It is sad to think no youngsters in future may know the thrill I and my friends had of taking a ship on a working route from the Tyne to Kristiansand and Gothenburg or to Stavanger and Bergen, coming into that latter marvellous port to the whiff of coffee wafting from a roasting plant across the harbour.
I show the Queen of Scandinavia, currently under the Maltese flag shuttling between Helsinki and St Petersburg as the Princess Maria, seen in the print issue on her last year on the Norwegian coast heading under the bridge at Haugesund, four hours out from Bergen on our way to Stavanger before returning across the North Sea.
Given the escalating cost of more refi ned or cleaner fuels, such working voyages as hers seem to be history. Ironic that giant cruise liners, for no more purpose than occupying the leisure time of their passengers, may hardly be affected by the change.
Interesting values at play there, eh?