Monday, 15 December 2014

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Skottlandsferie & Totally Norway

Today we're joined by Totally Norway and Skottlandsferie.
 
  • Sometimes it has been difficult to decide which site posts should go to,  often they are suitable for all 3.
  • Sometimes posts are not specific to one-  and connected to all.
 
Solution-  combine all 3 together and everyone can read them.  It also makes posting much simpler,  especially when our teams are at sea and connections may be unstable.
 
Welcome to our new members and please stay with us to our current members.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Looking forward to 2015.

It's that time of year in 2014.  The schedules are being confirmed and booked for 2015.  I know it  sounds crazy but,  if it goes to plan, we'll need to start making travel bookings in December !

Provisional information

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Returned Home

After docking in Liverpool yesterday morning,  we split up and took trains north-  to Glasgow and to Edinburgh.   The storm seemed to have moved to Rannoch Moor- as I found out while driving across, and finally arrived home last night.


The cruise on MV Funchal was very good-  and I'll post the photographs once they are downloaded edited.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Isle of Man

MV Funchal taking shelter from the storm at Douglas, Isle of Man. Hoping to dock in Liverpool tomorrow once the storm subsides.

Captain requested that passengers sat down during last turn into shelter; What do some passengers not understand about the phrase 'sit down' ??? as crew were stationed throughout the public areas to lend assistance if required

Crew are fantastic, really helpful.

The chefs cooked a full lunch, served in the restaurant, all on an unplanned basis.

Port of Liverpool closed to us (and all others?) and the most ferries are off.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Bergen, last Norwegian port this cruise.

Superb scenery last night and again this morning.  We're now moored in Bergen,  some passengers spending kroner in the souvenir shops while others are on excursions.

This cruise has been so lucky-  northern lights, clear skies and snow.  Norway winter at it's very best.

Sailing for home this afternoon so no more blog posts until all the photographs are edited in about 2 weeks time.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Åndalsnes arrival.

Out on deck for our arrival in Åndalsnes this morning- at first light.  It was beautiful and very cold as the mountains became visible.

After last night's aurora,  the colours this morning added to the Norwegian experience for the few passengers who had ventured on to the open deck.

The shops seemed busy with passengers starting to but souvenirs and presents to take home.  Now for lunch,  perhaps another trip ashore and then settling down on the aft deck to watch the scenery as we sail from Åndalsnes this evening.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Træna

Beautiful morning with the west coast islands as silhouettes against the sunrise. Sailing south towards Åndalsnes.

Full day of interesting activities ahead.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Red sky at night

Steve's songs took MV Funchal's passengers through a very enjoyable afternoon and into a red sunset- a good sign for tomorrow, we hope.

Photos after dinner or tomorrow.

Beautiful scenery

Sitting, looking out over the bow of the ship, as we sail out from Tromsø. Beautiful snow covered hills, bright skies and some attractive cloud.

Surrounded by passengers who are asleep, reading, chatting or generally oblivious. So sad... Perhaps I should start to point out the places of interest? or maybe I'll just enjoy the views myself.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Winter is here

A few flakes of snow as we approached Honningsvåg this morning and, by the time we went ashore, it was slippy underfoot.

A stroll around town,  visit to MS Midnatsol,  hot chocolates all round and then a return to MV Funchal for lunch.  The excursion tour of Magerøya meant that we viewed Honningsvåg in it's true Arctic moods.  The tour completed with a coffee stop at the Christmas shop- very apt in the snowy scene.

Departing shortly for Tromsø and looking forward to a scenic cruise southwards.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Alta !    Bright sunshine,  cold and dry.   After this morning's snow,  we have been very lucky and the afternoon has ended with that lovely sunset that you get in Alta.

A quick visit into the shops and I found that Stormberg has moved into a bigger shop with even more clothes on display.  Hopefully I'll have time to go back before they close at 20:00, only taking enough money this time.

Many passengers are going on the aurora tours this evening and then there are rumours of a deck party before (and as) we sail.

Honningsvåg tomorrow and and sightseeing on Magerøya.

Skjervøy

Good morning from a snowy Arctic.

We're just sailing past Skjervøy and Laukøya. Snow on the hills and sleet/snow on the decks of MV Funchal.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Arctic Circle and Svartisen

Good morning from Narvik.

The weather was really good yesterday.  Calm seas,  bright sunshine and lovely clear Arctic skies.   Funchal's passengers were out on deck to watch as we crossed the Arctic Circle and started our approach towards the Svartisen Glacier.

It was easy to see the ice fields as we sailed on towards the glacier.  The early evening light brought a contrast of colour to the white ice,  a lot less ice than in our August visit.

Sunset and a bright moon completed our evening for us as MV Funchal sailed away from the glacier and headed towards Narvik- where we're now moored on a bright, cold morning.

Friday, 10 October 2014

In Norway.

Currently travelling in Norway.  Follow our progress at http://totally-norway.co.uk

Raining in Ålesund

The seas calmed as we neared Ålesund and we were met by the pilot before docking at the cruise quay.   This new quay was still being built when we last visited and the passengers walk into town using the underpass,  a much easier route.

The buffet is open today because the weather is so much better and we ate lunch before going ashore.   I keep referring to the number of people who have connections both in Norway and in Scotland.   Today we made a new friend,  in the tourist information centre,  who spends part of each year in NE Scotland.

There were 2 ship's excursions;  Giske & Godøy and Ålesund & surroundings while other passengers decided to just walk around independently.  Ålesund is known for being 'art nouveau' and,  if you've not visited before,  it's well worth booking a ship's excursion as an introduction.   One of our favourite places to visit is the aquarium but this isn't often offered.

Photo:  our arrival in port with the typical Ålesund light greeting us.  Taken from the forward deck on MV Funchal.

Live post: Svinøya.

MV Funchal sailing northwards towards Ålesund, currently Svinøya and it's lighthouse are just ahead.

Looking forward to our only Ålesund visit of 2014.

Now I know our internet connections are working, I'll aim for an informative?? daily live post.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Stavanger Havn

An enjoyable afternoon in the port of Stavanger where the forecast thunder has stayed away.   2 senior Norwegians really amused at me taking photographs of 'sheep sculptures'  but didn't realise I could understand them :)   You'll have to wait until we get home to see the photos though.

Leaving soon for Ålesund.

Stavanger pilot

Sitting waiting for the pilot to join MV Funchal for our arrival in Stavanger.

Unfortunately the weather forecast is for heavy rain and thunder ... and we've just seen lightning!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Muckle Skerry

The Muckle Skerry lights as we leave the Scottish mainland behind and take a last look at Orkney.  Now we start our crossing towards Norway where we'll meet the pilot to take MV Funchal into Stavanger.

Pentland Firth

Dolphins in the Pentland Firth after lunch

At sea, day 2.

We're currently sailing to the northwest of Caithness.  Captain has suggested that once he turns east on a heading for Stavanger,  we may find the seas more unsettled because of our direction.

Last night was our gala dinner and Captain's cocktail party.  I must say the food on MV Funchal is excellent,  served in one sitting between the two restaurants.  (the buffet isn't serving as it is outside)

Clocks changed forward last night taking us on to Norwegian time and we're looking forward to an interesting day of activities.

Monday, 6 October 2014

My first impressions when we stepped aboard MV Funchal?    'What a beautiful little ship'.   It's easy to see why my new Portuguese friends are so proud of these classic ships.

As we sailed from Bristol,  it was sad to see Discovery stay in port.

With tomorrow a sea day,  I'm looking forward to exploring Funchal as we sail the west coast.

Photos will follow over the next few days.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Bristol to Honningsvåg 2014

Leaving quite early tomorrow morning,  there will be no time to make any live posts.  We sail from Bristol on Monday.


Getting to Bristol is proving a real challenge.  Sunday means road & rail closures & delays so our journey south means we'll see quite a bit of the country.  We travel by car, ferry, bus and train with 2 different hotels before we join the ship.

The automated posts with our expected schedule will run as normal.  Hopefully,  this time,  we'll have the connections to make live posts as we sail will work.   The first would be on Thursday from Stavanger.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Land of the Northern Lights

With the first snow of winter falling in Tromsø this morning,  it's time to talk about our last Norway cruise of 2014.

House-sitters are due to arrive next week and we sail from Bristol on 06 October.  The ship (a nice surprise) is MV Funchal and we're really looking forward to sailing.

I'll write the scheduled posts in the next few days and,  hopefully,  be able to post live from the ship.  Of course we all know this hasn't worked out on 3/3 of the cruises so lets hope ?

Monday, 1 September 2014

Wind Surf in Tobermory




One of this morning's visitors,  the other being MV Discovery

Monday, 18 August 2014

Photographs from Norway

Norway, August 2014, photograph album



(Evening in Honningsvåg)

Photographs from Greenland

I could post the photographs here,  one by one,  and you could all be bored?  or I could just post the link to the entire album...

Greenland 2014 photograph album


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Returned from Norway

Now we've returned from Norway,  I can finally get time to edit the remaining photographs and video from both Greenland and Norway.    Please stay with us and I should have the first of the material onsite by the weekend.

Future cruise news for the remainder of 2014 consists of a confirmed winter adventure to Norway on MV Funchal.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Great cruise

Great cruise to Iceland and Greenland,  sorry there were no live posts but I messed up the passwords for the connection again.

Photos will be edited and then posted here soon.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Liverpool disembarkation

Itinerary (automatic post):  Arrival in Liverpool and return to Edinburgh.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Returning to Liverpool- sea days

Itinerary (automatic post):  First of 4 sea days as we sail back to Liverpool.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Nanortalik, Greenland.

Itinerary (automatic post):  Full day in Nanortalik before we sail for Liverpool.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Qaqortoq, Greenland

Itinerary (automatic post):  Full day in Qaqortoq then late sailing to Nanortalik.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Narsarsuaq, Greenland

Itinerary (automatic post):  First port in Greenland.   Later we sail to Qaqortoq.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Reykjavik, Iceland

Itinerary (automatic post):  Beginning 2 day visit to Reykjavik

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Monday, 7 July 2014

Albert Dock

Liverpool is warm and sunny when we eventually arrive.  Unfortunately the train was late so the museums were closed.   With the morning to spare,  the sun still shining, we took a short cruise across the Mersey on the 'snowdrop'.   Lunch in the Maritime Museum before going to the cruise terminal to Embark MS. Boudicca.

Liverpool and Boudicca

Itinerary (automatic post):  Morning visit to museums in Liverpool,  joining Boudicca after lunch.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Edinburgh to Liverpool

Itinerary (automatic post):  Train from Edinburgh to Liverpool and overnight.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

National Museum of Edinburgh

After a great drive through to Edinburgh,  we arrived with time to spare.  The hotel is just along the street from the museum and where better to spend an afternoon?

Edinburgh

Itinerary (automatic post):  Overnight Edinburgh

Friday, 4 July 2014

Iceland & Greenland posts

We'll hopefully be posting from this cruise.  Departing tomorrow for Liverpool,  it all depends on the availability of connections.

The schedule will appear automatically and we'll add to this with live posts & photos.



Friday, 20 June 2014

Looking forward to Iceland and Greenland

Iceland and Greenland have been destinations I've wanted to see for several years.   Offered this cruise from Fred Olsen,  how could we resist?


It's not been the easiest in the world to plan because it was impossible to book the train journeys that suited.  We're taking the train to/from Edinburgh and there is only one change each way-  so why is it proving so difficult?   I think the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,  One World Festival in Liverpool and the Edinburgh Festival are all combining to fill the trains?


Anyway,  we're booked,  we're going,  and I'm really looking forward to the cruise.

Sunday, 11 May 2014




Broughty Ferry looking towards Dundee,  the same evening as the previous Arbroath photograph.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

RSS Discovery, April 2014




Another visit to the ship and exhibitions,  this time was for research.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Dundee Penguin, Discovery Poinrt




Very appropriate,  this penguin one of a group beside RSS Discovery.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Spring robin




I was sure I'd seen this bird during the afternoon-  at last a photograph.

MS Discovery sailing under Forth Bridge




Arriving at Rosyth, April 2014

Monday, 21 April 2014

Birds and a spring Aurora

A fantastic day yesterday with lots of wildlife, some earlier than we'd expect. The day started when we heard woodpeckers in the nearby woods. On the loch-side the swallows and red kites flew overhead while the otter played in the water.

As night fell, the skies to the north brightened and the owls hooted to announce the appearance of an aurora.



Photograph of the aurora, seen from the Isle of Skye last night, courtesy of Glendale Skye Auroras.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Birds of spring










The blackbirds appeared to be feeding chicks. 2 Dads weren't happy to share their territory though.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Bees of spring




Our first real day spent in the garden this year and it was good to see how many bees had returned.



Friday, 11 April 2014

Discovery fjords cruise- going home




A very short visit to Norway on Discovery, a nice start to the season.   We took lots of photographs, as usual, and you can see them by clicking through any of the pictures posted here,


It was a cruise where our main shore activity was to meet with friends & relatives.   We did our annual update of Norwegian tourist information.   Most of all,  we enjoyed it during our first cruise on Discovery.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Discovery in Bergen


It was raining again as we sailed under the Askøy Bridge on our way into Bergen.   After a morning of rain (as forecast by Captain),  it brightened during the afternoon.




Statsraad Lehmkuhl sailed out,  we'd meet here again later.   The whole harbour was very busy although Discovery was the only visiting cruise ship.








Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Discovery in Flåm

Flåm and sunshine.   It was quiet,  we were the only ship visiting and there were no coaches in the car park.





Coffee at the Fretheim Hotel,  very enjoyable and we believe in supporting the local businesses that host our ships' visits.








Tuesday, 8 April 2014

More Eidfjord


The typical wooden houses from the fjords.   Below,  the knitted tree covers planted alongside the road.  It feels like we've done a lot,  seen a lot during our first day in Norway.




Eidfjord






Eidfjord- and rain.   I think its the first time we've visited and found it was raining.  It didn't stop us exploring, nor did it stop some passengers taking a ride on the little train.




The Olympic flame sculpture

Hardanger Bridge




We sailed on to Eidfjord where we tendered ashore.  This was the first time we sailed under the Hardangerfjord Bridge since it opened.   It was still being built when we sailed (through ?) in May 2012.

Ulvik






Our first Norwegian port of 2014-  a short stop at Ulvik to allow excursion passengers to disembark.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Terra Nova

Of interest on the Greenland cruise during the summer months,  we'll be sailing near Terra Nova on the sea floor.


Want to know more about Terra Nova..  find out later.







Friday, 4 April 2014

2015

First bookings have arrived for 2015.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Tobermory today

Discovery in Tobermory 4/11The first cruise ship of the 2014 season in Tobermory.    It seemed like a good reason to have a day out to the Isle of Mull.



Passengers came ashore in the ship's tenders and landed at the pontoons.



Elizabeth G was also in Tobermory.
Elizabeth G, March 2014

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Loch Lomond, 25 March

Lomond boat and treesOur first real outing for 2014,  a 2-day trip to Glasgow via Loch Lomond.

Weather on the way south varied from sleet to hail stones and then rain.  Once we reached Balloch the skies cleared and sun shone.

The cruise boats were out sailing on the loch,  this photograph taken from the car.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Crazy 2015

Several cruise lines have now launched their 2015 itineraries.   Many are unusual and its very difficult to choose between them.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Waiting on summer

Now most of the preparations our 2014 cruise season are complete,  all we have to do is wait for summer.


I've watched Boudicca, Marco Polo, Discovery, Saga Sapphire and Oriana on the webcams as they sail their Northern Lights cruises.   It really feels as though we've missed the start of the year but it has allowed us to do other, essential things.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Welcome to our 2014 cruises

We've had a very slow start to the 2014 season.    Preparations are now going well.
  • Pay Travel Insurance ü
  • Provisionally book transit hotels ü
  • Book trains ü (some)
  • Check documents ü
  • Arrange house-sitters ü

There is one particular summer date when it is proving impossible to book an affordable Edinburgh hotel so we continue our research.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Friday, 10 January 2014

Iceland and Greenland

Not Norway,  but very interesting and relevant,  Iceland and Greenland have just been added to our 2014 schedule.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Planning 2014

We've made the first bookings for travel to the ships' departure ports.

There seem to be several hotel groups with sales or discounted prices this January.   Train tickets also seem to be a reasonable price although the prices do vary with different websites.

The premium for the travel insurance was a pleasant surprise.   I thought it might increase in price because of our 2013 claim but it hardly altered.   Very pleased with service from SAGA travel insurance.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

2014

Happy New Year to all our friends and colleagues. We hope 2014 is good to you.

2014

Happy New Year to all our friends and colleagues.   We hope 2014 is good to you.