Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines – with its strong Norwegian heritage, having been established in the small Norwegian town of Hvitsten by the three Olsen brothers in 1848 – will be celebrating one of the most important days in the Norwegian calendar, its ‘National Day’, or ‘Constitution Day’, on 17th May 2014, when Braemar will be making a call in Bergen, the country’s second city.
The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on 17th May 1814, and declared Norway to be an independent nation. The ‘Storting’, the Norwegian Parliament, held the first ‘17th of May’ celebration in 1836, and from then on, this date – or ‘Syttende Mai’, in Norwegian – has been regarded as the ‘National Day’.
Guests on board Fred. Olsen’s Braemar, which departs from Harwich on 13th May 2014 for seven nights, can join in the lively Norwegian festivities in Bergen this year. They will be able to witness an array of colourful national costumes, flag-waving and marching bands and, as the ship will be staying in port until the evening, they will be able to sample the festivities as they continue throughout the day.
On this special ‘Norwegian Celebration’ cruise, Braemar calls first at the quaint village of Eidfjord, where guests will get a feeling of sheer scale, as magnificent cliffs tower above them. Surrounded by mountains and thundering waterfalls, Eidfjord sits at the head of the magnificent Hardangerfjord and offers some of the most breathtaking views of the fjords.
Next, this cruise continues onto picturesque Flåm, in the beautiful Aurlandsfjord, with its world-famous railway. Then follows a scenic cruise on the stunning Næroyfjord, rated by National Geographic as the world’s number one natural heritage site. It is 18 kilometres long, and only 500 metres wide at its narrowest point.
Braemar then takes in the Sognefjord, one of the world’s longest fjords and the largest in Norway. Here, guests will not fail to be impressed by the majesty of the snow-capped mountains and glistening waterfalls.
The wonderful city of Bergen is the next port of call. This exciting Hanseatic city offers amazing views from the peak of Mount Floien, and the small wooden buildings that line the old waterfront are just waiting to be explored; the famous fish market also boasts a variety of locally-caught fish. Here, guests will be able to join the ribbon of red, white and blue winding its way around the city on Norway’s important ‘National Day’.
From here, Braemar then undertakes some of the most stunning scenic fjords cruising there is, taking in Åkrafjord and passing the mighty Langfoss Waterfall, widely regarded as one of Norway’s best waterfalls.
Braemar then sails through the Karmsundet, a narrow channel between Karmoey Island and Haugesund, which is only passable by a smaller ship, such as Braemar.
One of the undoubted highlights of this cruise is the Lysefjord, with its sensational views of ‘Preikstolen’ – ‘Pulpit Rock’ – and the ‘Kjerag’ – ‘Mountain Bolt’. Braemar then makes a leisurely voyage back to Harwich.
Prices for this cruise start from just £679 per person, based on two adults sharing a twin, ‘Inside’ cabin, Grade ‘I’, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, and port dues.
As an added incentive to book, Fred. Olsen is offering guests the chance to save on multiple cruise bookings; if they book before 7th May 2014, they can benefit from 20% off two cruises, and if they buy three or more cruises, they can save 30%.*
Fred. Olsen was delighted to be voted ‘Best Affordable Cruise Line’ and runner-up ‘Best Cruise Line’ in the ‘Cruise International Awards 2013’, and ‘Best Value for Money’ in the Cruise Critic ‘Editors’ Picks UK Awards 2013’.
Fred. Olsen’s Braemar was also named ‘Best Small Ship for Embarkation’ in Cruise Critic’s prestigious ‘UK Cruisers’ Choice Awards 2014’, chosen entirely by cruise guests.
Fred. Olsen is proud to be the only UK travel company to receive a coveted ‘Gold Award’ from leading consumer review website Feefo, having achieved a 95% service rating of 'Excellent' or 'Good' in over 5,600 genuine, independent guest reviews in 2013.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line operates in the UK with four intimately sized ships for a more personal cruising experience.