Tag Archives: Hundested

Mystery Cruises #AtoZChallenge

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So, why would someone pay to go on a mystery cruise; get on a ship and head to ports unknown? Since I love to cruise, this sounded like an interesting opportunity to sail into, well, mystery! I’ve now done two of these cruises and both on the Braemar.  I really like this ship. It is a smaller one and feels like family. It is very easy to sail solo and meet lots of friends on this ship.

On the first cruise, we sort of knew where we were going. The passengers were given a choice and we voted for one port or another — but we did not know where we were going until we got there! Here are the ports we visited:

Porto, Malaga, Barcelona, Valencia, Cartegna, Cadiz, La Coruna

The second mystery cruise was truly a mystery — one that would include only maiden ports (ports where our ship had never visited). It was very strange not to be able to plan or research the ports we were going to, nor to be able to know exactly what to pack — for warm or cold! The cruise was early May, so it was hard to plan for everything. It started in Dover and we waited to see if we would turn to go north … or south (or if we could even trust that, in the night, the ship would change directions!). As it turned out, we continued North and thus we began a cruise that went to Norway, Denmark, Germany and Sweden.

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The ports included:

Larvik, Hundested, Nyborg, Fredercia, Wismar, Lyskil

Would I go on another one? It would be hard to keep me away!

 

 

Hundested #AtoZChallenge

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Hundested is a small town of about 8,500 residents and is located on the northern coast of the island of Zealand. And this was our second port of call on the Mystery Cruise of Maiden Ports I took in May 2016. It was the fist time a cruise ship ever came to this port of call — and what a welcome we received!

It started with a flotilla of various types of ships — from small personal boats and kayaks to military boats to a Viking ship.

Then, there was the turnout of, what seemed to be, the entire town to greet our ship!

And finally, we we greeted dockside by Vikings!

Once we were off the ship, there was a little Viking Village setup where they were selling mead ad other souvenirs. The town itself had arranged for a number of tours around the local area. Everyone was friendly and seemed very happy to receive their first cruise guests.

 

 

Hundested, Denmark

Our second port of call on Braemar’s Maiden Call Mystery Cruise was Hundested, Denmark. It is a small fishing town of about 8,500 people on the northern parts of the island of Zealand. We started to sail in before 8 AM — and it seemed that the entire town was out to greet us!  The seaside and port was lined with people and the bay was filled with a flotilla boats of many types, including a Viking ship, a Danish warship, a kayak and a small boat filled with photographers taking our pictures. There was even a plane circling over us.

And it kept getting better! There was a Viking group that meet us as we docked alongside the pier. They blew horns to welcome us and erupted into battle as I tried to walk between the two rows — swords and shields were flying!

As we left the official port area, townspeople, a even a few dogs, were lining the street into town — it was an overwhelming welcome and one that I will never forget (and of course, I had to stop and pet the dogs!).

Again, not knowing where we would be, I opted for a tour and again was surprised to learn that we were going to Kronborg Castle — also known as Hamlet’s Castle. On a previous cruise to the Baltic, I had only seen this castle from a distance as we sailed by — now I was gong to go inside! We climbed up the the main living area and saw many furnished rooms and some impressive paintings. One long hallway was called the Queen’s Gallery. It connected her apartments to the main ballroom. The room was huge, taking up one whole side of the castle. I imagine it would also be very cold, as it only had one fireplace at one end of the room.

On the way back to Hundested, we drove past the Queen’s Summer Palace, also known as the Peace Palace.

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Once back to the ship, it was easy to walk into town. There was a Viking Village setup to sell various types of trinkets, including some amazing mead. Locals were also around the town, offering information and advice on things to do and see.

Would I go back to Hundested? Yes, no question! Everything was absolutely perfect. Here are some links to more information about Hundested:

As we sailed away, the Vikings were back and sent us off by blowing the horns again.

Our Captain responded by blowing the ship’s horn three times. And the Viking ship escorted us out of the harbour.

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Maiden Call Mystery Cruise on the Braemar

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From May 5 to May 14, the Fred. Olsen Braemar was my home as I and my fellow passengers and the ship’s crew embarked on a mystery cruise to maiden ports — places that the Braemar had never been to before this cruise! Our starting port was Dover, but once we left, only the captain knew where we were headed (at least we hoped he knew where we were going!)

It was a mystery!

But now that it is over, sadly, I can share the wonderful places we visited! Here is the overview of where we went and how we got there.

May 5th
We left Dover around 4:30 under clear skies and sailed 176 miles. We all made note that the ship turned north as we headed out (although that did not mean much as the captain could have easily turned us around in the middle of the night). But we were confident that we were not heading to Spain this time.

May 6th
This was a sea day with partly cloudy skies. We sailed a distance of 285 miles and I did a load of washing since some of my clothes were a bit smokey from camping for a few days before getting on the ship (and yes, I will write about that adventure, too!). At night, it was our first formal night and the Captain told us all he would about the cruise and places we were going by saying, that only two people know where we are going, me and the Head Chef. And all I will say is this … it`s a mystery!

May 7th
We arrive at our first mystery port. I am up early to watch us pull into port and to guess where we were. I saw a Norwegian flag, so I had the country — but no sign of where. The Captain finally announce that we were in Larvik, Norway! This would be my first time in Norway and it was a beautiful start to the day with clear skies and a light breeze. Distance sailed: 295 miles.

May 8th
Watching us sail into our second port was overwhelming because it seemed that everyone who lived in the town we were going was out to greet us! They had lined the port and vessels of all kinds were sailing along side us, including a Viking ship! And this was all before 8 AM on a Sunday! At dockside, there was a Viking group doing battle and providing a honour guard for us as we departed the ship. Welcome to Hundested, Denmark! This was the warmest welcome I`ve ever had while sailing and I will never forget it. All Hail! Distance sailed: 200 miles.

May 9th
Watching us pull into port, I was confused at first because I thought I saw a Swedish flag, however we were back in Denmark — this time is was Nyborg, Denmark. This is a beautiful town and, while we were docked in an industrial area, a shuttle bus took us to the town centre close to the Nyborg Castle and other sites. The people were friendly and helpful in showing us places to go and things to do. It was another beautiful day! Distance sailed: 100 miles.

May 10th
Sailing into our next port was very interesting, as we seemed to have a very narrow channel to navigate, marked by bouys. Once near the town, the ship was turned around and slide into a narrow docking space. We were docked very close to the centre of Wismar, GermanyIt was an easy walk into the town that has an interesting collection of architectural styles. It is also a quick drive to Rostock, another German town along the coast. Again, it was easy to get information and people were so welcoming and willing to help. as for our send off — we had a men`s choir singing Germany shanty songs and a group of men wearing uniforms from different periods who, with the addition of a small cannon, gave us a gun salute as we left! Distance sailed: 109 miles.

May 11th
We really had no clue where we would be next, of course. All through the cruise, there were people playing various guessing games and a lot of us checking the atlas in the library (which went missing one night). I finally figured out that I could at least find out the country by checking what flag we were flying. But that is as good as it got for my guessing game. Where do we sail this day? We were back in Denmark in Fredericia. Our welcome this time was a marching band! There were also bikes we could rent and a tourist train that would take us the short distance from the port to the town centre.  A short drive from the town is a Viking site, Kongernes Jelling. Distance sailed: 163 miles.

May 12th
Sailing into our final mystery port was interesting. It did not look like there was anything there except very large rocks — granite is important to this area, as we would soon learn. The biggest clue as to where we were was the ABBA music playing at we docked.  We were in Lysekil, Sweden. This area is dotted with small fishing villages, beautiful scenery and Bronze Age rock carvings. There are seals close to the harbour as well. The weather was again perfect — as it had been the whole trip. As we left the port, we had to check in with immigration and verify our passports. It was nice to have such friendly immigration officials to talk to (and even joke around with). As we sailed out of port both tourist guides and immigration officials were all dancing to ABBA. Distance sailed: 214 miles

May 13th
The mystery was over and it was time to sail back to Dover — our final port. It was a great trip and I would do this again! Distance sailed: 329 miles.

I love sailing on the Braemar! Everyone is friendly — from crew to the passengers. There are great places to sit and relax throughout the ship, which is one of the things I really enjoy.