By Marina Aagaard, MFE
Hi-ho hi-ho it’s off to work I go: Thanks to an invitation from colleagues in Bergen, Hordaland county, last weekend I was sailing from Hirtshals, Denmark, to Bergen via Stavanger, Norway, to present group exercise workshops. A 16-hour ferry trip, from mid-evening to midday next day … with a nice surprise.
In Denmark going on a ferry trip is no big deal; Denmark consists of Jutland, a peninsula ‘on top’ of Germany, and 1,419 islands above 100 square metres; 443 named islands, 73 of which are inhabited (Zealand and Funen are the largest). So most Danes have spent (a lot of) time on ferries – also on trips to our neighbours Norway and Sweden.
Scandinavian ferries are okay, fine, functional and ‘mature’. This time, however, the ferry was a bit different. The ferry carrying me to Norway was MS Stavangerfjord (fanfare):
MS Stavangerfjord (photo: Esben Gees for Fjordline) is the world’s first and largest cruise-ferry powered fully by environmentally-friendly Liquified Natural Gas, “a giant leap towards cleaner shipping” – and a giant leap towards travelling with a clean(er) conscience!
At 170 m, 557 foot, in length, 25.000 tonnes, with room for 1500 passengers and 600 cars, MS Stavangerfjord is not your everyday ferry, it is big, brand new and with a touch of true cruise luxury.
Travelling to work suddenly became a Nordic mini-cruise.
Brass, wood and lush carpets; the ‘smell’ of ships and cruising.
A sneak peek into the gourmet restaurant … on the way to the buffet restaurant.
Buffet restaurant and …
… buffet cutlery a little less ordinary:
Lobster cracker and lobster fork!
Lounge is ready to party, but the night – and guests – is still young.
The truth about Nordic cruises; often grey and foggy (cool!) …
… and rainy too (not a problem, when you like rain, though).
Being at sea is a bliss. This is wellness, come rain or come shine.
P.s.: It is quite possible, though, to get (very) seasick on a Nordic cruise,
as the going often gets tough in the North Sea, but this time the waves were friendly.