I have just returned from my first ever cruise on board The CMV Magellan cruising the Fjords and what a wonderful experience I had.
The cruise departed Tilbury which was really easy to get to; Check in was fast and easy. As soon as we had passed through security we were greeted by uniformed staff who each took our bags to our cabins, giving us a quick overview of the ship on the way – Nice touch!
We were allocated an Oceanview on deck 6. I knew the cabins were pretty basic, but spacious, with plenty of wardrobe space, comfy beds & adequate bathroom.
The ship itself which holds 1250 passengers had a lovely intimate feel about her, with beautifully decorated spacious public areas.
That evening was my first experience of the cuisine on board which I was really impressed with, The Magellan is a 3 * ship but the food was 5* with waiter service. You can purchase a drinks package on board at £17 per person per day which was really good value.
After a good night’s sleep it was time for breakfast we decided to go for the buffet option which was excellent, there was lots of choice and it was very good quality. There was an option to have waiter service at two other restaurants if you preferred.
Today was a sea day there were plenty of activities on board including swimming, gym, aerobics, arts & crafts, guest speakers, quizzes, beauty treatments and plenty more a daily schedule is delivered to your cabin daily.
I decided to take the day relaxing as knew we had lots of planned excursions in the coming days.
The next day was the first day on land; it was lovely having breakfast whilst sailing in land with beautiful scenic surrounding you with many photo opportunities.
We went to Hardangerfjord Natursenter in Eidfjord the centre of the region that is sometimes referred to as the orchard of Fjord the mild climate along the 111-mile long Hardangerfjord sees apples, plums, pears and cherries being grown here. Hardangervidda is also Europe’s largest mountain plateau. One of Norway’s largest glaciers can be found on the plateau, which is entirely above the tree line. Apart from the Hardangervidda, highlights included the impressive Vøringsfossen waterfall, every conceivable activity related to mountains (such as trekking, climbing and cycling) and fishing in one of the rivers found nearby. The waterfall was so high up so can be very cold – tip take warm jumpers!
The next stop was Flam (pronounced Flom) a very pretty little village with a few shops, you can walk around the village in 1 ½ hours.
The main highlight of this stop is to do the Flam Railway which is it’s ranked as one of Europe’s most spectacular rail journeys.
Beginning in the sea-level fjord hamlet of Flåm and extending to the town of Myrdal, 863 meters above sea level, the train glides through grassy mountains with waterfalls spurting out from every direction. The whole trip takes 2 hours up a steep railway track. This really was the most attractive and spectacular rail journey and a must do on any trip to Flam.
Day five we were due to go to Geirangerfjord but due to the stormy weather the ship rerouted to Alesund which was yet another pretty town with cobbled streets and is Norway’s largest port.
We visited the Sunnmore Museum which is a beautiful open air museum with 55 old and distinct houses. While walking in between these houses you feel as if you are put back in time, and you will see how people lived in earlier times. The houses had grass roofs and were built on stones to keep out the unwanted animals. There are also more than 40 boats, which the museum says is the largest collection in all of Norway, including replicas of Viking-era ships, and a Medieval Age Museum with artefacts from a partially excavated trading post.
If you only do one thing in Ålesund, make it be going up to the Aksla Viewpoint. You can reach this on foot by going up 418 steps, by taking the tourist train that toodles around town, or by using the hop-on, hop-off bus.
It was a nice warm and sunny day and the views from the lookout were outstanding. If you have time, there’s a nice cafe up here where you can grab a coffee while you enjoy the view. And, no matter how you get up there, I highly recommend walking the 418 steps back down into Town Park.
Friday our last day before sailing home, the ship docked in Bergen at 6.30am but our tour didn’t leave until 10am so plenty of time for breakfast. This morning I decided to go to The Kensington the a La Carte restaurant with waiter service. I highly recommend the Full English breakfast.
We joined he excursion and took the funicular railway to Mount Fløyen and see all of Bergen in just 6 minutes.
The funicular railway is one of Norway’s most famous attractions. The trip starts from the city centre, just 150 metres from the Fish Market and Bryggen. The exciting trip up to the mountain is a magnificent experience in itself.
From Mount Fløyen, approx. 320 metres above sea level, you can enjoy the beautiful view; study the cityscape in detail and the seaward approaches and fjords surrounding Bergen.
The Funicular takes you to a fantastic area of beautiful natural surroundings with lots of opportunities for walking and hiking. At Fløyen there is also a restaurant, cafeteria, souvenir shop and play area.
At the top there were also a few friendly goats which were very happy to pose for photos!
Back down on the Cable car where we had a tour of Bergen City, which is surrounded by seven hills and seven fjords. During the early middle Ages, it was an important seaport as well as Norway’s capital. A heritage that can still be glimpsed in the beautifully preserved wooden houses of Bryggen, now protected as a Unesco World Heritage Site. The city has a buzzy bar scene and nightlife.
Our final day on board was a sea day sailing back to the UK, we indulged in the cocktail making which was lots of fun.
I really liked the ambiance on board the friendliness of the staff, the intimate cosy warm feel of the ship would definitely induce me to book a cruise on her. All in all I had a very enjoyable time.