide spot at its top to allow for passing cars.:

Columbus, Ohio
18,651 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
As added follow-up and “bonus” coverage, here’s a little more for today’s reporting.

Jorge Caeiro is the Maitre D’ or dining room manager. In my book, he is a super-star of huge proportion. WOW! describes his charm, skill, warmth and smoothness. Jimmy Kovel is the Cruise Director. I will check to see if their schedules stretch into October on the Silver Cloud. The hotel director will be off at the end of this cruise as his son is getting married in Mexico City later this month. His son is working as a Chef on one of the other Silversea ships.

Words just cannot describe how great is Jorge. He is from Lisbon, Portugal, and has been with Silversea for about sixteen years. To deal with the wide range of personalities and customer needs is so challenging, but he does it in a perfect and soothing manner. He doesn’t have the “ego” that some Maitre D’s will get. We worked with him for my wife’s birthday dinner and he was super. Jorge has spoiled us for any future cruises without him.

For Jennifer, who shows great taste in liking my pictures, here are the answers to her good questions. YES, I am shooting in raw as this higher pixel level allows more flexibility and quality as you later on the laptop do added cropping and adjusting, etc. I am using the iPhoto program on my MacBook Pro computer. This program works well, allows plenty of options to fine-tune the pictures and has a great “events” way to group and organize pictures after they have been downloaded. No, I did not use any polarizing filter on these shots. I have that filter for all three of my lens, but did not use it as the conditions have not been that much in need to fiddle with putting on and taking off those filters. My lens all have UV filters on them, largely to protect that glass from damage.

THANKS to Tony for the nice comments! Glad to know more and better is coming.

We had a nice July 4 program for the USA residents on board with reception in the theater-lounge, music, singing of God Bless America and a large cake, etc.

On the Butler program, I have been super impressed with how this works and serves. Initially, it was a she or Butleress. She was great and our friends there love her and how she operates and helps. Our Butler is Parqi Dubhaski from India. He is also super, very, knowledgeable and helpful. He had worked previously with Silversea as a waiter in the dining room before doing his training for this position. The hotel director at dinner made the point that having a Butler allows a single point of contact for the guest. It has worked well for us. You don’t have to guess which person to call or ask. You just push the button for them, they are beeped and they call right back. There were doubts and questions as to whether this “Butler thing” was just marketing gimmick or more. My verdict is that it works super well and is real “value added”. With the Bulter and most all of the staff, there is a great attitude and spirit. It is not just a fake smile and only a “HI!”. They work had to be helpful and knowledgeable. Impressive!!!

Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

Here is our Butler, Parqi (second from left), and four of his associates on the back of the Silver Cloud as we were sailing out from the spectacular fjords on Saturday.: