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A couple of sea days

The Terrace, Azura

Our cruise – A716 on Azura to Norway, Iceland, The Faroe Islands and Northern Ireland – has started with a couple of days at sea before our call at Bergen, the first port. Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that a 7-night Fjords cruise usually requires just one sea day between Southampton and Bergen while this cruise has two days for the same passage, so no-one will be surprised to learn that Azura has just been ticking along at about 13 knots. This is in marked contrast to our experience on Britannia last year when despite the ship’s best efforts, strong winds and waves during the single day at sea delayed our arrival into Bergen until almost lunchtime on the following day. In another contrast to last year, the weather has been fine – sunny and calm, and the noon reports have described the swell as ‘negligible’. We’ve made good use of the balcony, though being on the starboard side has meant that by lunchtime we’re losing the sun. (As I write Val is moving her chair round the balcony to stay in the sun.)

So far we’ve made good use of The Glasshouse – I can report that the Carmenère is as good as ever. We’ve also decided that we won’t eat in The Epicurean this time; however, we have booked two meals in Sindhu.

Last night was the Captain’s Gala. We went down to our restaurant at 7:30 and were given a beeper – although we were happy to share a table they must have been very busy. So we went down to Java for a quick pre-dinner drink where a the beeper started beeping at us, but not buzzing or showing the red lights. Eventually it even spoke to us – something along the lines of “this pager is not connected to the network”, or something similar. So we went back to the restaurant and they let us in – it was about 8 o’clock by then – and we shared a table with another couple from Sheffield who had had the same problem. We enjoyed our meal and the company (as, to be fair, we did on the first night) and round off the evening with a final drink in the Planet bar. Then to bed, with the clocks going forward an hour.

Tomorrow (which will actually be ‘today’ when I get to post this) we’ll be in Bergen. We’re doing our own thing. The aim is to use the funicular railway up to the top of the hill and hopefully do a walk, and to this end I bought a couple of tickets online in advance. We shall see how well they work. We also have a few Norwegian Kroner but may need more, in which case I shall use the Caxton currency card that I’ve started using for multi-currency trips.

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