North Cape, July 2013: Adonia Cruise Review by Claretboy

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North Cape, July 2013

Sail Date: July 2013
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Southampton
We had just arrived at the Mayflower departure terminal and unloaded the car when the fire alarms went off, the terminal was evacuated with everybody directed to stand in the sunshine across from the terminal. Hampshire fire and rescue fire engines rushed to the terminal, after about half an hour we were directed to take shelter from the sun in the unloading area and P&O staff arranged cold water drinks for anybody who wanted a drink, the alarm was caused by an escalator with smoke coming out of it. After about 90 min’s we were allowed into the terminal and check in all went smoothly. Adonia sailed on time leading the two P&O ships in Southampton, Oceana & Aurora into the Solent, but it didn’t take Aurora long to put her foot down passing Adonia and vanishing into the distance.

North Sea was kind to us with a virtually smooth sea; our first port of call was Eidfjord with an early start on deck to watch the sun rise between the mountains and reflecting More off the mill pond smooth water in the Fjord. Docking at the end of the Fjord at the very small village of Eidfjord, we took the organised tour up to Sysen Dam and Voringfoss Waterfall the scenery was fantastic! Returning to Adonia we had plenty of time to have a walk around the village of statues, walking down onto the small beach where the locals were sunbathing and swimming in the Fjord.

From Eidfjord our next port of call was Trondheim Adonia docked close to the heart of the city next to the public baths if you fancy a swim. 2nd port of call and again we had wonderful weather, the walk into the city was via the bridge over the train line at the main station and the walk took about 10 minutes. Trondheim is a lovely city which is easy to find your way around points of interest for us were the old wharfs, old town bridge, Kristiansten Festning (old fort) top of steep hill with wonderful views across Trondheim, looking down on the magnificent Cathedral.

After leaving Trondheim we sailed all the way up to the top of Norway, into the Arctic Circle on our way to Honningsvaag and the mid-night sun at North Cape.

Arriving in Honningsvaag the mist was down over the mountains slowly clearing throughout the morning revealing the scenery around the village. Honningsvaag is a small fishing village which can be walked around within an hour, like most people we booked for the North Cape tour taking a coach ride through the desolate rugged scenery, our first stop was at a Sami encampment with a traditional Sami Tent a reindeer and a man in a Sami costume standing next to the reindeer. At this encampment was a wooden building with 2 people again in Sami costume selling Sami wares. After leaving the Sami camp we made our way to the North Cape, on the way watching the wild reindeer wandering through the tundra. North Cape visitors centre is one large building with the usual restaurant, souvenirs for sale including postcards which you can send back home stamped with the unique North Cape postage stamp. Outside the visitors centre is ‘The Globe’ and statues of Mother and child overlooking the circular plaques of the ‘Children of the earth’.

Later in the evening Adonia sailed from Honningsvaag for the North Cape cliffs at midnight, fingers crossed that the sun will still be shining. This was a special evening with a half marathon around the deck in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support competitors could walk, jog or run around the jogging track. This was all in support of one of the gentlemen on-board who had recently lost his wife to Cancer and Macmillan nurses were a great support to him.

Our luck was still holding with the sun shine turning the sky and North Cape cliffs a reddish colour, from the ship we could clearly see all the people around The Globe watching the sun just touching the horizon and then coming back up again.

Time to head south again heading for Tromso we docked in the centre, when we left the ship and we were virtually on the main street, Tromso is a smallish town with a bridge across to the Artic Church and the cable car up the mountain. The Artic church is easily walkable from where the ship docked just over the bridge. Back in Tromso there is a small old part of the town with wooden houses, the Polar Museum, Old Hospital (Now County Hall) and follow the main street southward to the Mack Brewery, if you are feel flush do try a pint.

Continuing south towards Bodo, unfortunately it was a Sunday when we visited and there was nothing open, we were wandering around Bodo and the only people we meet were from the ship, all the shops were close and there were no locals around, the streets were deserted. You could walk past the train station and top of the harbour to Nyholmen Fort which is open. Around lunch time some of the bars and restaurants started to open around the marina. Back on Adonia and about to depart we were all in for a wonderful surprise a brass band turned up at the dock side and starting playing us out of Bodo (I think they took pity on us knowing that there is nothing to do in Bodo on a Sunday), the best entertainment of the day. From what we saw of Bodo it appeared it would be an interesting place to visit any other day but Sunday.

P&O would have been better sailing past Bodo and finding somewhere to stop for the Monday.

Carrying on south to our final destination Olden fjord, where we will be meeting up with one of P&O’s big ships Azura. Another early start to take even more photographs and there was Azura following little Adonia down the Fjord, Azura being the larger ship was given the only docking place in Olden and Adonia anchored in the Fjord and tended everybody ashore. We took the organised trip up to Briksdal Glacier; from the car park there is a quite a steep walk up to the Glacier but quite worth the walk or you can take a Troll Car to the entrance of the national park and walk the remaining 500 yards to the Glacier, beware when you cross the bridge near the waterfall you will get a little wet from the spray.

This was Adonia’s last pot of call and it would take 2 days to sail down to Southampton, whereas Azura had 1 more port of call and then back to Southampton both ships would arrive in Southampton on the same day, if you want speed Adonia is not for you.

While we were sailing towards Southampton there was one more incident, a passenger reported that they had seen a bright orange object attached to a larger greyish cylinder, after informing the coastguard Adonia was requested to turnaround and find and identify the object. Other ships in the area were informed what Adonia had reported and to look out for the object. So we turned around and headed back to where the object was first reported. The captain requested that everybody who can to look out for the object, the orange object was soon sighted and identified as a happy birthday helium balloon attached to another balloon.

Adonia is the smallest ship in the P&O fleet, she may not the fastest but she is surely the most stylish and without doubt the friendliest with only 700 passengers you soon recognise your fellow passengers. Everything was to the standard you expected from any P&O ship.

One of the highlights was the passenger choir; on sea days they would practice in the Crow’s Nest then towards the end of the cruise they give an excellent performance in the ‘The Curzon Lounge’.

All the waiters and staff were always very friendly and helpful, no request was too much.

She may be small but she is perfectly formed.

Overall we had excellent weather wonderful scenery and a wonderful cruise Less

Published 02/03/14

Cabin review: AA

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