Christmas is normally celebrated with the whole family, or clan. Last year was, however, different. Living far away from your family is really tough, but not a reason to be sad on Christmas. So Carl and I decided to go on a cruise from the 25th to the 27th, amidst weather forecast of a possible approaching storm. We took the 2-day Color Line Magic cruise. Color Line was born when Jahre Line and Norway Line merged as one in 1990. Also within the same year, Color Line acquired the Fred. Olsen ferry operations, and in 1996, the Larvik Line. Scandi Line joined in in 1998, while Color Hotel Skagen was also acquired by the group in 1998. Today, Color Line is “Norway’s largest and one of Europe’s leading cruise and transport shipping companies”, deploying ships on routes connecting Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Color line is a lot bigger than Stena Line or DFDS! The interior is really fancy, with 15 decks and speed of 22 knots. It is 224 m in length and 35 m in height, with 1016 cabins and guest capacity of 2 600. More about the ship tech specs here. It’s pretty easy to book a cruise online, well, except on high peak seasons like Christmas, and yet, we got a nice inside cabin with a double bed.
There’s a number of restaurants to choose from in the ship, ranging from fancy gourmet to buffet to little fast food kiosks. We spent the first 30 minutes at the Observation Lounge, where we had nice cold drinks while waiting for the ship to depart. Afterwards, we went to the top deck to take a glimpse of Oslo Port and to get some nice late lunch at Sports & Burger Bar.
The weather was nice, cold and dry, when we left Oslo. The seas were also calm, and so, the sail was smooth and worry-free. We took a little tour of the ship, and boy, was it a grand ship! There’s the shopping deck, where you’d find most of the restaurants as well. And there’s the tax-free shop and Grand Buffet and Conference Hall and Show Lounge. I was impressed!
They hold wonderful shows at the Show Lounge every night. We sat there and enjoyed some drinks, but then, things started to get weird that night. The seas started to growl, and so we had a very rough sail halfway to Germany! I really disliked it to be honest. I have a great fear for big bodies of water, and waves did not make it easy for me. We didn’t even managed to finish the show because I got really dizzy.
By 10 am the following day, we found our selves in Kiel, the capital and most populous city in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. It was wet, cold and grey, and Carl just wanted to stay in the ship, as usual, But I insisted. We had 4 hours on shore, and that’s enough to take a little tour in the German city. It was the second day of Christmas, yet, the city seemed deserted. 😛 There weren’t any open shops, and we found only a couple of cafes to sit enjoy some warm drinks. Interestingly, they only accepted cash, so we had to look for the nearest ATM machine to get some euros. All’s well that ends well. 😉
It was nice to see some traces of Christmas in the city. It would have been nicer though if they were manned, lighted, and open! 😀
Another interesting thing that happened in Kiel? Carl had his first KFC meal. 😉 Fried chicken is not really a very big thing in Scandinavia. In Copenhagen, KFC is often crowded with immigrants, not Danes. There’s no KFC in Oslo as far as I know. Anyway, it was nice… but I missed rice with the chicken meal, just the way they do it in the Philippines.
The ship departed Kiel at 2PM, and it was a very, very rough and unforgettable night sailing back to Oslo. I waited for the cancellation announcement which never came. A super powerful storm named Urd swept across Denmark, Sweden and Norway that night. I failed to enjoy the cruise back home because of that. We came home to a cloudy, gloomy and windy Norway. Smaller cruise ships even cancelled operations that night, but not Color Line. “This is a big and expensive boat, Maerose. They would not want to sink it,” said my husband.
To forget the shaky sailing for a while, Carl and I decided to watch the full show at the Show Lounge no matter what, and then enjoy a 5-course gourmet meal at Cosmopolitan/Manhattan Gourmet restaurant – an experience that was both unforgettable and regrettable! haha We spent a lot of money for a taste of a fancy meal fit for people who don’t want to get full. Even the desert of melted cheese sucked. hahaha But they complemented it with chocolate truffles. Still, a wonderful time with my husband. ❤
The seas were really rough going home, that we often slid down the bed. hahaha But we safely got home the following day, thank God! The ship was late, but better late than never, right? I’d probably not take the Oslo-Kiel cruise again, but I’m glad that I did for once! Yay!
What a travel to end 2016. 😉 Cheers! #spreadlove