Norwegian Photo Highlights from Holland America Line’s New Koningsdam
Photos by Jason Leppert
Following the christening of Holland America Line’s Koningsdam, the new cruise ship embarked on a cruise to Norway, and we were onboard to capture the beautiful sights.
I make it to Alaska nearly annually, but I had only ever been to Bergen and Oslo a couple of times, so it was a treat to explore more of the scenic country, starting with Flam. It was great to enter the fjord and share it for the day with Holland America’s Rotterdam as well (pictured with the Koningsdam in the foreground above). The town reminded me a bit of a European equivalent of Skagway, Alaska, especially once we were aboard the Flam Railway.
READ MORE: TravelPulse On Board: Koningsdam Review
The journey was a short two-hour train ride into the mountains and back again, but it was enough to get into snowier territory and to see the dramatic Kjosfossen Waterfall. There, ethereal music was piped in, and a dancer in a red dress performed briefly atop the rocky outcropping, seen midway up the right part of the image below for the sake of scale.
We took a stroll the next day around the marina in Stavanger, where, as in every port, we enjoyed fantastically warm and sunny weather. The Koningsdam was clearly the largest ship in port, but the green-hulled Sandnes added classic character to the seascape.
Around the bend, row homes, or cafes in this case, sported varied colors that reminded me of the architecture in Bergen. There was even a Burger King, 7-11 and Starbucks nearby for American tastes, but the more traditional eateries were far more intriguing.
Kristiansand made for an equally nice walk off the ship. A modern performing arts center contrasted greatly from the rugged industrial port facilities immediately nearby, and both framed the Koningsdam and her reflection nicely.
Just beyond, a quaint collection of restaurants and bridges ringed the seaport in what surely makes for a hopping set of attractions in the summertime. Farther into town, a fort complex and series of parks and interesting fountains caught our attention.
Lastly in Oslo, one of the entire trip’s highlights was found at the Vigeland Sculpture Park, wherein 200 of Gustav’s anthropomorphic bronze, iron and granite works are displayed in series. While the artist never interpreted his pieces, the depiction of the circle of life from birth to death is clear throughout and inspires deep reflection, particularly around the monolith that reaches for the sky and afterlife.
Afterwards, a drive took us out to Drobak, an area known as the Christmas town, with its year-round festive shop and unique Santa Claus crossing street sign. Otherwise, there was less of interest in the region besides a few other stores and cafes that too must surely pick up in popularity during the high summer. Although we did enjoy a tasty gelato after checking out the wintery retreat.
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