Ocean Cruise: Northern Europe

Ocean Cruise: Northern Europe

I had hoped to post to my blog while we on our Northern Europe Cruise but that didn’t happen. We were just too busy. On board activities and excursions when in port didn’t allow a lot of time for putting thoughts ‘on paper.’ So, here is the first of 3 posts I’ll write about our recent Northern Europe Ocean Cruise. 

After boarding our ship, Oceania’s Riviera, in Copenhagen where we had spent 3 days exploring the city we set sail  for ports in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, France, Belgium and finally Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The off ship excursions we embarked on gave us  an interesting snapshot of these ports of call.

How does one approach photography from the deck of an ocean cruise liner or while hiking around the on shore attractions we would visit? These were the questions I asked myself in preparation to travel to Copenhagen, our port of embarkation. 

Early on I purchased a previously owned Nikon 28mm to 300mm zoom lens.  I found it at Kerrisdale Cameras in Victoria, B.C. knowing that it would be warrantee protected should the lens have issues. 

I have several lenses that together would cover the range of my new lens.  However, I concluded  that one universal lens would be preferable get out upcoming trip.   I just had to make sure I packed spare batteries, a charger and spare memory cards. 

It seemed that wherever we wandered on our shore excursions my camera was busy. There was so much to photograph. I tried to assess my growing image collection on a daily basis but sometimes that was difficult. I decided that I would assess and sort my images once we had returned home. Interestingly when I finally sat down to work on my images at home I found that they fell into 3 general themes: Architecture, Transportation and History. 

The beauty of historical architecture is easily observed, as is the ingenuity that created it in the absence of modern tools and safely standards. Often, it is very colourful. In every city, town and village there was at least one church. Some were small and others were enormous. Built from stone or from bricks I found these structures so interesting to photograph especially their beautiful stained glass windows. Seemingly less permanent,  the vintage Norse house built from hand hewn logs was very intriguing. Located in an outdoor museum in Kristiansand, Norway I was amazed that it had survived from the 1600’s. 

While the use of electric vehicles is growing rapidly in Europe bicycles are a primary mode of transportation for many. Bikes configured to carry riders to work, deliver packages and even carry families with 2 or 3 children were very prevalent. A wide network of bike paths enabled riders to easily get to work, school or even shop. 

As we hiked the streets of our various ports of call we experienced many different and exciting sites and sounds.  My favourite to this point of our cruise was the Nyhavn historical district in Copenhagen. Centuries ago it was a trading and shipping  port. Today, the buildings along the canals remain. Patio restaurants now occupy the buildings that once housed bars and taverns. The colourful buildings  and the many old wooden boats make this a stunning area to visit, enjoy a meal in an outdoor restaurant or just wander about. 

Kristiansand, Norway was our last port of call in the Scandinavian countries. From there it was around a 24 hour voyage across the North Sea to London, England a destination I was really looking forward to. That will be the subject of my next post.


I think the images I have included here reflect the themes I identified above. I’ve displayed them in a different format than usual. I’ve done this to maintain reasonable uplaad speeds. Several appear ‘cut off’. That is because they are in the ‘portrait’ format. Click on them (and all other images)  to view the full  formatted image. 

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