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


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.


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

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.