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PurpleTraveller

Norway - Land of the Midnight Sun on Sapphire Princess June 15, 2019

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Lovely review! We are having fun in London awaiting our departure on Saturday for Southampton and the Sapphire Princess to Norway and Iceland.  Thought I’d mention to anyone planning to stay at Grosvenor House that we are really enjoying our time here. Truly within walking distance to just about everything. And for those who enjoy picking up a bottle or two of wine to bring aboard, the Oxford Street Marks and Spencer has some really good inexpensive choices — particularly the French labels as Brexit hasn’t happened yet. It’s a short 5-7 minute walk from the hotel.  Three days of sunshine in London — extraordinary!

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16 hours ago, SquishTheWhale said:

Thank you for your review so far! We are doing a Fjords cruise at the end of August so always good to see some inspiration for the ports. Like you I think we will be waiting to see what the weather is like before making our decision for the day!

 

Thanks. If you are going to Flam and want to do the train you probably need to plan ahead and get tickets or book an excursion and in Geiranger the Panorama Exclusive Bus booked out early. If you want to do organised tours it may be a good idea to check what is available before you go so that you can decide on the day as there are not a large number of options available at some of the smaller ports. Otherwise we found that it was possible to wait until the day to see what the weather was like. One thing I learnt is that the weather in Norway is very changeable throughout the day! Hope you enjoy your cruise! 

 

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Thanks so much for sharing your Norway pics! I'm going to a couple of those ports on a cruise at the end of the month, and this made me even more excited for it!

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14 hours ago, ProfMHC said:

Lovely review! We are having fun in London awaiting our departure on Saturday for Southampton and the Sapphire Princess to Norway and Iceland.  Thought I’d mention to anyone planning to stay at Grosvenor House that we are really enjoying our time here. Truly within walking distance to just about everything. And for those who enjoy picking up a bottle or two of wine to bring aboard, the Oxford Street Marks and Spencer has some really good inexpensive choices — particularly the French labels as Brexit hasn’t happened yet. It’s a short 5-7 minute walk from the hotel.  Three days of sunshine in London — extraordinary!

 

Thank you. I seriously considered doing the Norway and Iceland cruise but the Midnight Sun cruise suited our timing better. Glad you're getting good weather in London. I hope you have a wonderful cruise! 

 

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1 minute ago, JustinPlusLauren said:

Thanks so much for sharing your Norway pics! I'm going to a couple of those ports on a cruise at the end of the month, and this made me even more excited for it!

 

Thanks. Enjoy your cruise and I hope you have great weather! 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thursday June 20 - Trondheim 

 

Before I start on our day in Trondheim I want to give a heads up to Princess cruisers going to Trondheim. A couple of days before we arrived in Trondheim everyone received a form regarding the shuttle service in Trondheim The form offered a shuttle service from the ship to the city centre for USD19.95 per person and stated that it was four kilometres to the city centre from the dock. The map shown on the form was pretty much unreadable and I had to get my magnifying glass out when I home to read it! 

 

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When doing my research on Trondheim I had checked where we would be docking and I thought Cruise Terminal Pier 68 or Turistskipskaia #68 was only about one and a half kilometres to the city centre. It may be four kilometres by road to get out of the port by bus but for pedestrians who can walk over the railway lines by a pedestrian bridge it is much shorter. Sure enough when we docked we could clearly see how close we were to the city centre. On the map provided by the Tourist Information people when we got off the ship the way to the city centre is clearly marked. The ship was at the red cross and the Nidaros cathedral is at the green cross. Using the scale provided on the map the distance between the two is about 1.2km.

 

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So if you are able bodied and can walk a few kilometres you can easily walk from Cruise Terminal Pier 68 to the city centre and back again if you wish to. 

 

The ship docked at 9.00am and we left at 9.20am so we didn't miss any of the glorious, beautiful, sunny day that we had. It took us 20 minutes to walk from the ship to the Nidaros Cathedral.

 

The Nidaros cathedral was built between 1070 and 1300 and was built over the burial site of King Olav II who is the patron saint of Norway. The cathedral is the traditional location of the consecration of new kings of Norway.

 

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Beside the cathedral is the Archbishop's Palace which is Scandinavia's oldest secular building, built around 1160. 

 

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We next headed to Gamle Bybro - the old town bridge, which was built in 1681 after the great fire of 1681 which destroyed large parts of the city. 

 

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From the bridge we could see the colourful 18th and 19th century riverfront warehouses.

 

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We walked across the bridge and were able to get a view across the river to the warehouses and bridge. 

 

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Edited by PurpleTraveller

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Leaving the river we walked along the pretty cobblestone streets of the old neighbourhood of Mollenberg. 

 

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As we made our way up to streets higher on the hill we could see over the houses to the riverside warehouses and the Gamle Bybro bridge.

 

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We also passed the bicycle lift but sadly didn't see anyone using it. 

 

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Our destination was the Kristiansten Fort which was built between 1681 and 1685 to protect the city against attack from the east. There was a lovely view across the city and it was free to go into the tower and visit the small museum. 

 

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After going into the tower and climbing the steep stairs to the top floor we sat on a bench in the sunshine admiring the view. We then made our way back down the hill past pretty houses and gardens to the river again. 

 

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We walked along the riverside through parkland to the next bridge. By now it was so warm we had taken our jackets off and we were down to T'Shirts.  

 

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We crossed back over the river and went to the courtyard of the Archbishop's Palace. There we went to the free Army and Resistance Museum which had displays of weapons, WW1, WW2 and the Norwegian Resistance. 

 

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After we had finished at the museum we walked past the Nidaros Cathedral and to the Stiftsgarden.

 

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The Stiftsgarden was built between 1774 and 1778 and with 140 rooms is the largest wooden palace in Scandinavia. We walked around to the back of the palace to it's garden which is a public park. The Royal Norwegian Air Force band was playing a concert in the park and we sat on a bench to listen to them. At the end of the concert there was cuteness overload when the band's conductor gave his baton to one of the little girls sitting on the grass and she then waved the baton around to conduct the band as they played. Very cute! 

 

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We then walked down to the Ravnkloa Fish Market and saw the clock and fishing boats. 

 

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We returned to the ship at 2.15pm and had a late lunch. That evening we had dinner at Alfredo's before going to the 8.00pm production show "Let Me Entertain You" in the theatre.

 

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Thank you so much for your wonderful review. We did this exact same cruise 12 months ago and it is fantastic to relive all the memories. Your photos are lovely, so sharp and so crisp, but the atmosphere lends itself to that, no pollution. 

Thanking you, Cheers Anne

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Posted (edited)

Friday June 20 - Sea Day

 

Today was a lovely relaxing Sea Day. I went to the 9.15am destination presentation on Honningsvag in the theatre. (As we had just had four port days in a row the destination presentations on Flam, Geiranger and Trondheim had been prerecorded so you could watch them on your TV in your cabin.) At 11.00am was the enrichment lecture "The Logistics of D-Day" also in the theatre.

 

During the morning we sailed past the Lofoten Islands and we were able to see the jagged peaks of the islands. 

 

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After lunch at the International Cafe we went to relax in Skywalkers. We were sitting in seats at the front of the starboard side looking forward. Just as we were about to leave at 2.00pm something in the water caught my eye. At first I thought I could see dolphins but realised that they were much larger and black. As I pointed them out to my husband I could see more and more of them. Other people sitting near us heard us exclaiming and stood up to join us at the window. Just then the captain made an announcement. We were passing a pod of orcas or killer whales! There was great excitement as everyone rushed to the starboard side to see the whales. There were many of them - maybe 20 or 25 - maybe more. We were all pointing to them as they were spread out over a large area in groups of two or three. Being so high and looking directly down on them we could clearly see them in the ocean. Of course I didn't have my camera but that meant I could simply watch and not worry about taking photos. It was a magnificent sight that I will treasure forever!

 

At 3.00pm I went to the destination presentation on Tromso in the theatre. At 4.15pm the captain made another announcement that we were passing a submarine on the surface. We dashed to the portside and this time I did have my camera. Not a great photo but I was rushing before it got too far away to see. 

 

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At 4.45pm we had the Captain's Party in Club Fusion. Drinks were very free-flowing and it was a good crowd. When the captain made his speech he told us that though the submarine did not give him any information as to who they were or where they were going, from the accent of the person on the submarine he spoke, to he thought the submarine was American.  

 

Bernie Koppel - Doc from the Love Boat TV show was on board for our cruise. He had done a presentation in the theatre earlier in the day and also a Meet and Greet photo session in the Wheelhouse Bar. He was at the Captain's Party to meet guests. 

 

There were 761 Platinums on board and 583 Elites. The most travelled passengers were 1 - 1361, 2 - 626 and 3 - 624.

 

After the Captain's Party we went to dinner at the Savoy Dining Room then went to the 8.00pm show in the theatre "Yeah Beatles".

 

Edited by PurpleTraveller

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30 minutes ago, kent05 said:

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. We did this exact same cruise 12 months ago and it is fantastic to relive all the memories. Your photos are lovely, so sharp and so crisp, but the atmosphere lends itself to that, no pollution. 

Thanking you, Cheers Anne

 

Thanks! I am so pleased that you are enjoying the review and reliving your own cruise. Thankfully modern technology (otherwise known as my phone) helps with taking my photos 😊. Thanks again. 

 

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Thanks for your review, awesome photos, great job!  I'll be on the Sapphire in Oct. for the Northern Lights cruise.  I'm really looking forward to it, I've been to Oslo but not up the coast.  Your pictures make me even more enthused if that is possible!

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Following and loving your review too, as we are doing the Land of the Midnight Sun on the Crown Princess next year. Your pictures are just amazing.  Getting so many ideas from you.  Thank you so much for sharing your trip!

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Thanks for your review and photos. We took this cruise last year and we are enjoying the same cruise from your perspective. We found Norway and its fiords to surpass those of Alaska and Fiordland in New Zealand.😋

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Posted (edited)

Great review . We did one similar on HALs Koningsdam in 2017 and it is just a wonderful part of the world.

👍👍

Edited by Porky55

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Thanks so much for a fabulous review, I'm pretty sure my bucket list is fast becoming a '44 gallon drum' list!

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12 hours ago, susancruzs said:

Thanks for your review, awesome photos, great job!  I'll be on the Sapphire in Oct. for the Northern Lights cruise.  I'm really looking forward to it, I've been to Oslo but not up the coast.  Your pictures make me even more enthused if that is possible!

 

Thank you. I hope you get to see the Northern Lights (on my bucket list) and hope you have a great cruise. 

 

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9 hours ago, MWcruiser said:

Following and loving your review too, as we are doing the Land of the Midnight Sun on the Crown Princess next year. Your pictures are just amazing.  Getting so many ideas from you.  Thank you so much for sharing your trip!

 

Thanks! I'm so pleased that you're getting some ideas from the review. I loved this cruise and I hope you have a wonderful cruise next year. 

 

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7 hours ago, Mom33 said:

Thanks for your review and photos. We took this cruise last year and we are enjoying the same cruise from your perspective. We found Norway and its fiords to surpass those of Alaska and Fiordland in New Zealand.😋

 

Thank you for reading. After missing seeing the New Zealand Fiordland twice we were delighted to see the beautiful Norwegian fjords.  

 

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4 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

Thanks for the review and the wonderful photos, I am following along.

 

Thank you. I hope you enjoy the rest of the review. 😊

 

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3 hours ago, Porky55 said:

Great review . We did one similar on HALs Koningsdam in 2017 and it is just a wonderful part of the world.

👍👍

 

Thanks. I agree that Norway is wonderful and I hope to go back again another day. 

 

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4 minutes ago, PurpleTraveller said:

 

Thank you. I hope you get to see the Northern Lights (on my bucket list) and hope you have a great cruise. 

 

You are unlikely to see a good display of the Northern Lights in the middle of summer. Currently it isn't a good time, because we are in a period of Solar Minimum on an 11 year cycle.

 

We planned a trip to Alaska, with seeing the Northern Lights one of the objectives. It was near the end of the Solar Maximum, we went right at the end of the season (on the ship on 19th Aug) and we were in Alaska when there was no moon in the sky to drown out the Lights. After our cruise to Seward (port for Anchorage) we hired a motorhome. We camped in State parks where it was very dark at nights. The area around Fairbanks is on the 'ring' around the North Pole where the Northern Lights are most prominent. We saw then on several nights for hours each time and they were fantastic.

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36 minutes ago, LincolnLegend said:

Thanks so much for a fabulous review, I'm pretty sure my bucket list is fast becoming a '44 gallon drum' list!

 

I know what you mean 😀. My bucket just keeps getting fuller too. Thanks for reading along. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

You are unlikely to see a good display of the Northern Lights in the middle of summer. Currently it isn't a good time, because we are in a period of Solar Minimum on an 11 year cycle.

 

We planned a trip to Alaska, with seeing the Northern Lights one of the objectives. It was near the end of the Solar Maximum, we went right at the end of the season (on the ship on 19th Aug) and we were in Alaska when there was no moon in the sky to drown out the Lights. After our cruise to Seward (port for Anchorage) we hired a motorhome. We camped in State parks where it was very dark at nights. The area around Fairbanks is on the 'ring' around the North Pole where the Northern Lights are most prominent. We saw then on several nights for hours each time and they were fantastic.

 

Wow! That must have been amazing to see them more than once. I plan to see them in the future sometime, maybe in Norway or somewhere else. 

 

When we were in the Lofoten Islands our tour guide checked an app on his phone that told him that there had been Northern Light activity the previous night but because of the Midnight Sun and there being no darkness you could not see them. I had no idea that the Northern Lights can be there in summer! 

 

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