Monday 11th July 2011 (contd.)
With a 10 a.m. departure we soon returned from visiting POLARLYS,
Part of the hull
Why, it's a wind-chute!
the engines on NORDSTJERNEN were started and off we went, reversing out into the fjord, then full ahead for the Hurtigruten voyage south to Bergen.
and away we go
I had booked an unknown cabin many months ago, because the dates fitted in with my other travel plans later in the month, but was nervous of what I would be allocated after hearing some horror stories about the lowest inside cabins (on Deck A) on this 1956-built vessel, of 2,191 tons.
Down the stairs
On the stairs
Down another deck
On the stairs
I needn’t have worried! I was allocated cabin 204, which was an outside 2 bunk cabin on Deck B, with a porthole.
The bunks were one above the other, there was a small day bed/settee under the porthole, a seat in an alcove with a light above where my little suitcase fitted perfectly, there was a wardrobe, and a washbasin neatly fitted into the space between my bed head and the cabin door.
All the wood was gleaming, the porthole was very welcome although it was necessarily rather high up, and hot water gushed out of the tap when needed. It was what I would call a bijou cabin, but I was very happy with it and the bed proved to be extremely comfortable. A shower room was just across the corridor and so were Ladies Toilets.
My cabin corridor
NORDSTJERNEN (IV) was built in 1956 by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg, simply to replace another ship of the line, so she had no sisters. After being re-engined in 1983, she now carries 400 passengers in 69 cabins, with no car capacity. Her service speed is 15 knots. Her hull is black, with white superstructure, there are two raked masts and the black funnel over the mid-ships engines carries the Hurtigruten logo, making her a small but balanced-looking ship. I had looked at Anthony Cooke’s book ‘Liners & Cruise Ships – Some notable smaller vessels’ before I left home so I had some knowledge of her history and a kind friend had also sent me some notes.
NORDSTJERNEN has five public decks: cabins are on Decks A, B and C (which is where Reception is located). The top Saloon Deck is accessed by a staircase,
On the staircase
which leads forward through the Hall to the Lounge.
Lounge art work
Lounge art work
Astern of the Hall is the U-shaped Restaurant with tables on both sides of the kitchens and with the food set out on serving tables across the middle forward part for lunch times and breakfast.
Set evening dinner in the Restaurant was served at individual allocated tables.
The Cafe (port side)
and Bar (on the starboard side) were astern of the Restaurant,
and another Lounge was astern of them.
There was access to the Sun Deck from the doorway of the Aft Lounge.
Made by John Hastie & Co. Ltd. of Greenock
From the aft Sun Deck there were stairs leading up to the Boat Deck, and more stairs from the Boat Deck down to the forward Lounge.
Our 10 a.m. departure would take us on “A Voyage of Discovery”, south to Bergen where we would arrive tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2.30 p.m. having called at several ports en route. I had pre-paid for my four meals on board (lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch) so went to the Saloon Deck Restaurant at 12.30 to choose delicious things from the buffet to eat. There was a wide choice of salad and cold starters, then for my main course I chose reindeer stew, which had been slow-cooked with mushrooms to create a fairly strong flavoured dish. With vegetables and small boiled new potatoes, my plate looked very inviting. My companion chose the reindeer and something to accompany it labelled ‘sour cream pudding’. We were a bit surprised when this turned out to be semolina. There were calorific desserts, cheese, coffee, tea and water all available and included.
Food could also be bought and consumed in the Café Bar.
Ships seen: Polarlys, Nordstjernen
To be continued…