If you’re considering your holiday options and want to know what a Cruise & Maritime cruise is really like before you book it, you’re in luck! Here you can read all about Lisa’s trip to the Norwegian Fjords aboard the Magellan for a real insight into the ship, itinerary and the fascinating country of Norway. Spoiler alert – you’ll definitely want to book a Cruise & Maritime cruise after this!
Over to Lisa…
On my educational with Cruise & Maritime, we sailed from Tilbury on board the Magellan and headed off to the Norwegian Fjords. Once on board, everything ran like clockwork. We were taken to our cabin, which was a very comfortable category 9 superior outside and left to unpack. The cabin was nicely decorated with all the usuals, hairdryer, TV and of course plenty of wardrobe space!
The Magellan itself can take 1250 passengers over 9 passenger decks. On board, there are 2 restaurants plus the informal bistro for casual dining. As for the facilities, there are 2 swimming pools, 3 Jacuzzis, wellness and beauty centre, gym and casino. I was very impressed by the number of bars/lounges where you could have a pre/post dinner drink or just sit and chill out. Plenty of seats too!
The Magellan show lounge offered stylish entertainment each evening with 2 shows to cater for both dinner sittings. Comedians, tribute acts and dancers kept the audience happy. Day times on board could be as busy or relaxing as you choose. Films were shown in the lounge, port talks, table tennis competitions, bingo and quizzes could always be found. You can even watch ice sculpting by the pool! We learnt how to make (and drink) cocktails, which I’m sure was great fun if I could remember!
I was most impressed by the delicious food. Both lunch and dinner were 5/6 courses and the choice was amazing. Vegetarians also had a wide choice and gluten frees were well catered for too. Magellan offers an all-inclusive drink package for only £17 per day (at the time of writing) but the bar prices are so cheap anyway. Cocktails were about £4 and beer and wine £3.50. Currency on board is sterling (except Astor) and the cruise director and hosts are British. Gratuities are only £5 per day, and the shore excursions are competitive with a wider variety to suit everyone.
Cruise & Maritime offer traditional British cruises, great value for money and the ease of local departure ports. The ships are small to medium sized, very friendly and offering interesting itineraries. Their fleet is made up with the Magellan, Marco Polo, Astoria, Astor and new for 2017, the Columbus.
Their target market is for the over 60s, with most of their cruises being adult only, but they also offer family cruises – look out for the smiley face on the itinerary if you want a family friendly cruise!
The Majestic Fjordland Magellan Itinerary
Day 1 – Depart Tilbury
Day 2 – At Sea
Day 3 – Today we should have sailed to Eidfjord but due to the weather, we sailed to Ulvik for a shore excursion to Hardangervidda Nature Centre and Voringsfoss. The Nature Centre opened in 1995 to showcase the national park. The highlight here was a 5 screen panoramic movie where you journey past fjords, mountains and waterfalls by helicopter. After leaving the centre, we headed 2,460ft above sea level to Hardangervidda, the largest mountain plateau in Northern Europe. We visited the Sysen Dam and then onto the Vosingsfoss waterfall which cascades down into a deep canyon 600ft below.
Day 4 – Flam! I was so excited about visiting Flam as every client I have ever sent to the Fjords said this was a must. It is described as the most dramatic train ride in Europe. Only 12 miles long, we climbed through tunnels to a height of 2,840ft. The scenery is breath taking! I must admit I was a bit disappointed as I expected a train ride a bit like ‘Big Thunder Mountain’ on an old wooden train, but the reality was a normal, comfortable train which slowly and gradually made its way along the track.
Day 5 – Another itinerary change due to the weather saw us head into Alesund. Here, we took a coach tour with a stop at Fjellstua – a fantastic viewing point of the city (418 steps high!) We also had a walking tour through an outside museum and a visit to Alesund church.
Day 6 – Today’s shore excursion was an introduction to Bergen, and a ride on the funicular. Bergen is the fjord capital and the second largest Norwegian city. The Funicular is an 8 minute journey to the top of Mountain Floien and another breath taking view. Free time later allowed us time to wander around the waterfront and spend our fortunes in the gift shops. Nothing is cheap in Norway!
Day 7 – At Sea
Day 8 – Arrive Tilbury
Overall, Cruise & Maritime are 3* (Astor is 4*) but it’s a fabulous 3* – my Cruise & Maritime cruise has certainly exceeded my expectations!