Conference cruise from Oslo to Kiel in Germany

Combining business with pleasure is always a hit and if you add an IT conference, not to mention on a cruise ship, what more can a network evangelist like me ask for? I had the pleasure of being invited to give a presentation at Datateam’s (IBM’s user group in Norway) Yule Seminar on one of Color Line’s cruise ship:

ColorLineRouteColor Magic is custom built for shorter cruises, placing special emphasis on the passenger’s on board experience. All cabins (1016) are of a high standard, with TV and telephone.
The ship offers a broad array of entertainment and shopping, a spa and fitness centre and a variety of restaurants.
It holds a conference centre with a capacity of 678 participants in 1500 m2, equipped with state-of-the-art technological solutions, including full wireless Internet satellite coverage throughout the crossing.

Map: Top left: Norway – Right: Sweden. Mid: Denmark – Bottom: Germany. Color Line’s ferries goes from four destinations in Norway, to Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

You leave Oslo at 2PM and arrive at Kiel the next day 10AM. We had the loveliest weather and this is an example of the beautiful scenery while sailing along Oslo Fjord (click all pics to enlarge and enjoy):

CruiseView #1

I gave a presentation about: ‘How to find (and define) and IT professional?’ and my friend Gunnar Braathen gave an excellent lecture on SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

Let say it’s enough business and get to the pleasure on the ship:

Shopping: Color Magic’s main artery is a 163 meter long promenade with restaurants, bars and shops that cater to every taste – from exclusive brand shops to specialty stores:
CruiseShip #1

Entertainment: The ship’s slot machines and other gaming facilities are all located in the Casino. The Magic Show Lounge presents two shows per evening, with excellent song and dance performances:
CruiseShip #3 CruiseShip #4
We saw a show called The Unforgettable with a lot of great music evergreens.

Restaurants/eateries: Guests can choose between 8 different restaurants – from a private dining salon in the Manhatten Gourmet to burgers in the Sports & Burger Bar. Among several bars is the Observation Lounge on the upper deck. Here patrons can enjoy ocean panoramas to the accompaniment of classical music or smooth jazz. The ship features several night clubs. For teenagers, Teen’s Plaza offers karaoke and its own DJ, in an alcohol-free environment.

We had the most delicious dinner the first night in a private salon together with the Datateam group:
CruiseDinner #1
My regular visitors might even recognise some of the guys in the picture?

CruiseDinner #2
Starter: Game pate with salad and cream whipped cranberry
CruiseDinner #3
Main course: Halibut au gratin in Parma ham
CruiseDinner #4
Dessert: Chocolate mousse

Arriving at Kiel in the morning, you have 4 hours of sightseeing in a typical harbour town at the south-western shore of the Baltic Sea (90 km to the north of Hamburg). The city has become one of the main maritime centres of Germany. It’s known for a variety of international sailing events, including the annual Kiel Week, which is the biggest sailing event in the world. The Olympic sailing competitions of the 1936 and the 1972 Olympic Games were held in Kiel. Coming from Norway, may I also ad: The Kiel Fjord was first settled by Vikings who would colonize the land along their raids for many years staying in German villages. This is recorded by the geography and architecture of the fjord. Let’s take a look around in Kiel:
Kiel #1 Kiel #2
The railway station and of course a Starbucks Coffee
Kiel #3 Kiel #6
Shopping street and a Barrel organ

Since we are finished with business a long time ago and are on the pleasurable side, let me share some of our dinner on our way home as well. It was a Yule or Christmas buffet with traditional Norwegian food, like:
CruiseDinner #5 CruiseDinner #6
Left: Pork ribs (Norwegian: Svineribbe). Right: Lutefisk

I don’t know if you catch up with the days, but we left Oslo on Thursday mid day and were back home again on Saturday by 10AM. This is where we had our breakfast:
CruiseShip #2

Let me end the journey with a landmark from Oslo taken on deck while Color Magic was docking:
CruiseView #2
The Fram House and Maritime Museum on the island of Bygdøy

Even if this was a long post, but with a lot of pictures, I do hope you’ve enjoyed the trip and got the idea of why a networker like me who loves the sea, had a jolly good time together with colleagues and friends. My dear wife and I says to Datateam and TorAa (the group’s excellent host): Don’t hesitate to ask if you need another lecture or presentation at your seminars :-)

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  1. Interesting post…looks like fine dining and entertainment. And the colors were beautiful!

    Glad you liked it Jessica!
    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  2. It was a pleasure once again for Datateam and me to have you as a guestspeaker and also a social friend with your beloved wife on board.
    You know, that the President of the organisation supports you. and will always do. Thanks to you.
    Your report from the event is amazing, taking in account you knew you had to do a brilliant performance – which you did (I was sure that, otherwise you would not have been chosen as one of my very selected speakers).

    I will post a link from Datateam’s homepage very soon to this blog, and inform all the participants of the reportage.

    The pleasure was on my side Tor and I’m glad your President elective was happy to – your both so supportive!
    Glad you liked the summery of our trip too – Diane and I had such a great time with all of you.
    Thanks for plugging me – hope the other participants like the post too!

  3. Oh wow – It does look like you all were treated like KINGS! The SEO is right up my alley but one problem, I can’t read it. ;-) Oh and all of the photos look so grand. I noticed that you are very formal on this cruise also…. Cheers to you! :) And look, I’m finally early..

    Yea: Kings and Queens!
    I know; Mr. SEO in Norway, Gunnar should have an English version too :-)
    Glad you liked the pics too – I can tell you we became very casual when the camera was put away :lol:
    Glad you could make it so soon……

  4. Beautiful trip..! That is quite the vert Beautiful ship…! And lots of GOOD Food, as always…..A great thing to combine Business AND Pleasure, too!

    I knew a Lady with a style like you would love it Naomi – and get the spirit too :)

  5. I’m so sorry Tor mistreated you so badly, Renny. It’s awful how he housed you in such poor surroundings and forced you to endure all that nasty food, LOL! ;-)
    Everything looks wonderful, Renny! Such gorgeous surroundings inside the ship, and the scenery outside! I’d have spent much of my time looking at the view outside, I’m afraid.

    I did notice Tor with his glass raised, seated beside you at the dinner table. Glad y’all had a good time, Renny.

    Have a good weekend as well, my friend. :-)


    Glad your one my side and support me Diane – Tor can be pretty bad once in a while you know :lol:
    I do agree: the view from the outside is great too!
    I knew you would recognise your Viking friends Diane.
    Wish you a great one too and hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

  6. Renny – Thank you for sharing your trip. I especially liked the photo of the “breakfast room” – what a gorgeous view!

    Hope you and Diane had a bit of Thanksgiving!

    Your welcome Hexe. The room and the view was great and so was the breakfast too!
    We will have our turkey family dinner on Sunday. Its hard to gather all on a normal Thursday (as it was in Norway you know).

  7. I wish I could have been there, for the cruise of course but also for the conference speeches. SEO and IT are both interesting and I’m sure you delivered a great presentation.

    I know you are well into these subjects too Zhu – maybe Tor could invite you next year! For sure you would loved the cruise too :)

  8. The window view in your Saturday breakfast room is spectacular. I have done my share of conference speaking but never in such an elegant venue. Well done.

    Yea, it really was. I’m sure you gave great presentations.

  9. What fun. You know how I love boats and being on the water, but add food to that mix and I’m in heaven. Everything looked so good. I want to go next time.

    I only recognized you and Tor. Am I missing someone? Hope not.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug to you and Diane. :)

    Yea, I knew you would love it Sandee – your welcome to join.
    You did not miss any :-)
    Wishing you the same!

  10. I think you missed what I have for you, check out the Birthday post, that is where it is, OK?

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time and the food, oh the food. I want to taste it, looks so good.

    Love and Blessings,

    I’ve checked – thanks for awarding me!
    Glad you liked what you saw on the boat too.

  11. I somehow missed this and I am very happy that you pointed it out in your comment on my blog! How wonderful this event must have been. I so love to cruise, no matter how short or long the trip is! Being on the water is in my blood! Maybe I have some Viking in me too!

    I knew you would love it Maribeth and glad you came by to see for yourself. I’m sure there is some Viking blood in you too!

  12. You and Diane go to the coolest places, eat yummy food and have fantastic friends for company! …. and ToraA is usually nearby too. lol

    Work and leisure do mix, pal.

    We do – sometimes – wanna join us next time? :)

  13. It all looks top rate, the scenery, the ship, the food, and of course the company! :)

    It was and both me and Tor and of course Diane wished you could join us!

  14. The ship looks stunning! It sounds like a great occasion in a wonderful setting. Just imagine sitting having your breakfast looking out through that amazing window on to the sea, not to mention any of the other attractions.

    Yea, it was kind of special and a great adventure.

  15. Some years ago I attended a number of the European Computer Measurement Group (CMG) conferences. I wonder if our paths have crossed?

    Sorry, but I’ve never heard of the group. I looked them up and they don’t seams very active in Norway. The international IT organisation I’ve been most active in is IFIP.

  16. when i was in oslo the port where colour line dock is not too far from where I used to live. Am sure a business presentation like this coupled with a trip is fun,

    Yes I recognised dearest Tor….

  17. Hi to you and your family – so glad I made your blog one of my favorites – really enjoyed this trip – you did a great job.

    May Your Glass Always Be Half Full

    How flattering Maxi – an encouragement to go on posting – thanks!

  18. Hi Renny,

    Wow! I loved that shopping centre: gorgeous!!!
    Of course, those dishes looked delicious…my friend, you know how to live lol :)!

    Thanks for sharing this with us :D!


  19. Renny,
    you see I’ve posted (as promised) a link from my business site to your blog and even informed the participants about this post.
    Ok – it’s in Norwegian.
    Read what voted Europes 3rd best blogger has written about Datateams yearly Christmas Seminar.
    We learned about:
    – Search Engine Optimizing
    – The complexity of hand-hold internet devices (mobile/cell phones)
    – IT professionals and offical authorizations

  20. Hello Renny!

    Conference cruise sounds exciting! Was the conference room with transparent glass walls? Were you able to concentrate at the conference while looking at the views outside? :) I just looked at one of the photos, maybe not. But if it was, wow!

  21. Oh Wow!!! I’ll be very motivated so such a lovely scenery & yummy food on board, great idea to have a conference on board a cruise. I did a team-building on board a cruise to nowhere (crusing along the Straits of Malacca to KL and back) :D

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