Well what a day this was for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Bergen. Braemar left first from Dover on the 18th followed by Black Watch (Liverpool 23rd), Balmoral (Southampton 25th) and finally Boudicca (Newcastle 26th). I watched Balmoral sail.
I flew out for just this day because there was no way I could miss such a unique occasion. My hotel wasn’t too far from where they’d be docked but I had an early start walking in a strange place for their arrival. Fred. Olsen issued a map showing some tourist places and photo spots. Thankfully it didn’t include where I was going!
They were all due for 8am but began to appear an hour earlier with Balmoral leading the quartet. So I was up early and thankfully it was a gorgeous day.
I had a port pass arranged for me though had no idea where to get it from. Unusually there is no visitor’s pass card and you have your passport returned. Well I and an American surveying Black Watch for wifi were a little uneasy so the bloke gave us a proper pass.
I’d booked a harbour tour for some great shots and hoped it wouldn’t rain. It’s so unusual seeing any two of the Royal Viking sisters together that I ended up a little biased and took most pictures of Black Watch and Boudicca. Well they are just so gorgeous and grand old ladies now, thankfully cherished by Fred. Olsen Cruise Line.
All good things must come to an end but what a good thing it was. Talking to various passengers during my travels today made me wish I’d been Braemar since I haven’t done her yet and her crew were the loudest yellers during the dock games. Fred. Olsen did their passengers proud.
A comprehensive review with more photos of the day will appear on Liner Lovers after I get home.