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Le Quiberon

Color Fantasy, January 2020

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A two week tour of Europe lead me to Kiel where I decided to do the Color Fantasy mini cruise from Kiel - Oslo. Something I had been planning to do for a long time.

An overnight stop in Kiel was necessary before embarkation onto the vessel. Being a Monday in early January the vessel was lightly loaded which I was happy with. The terminal is Kiel is a reasonable walking distance from the main centrum and the terminal itself is very clean and modern. Boarding was from 13:15 and I as amazed at how quickly this was, (something I picked up on for the remainder of my trip) and I boarded the vessel and made my way to my cabin at deck 9. I quickly dropped my bag in the cabin which had a sea view and was very impressed with how large, modern, comfortable and clean it was. Indeed it was comparable to the modern Stena ships that ply Hook of Holland/Harwich but better. With not long too departure I decided to explore this huge vessel. As many of you are aware the Color Fantasy and very slightly larger Color Magic are he largest cruise ferries operating in Europe and I was amazed by the facilities, size and modernity and cleanliness on board. There are so many entertainment options, even when travelling alone, with plenty of large open accessible deck space, whilst the central promenade running through the ship is impressive in itself. 

The vessel departed slightly before 14:00 and we soon made our way out of Kiel harbour which is a rather impressive part of the trip as it takes around an hour before you reach open seas. A quick burger in the excellent burger bar on the top deck which was genuinely one of the best I have ever had regardless of the price. Sadly conditions were overcast and foggy so I could not see much when we entered open seas. I made my way the the front observation lounge which has a bar and enjoyed the remaining period of daylight and enjoyed the limited view owing to the foggy conditions. I noticed that we did pass a DFDS ropax ship. As darkness fell I decided to go the indoor water park which I practically had to myself which was an incredible experience. After I left the waterpark I noticed we had just passed under the huge road bridge, I saw it from my cabin window - next time I make the journey I will be sure not too miss this.

I booked an evening buffet for the outbound trip and this was absolutely outstanding. The choice of and quality of food was incredible and I was suitably full for the rest of the evening. I spent the evening in the casino and bar and briefly in the nightclub which was quite quiet, before retiring in the early hours. Sea conditions seemed to get a bit rougher during the night but you barely notice given the size of the vessel.

A 10:00 arrival in Oslo the morning after gave me 4 hours to explore the city, making sure i was back on board by 13:30 for the 14:00 departure back to Kiel. I saw as much of the city as I could and was impressed. The voyage out of Oslo is impressive and I made the most of the couple of hours before sunset as the vessel meandered its way around islands and passed small coastal villages. I did not opt for a buffet meal, a a full meal in the excellent burger bar was sufficient and I spent the evening mostly in the casinos and bars again. Sea conditions were similar to the outward leg.

 

SUMAMRY AND CONCLUSION:

The Color line mini cruises had been something I had been planning and researching to for a long time and it did not disappoint at all. Although it was very much off season, the £200 (excluding extras) I paid for a return journey, with a seaview cabin is excellent value for money. For someone who has never been on a cruise ship before, for me this must be close to it. The facilities and cleanliness is outstanding, as well as the lighting, modern fittings, glass elevators etc. The food is excellent, drinks are reasonably priced for a Euro/Scandi vessel and there is plenty to keep you entertained till the early hours. At no point as a solo traveller did I ever feel awkward or out of place, whilst Oslo is a very nice city to visit for a few hours. 

For me this is the pinnacle of ferry travel, it can not be beaten at the moment in my opinion (I did a couple of Baltic routes which I will share soon). Indeed I was that impressed that I will do this again at some point in the summer time where there will be more daylight to enjoy the summer views and more people on board.

 

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask.

LQ

 

*Silja Serenade/Symphony voyage report to follow soon.

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Thanks for the report and photos. Looks fantastic. Its a route I've always wanted to travel on and after reading this even more!

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On 10/02/2020 at 21:24, jonno said:

Brings back happy memories! She's identical to Color Magic.

WP_20180311_004.jpg

Is that the barnes ski races track at Holmenkollen?!

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5 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

Is that the barnes ski races track at Holmenkollen?!

Yes it's Holmenkollen although I don't know what the competition or festival was. It was March 2018. I had a good chat about bikes with the officer, he was waiting to escort the King of Norway. We were only there an hour as part of the Color Line coach tour which is in German although the guide took time to explain stuff in English. It's why we went back when we were in Denmark last year. The museums are superb plus the walk from the DFDS terminal is easier than from Color line.

WP_20180311_006.thumb.jpg.4295dfd82eb4289a5da4be343cb4abb9.jpg   WP_20180311_008.thumb.jpg.b42f8faaa5772f40522f5504d967d964.jpg

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, jonno said:

Yes it's Holmenkollen although I don't know what the competition or festival was. It was March 2018. I had a good chat about bikes with the officer, he was waiting to escort the King of Norway. We were only there an hour as part of the Color Line coach tour which is in German although the guide took time to explain stuff in English. It's why we went back when we were in Denmark last year. The museums are superb plus the walk from the DFDS terminal is easier than from Color line.

WP_20180311_006.thumb.jpg.4295dfd82eb4289a5da4be343cb4abb9.jpg   WP_20180311_008.thumb.jpg.b42f8faaa5772f40522f5504d967d964.jpg

 

 

 

 

Amazing! I have ski'd that track. (the cross country circuit, not the jump!). 
Lovely place :)

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Agreed. Did it a few years ago and had a great time. Although you are somewhat dumped out in the sticks in Oslo on arrival compared to DFDS and Stena.  A tip if you have a spare day is to do the sightseeing boat trip from Kiel through the lock gates up the canal to Rendsburg. From there you can stay on board and go back, although it's a bit of a long day, or you can save a couple of hours by taking the train back.  The trip is on board a vintage paddler and is a great favourite with German pensioners who appreciate the morning coffee and cake on departure and a spot of lunch before you get to Rendsburg . It runs two or three times a week.

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