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New book highlights Norway as seen from four cruise ships

PHOTOS: JD SCHWARTZ CRUISE_Norway_Joshua_Schwartz.jpg
JD Schwartz's passion for ships, their elaborate and complex elements of design, the ocean, architecture and landscapes are the focus of his trademark black and white photography
Photographer, author and ship buff JD Schwartz pays tribute to Norway as seen from four cruise vessels in his just-published book.

'Norway — A Photographic Odyssey'

The coffee-table-style 'Norway — A Photographic Odyssey' (TributeStudios) stretches 300 pages packed with Schwartz's dramatic images.

The ships are Black Watch (sailed in 2020), Prinsendam (2019), Braemar (2019) and Rotterdam (2017).

'My passion for ships, their elaborate and complex elements of design, the ocean, architecture and landscapes are the focus of my photography, captured from a different perspective in my trademark black and white,' Schwartz writes in his introduction, adding: 'Norway's mercurial weather, light and landscapes lend themselves to this style of photography.'

The book has a particular feeling of immediacy since Schwartz spent 14 days on Black Watch in February, one of the last voyages before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered cruising and one of the ship's final journeys for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines (or forever).

Introduced in 1972 as Royal Viking Star, Black Watch was recently sold to serve as an accommodation vessel for a company in Turkey. Rotterdam, built in 1996 by Holland America Line, was acquired this year by Fred. Olsen and renamed Borealis. Fred. Olsen's Braemar was built in 1992 as Crown Dynasty. Prinsendam debuted in 1988 as Royal Viking Sun and currently sails as Amera for Phoenix Reisen.

Ports and fjords

The book's featured ports and fjords are Ålesund, Alta/Altafjord, Arendal, Bergen, Eidfjord, Flåm/Sognefjord, Geiranger/Geirangerfjord, Hardangerfjord, Honningsvág, Kristiansand, Kristiansund, Lysefjord, Narvik, Oslo/Oslofjord, Stavanger, Tromsø and Trondheim.

Miami-based Schwartz is a strategic marketing, branding and design consultant focusing primarily on the hospitality industry. He traveled extensively with his family as a child and in 1967, their first cruise on Holland America's grande dame, Rotterdam V, unleashed a lifelong obsession with ships and the sea.

Schwartz's travel career began in the late 1970s when he owned two Philadelphia travel agencies that were among Holland America's best-selling retailers. He has sailed on 160 cruises and crossings aboard more than 60 ships.

Follows Prinsendam book

The Norway book follows Schwartz's 'A Tribute to Prinsendam — Elegant Explorer,' which Holland America chose as a gift to travelers for that ship's farewell voyage. The author sailed as a guest speaker on that 14-day cruise to Norway and the Arctic.

'Norway — A Photographic Odyssey' is available for $48 in softcover and $68 in hardcover (including free shipping in the US) at thenorwaybook.com. Seatrade readers are entitled to $10 off; use code Norway001 at checkout.

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