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PurpleTraveller

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

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Thanks for your amazing review and gorgeous photographs. Even more excited to board the Sapphire in October.

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Monday June 24 - Gravdal/Lofoten Islands

 

As we weren't arriving until 1.00pm we were able to have a lazy morning. We went to the 10.30am enrichment lecture in the theatre. The topic was "Operation Mincemeat - The Man Who Never Was" which was very interesting. I now have to watch the 1956 movie "The Man Who Never Was".

 

We arrived at Gravdal at 12.30pm and found the Aida Sol was here. She had got an authorised licensed pilot in Tromso and had arrived in the morning. 

 

Gravdal is a tender port so our group of 15 on the tour had arranged to meet at the line for tender tickets at Crooners at 12.30pm. Our wonderful tour organiser was first in the tender ticket queue and managed to get us 15 tickets on Shuttle 1. We waited until Shuttle 1 was called and left the ship at 1.10pm for the 20 minute ride to the dock. 

 

The organiser of the tour had taken over the organisation of the tour from a roll call member who had cancelled his cruise. The tour was through Arctic Buss (not to be confused with Arctic Breeze in Tromso!) and our tour guide Eric was waiting at the dock for us. We got into our mini bus and were on the road at 1.45pm. The weather was overcast and we had a few light showers throughout the day but it wasn't too bad. At least it wasn't pouring! 

 

Our first stop was at Flakstad church which was built in 1780 with parts sent from Russia. 

 

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Our next stop was just down the road at the Flakstad beach. The colour of the water was lovely and as with most places we went to during the day would look beautiful in sunshine. 

 

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We continued on to Ramberg beach.

 

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Our next stop was Reine where we stopped at a viewpoint. 

 

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We drove through Reine to the other side of the village so that we could see fish drying racks. Most of the fish drying racks we saw during the day just had fish heads drying but here we were also able to see whole fish drying. 

 

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34 minutes ago, PurpleTraveller said:

 

Thank you. I love taking photos and took nearly 3,500 on this trip! 

Wow, I must tell my wife who always says that I take too many.

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Thanks for the review and photos, excellent. We were on Sapphire last year from Southampton, Baltics and Scandinavia B2B. Loved the ship.

 

Happy cruising to you.

 

 

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We continued on to A. Yes, that is a very short name for a town! A is at the furthest point south of the islands and was the furthest point we went on our tour. It was raining lightly while we were in A but it didn't worry us as we walked around the pretty fishing village. 

 

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We got to see more fish drying and some more lovely dried fish heads! 

 

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On our way back up the island we made a quick stop at a different viewpoint at Reine for a slightly different view. 

 

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Our next stop was the lovely fishing village of Hamnoy.

 

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We stopped at this beach on the side of the road because of the stunning turquoise colour of the water. 

 

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Our next stop was a special request from one of our fellow tour members. Haukland beach has been voted the number one beach in Norway. I must admit that I thought some of the other beaches we had seen throughout the day were just as lovely.

 

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I did spot this couple being very brave and going for a dip. The water must have been very cold as they made a very hasty exit and grabbed their towels to dry themselves off quick smart! 

 

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Our last stop was at a viewpoint where we could see Sapphire Princess and Aida Sol at anchor. The view was lovely. 

 

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At this point it was becoming rather cool and we decided to return to the warmth of the ship. We drove back to the dock and got a tender at 7.30pm for the 20 minute ride back to the ship. 

 

The Lofoten Islands are all about the scenery and everywhere we had been on this tour was beautiful. If what we saw saw was this beautiful under overcast skies I can only imagine how stunning it must be in sunshine. 

 

Eric our tour guide was great and a huge thank you to the tour organiser for a fabulous day. We had a wonderful time! 

 

We had dinner at the Horizon buffet and were able to look out at the lovely scenery surrounding us.

 

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2 hours ago, NSWP said:

Thanks for the review and photos, excellent. We were on Sapphire last year from Southampton, Baltics and Scandinavia B2B. Loved the ship.

 

Happy cruising to you.

 

 

 

Thank you. We really enjoyed Sapphire Princess and also thought the crew were great. 

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3 hours ago, MrPantsOz said:

Thanks for your amazing review and gorgeous photographs. Even more excited to board the Sapphire in October.

 

Thank you. We had a great time on Sapphire Princess and hope you do too. 

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1 hour ago, MicCanberra said:

Brave indeed to be swimming there.

 

Yes indeed!  Wouldn't catch me going in! 😀

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20 minutes ago, Dobby_The_Ship_Elf said:

the flower pictures are fantstique

 

Thanks!  I love flowers and taking photos of them. 

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Tuesday June 25 - Sea Day

 

Ahhh! Another lovely Sea Day!  We spent a fair bit of time relaxing but also went to a few events. 

 

At 9.45am in the theatre was the destination presentation on Alesund followed at 11.00am by an enrichment lecture "Battle of the Atlantic - The U-Boat War". 

 

After lunch was the destination presentation on Bergen in the theatre at 1.00pm. At 3.30pm in the Wheelhouse Bar was an interesting talk by Dave Jones on "Titanic the Engine Room Struggle".

 

For dinner we went to Sabatini's and had a wonderful meal and great service. We then went to the 8.00pm production show "Do You Wanna Dance" in the theatre. 

 

It was a great Sea Day! 

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Posted (edited)

Wednesday June 26 - Alesund 

 

We left the ship at 9.15am on an overcast morning. We were docked close to the city centre. Our plan was to walk up to the Aksla viewpoint looking over the city. There are 418 steps to get up to the viewpoint or if you don't want to do the steps you can walk up through the streets to the hill and walk up the path in the parkland.

 

Knowing that my knees would not like the stairs we chose to walk up the easy way via the parkland. At first the streets were on a gentle incline and then we got to a steep street. It was still much easier to walk up a steep street than climb 418 steps. I have marked on the map below the top of the steep street with a red cross and where the ship was docked with a purple cross. 

 

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At the top of the street we went up a flight of 91 steps (but still better than 418 steps!) to the parkland. From here it was a lovely walk on a good path through the parkland and trees with views across the fjord. 

 

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We got up to the top with little effort to find a great view of the city, the surrounding islands and Sapphire Princess. 

 

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Edited by PurpleTraveller

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26 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

I am enjoying following Purple Traveller on this cruise. The photos are fantastic.

 

Thank you. I am nearly at the end of the cruise now but hope you enjoy the rest. 

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Please accept my apologies but there will be a short hiatus of the review for a few days. I am travelling to country New South Wales to watch my son graduate from his Royal Australian Air Force training. We are driving there today and the ceremony is tomorrow. I will continue with the review on my return in a few days. 

 

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1 hour ago, PurpleTraveller said:

Please accept my apologies but there will be a short hiatus of the review for a few days. I am travelling to country New South Wales to watch my son graduate from his Royal Australian Air Force training. We are driving there today and the ceremony is tomorrow. I will continue with the review on my return in a few days. 

 

No worries, safe travels and congrats for your son. Have a great time at the ceremony.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the interesting review and excellent photos.  Brings back good memories of our time on the Emerald Princess's similar "North Cape & Summer Solstice" cruise in June 2016.   Looking forward to your account of the last part of your cruise.  Hope your half-day in Bergen was a little less wet than ours...

 

John

Edited by J-D

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On 7/14/2019 at 10:50 PM, PurpleTraveller said:

Monday June 24 - Gravdal/Lofoten Islands

 

As we weren't arriving until 1.00pm we were able to have a lazy morning. We went to the 10.30am enrichment lecture in the theatre. The topic was "Operation Mincemeat - The Man Who Never Was" which was very interesting. I now have to watch the 1956 movie "The Man Who Never Was".

 

 

Our next stop was Reine where we stopped at a viewpoint. 

 

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Our favorite view point of our favorite trip!

 

I remember we arrived in the morning. Is the ship delayed?

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On 7/15/2019 at 6:01 PM, PurpleTraveller said:

Please accept my apologies but there will be a short hiatus of the review for a few days. I am travelling to country New South Wales to watch my son graduate from his Royal Australian Air Force training. We are driving there today and the ceremony is tomorrow. I will continue with the review on my return in a few days. 

 

Just catching up! Want to say congrats on your son!

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When you get home, can you please tell me, aside from the Promenade deck, is there other good outside viewing on Sapphire? Front? Aft?  We will have an inside cabin so outdoor viewing options are important to me. Many thanks in advance.

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I found your review searching for Stavanger on the site.  What fantastic review!  Congratulations to your son and I am looking forward to more when you return.

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