Fred Olsen Borealis - Faroe Islands - 3 Jun 2022


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A six night Jubilee cruise from Liverpool to the Faroes is just too good an opportunity to pass. Only an hour from home to indulge in the delights of the Borealis. Its our third time on board  *Click HERE for the others). Boarding is much simplified now: a lateral flow test before boarding and then you can remove masks once onboard. One couple in our testing group failed the lateral flow test and were refused boarding.

 

First thing we check out the dining arrangements; we have a table for two upstairs in the Aurora restaurant where we will be looked after by Joaquim and I Gusti. We seem to have been lucky the last two cruises  tables for two  (our preference) but I do wish F.Olsen would make this a choice on booking , although you can ask to change the with the maitre 'd.

Another option is the Indian Room which can be booked with the maitre 'd however rumour has it this room will soon see the  arrival of "Grills" to the Borealis and Bolette (a welcome addition  as quite why the two specialty restaurants focus on similar Asian cuisine has always been a baffling mystery of the set up of these new ships)


We cast off from Liverpool on schedule. It has been a quick and efficient departure  & we're thankful  for not having to set foot in an airport. This departure is slightly unusual due to the fact that half the guests from the previous Norwegian Fjords cruise are actually still onboard and will be disembarking tomorrow at Belfast. We will also then pick up the remainder of our guests for this cruise. We meet (Big)Frank again in The View as we have lunch (he was our assistant server on our first Borealis cruise and remembers us from that - its quite surprising just how many faces recognise us which does go to show how the smaller ships do have a better staff client rapport. We do learn later however that quite a few of the usual staff have all now been moved across to help out on the restart of Braemar and Balmoral so we wont be seeing our usual waiter Ricky. 

An excellent dinner starting with Freds beautiful sushi like Salmon ceviche in a lemon and dill sauce

Followed by a melt in the mouth beef and mango pannacotta

Our first cruise on the Borealis gave us a nightly treat of  the band 'Funky Blue' in the Observatory Lounge and tonight its good to see they are back on board along with Howard Johnson. An excellent band: Tony (drums and backing machine), Ophelia (vocals) and Oscar (vocals and lead guitar) they really do bring the party every night in the Observatory Lounge.

Day 2 Belfast

This is our second visit to Belfast by cruise ship, on the first we took a private trip to the Giants Causeway and the countryside around. It was always a regret that we had not actually visited the Titanic museum here so today we will put that to rights. The museum is about a 45 minute walk away along the waterfront. We pre booked the museum on line as it can be very busy and an Uber back to ship should cost you between £8-12 depending on the time of day. 


 Once you leave the coal depots of the dockside you join a heritage trail that leads you to the waterside which takes you past some of Belfast's most famous maritime buildings. Then you cross the river and head into the new modern area where the museum is located at the former Harland & Wolff shipbuilding yards

The museum whose 4 aluminium clad corners are profiled like the bow of the Titanic not only tells the story of the ship but also the connected history of Belfast. Its a story of how and why the ship came to exist and more to the point why it was built here in Belfast. A fascinating museum and one that even has a ride of sorts!

 
 
Its dinner jacket time tonight ( not compulsory) on the Borealis as we set sail from sunny Belfast. Despite this being only a 7 day cruise there are 2 Gala nights to fit in and one Queens Jubilee night.


Seafood vol au vent in a Prawn and Tomato Bisque 


Slow roasted Duck leg Confit with creamed potatoes a Herb potato Rosti, honey roasted beets and an apple cider pan gravy


Absolutely perfectly trimmed and cooked herb crusted rack of Lamb with a ratatouille of vegetables chateau potatoes and a rosemary essence pan jus


A selection of cheeses, the only one this cruise & desserts finished of the evening and pretty much finished off my diet plans for the year..


We finished the evening in the observatory with 'Funky Blue' (who had to compete with the glorious sunset) as the ship passed through the surprisingly narrow stretch of sea between the North East of Northern Ireland (East of Ballycastle), Rathlin Island and the Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse in Scotland. This is what traveling slowly by ship is all about.



Day 3 Sea Day - Jubilee Day


Its another glorious morning and I think the Captain has set the engine to dead ahead slow during the night so we can spend most of the day having a scenic view of the Isle of Harris and Lewis to our west and the Outer Hebrides and Highlands mountains beyond to our east. 

After a late and excellent breakfast on the Lido the whole area is transformed ready for the Jubilee street party and some corgi racing, Jubilee cocktails and dancing around a very hot Lido pool in the afternoon.

The temptation to sit up top and just watch the Scottish scenery slip by is too enticing, especially as with the roof closed its absolutely sweltering in the Lido.

 


 Of course dinner  tonight has a special dessert in the form of the Jubilee Clementine Special trifle (J's version at home is boozier)

 

We're up at 5:30am to see the first glimpse of the fantastic Faroes.
 
 We dock at Klaksvik which is nestles between the hills, one of which we will climb!

5 minute bus in to town and a quick stop at the Tourist Information to sort out the route for our hill climb.


It's classed as not a difficult climb! We are semi fit and managed it ok. Awesome views over the surrounding hills rewarded our efforts and the weather was perfect.

We left Klaksvik and cruised the islands, beautifully lit by the evening sun. During our few days in the Faroes we cruised by the major sights and rock formations in the evenings, keeping our cameras at the ready.


 
 
How lucky are we to be having lobster, prawns, mussels and more on F.Olsen's Seafood Buffet lunch in The View. Delicious.


Our ship is here in Torshavn today and we take the excursion to the Vestmanna Sea Cliffs. A 45 minute scenic journey brings us to the opposite side of the island to board this small boat. Trips run April to September, book ahead online to be sure. We go up top for the best views. Again the weather is great and the guide confirms its the best weather ever for the Faroese.

As we leave the shelter of the harbour we're told that a basking shark was frequenting their waters. Yikes.

Rounding the headland, passing sheep on the steep rocks, we are rewarded with stunning sea cliffs soaring to dizzying heights of over 2000ft.Only from sea level can this be spectacle be appreciated.

A real magical moment seeing the puffins from our small boat bobbing about. Difficult photography conditions! But worth it seeing their inimitable landing style, legs dangling and the guillemots overhead. Heaven.

The sea is calm enough for us to enter several sea caves, we don our safety helmets, camera at the ready, clinging to the rail. The Sea Stacks and bird life are magnificent.

The local prison, fancy a room with a view? They even had crazy golf.

A spectacular day and a dream come true seeing the puffins, even the bus trip was interesting/scenic with good commentary from our knowledgeable guide.







 



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April 2022 - Saga - Spirit of Adventure "In the footsteps of St James"

 April 2022 - Saga - Spirit of Discovery



INTRO WIP





CABIN



LOOKING AROUND



LEAVING SOUTHAMPTON AND THE SUPPER CLUB











DAY 2 A CORUNA







 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 





DAY 3 GIJON - OVIEDO






 






This region of Spain is famous for its number one consumed drink. Not wine and not beer but Cider. Its sharp and tangy in taste and at first glance looks rather a flat affair.


The cider therefore is usually served in the traditional way, where it is poured from a great height to aerate it with bubbles.

 
Oviedo is full of bronze art work. Culis Monumentalibus’  is simply a cheeky ass on legs or two butts on legs as the other side is exactly the same

This bronze behind was created in 2001 by artist Eduardo Úrculo, and still sits proudly naked in the middle of the city’s busy shopping section. The nude cheeks weigh almost a ton and stand over 14 feet high, casting a wide, round shadow on the countless tourists and locals who pass by those cheeks.


 
Woody Allens  statue was inaugurated after the  director dedicated  his compliments to the city of Oviedo upon receiving the "Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Artes." In 2005, Allen came to Spain and reached an agreement to film “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” in Avilés, Barcelona and Oviedo.



 
 
 


DINNER