Tag Archives: Norway

Iona Inaugural Season To Sail Norwegian Fjords

P&O Cruises have revealed that its new 180,000 ton LNG-powered ship Iona, to be launched in 2020, will sail exclusively to the Norwegian Fjords during the inaugural season.

A destination that is best experienced by sea, Iona will be able to show off her impressive design which focuses on maximizing the views.

Photo Credit: P&O Cruises – Iona’s Atrium with floor to ceiling windows will give guests stunning views of the Norwegian Fjords.

P&O Cruises senior vice president, Paul Ludlow said: “SkyDome, with its glass roof and temperature control will ensure that guests have an unrivalled viewpoint as the ship sails through the breathtaking vertical expanses of narrow gorges and blue sky and past mountains, glaciers and wildlife.

Photo Credit: P&O Cruises – Enjoy two deck high views of the Norwegian Fjords from Iona’s coffee bar

“Iona has been designed to make the sea the star. With incredible views guaranteed from all over the ship, the whole season of Fjords itineraries will enable guests to have the choice of when they want to travel to this spectacular area.

In all ports of call P&O Cruises has developed a diverse range of excursions and activities for guests.

Olden

Active adventure: For spectacular views over the Fjord landscape guests can take a trip on the dramatic Leon Skylift that carries them up to the summit of Mount Hoven.

Photo Credit: P&O Cruises – The View from the Loen Skylift near Olden

Epic vistas: From Olden visit the unmissable sight of the Briksdal glacier – part of the famous Jostedal ice field, the largest in continental Europe.

Photo Credit: P&O Cruises – Lovatnet Lake near Olden

Bergen

Active adventure: Adrenaline junkies will enjoy seeing the sights on Norway’s fastest zipline, which soars 300m from Mt Ulriken 643m high to Mt Floyen.

Cultural encounters: From Edvard Munch’s iconic Expressionism to today’s contemporary culture Bergen is the centre of the Norwegian art scene.   History comes alive in Bryggen, Bergen’s UNESCO-listed wharf area where most of the 60 buildings are 300 years old.

Epic vistas: For a different viewpoint guests can enjoy Bergen’s beautiful setting by helicopter. Fly over Fjords, mountains and glaciers and look down on one of Norway’s largest Fjords, the Sognefjord.

Local flavours: A visit to Bergen Fish Market gives a snapshot of Norway’s foodie culture. It has been a gastronomic destination since 1200 when it was a meeting place for merchants and fishermen.

Hellesylt

Active adventure: Guests can take a fast paced rafting adventure along 8km of fast flowing river followed by lunch around a bonfire.

Geiranger

Active adventure: Those in the mood for a two-wheeled adventure can descend the 17km by bike from the shores of a lake more than 1000m above sea level.

Photo Credit: P&O Cruises – Geiranger

Geirangerfjord

Active adventure: Guests can see one of nature’s masterpieces from the water with a kayaking experience that will float them past the amazing waterfalls this Fjord is famous for.

Photo Credit: P&O Cruises – Kayaking in Geirangerfjord with Seven Sisters waterfall

Stavanger

Cultural encounters: known as the ‘Cradle of the Vikings’ this small city is packed full of history and heritage.

Epic vistas: Take a helicopter ride over Stavanger’s most iconic natural wonder – Pulpit Rock (a 604m-high flat-topped cliff rising out of the Lysefjord).

Active adventure: The Lysefjord RIB ride will give guests an alternative and unforgettable view of Pulpit Rock.

Local flavours: Fishing for crayfish is a traditional pleasure for the Norwegians and guests will be able to enjoy this surrounded by stunning mountains.

Alesund

Cultural encounters: Alesund offers visitors views of the best preserved examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Europe.

Photo Credit: P&O Cruises – Alesund

Hardanderfjord

Epic vistas: Enjoy the beauty of Norway’s second longest Fjord by light aircraft.

Iona has been designed to maximise views from three storey high glass walls in the Grand Atrium, to the innovative Conservatory Mini-suites. Guests are guaranteed an immersive experience as they cruise through one of the planet’s most spectacular regions on a cleaner and greener LNG- powered ship.

Iona will offer seven day holidays to the Norwegian Fjords from May 2020, each leaving from and returning to Southampton.

Carnival Corporation has also been a leader in the cruise industry’s use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – the most environmentally friendly advanced fuel solution available and the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, resulting in significantly reduced air emissions. The company has ordered 11 next-generation “green” cruise ships fully powered by LNG in port and at sea with expected delivery dates between 2018 and 2025.

Over 40 percent of the company’s fleet has “cold ironing” capabilities, enabling ships to use shoreside electric power where available while in port. The company has also implemented broad initiatives to optimize onboard energy usage and innovative hull designs and coatings to reduce fuel consumption by minimizing frictional drag.

Iona is currently being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg and will be launched in May 2020. Holidays on Iona will go on sale in September 2018.

Recommended Reading: Cruising Alaska with the Sassoli-Walkers Part 1

Cruise People – The Professionals

You Don’t Have To Be A Cruise Fanatic To Cruise

Dave, originally from Yorkshire, and his wife Lorraine, both have office based jobs in Surrey and love to travel. Last year they took their first cruise. I wanted to get their views on cruising for the first time and to see if it is something they would like to repeat.

When was your cruise? Which ship was it and where did you cruise too?

Our first cruise was to Norway, we cruised on Celebrity Eclipse and it was at the end of August 2016.

Celebrity Eclipse in the Norwegian Fjords

What made you book a cruise?

I have always wanted to cruise to the Fjords. It was for my 50th birthday, although I had to do all the booking so it wasn’t a surprise.

What did you like/dislike about your first cruise?

We went from Southampton.  What a great way to start a holiday. No queues, fast check in.  Within 2 hours or so from leaving our house, we were on board.

I liked the variety of things to do on board, the theatre was good although some of the acts were a bit cheesy.  I’m convinced that the the comedian on the first night was made of pure gorgonzola. The best act was a Freddie Mercury Tribute act, closely followed by a British singer from The Netherlands.

It was good to go to a show and then walk to dinner.  Its like living in a ‘happening’ city centre.

I enjoyed the fact that we visited loads of different towns in Norway. Some of the towns were so small that you had to book excursions, if you didn’t you would have been stuck in a small town (although they still had loads to do on board) but I don’t think you go to Norway to stay on board. The service and food were amazing.

As we were in a cold climate, nobody was using the outside space, this meant that at lunch time the buffet was packed.  We had to find a table first, then one at a time we went to get our food.  If we both went they would clear our tables as they thought we had left.  This is the only time we felt a bit packed in.

What is it that appeals to you about cruising?

Seeing different places, experiencing different things (with the excursions), and the quality of the food/service etc.  We are not dedicated cruises but will happily go on one but will also do a different style of holiday.

The Flam Railway

What is your next cruise? What are you most looking forward to?

We are doing the Alaskan cruise.  I am looking forward to the whale watching, glacier trip and zip wire excursions.  Life on board is quite good too, I enjoy the luxury.  I am also excited about the drive around Alaska which we are doing after the cruise.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying a cruise but is worried they will feel trapped on a crowded cruise ship?

Do you feel trapped when you go into your local town?  Well the cruise ship is like a small city.  Unless you go on a rowing boat you wont feel trapped.

Do you have an general cruise tips?
  • Yes, quite soon after you set off you will be called for a muster drill.  This is where you have to meet at a certain place and have a roll call.  Before you attend this go to the bar and get a big cocktail. Take the “things to do list that should be in your cabin). When the meeting has finished sit back and relax with your drink.  If you leave at the same time as everyone else it is like being herded like cattle, you also see people at their worst.  After you have finished your drink and read the ‘things to do list’ you can then leave at your leisure.
  • Use your ‘things to do sheet’ and plan your day/evening.
  • Dont be scared to complain.  We did an excursion that was rubbish.  We complained and they offered a partial refund.  We did not accept it and was then given a full refund and asked not to tell anyone else.  We told everyone!
  • The waiters all test the food at the beginning of their shift so when they recommend your meal they are not trying to get rid of food they are really giving you what they think is the best food on the menu.
  • The waiters hold quite a lot of power within the kitchens.  If they think a dish is not up to scratch they will not recommend it and the chefs will change the way it is cooked.
  • Take the recommended wine from the wine waiter also.
Do you have any tips for booking a cruise?

Shop around to get the best deal. Pick mid ship cabins to minimise sea sickness. On the Norway cruise it was good to see the fjords from the balcony.  We spent quite a lot of time cruising in places with good views.  If you are going around the Med then I would say an inside room would be best value as the weather is warm so you can see every thing from the decks.

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