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020 7593 1899

Our office is open 9-6 Mon to Fri and 9-4 Sat

The Norwegian Fjords in Spring

Bergen, Oslo 11 nights Price from £2,885 per person
Departs: 12 May 2020
Departs: 12 May 2020

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The Norwegian fjords offer some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the world, and spring is the perfect time to visit. Our Music Cruise will call at Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger as well as the Shetland Isles, with performances given by an extraordinary collection of international musicians, including three ensembles with personal links to Scandinavia.

The Itinerary - An eleven night music cruise

Liverpool – Kristiansand – Oslo – Stavanger – Bergen – Shetland Islands – Liverpool

Departing from Liverpool, Black Watch will sail around the tip of Scotland and directly to the south of Norway. Our first port of call will be Kristiansand, Norway’s fifth largest city, where the picturesque historic neighbourhood has many well-preserved whitewashed wooden houses close to an impressive neo-Gothic cathedral. We then sail along the coast and up the Oslofjord before reaching the capital itself where we stay overnight, awaking on Norwegian National Day when the Norwegians celebrate the country’s independence gained in 1814.

After leaving Oslo we will return along the south coast to the fjords of Norway’s south-west where we will sail past the astonishing 600m cascade of Langfoss Waterfall. Upon reaching Stavanger there will be an optional excursion to Utstein, Norway’s best-preserved medieval monastery, which dates from the 13th century. We then reach Bergen, birthplace of Edvard Grieg, where there will be an opportunity to visit the composer’s house as well the flamboyant villa of the virtuoso violinist Ole Bull, another distinguished former resident. Our final port will be Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, which have historic links with Norway, before a day spent cruising around the coast of Scotland en-route back to Liverpool.






12 May   17.00 Liverpool
13 May At sea    
14 May At sea    
15 May Early AM Late PM Kristiansand
16 May Early AM Late AM Cruising Oslofjord
16 May Late AM   Oslo
17 May   Late PM Oslo
18 May Early PM Late AM Cruising Karmsund
18 May Late PM Late night Cruising Akrafjord & Langfoss Waterfall
19 May Early AM Late PM Stavanger
20 May Early AM Late PM Bergen
21 May Early AM Late PM Lerwick, Shetland Islands
22 May At sea    
23 May Early AM   Liverpool



Music & Talks

We welcome four distinguished Danish musicians on board Black Watch for the first time, including Tommaso Lonquich, clarinet, Jonathan Slaatto, cello and Martin Qvist Hansen, piano, who are collectively known as The Danish Clarinet Trio. When the cellist and the pianist are joined by the violinist Erik Heide, they metamorphose into Trio Ondine. In either or both guises, all four musicians have won an impressive number of competitions and awards.

Joining us in Oslo is the Marmen Quartet, made up of musicians from Sweden, New Zealand, Wales and Japan and now known as one of the leading new wave of young quartets; whilst pianist Tim Horton, who has taken part in many Kirker Music Festivals, will join the cruise in Stavanger.

Our music programme will include fifteen concerts including one dedicated to the works of Beethoven in his 250th anniversary year, which will include his Violina Sonata in G Op.30 No. 3 and his cello sonata in D Op.102. No.2. In addition to a number of trios and quartets, the musicians will also perform sonatas, songs by Brahms transcribed for cello and piano, works for clarinet, viola and piano, Nordic folk tunes arranged for string quartet, works by Grieg and Niels Gade (1817-1890), and four ballades by Chopin played by Tim Horton in his solo recital. Kirker’s Director of Music, composer and violist Simon Rowland-Jones, will also perform with the Trios and give several musically-illustrated talks.


Norway cruise 2020 web


Optional Shore Excursions

We have arranged five optional shore excursions for Kirker clients, one in each major port of call. In addition to our excursions, Fred. Olsen will also be arranging public tours at every port of call, which are available to all passengers, and should be booked with Fred. Olsen directly. We shall send you details of all excursions including the costs approximately 10 weeks before the departure of the cruise. N.B. If you would like to pre-register for one or more of the Kirker shore excursions please let us know at the time of booking.


A concert in Utstein Monastery
The Marmen String Quartet
Simon Rowland-Jones, viola
Mozart: String Quintet in G minor, K516

Our on-board musicians will join a tour to this beautiful 13th century Augustinian monastery on an island in the fjord, where they will give a special private concert. About half an hour from Stavanger – the drive will take us through the tunnels and bridges that link the islands – Utstein Monastery was founded in the time of King Magnus VI. We will have a tour of the monastery before the concert and enjoy lunch in the restaurant of the Utstein Kloster Hotel afterwards.


After a panoramic tour of this elegant harbour town we will drive to the romantic island of Lysoen, where the flamboyant virtuoso Norwegian violinist, Ole Bull (1810-1880) built an equally flamboyant villa. With a life as colourful as his playing, Ole Bull was a national hero to many in Norway. We make the short crossing to the villa by boat and take a path rising up to the villa where Tim Horton will give a short recital. Returning to the mainland we will have lunch at a restaurant on the fjord before leaving for Troldhaugen, the former home of Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), where we visit the house and see the hut where he composed, inspired by the wonderful views. Grieg and his wife Nina are buried in the gardens close to the house.

Kristiansand excursion to Resor

The picturesque fishing village of Resor, 90 minutes along the coast from Kristiansand, has become famous for its chamber music festival which started with concerts at the historic local church in 1991. Our visit will include an organ recital in the church, followed by lunch and free time to explore the picturesque streets and colourful wooden houses. On our return journey to Kristiansand we will visit the Gothic cathedral here before boarding Black Watch.


Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg by Wagner at the Norwegian National Opera
Conductor: Erik Nielsen
Orchestra and Chorus of the Norwegian National Opera
Hans Sachs: James Rutherford
Beckmesser: Tom Erik Lie
Walther: Gwyn Hughes Jones
Eva: Nina Gavrok

Our first day in Oslo coincides with a performance of Wagner’s epic Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the capital’s striking modern opera house overlooking the Oslofjord. The building, home of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet companies, was designed by Snohetta Architects, and has won a number of awards since it opened in 2008. Seating an audience of over 1,300, it is shaped like a giant, shimmering ski slope and visitors are encouraged to walk on the flat roof to enjoy better views of the fjord. Seating at the opera house is in the Stalls, the Parkett (similar to the Stalls Circle at Covent Garden) and then the First Balcony. These are very good seats which provide an excellent view of the stage. The performance begins at 15.00 and ends at around 21.00. Optional refreshments will be available in the intervals at the Opera House and a late buffet supper will be served from 23.00.
Price from £97 per person including a return transfer between the ship and the Opera House.

Art Tour of Oslo

As an alternative to the opera, our half day tour on the afternoon of 16 May will include visits to the newly opened Munch Museum and the National Museum. We will send more comprehensive details early in 2020.

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Eleven nights' accommodation on board the Black Watch
  • All meals on board
  • Private drinks parties
  • All concerts and talks as described
  • Services of the Kirker Tour Leader

Departure Dates and Prices

Prices range from £2,885 per person for Ocean view cabin to £5,695 per person for a Marquee Suite. All meals on board are included, as well as private drinks parties, all concerts, plus exclusive talks and interviews. For full prices and cabin descriptions please call 020 7593 2284 to speak to an expert or view our online brochure here.

12 May 2020

Status Limited

Price from£2885

Single Supp.£1010

Call 020 7593 2284
Trio Ondine

Trio Ondine


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Danish Clarinet Trio

Danish Clarinet Trio


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The Marmen Quartet

String Quartet

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Tim Horton

Tim Horton


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Simon Roland-Jones

Simon Rowland-Jones

Viola, Composer & Kirker Music Director

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Barry Cheeseman

Barry Cheeseman

Cultural Tours Senior Executive


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Ship Details

Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch has a relaxed, stylish atmosphere that harks back to cruising in a bygone age. She is a comfortable world-class cruise ship where you will feel a warm sense of hospitality from the very first moment you step aboard, with broad teak decks, generous promenades, elegant décor and bright, spacious public areas.

With just 435 cabins, Black Watch has been designed with a generous amount of space for each passenger. The cabins are a good size and most have a sea view (speak to a Kirker expert to discuss your personal requirements). It is always easy to find a quiet corner - and you certainly won’t find yourself having to compete for space with hordes of other passengers. There are a number of dining options and guests may choose from a selection of contrasting bars including the nautically themed Lido Lounge and popular Scottish Piper’s Bar, or you may elect to retreat to the Braemar Lounge or the Observatory. Other on board facilities include two swimming pools, a fitness centre, a health and beauty salon, deck sports, library, indoor games, internet access, casino, cabarets and shows.

Black Watch spent the last month of 2016 undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment of both public areas and cabins. The ship now has a brighter look to it, notably in the main restaurant, the Glentanar. There’s also a new intimate dining room called the Black Watch Room, which seats just 46 guests. All the cabins and bathrooms have been improved and furniture, curtains and carpets have been replaced. The Marina Theatre, which is central to our music cruises with all the concerts taking place here, remains unchanged.

Music Programme

The music programme has been carefully created and arranged by violist and composer Simon Rowland-Jones in close association with the musicians and will be hosted by Barry Cheeseman of Kirker Holidays. After many years of experience we have learnt that, on a music cruise, our clients wish to discover new works as well as enjoy some familiar favourites and we are confident that everyone will find something of interest in each of our concerts.

Although Black Watch carries approximately 700 passengers, Kirker concerts are private and restricted to Kirker guests (we anticipate between 60-80 participants) and will be held in the Marina Theatre, ideal for listening to chamber music. Concerts will take place on most days of the cruise and will be complemented by a number of informative talks and interviews with the musicians, as well as our programme of shore excursions.

12 May: 19.00 - Marina Theatre

Introduction to the cruise and to the musicians with Barry Cheeseman

19.45 - The Library (7th floor)

Welcome drinks party

13 May: 10.30 - Marina Theatre

The Danish Clarinet Trio, Erik Heide, violin

Debussy: Cello Sonata

Korngold: Suite for violin and piano, ‘Much Ado about Nothing.’

Brahms: Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op.115


16.00 - Marina Theatre

Members of the Danish Clarinet Trio will be in conversation with Barry Cheeseman about their lives in music.


18.30 - Marina Theatre

Trio Ondine, Tomasso Lonquich, clarinet

Haydn: Piano Trio n C Hob.XV:27

CPE Bach: Sonata for Solo Clarinet (Transcription of the Sonata for Solo Flute in A minor Tomasso Lonquich)

Beethoven: Piano Trio in E flat, Op.38. This is Beethoven’s own transcription of his septet.

14 May: 10.30 - Marina Theatre

Members of the Danish Clarinet Trio will introduce and talk about this morning’s piece and its composer.

Per Norgard (13 July 1932 – Gentofte, Denmark): Spell


15.00 - Neptune Lounge

Today’s programme for all guests on board includes the Rondo from Haydn’s Piano Trio No. 39 in G major. Details of the rest of the programme will be given on board.


18.30 - Marina Theatre

Danish Clarinet Trio, Trio Ondine

Simon Rowland-Jones, viola

Mozart: Trio in E flat, K 498 ‘Kegelstatt’

Haydn: Rondo from Piano Trio No.39 Hob XV:25

Schumann: Marchenerzahlungen Op.132

Bartok: Contrast

15 May: 18.30 - Marina Theatre

Trio Ondine, Simon Rowland-Jones, viola

Schumann: Adagio and Allegro Op.73 for Cello and Piano

Clara Schumann: Piano Trio Op.17

Brahms: Piano Quartet in A, Op.26

16 May: 10.30 - Marina Theatre

Trio Ondine, Tomasso Lonquich, clarinet

Niels Gade: Fantasiestucke Op.43 for Clarinet and Piano

17 May: No concerts on board today

18 May: 10.30 - Marina Theatre

The Marmen String Quartet

Haydn: String Quartet in B flat Op.50 No.1

Beethoven: String Quartet in C, Op.59 No. 3 ‘Razumovsky’


16.00 Marina Theatre

Meet the Marmens - the members of the quartet will be in conversation with Barry Cheeseman


18.30 - Marina Theatre

Mozart: String Quartet in G, K387

Debussy: String Quartet

Nordic Folk Tunes – a selection traditional pieces arranged by members of the Danish Quartet


19.45 The Library - (7th floor)

All clients are invited to the second Kirker Drinks Party

19 May: 18.30 - Marina Theatre

Tim Horton, piano

Beethoven: 11 Bagatelles Op.119

Mozart: Fantasy in D minor, K397

Chopin: Ballade No. 1 G minor, Op.23,

Ballade No. 2 in F, Op.38

Ballade No.3 in A flat, Op.47

Ballade No.4 in F minor, Op.52

Three Mazurkas, Op.63

Waltz in A minor, Op.34 No.2

Nocturne in F sharp minor, Op.15 No.2

20 May: 11.00 - Marina Theatre

Marmen String Quartet, Tim Horton, piano

Janacek: String Quartet No. 1 ‘The Kreutzer Sonata’

Grieg: Four Lyric Pieces for solo piano

Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34

21 May: 18.30 - Marina Theatre

Marmen String Quartet, Tim Horton, piano

Beethoven 250 Anniversary Tribute

Violin Sonata in G, Op.30 No.3

Cello Sonata in D, Op.102 No.2

Piano Sonata in E minor, Op.90

String Quartet in F minor, Op.95


15.00 - Neptune Theatre

A varied programme to include solo virtuoso pieces for solo strings, the Lyric Pieces by Grieg and works by Schumann and Beethoven.


18.30 - Marina Theatre

Marmen Quartet, Tim Horton, piano

Haydn: String Quartet in C, Op.74 No.1

Brahms: Three Intermezzi Op.117

Schumann: Piano Quintet in E flat, Op.44


19.45 - The Library (7th floor)

The Kirker Farewell drinks party

To make an enquiry please speak to one of our experts on 020 7593 1899, or enquire online

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