A Viking Good Time On Saga’s New Pearl

The sea, the colour of beaten metal, turned grey and then stratospheric blue at the horizon. On its surface, little tussocks of ice were strewn, brilliant white, like blossom left from some religious ceremony. I was delighted to be back in one of my favourite cruising regions, the Norwegian fjords.

Most ships schedule their visits to this sequestered corner of Europe during June and July, but I was paying a rare visit in early May on board Saga Pearl II. Very much a niche operator, Saga Cruises rarely conforms to the norm and tends to steer a course away from the regular cruising playgrounds. If more familiar destinations are featured, then it’s at a time of year bigger cruise lines would rarely contemplate.

To employ the clich