Saturday, 5 May 2012

MSC Lirica meets City of of St. Petersburg in Øresund

Tonight the MSC Lirica (253 x 32m) met vehicle carrier City of St. Petersburg (140 x 22m) just outside of Helsingør. The cruise ship is on its way from Copenhagen to Göteborg, and the vehicle carrier is on the same route, but going in the opposite direction.

The Russian ice-strengthened cruise ship Polar Pioneer in the Sound

                                           The Polar Pioneer this morning close to Helsingør

                    Moments later Containerships VII overtook the Polar Pioneer close to Helsingør

The former Russian ice-strenghtened research ship Polar Pioneer (ex. Akademik Schuleykin) this morning passed Helsingborg/Helsingør. The ship is now operating as a cruise ship with polar expeditions as a speciality: 

Polar Pioneer was built in Finland in 1985 as an ice-strengthened research ship, and for many years she plied the treacherous waters of the USSR's northern coast. In 2000 she was refurbished in St Petersburg to provide comfortable accommodation for 56 passengers. A combined bar/lounge/library area (stocked with a good collection of polar books) was also created by simple internal restructuring. 

This class of vessel has a fine reputation for polar expedition cruising, due to its strength, manoeuvrability and small number of cabins. All cabins have outside portholes plus ample storage space. The Russian captain and crew are among the most experienced ice-navigators in the world and their enthusiasm is legendary. 

The Polar Pioneer is not a luxury vessel. The accommodations are simple yet comfortable, and the meals are wholesome and uncomplicated. The ship has a combined bar/lounge/library area, the bridge is always open to us, and the decks are ideal for viewing. The chefs are Australian, and the dining room is attended by Russian stewardesses. A small fleet of inflatable Zodiacs with outboard motors help you get from from ship to shore. 


  • Length 71.60 metres
  • Beam 12.8 metres
  • Draft 4.5 metres
  • Cruising Speed 11-12 knots
  • Displacement 2140 tons
  • Registry Russian
  • Equipment: Zodiacs, Kayaks (some trips), Diving (some trips), Ice Climbing (some trips), Camping (some trips).


The last known port for the Polar Pioneer is Las Palmas, so it is not this time returning from a polar expedition. 

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Norwegian Sun in the Sound

The Norwegian Sun (259 x 38m) is a regular visitor during the Scandinavian cruise season. Tonight the ship, owned by Carnival and managed by Norwegian Cruise Line, passed Helsingborg/Helsingør on its way from Copenhagen to Warnemünde

Helsingborg seen from the medieval Kärnan tower

The classical view from the medieval Kärnan fortified tower in Helsingborg has not changed much since the early 1940s (except that there are more cars now):

The view from Kärnan in the early 1940s

The view from Kärnan on May 3, 2012

Kärnan - the symbol of the city of Helsingborg - is the only part remaining of a larger Danish fortress, which together with the Kronborg castle on the other side of Øresund, controlled the entrance to the Baltic Sea

On this detail of an 1580s engraving you can clearly see the Kärnan tower  

Here is another view - northwards - from the Kärnan tower:

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Finally - summer is here!


In Helsingborg people were just enjoying the glorious summer day - in the parks and elsewhere ....

A priceless "Scream"?

I almost screamed when I saw this:

One of the most iconic images in art history -- Edvard Munch's "The Scream" -- has become the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.
During an intense 12 minutes, the 1895 artwork -- a modern symbol of human anxiety -- was sold at Sotheby's in New York City on Wednesday for a record $119,922,500. Neither the buyer's name nor any details about the buyer was released.
The previous record for an artwork sold at auction was $106.5 million for Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust," sold by Christie's in 2010.
Munch's image of a man holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky is one of four versions by the Norwegian expressionist painter. The auctioned piece at Sotheby's is the only one left in private hands.

Read the entire article here

As this is a positive blog, I do not want the express my opinion on this particular business transaction. However, my preferences with regard to modern and contemporary art can be found here.

Hopefully the new - so far anonymous - owner will enjoy his/her new acquisition!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The first Grey Herons of the season

On my evening walk today, I saw these two nice Grey Herons observing the possibilities for food in the surrounding waters.

Here is some additional information about this, rather large bird:

The Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea), is a wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae, native throughout temperate Europe and Asia and also parts of Africa. It is resident in the milder south and west, but many birds retreat in winter from the ice in colder regions. It has become common in summer even inside the Arctic circle along the Norwegian coast.

Standing up to 100 cm (39 in) tall and measuring 84–102 cm (33–40 in) long with a 155–195 cm (61–77 in) wingspan. The body weight can range from 1.02–2.08 kg (2.2–4.6 lb).

(from wikipedia)

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A glorious opening of the summer season in the Øresund region

A glorious, tranquil day here in the Øresund region. A really nice opening of the summer season.
21 degrees Celsius (69.8 in Fahrenheit)

A pleasant day also for this common shelduck

Monday, 30 April 2012

AIDAsol on another visit

This is the AIDAsol (253 x 36m) passing Helsingør early this morning on its way from Oslo to Copenhagen.  The weather was much better than on the first visit last week. No passengers visible on the outer decks in order to enjoy the sights. Probably the party must have gone on until fairly late last night ...

Sunday, 29 April 2012

In the wonderfully lovely month of May

Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day
W. Earl Hall

This is the right time to listen to the first song in Robert Schumann´s wonderful cycle "Dichterliebe", based on the poems by Heinrich Heine. Listen here to the great Danish tenor Aksel Schiøtz sing "Im wunderschönen Monat Mai" - and the other 15 songs in the song cycle: 

In the wonderfully lovely month of May,
When all the buds were bursting, 
Then it was that in my heart
Love broke through.
In the wonderfully lovely month of May,
When all the birds were singing,
then it was I confessed to her
My longing and desire