Sailing from Southampton
Southampton, England • Stavanger, Norway • Eidfjord, Hardangerfjord, Norway • Cruising Hardangerfjord • Olden, Nordfjord, Norway ⚓ • Cruising Nordfjord • Cruising Hornelen, Nordfjord • Bergen, Norway • Cruising Lysefjord (Pulpit & Boulder) • Southampton
Behind the bustle of the prosperous and cosmopolitan Stavanger of today lie 1,000 years of ancient seafaring tradition and history. Awarded the prestigious title of ‘European Capital of Culture’ in 2008, this provincial seaport is now a vibrant, exciting and wealthy city that’s often referred to as the ‘Oil Capital of Norway’.
Yet despite all the wealth, Stavanger is as charming as ever. The old town, Gamle Stavanger, has narrow winding streets and ancient wooden houses gathered round the market where fresh fish and vegetables have been sold for over a thousand years. Bars, restaurants, cafes, and art galleries abound, along with intriguing museums.
The picturesque village of Eidfjord, set within the breath-taking Hardangerfjord, is a gateway to some of the region's most spectacular natural features and possibly the most beautiful place in the Norwegian fjords. Located beneath a back-drop of soaring, snow-peaked mountains, engraved with rivers and waterfalls, Eidfjord begs for exploration and presents some of the fjordland's greatest photo opportunities The village’s tranquil feel extends to the lush fields that run for miles, meandering through clusters of wood-slat homes in ice-cream hues.
Two quaint churches, one dated back to 1309, are both worth exploring, while the Troll Train offers a 50-minute guided tour of this stunning region. From the train you can experience Eidfjord’s exquisite scenery and Hæreid, the largest Viking burial site from the Iron Age.
Hiking is very popular in the area, and for those keen sports enthusiasts, kayaking down the dramatic, mountain-flanked fjords is a must-do. Alternatively, visitors can head for the amazing Hardangervidda Nature Centre or the infamous Voringfossen Waterfall, a tumbling natural beauty set deep in the mountains of Måbødalen Valley.
Known as the queen of the Fjord, Hardangerfjord is situated centrally in the heart of Western Norway. The best way to experience this incredible Fjord is to sail along the 197 kilomteres, enjoying the spellbinding scenery, towering mountains, waterfalls and idyllic orchards.
At its eastern end, the magnificent Nordfjord divides into three arms beneath the glaciers of the Jostedalsbreen, and Olden sits at the beginning of the southernmost of these arms. Olden is utterly delightful, a charming village set in green meadows which are ablaze with colourful flowers throughout the summer, and through which babbling brooks meander between pretty houses.
In the centre of the village is the Old Church, built in 1759 on the site of a 14th century stave church: the timber was used for the pew doors and doorposts. Near the church is the Singerheimen, the former home of William Singer the millionaire founder of the sewing-machine company. He was a gifted amateur artist, and some of his paintings of the Olden area can be seen in his workshop.
The Nordfjord is one of Norway's longest and most picturesque fjords, with the stunning Jostedalsbreen - Europe's largest inland glacier - at one end and the Stadhavet Ocean located at other end. Cruising along this magnificent stretch of glass-like water in pure tranquility you'll bask in the beautiful views and stunning scenery of this untouched part of the world.
Bergen was one of the great Hanseatic ports, and this maritime heritage is recalled by the 900-year-old Bryggen Wharf, with its splendid museum. The wharf is a delight to explore: its narrow streets climb away from the waterfront, lined by interesting shops, colourful half-timbered houses and cobbled stairways, with alleyways and tiny open spaces that beg to be explored. In summer months every spare corner seems to be filled with pots and containers overflowing with colourful flowers that fill the air with perfume.
The Lysefjord is a stunning example of the Norwegian fjords' spectacular natural beauty. Carved into the landscape by glacier movement in the Ice Age approximately 10,000 years ago, Lysefjord is lined by magnificent mountains and dramatic cliff faces – some soaring over 1,000 metres high into the unpolluted skies above.
In some sections of the fjord the water is as deep as the mountains are high, however at the shallowest point the water depth drops to just 13 metres. This means only small ships such as those in the Fred. Olsen fleet can cruise the Lysefjord.
Sailing along the glassy waters on board a smaller cruise ship is without doubt the best way to take in the fjord's eclectic sights. Lookout for tumbling waterfalls, wonderful wildlife and pretty settlements dotted along the shores; and marvel at the sight of the impressive Lysefjordbrua suspension bridge as so you sail into the fjord.
On a clear day it is possible to see the famous Preikestolen – a huge 604 metre-high flat mountain plateau – and Kjeragbolten, a large rock wedged in one of Mount Kjerag’s crevices. If you’re very lucky you may hear the gunshot-like bang of Kjeragsmellet – an unexplained natural phenomenon that’s particularly prominent in the winter months.
At a glance....
Braemar will capture your senses. A five-deck high atrium area and cascading decks at the stern give Braemar space and intimacy in perfect balance.
Braemar has a number of restaurant and bar facilities for passengers. Have a tasty lunch at the Palms Café and a delicious dinner at our grand Thistle and Grampian restaurants. Refresh at the Marquee poolside bar, or have a cosy drink in the Morning Light Pub. Spin to the music at the Neptune Lounge, and take afternoon tea at the Coral Club, or leave the world behind in the serene Atlantis Spa.
|Passengers||929 Standard Occupancy|
|Beam (width)||22.5 m|