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Braemar - Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines - cruise ship review and photos.

Happy Birthday to me! When I get out of the bathroom I find that Lucy has completely decorated our cabin with 'Happy Birthday' banners. Presents change hands at breakfast and then we are off on our one and only organized shore excursion during this cruise.

My father during the Naeroyfjord passage

Braemar is docked at Flåm, a small tourist hamlet at the end of the Sognefjord. From Flåm, hundreds of Braemar guests are herded to the waiting trains of the world-famous Flåmbana. This 20,2 km (13 mile) stretch of railroad rises 863.5 meters (2,500 ft), passes 20 tunnels and took 20 years to construct. The 45-minute train ride is well worth the effort, with spectacu-

lar views. On the rainy station of Myrdal we change trains and in somewhat less glamorous surroundings we zoom through more tunnels to Voss, a well-know tourist town. Here, hundreds of Fred. Olsen passengers cross the street to the Park Hotel Vossevangen, bringing all car traffic to a complete standstill. After a quick but excellent Norwegian buffet lunch we are called back to the coaches. We briefly stop at a huge waterfall and then drive to the Stalheim Hotel, famous for no apparent reason other that its breathtaking location. Then it is down a steep hairpin road to Gudvangen, where our ship is anchored amidst the stunning mountains. WOW!

At 6.00 pm, Braemar sails from Gudvangen. In the light of the setting sun, the passage of the Naerøyfjord is really breathtaking. We stand out on deck in complete silence as the ship seemingly hovers over the mirror-like waters with mountains, little hamlets and green pastures making a perfect movie backdrop. I see a seal looking up in wonder at us and suddenly I realize that there is no better way to enjoy the Norwegian fjords. At dinner, a group of waiters accompanied by the guitar sing 'Happy happy birthday' to me and deliver a birthday cake. And to top off his wonderful day there is another fine production show in the Neptune Lounge.

Flaam

Beautiful view from the Stalheim Hotel
Old Norwegian buildings at the Stalheim Hotel
Fjord scene
Our ship is dwarfed by the high mountains
Spectacular passage of the Naeroyfjord
Aft deck at night

Waterfalls galore during the Flaam to Voss train ride

Braemar at Gudvangen
View of Gudvangen
Naeroyfjord after leaving Gudvangen
Cozy Braemar Room
Braemar Room
Cake for the birthday boy!

 

Photos and text: © 2007 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on November 4, 2007

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