7 Night Norwegian cruise
Southampton, Bergen, Andalsnes, Flam, Stavanger, Southampton
Our sixth cruise
We sailed on Britannia last year and returned on her again for the second time and making this our sixth cruise together. This was the first time for us to cruise around the shores of beautiful Norway.
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P&O – Britannia fifth cruise was on July 2015 which we sailed from Southampton and visited New Haven, Inverness, Kirkwall, Greenock, Liverpool, Dublin, Cork and St Peter Port. Sixth cruise we went on Britannia again on May 2016 which we sailed from Southampton and visited Bergen, Andalsnes, Flam and Stavanger. @pandocruises @p.o.cruises #pandobritannia #britannia #britishisles #maiden #sailing #sea #ocean #cruise #ship #couple #travel #2015 #summer2015 #britain #ireland #norway #fjords #spring2016 #2016 #cruising #traveller #southampton #blogger #thisisthelife
D116 – Balcony cabin at the .,…..(……) of the ship.
Royal King Size bed, TV, telephone, minibar, bathroom with shower, vanity area and a hair-dryer.
This cabin was spacious and modern with a very decent size wardrobe. We was located near …………………………..
As we was on deck ….. we had cabins situated …………….
Our cruise adventure log
This year we chose to cruise around Norway as we have heard so much about it’s beauty from the waterfalls to the stunning views which Norway offers. It certainly did not disappoint.
The day before we decided to stay in Southampton in the Novohotel so we could look around Southampton. The Novohotel is very close to the High Street and Shopping Mall so we went and looked around there and took a walk around to the harbour where you can see the cruise ships from. Also near the harbour was a blue Rhino.
There is also plenty of other things to do though in Southampton from Other World Escapes (an escape room), SeaCity Museum (has an interactive model of the Titanic), Solent Sky Museum (features vintage aircraft like the iconic Spitfire), Tudor House & Garden (displays over 800 years of history) so it is worth staying the day before or after.
There is also a wall that wraps around Southampton town. This was built back in the day it is believed by Roman’s and Anglo-Saxon’s. This town was defended by banks, ditches and the natural curve of the river and coastline. The Normans then built a castle in Southampton but made no attempts to improve the wider defences of the town until the early 13th century. You can read more about the wall by clicking here.
Day 1 – boarding the ship at Southampton
Today was finally here and there she is the beautiful Britannia.
Once boarding we was highly thrilled to see that Bjorn was on-board. He was our best member of entertainment staff back on Royal Caribbeans Oasis of the Seas back in 2014. He immediately also recognised us and we was then all jumping with happiness.
After calming down with the excitement me and Jason then went on top deck to say bye to Southampton. This is the view you will get of the car park.
After we then adventured around Britannia to see if there was anything new and nothing much had changed apart from the cheese counter that was next to Eric Lanlard’s cakes now being gone and replaced with sandwich’s instead. Thankfully Eric’s cakes was still there.
In one of the shops on board they were selling an Omega which was lastly seen in the latest James Bond film. Needless to say to buy any Omega is too expensive much to Jason’s disappointment as he is a massive James Bond fan and he would of loved it. In fact every so often throughout the cruise he went on over to pine and drool over the watch.
For our first night on board we decided to eat in the Sindhu as the windows are obstructed so no view can really be seen from this restaurant and as we was at sea it made sense.
The food was excellent like per usual and so was the desserts. See how happy we was with our desserts.
Afterwards we went to meet our cruise friends Tony and Gaynor in Broadies. We got to know them on our cruise on Independence of the Seas back in 2012. So we organised it to sail on this same cruise many months back. It was lovely to see them again as they live so far from us we have only ever been in contact via Facebook since 2012. We met them regularly throughout the cruise to play quiz’s together and play at the casino.
For the rest of the evening in Broadies we played various quiz’s and drank beer and cider.
I was thrilled to see this Lemon Dream cider which I have never seen before and as I love lemons and cider it was the perfect choice. Was delicious.
Day 2 – at sea
Today we went and played yes more quiz’s with our friends. I think with the amount of quiz’s we do our brains should be huge and very knowledgeable but they are not.
Plus we played a good old fashioned game of Bingo which Bjorn called the numbers. Amazingly for the first time ever we won a game of Bingo on a cruise. We was delighted.
For lunch we went and ate in one of our favourite restaurants on-board Britannia and that was in the Glass House. The food which is served in the Glass House is always piping hot and tastes so good.
In the evening it was formal night so time to dress up.
Also tonight the Captain Paul Brown made a speech. We also had Paul as Captain on the last cruise we had with Britannia. Paul really is one of the nicest and most pleasant Captain’s we have ever come across.
Here is a photo of us with him.
Tonight we dined in the main dining restaurant Meridian.
So as you may of guessed in the evening we went and played some quiz’s but this time instead of cider and beer we drank some cocktails.
Me with my Strawberry Daiquiri and
Jason with his Pina Colada, what a man.
I was also thrilled to see this time around on this cruise I got a towel animal as last time on Britannia I never received any. What a lovely elephant I just had to kiss him but I think he was more interested in sticking his nose up my nostrils.
Day 3 – Bergen
Today we had an excursion booked to discover Bergen by cable car. Bergen is Norway’s second largest city.
This is the view we had from our balcony going under a bridge.
Jason just chilling watching the scenery.
The Floibanen funicular is found in the heart of Bergen. The journey up to Fløyen takes 5-8 minutes and is 320 m above sea level.
Did you know that the Fløibanenfunicular is one of Norway’s top attractions.
Once on the top the views were spectacular.
This is the map of Floyen. How cute is the Troll picture on the bottom right hand corner.
Now time for us to get a photo with a troll.
Which is the troll though?
After an eventful morning we then headed back to the ship to make the most of the adult pool area whilst everyone else was still touring.
In the evening we went and watched a show at the theatre on-board. To be honest the shows are nowhere near as good as Royal Caribbean’s but they are still enjoyable and fun to watch.
For dinner tonight we ate at the Beach House to have our usual’s. Me with my drizzling steak and Jason and his big kebab.
Dare I say it , yes you guessed it we went Broadies in the evening. I know there are so many other bars and things to do on-board but we just love Broadies and playing quiz’s. That night Wez took most of the quiz’s.
We also met with a trainee entertainment member of staff Scott which Wez gave us the pleasure of keeping entertained. We did not win any even though there was four of us me, Jason, Scott and Tony.
Tonight’s animal was a rabbit.
Well I think it was a rabbit?
Day 4 – Andalsnes
Upon entering Andalsnes I just had to try and catch the sunrise as I heard it is supposed to be spectacular.
I tried to get Jason up to watch it with me however he may of had one two many ciders last night in Broadies as he was finding it hard to get up OR was it because it was 4 am in the morning. As you can gather he was not bothered and just wanted to stay in bed.
Alas though after sitting out in the cold in my PJ’s for over a few hours the sunrise happened on the other side of the ship so all I ever saw was fog. When it was after 7am Jason then adventured on out to the balcony but now it was warmer and sunny.
There was lot’s of Seaguls though as this one he was wanting to come into the balcony area to pinch our breakfast as we had breakfast on our balcony.
Me with my good old English cup of tea.
For today we decided to go on an excursion with P&O called the ‘Scenic Rauma Railway’.
Andalsnes is surrounded by tall mountains and situated on the Romsdalsfjord. Andalsnes is often referred to as ‘The Alp town by the fjord’. The fjord town Åndalsnes is a great starting point for activities and excursions, from forest walks in the hilly terrain to short, steep walks to magnificent viewpoints. It is also a great starting point for long mountain walks with views of the Romsdalsfjella mountain.
As me and Jason are not exactly fit and certainly not hikers I am glad we booked to go on the Rauma train. The views from the train were unbelievable. We passed through so many mountains with cascading waterfalls as well as farm land and residential areas.
Half way we had a rest stop.
The surrounding of mountains and waterfalls was truly stunning. We even met a troll and I became a viking.
We then got back on a train and headed on back to Britannia.
Now back at the ship.
When I got back on-board there was a mini pop up where I could dry various drinks. Let’s just say I had one two many.
Upon leaving Andalsnes the entertainment staff put on a traditional sail away dance along with singing which they do at each port.
Tonight we went and ate in the The Epicurean. Like always the staff were very friendly and the entertainment factor of seeing our meat carved and cooked in front of us was magical. We had Smoked Salmon, Chateaubriand and a Crepe Suzette being flamed right in front of our eyes. Plus some very unusual desserts made me think of Heston Blumenthal.
Just putting on my lipstick but in fact this was not lipstick it was a dessert to made to look like lipstick.
As you may of guessed in the evening we headed to Broadies. I think what makes us love Broadies though is not just the quiz’s, Sarah and Matt the singing duo and the wonderful cider selection but the bar staff as well. In particular Darius as he is such a laugh and is always messing and joking about with everyone and often all the bar staff shout out answers to the quiz’s that wind u[ the entertainment staff especially Darius!
Tonight’s towel animal is a frog. Wish I was a frog as I would totally jump back in the sea to live in the picturesque Anadalsnes.
Day 5 – Flam
We decided to have breakfast on our balcony upon arriving into Flam as that is the best way to come into any country and take in it’s beauty.
Some of the houses and landscape looked like a Lego village it did not look real.
So today like many other tourists who visit Flam we decided to have an excursion on the famous Flamsbana Railway. The Flam Railway has been named one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world and is one of the leading tourist attractions in Norway. The train runs from the end of Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sognefjord, up to the high mountains at Myrdal Station.
If you are not one for trains though you can always cycle around Rallarvegen or go hiking in dramatic landscape.
Whilst walking towards the train we came across some more trolls.
The scenery through was very beautifully stunning. As you can see Jason just loves watching the scenery.
Jason just loved it
Halfway through the journey we had a pit stop in which we got to see this most beautiful Tvindefossen Waterfall.
It certainly is the largest I have ever seen.
There was also some wooden carvings in this area from a carving of a Viking to a Viking boat.
We also had some lunch in one of the hotels before adventuring on with our journey but this time on the famous Flamsbana train.
Plus at this halfway point we saw the Princess of Norway boarding a train in which she had her own special carriage all to herself and even the red carpet was rolled out for her.
Now time to board the Flamsbana which is green and big. Stunning from the outside and upon adventuring inside it was also lovely it was like being time warped back to how an old style train carriage would have looked like back many many years ago. Very wooden but pretty.
Eventually we arrived at the top to see the famous Kjosfossen waterfall.
Jason decided to stay on the train with Carol who we met on our first day of cruising. Plus prior to the cruise I have had a number of conversations with her via Facebook within a cruise social group.
The waterfall was inspiring with it’s height and length and how the water gushed down the mountain. It is approx. 225 metres high and the waterfall is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Norway. During the summer an actress acts as the legendary Huldra (a seductive forest creature in Scandinavian folklore) and dances partially naked and sings at the top of the waterfall as the trains enter into the station for the amusement of the tourists. Huldra is known for being beautiful, naked, has long hair and has an animal’s tail.
See if you can hear Huldra and see her if you go.
To be honest though I preferred the larger wider one which I saw earlier on our journey.
I do highly recommend though taking the Flam Railway as the journey truly is stunning and so are the many waterfalls and main waterfall. In fact this train journey has been named one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world.
Once back on board it was time for dinner so we went and ate in the main dining area. We both had steak and a custard type cake.
Plus as you may of guessed by the photo below we went Broadies. Tonight we had a beer flight which has three different ciders/beers to drink.
Tonight’s animal is a swan.
Day 6 – Stavanger
Stavanger is the fourth largest city of Norway. It is in the south-western coast of the country. On passing heading to Stavanger harbour there was this beautiful dinky island which apparently someone lives on.
At the harbour I had to take a photo of the beautiful Britannia she just looked stunning in the sunlight and her reflection hitting the water.
Saying this though in the water around her was many stingrays not such a nice thought.
Me and Jason decided to stroll around the village and wow so pretty. There is a lovely main park with a large lake in the middle, so many statues and wooden carvings and not forgetting many trolls.
There is even an amazing restaurant right next to the ships harbour where we just had to go and eat some fresh local mussels. They were big and juicy and certainly tasty.
I think this seagull was jealous.
After a walk and some lunch we then headed on a Hop on Hop off Bus to tour the area a bit further. However we did not see much else that we had not already walked on foot.
In the evening like per usual Broadies. Tonight as it was formal night we thought we would get a photo with Wez and take some additional photos of the entertainment staff who always do such a grand job.
Plus a photo of us with Tony and Gaynor our cruise friends and quiz partners.
With night setting in believe it or not this was around midnight it was time for bed.
Me and my pig.
Day 7 – at sea
Today we was at sea and I had a cookery class booked to make chocolate truffles and honeycomb. So even though James Martin and co. was not on-board this cruise this week you can still learn to cook. So I made chocolates along with the main chef of the cookery club, whilst Jason went to the gym to try and burn off those calories from all the food we’ve had on the cruise! However he failed as he only managed to run literally less than a minute on the treadmill before feeling faint.
It was good fun and I was impressed with my creations.
As this was our last night on-board Britannia Tony and Gaynor kindly took us out to eat a final meal together in the Beach House which was so kind of them. Hopefully next cruise we will be able to return the favour.
Plus as this was the last night there was no new towel animal alas. So here is a look back at all the towel animals I had throughout the cruise. My favourite being the pig.
Which one is your favourite?
Day 8 – disembarking at Southampton
Before disembarking with our cases today we bumped into Bjorn one of our best cruise entertainment staff so we just had to get a photo with him before heading off. He is so funny such a character.
So farewell Britannia until next time.
Highlights and negatives
- The Rauma train journey with the pretty landscape on passing
- The amazing large Tvindefossen Waterfall
- The Flam Railway journey for the views of waterfalls
- The trolls we met
- Learning how to make chocolate on-board
- There was none that I can think of.
Take air freshener for the toilet as the plastic smells.
As we took this cruise many years ago and we was not writing a blog back then we have not got a complete log of our trip so this is written by memory.
Have you sailed on Britannia?