Fantastic Four - Fred. Olsen in Bergen 28th July 2015
After a couple of hours back at the hotel to charge batteries, it was time for get ready for the departures and up to Fløyen via the Fløibanen funicular.  I have a fear of heights so am very proud of myself for doing that.  A few people were there for the ships but most wanted the view then left.  It clouded over but thankfully there was no rain.  They were all due off at 6pm, Boudicca casting off first followed by Balmoral, Black Watch and Braemar with them sailing abreast to around 1.5 nautical miles north of Skolten.  One bloke had gone by this time, whether to get another view or because he thought that was it, I have no idea.  I lost sight of Balmoral for a while due to trees but she re-emerged as they turned to make the diamond formation behind a fireboat.  Braemar then led them out, Boudicca, Black Watch and Balmoral behind.  The flagship blew her horn as she passed the port of Bergen as one by one they sailed towards the Askøy Bridge about 12 hours after arriving under it.
And so it was all over but what an incredible day!  The inclusion of passengers and crew for activities was a good one and many passengers I spoke to from various ships were really enjoying what had been laid on for them.  From a purely spectator point of view it was the best fleet gathering I've seen, and that includes P&O's Grand Event as well as 6 out of 9 Cunard Three Queens.  Fred. Olsen didn't hype this to death and their plans weren't the usual arrive, fireworks, off so for some passengers onboard it came as a pleasant surprise and I'm sure it didn't disappoint.  I for one am delighted I went to witness maritime history in their 'historic homeland'.  Everyone at Fred. Olsen, ashore and on the ships, can be very proud of this successful achievement.

© Patricia Dempsey 28th July 2015
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