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Author Topic: Thoughts On the 2 'fjords' (Vistafjord and Sagafjord)  (Read 962 times)

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kevinh

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When I finished Eric Flounder's book on Cunard's 175 Years, one of the many things I learned (well not learned, I kind of already knew but this made it a certain :)) was that QE2 was NOT the only ship operating for Cunard at the time. She operated with many others, but out of all her fleet-mates whom were easily outshone, the 2 I liked the most were the 2 'fords'.
Yes, by 2 'fords' I mean the Sagajford and Vistajford. ;D

I don't know, there was just something about them that I liked the most of QE2's fellow Cunarders. Maybe it was just that they, unlike the others, were actually made from scratch, rather than bought from other companies (Cunard did a lot of deals :o...), being built as Cunarders. Thus, they just stood out most to me. And I definitely loved when they renamed Vistajford the Caronia (my favorite of the 3 with that name). If they were to keep the Sagajford, and I'm real disappointed they didn't, I can only wonder what they'd have renamed her: maybe the Saxonia, THAT'D suit her good. :D

Oh well...
« Last Edit: Jan 09, 2018, 02:21 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

trevorc

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Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #1 on: Jan 07, 2018, 10:57 PM »
were actually made from scratch, rather than bought from other companies (Cunard did a lot of deals :o...), being built as Cunarders.
Actually, Cunard bought Vistafjord and Sagafjord.

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #2 on: Jan 07, 2018, 11:37 PM »
When I finished Eric Flounder's book on Cunard's 175 Years, one of the many things I learned (well not learned, I kind of already knew but this made it a certain :)) was that QE2 was NOT the only ship operating for Cunard at the time. She operated with many others, but out of all her fleet-mates whom were easily outshone, the 2 I liked the most were the 2 'fords'.
Yes, by 2 'fords' I mean the Sagajford and Vistajford. ;D

I don't know, there was just something about them that I liked the most of QE2's fellow Cunarders. Maybe it was just that they, unlike the others, were actually made from scratch, rather than bought from other companies (Cunard did a lot of deals :o...), being built as Cunarders. Thus, they just stood out most to me. And I definitely loved when they renamed Vistajford the Caronia (my favorite of the 3 with that name). If they were to keep the Sagajford, and I'm real disappointed they didn't, I can only wonder what they'd have renamed her: maybe the Saxonia, THAT'D suit her good. :D

Oh well...

Fjords named after the type of geological area, found in Norway for example. They were originally built for NAL (Norwegian America Line) before passing to Cunard in 1983 or 1984. Sagafjord left the Cunard fleet after an engine room fire on her 1996 world cruise, becoming Gripsholm for a German operator for about a year before ending up as Saga Rose until she was retired and scrapped in China in 2009/10. She bankrupted her French builders and did the most world cruises of any passenger ship to date, 44 altogether (more than QE2).

Vistafjord became Caronia in 1999 after Carnival bought Cunard the year before due to a rebranding effort towards being more traditional (QE2 returning to traditional Cunard colours too). She also gained the traditional Cunard hull colours at this time having previously had a grey hull. She subsequently joined her near sister again when she became Saga Ruby for Saga Cruises in 2004/5. She was very recently scrapped as Oasia at Alang. She was also the last major passenger ship built in the UK being built by Swan Hunter and completed in 1972. Both were built as dual purpose Ocean Liner/Cruise Ships but spent most of their lives cruising.

Thomas
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #3 on: Jan 08, 2018, 12:06 AM »
Saga Rose was retired due to not being SOLAS 2010 compliant without a refit and was completed in around 1965. Saga Ruby was SOLAS 2010 compliant and was in active passenger service until 2013/4 but retired due to major mechanical problems. She was to become a floating hotel in the Far East but her new owners went bankrupt and she was sold for scrap being broken up last year as I stated above.
« Last Edit: Jan 08, 2018, 12:08 AM by Thomas Hypher »
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

kevinh

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Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #4 on: Jan 08, 2018, 12:12 AM »
Actually, Cunard bought Vistafjord and Sagafjord.

Oh yeah, heh! Right.  ;D I still can't help but wonder, though: if Cunard were to build the 2 of them, what would they have looked like then? :-\

As for you, Thomas, I'm not going to bother quoting you this time because I really don't feel like having a long essay at the moment.  ;D Cool facts though!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #5 on: Jan 08, 2018, 12:36 AM »
Oh yeah, heh! Right.  ;D I still can't help but wonder, though: if Cunard were to build the 2 of them, what would they have looked like then? :-\

As for you, Thomas, I'm not going to bother quoting you this time because I really don't feel like having a long essay at the moment.  ;D Cool facts though!

Michael (as the most knowledgeable person on the forum by far) may have more to add, along with former passengers and crew, particularly of Vistafjord/Caronia/Saga Ruby/Oasia, of which several forum members are. I just end up writing long messages lol  ;) . As a side note, the Norwegian fjords are a bucket list destination from personal experience. Very much recommended. Also of particular personal interest due to studying geology and geography in the past.
« Last Edit: Jan 08, 2018, 12:38 AM by Thomas Hypher »
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #6 on: Jan 08, 2018, 12:42 AM »
Vistafjord / Caronia was a proper ocean liner and very stable on the Atlantic. I only sailed on her once, during her final Cunard year, and loved the ship. One of our fellow passengers told us that on a previous occasion, she had calmly sailed out of New York and into a storm while lighter vessels had to remain in port.

Sadly, I never sailed on Sagafjord / Saga Rose, but did see her once in Dublin port.

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #7 on: Jan 08, 2018, 12:54 AM »
Vistafjord / Caronia was a proper ocean liner and very stable on the Atlantic. I only sailed on her once, during her final Cunard year, and loved the ship. One of our fellow passengers told us that on a previous occasion, she had calmly sailed out of New York and into a storm while lighter vessels had to remain in port.

Sadly, I never sailed on Sagafjord / Saga Rose, but did see her once in Dublin port.

My Auntie and her Husband (Uncle in law) sailed on her as Saga Ruby a couple of times I think and said she was lovely. They were also lucky enough to get a bridge visit where they took photos. Is a massive shame she wasn’t successful or never had the chance to be successful in her new static role.

From looking at interior photos they were both exquisite!
« Last Edit: Jan 08, 2018, 12:56 AM by Thomas Hypher »
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline CasinoChris

Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #8 on: Jan 08, 2018, 12:20 PM »
I worked on both the Sagafjord and Vistafjord, both were superb sea handling ships that could easily handle trans- ocean crossings. Also they had strengthened hulls for the occasional trip into Arctic waters. The Sagafjord cruised the Alaska glaciers and would venture much closer than the modern ships, was woken in my cabin by the sound of ice screaching along the plating several times. The atmosphere onboard was more relaxed than on the QE2, but the service was excellent, they were definitely my favourite ships to work on....

Offline Andy Holloway

Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #9 on: Jan 08, 2018, 12:28 PM »
Vistafjord / Caronia was a proper ocean liner and very stable on the Atlantic. I only sailed on her once, during her final Cunard year, and loved the ship. One of our fellow passengers told us that on a previous occasion, she had calmly sailed out of New York and into a storm while lighter vessels had to remain in port.

Sadly, I never sailed on Sagafjord / Saga Rose, but did see her once in Dublin port.

They must have been on a different Vistafjord/Caronia than i worked on then if they 'thought' she was 'very stable' on the Atlantic!

During my years onboard we were regularly 'rocking and rolling' and not only on the Atlantic trips either.
The regular cost of replacing broken crockery and glasses is true testament to this!

The one feature that Vistafjord/Caronia did have that was unique was that she was 'Ice classified', or in other words she was able to go into ice flows because of her strengthened bow.  Somewhere i have some photos taken on a trip to the Northern ice cap where we nudged up onto the ice cap, the only thing north of  us at that point was more ice, the North pole,  then over the top of the World and down into Siberia!  This was on a 'cruise' that took in calls at Skarsvag, Longyearbyen and Magdalena Bay.

For those not fortunate enough to have ever had the privilege of sampling the beauty and the remoteness of  Magdalena Bay, as it used to be, i will start a thread sometime with some interesting information and stories.

Offline Michael Gallagher

Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #10 on: Jan 09, 2018, 03:31 AM »
Vistafjord had stability issues for many years after her 1983 Cunard conversion which added to the aft superstructure. These issues had to be corrected when she became Caronia and reflagged to the UK in December 1999 so she was put into an unscheduled drydock in spring 2000 to rectify the issues and make her compliant.
« Last Edit: Jan 09, 2018, 10:09 AM by Lynda Bradford »

Offline Andy Holloway

Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #11 on: Jan 09, 2018, 03:31 PM »
Actually, Cunard bought Vistafjord and Sagafjord.

Vista & Saga were acquired from Norwegian American Lines.

Royal Viking Sun [RVS] was acquired from Royal Viking Lines.

Sea Goddess 1 & 2 were built in 1984 and 1985 by Wartsila, Helsinki, for Sea Goddess Cruises of Norway and chartered to Cunard for 12 years in 1986.

Cunard Adventurer, Ambassador Princess and Countess were all built for Cunard in the early 1970s. The Cunard Ambassador never entered service and is now a sheep carrier, with a much more discerning clientele, usually only on one way trips! The food is a bit monotonous though!!

Offline Rod

Re: Thoughts On the 2 'fjords' (Vistafjord and Sagafjord)
« Reply #12 on: Jan 09, 2018, 04:16 PM »
I knew the Chief Electrician for Ambassador for a number of years. He said that the food was not the problem, the smell was! He said the food was great, had a budding Gordon Ramsay on board.

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: My Thoughts On the 2 'fords'
« Reply #13 on: Jan 09, 2018, 04:53 PM »
Vista & Saga were acquired from Norwegian American Lines.

Royal Viking Sun [RVS] was acquired from Royal Viking Lines.

Sea Goddess 1 & 2 were built in 1984 and 1985 by Wartsila, Helsinki, for Sea Goddess Cruises of Norway and chartered to Cunard for 12 years in 1986.

Cunard Adventurer, Ambassador Princess and Countess were all built for Cunard in the early 1970s. The Cunard Ambassador never entered service and is now a sheep carrier, with a much more discerning clientele, usually only on one way trips! The food is a bit monotonous though!!


Cunard Ambassador burned again as a sheep carrier called MV Raslan after carrying a different name when sold and converted after being declared a CTL (MV Linda Carlson I think), in 1984, and was scrapped thereafter - ending a short and tortured life.

The former Cunard Princess is the only ship still around and even then only just. Cunard Countess was lost to fire as Ocean Countess while in winter layup in Greece, a few years ago. She was subsequently scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey.

Royal Viking Sun is currently HAL's lovely Prinsendam (since 2004 I think, from memory) and has had a more successful career so far compared to her ill fated, same-named predecessor - a fate I remember first reading about in none other than QE2's excellent library with the rattling sliding doors (or maybe that was the bookshop next door? I spent many satisfying hours there but the memory is getting more vague given it was 10+ years ago)!
« Last Edit: Jan 09, 2018, 05:14 PM by Thomas Hypher »
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!