July 2013, I was invited along on the #CostaPhotoblogTour to visit the Norwegian Fjords aboard the Costa Luminosa. This week-long tour was arranged by Costa Cruise, VisitNorway and the Italian Institute of Photography - with the help of Ambito5 (Social Business Ideas).
Besides myself, there were 8 photobloggers from Italy, Spain, France and Germany.
There were guided excursions with bus and train from Flåm and Hellesylt (to Geiranger) which focused on the natural beauty of the fjords and mountains with several stops along the way. The other days were urban / cultural stops in Bergen, Stavanger and Oslo.
Day 1: Was spent at sea (Copenhagen to Flåm: 608 nautical miles) - getting to know each other - including a behind the scenes visit to areas normally off limits to guests (the busy galley seen below along with Vangsnes in the Sognefjord very early in the morning of day 2 on the way to Flåm).
Day 2: Excursion from Flåm by train and bus. The famous Flåm Railway took us from Flåm to Myrdal where we boarded another train to Voss. From there, we went by bus back to Flåm via Reppen, Vinje, Stalheim and Gudvangen with several stops along the way (photos below are the Flåm Railway, Tvindefossen waterfall and the view from Stalheim). We then sailed the 259 nautical miles to Hellesylt.
Day 3: Bus excursion from Hellesylt to Geiranger via places like Norangsdalen, Grodås, Stryn, Fosnes, Gamle Strynefjellsveg, Grotli and Dalsnibba with lots of stops along the way (photos below are our transport the Costa Luminosa in Hellesylt, Norangsdalen Valley, Stryne Elva river, view from Fosnes and Geiranger from above). We then sailed the 226 nautical miles from Geiranger to Bergen.
Day 4: Guided tour of Bergen with stops at the Bergenhus Fortress, Bryggen, the fish market and Mount Fløyen (photos below are Bryggen from the rear and the view from Mount Fløyen). We then sailed the 161 nautical miles to Stavanger.
Day 5: Walking Stavanger alone - mostly through the old part of Stavanger and around the harbour (photos below are the Costa Luminosa behind the old part of Stavanger and a supply ship in the harbour - Stavanger is Norway's oil capitol). We then sailed the 296 nautical miles to Oslo.
Day 6: A guided bus / walking excursion to the Vigeland Park and along the new harbour front. I then walked through the City Hall before returning to the ship (photos below are the monolith and mother with children sculptures at Vigeland Park, interior from the City Hall, the Oslo Opera, the harbour with the two towers of City Hall, the Oslo Fjord as seen from the ship, the pool area of the Costa Luminosa and lastly one from inside the Samsara Spa aboard the ship). We then sailed the 274 nautical miles back to Copenhagen.
Day 7: Early morning arrival in Copenhagen. A slow morning with breakfast onboard the ship before I disembarked and found my way back to Odense with a suitcase full of memories...
All photos are shot either with my Panasonic Lumix GH2 (with old Canon FD optics from the 70s and 80s) or with my iPhone 4S. The GH2 mostly shot 5 frame HDRs that have been merged with Photomatix while the iPhone shot HDRs with the proHDR app. Most images have been edited in Photoshop with the LucisArt and Nik Collection plug-ins.