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MSC Preziosa

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There were a total of 5 cruise ships in Bergen yesterday, and MSC Cruises brought out the big guns.

MSC Preziosa is larger, in terms of gross tonnage, than today's three smallest visitors combined (and it's hardly appropriate to call these ships 'small'). Combine Artania, Balmoral, and Viking Sea, and you still won't surpass the 139,000 gross tonnes of MSC Preziosa.

What's more, MSC Preziosa may be a beast by Bergen standards (only surpassed in size this year by Queen Mary 2 and Britannia) but on the world stage she doesn't even make the top 20.

The fourth and final ship in MSC's Fantasia class, MSC Preziosa has a length of 333m and carries up to 4,345 passengers and a crew of 1,370.

The following photos were taken as she passed under the Askøy bridge during her departure from the city.






Artania

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One of five cruise ships in Bergen yesterday, it would perhaps be easy to overlook the undestated Artania; but this is a well-loved ship with an interesting history, and one that has had a significant influence on modern cruise ship design.

When she launched as Royal Princess in 1984, she represented a major step forward in the standards of the modern cruise ship. Her design included a large interior atrium, and hundreds of private balconies lining the majority of her upper decks - both features that have long since become the industry standard. This perhaps helps explain why Artania retains something of a modern look, despite her 33 years in service.

Christened in a ceremony in Southampton by Diana, Princess of Wales, Royal Princess went on to enjoy a successful career in the Princess Cruises fleet, before being transferred to P&O in 2005 to sail as Artemis. In 2011 she made another transition and name change to become Artania, and joined the Phoenix Reisin fleet, cruising for t…

AIDAsol

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A regular visitor to the port of Bergen, AIDAsol made another call yesterday; one of five ships in the city.

This time I viewed her departure from the Askøy bridge, catching some dramatic views as she sailed underneath.

You can find out more about the history of AIDAsol, including some facts and figures, in our previous post here.










Balmoral

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The ships in the Fred. Olsen fleet have become a familiar sight in and around Bergen, and yesterday the lovely Balmoral was in the city again.

You can find out more about the history and career of this popular ship in our previous post here.

The following photos were taken as Balmoral left her berth at Bontelabo this evening; Her slightly unusual 21:00 departure gave her passengers plenty of time to enjoy the city.





Magellan

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A flagship (for a little while longer, at least) in town...

Today the Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) flagship Magellan called into Bergen. She joined their fleet in 2015, and will very shortly lose her title to CMV's newest addition Columbus (set to enter service in just a couple of weeks).
Built in 1985 as Holiday for Carnival Cruise Line, she was transferred to the Iberocruises brand in 2010, before eventually landing in her current role as Magellan. She has a length of 222m, a tonnage of 46,000 and can accommodate up to 1,452 passengers and a crew of 660.
Magellan's current role is a product of the dizzying progress seen in cruise industry over the past decades; now the earlier examples of purpose-built, mass-market ships for the major cruise lines are being retired from those fleets, and providing the opportunity for smaller companies to aquire slightly more modern tonnage.
CMV has done a good job of tapping into this potential; their upcoming flagship Columbus (to be…

Queen Elizabeth

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The Cunard Queens turn heads wherever they sail, and Queen Elizabeth's call into Bergen today was no different.

Entering service in 2010, Queen Elizabeth is the youngest of the three ships in the Cunard fleet (along with her sister ship Queen Victoria and the wonderful flagship Queen Mary 2). She is 294m long, has a tonnage of 90,901, and can accommodate around 2,500 passengers and just under 1,000 crew.

Queen Elizabeth is a slightly modified vista class ship; other ships in this class are spread across Carnival's numerous brands, and include Queen Victoria, Arcadia and Zuiderdam.

It definitely didn't feel like summer; rain fell all day and greyed out the skies. The following photos were taken as Queen Elizabeth departed her berth at Bontelabo this afternoon.