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RachelG

Live--Silversea Explorer August 8-22, 2017--Svalbard, Greenland, and Iceland.

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August 6, 2017--and we're off! George and I are sitting comfortably in the BA Concorde room at LHR waiting for our flight onward to Oslo. Flights on both AA from Tulsa to Chicago and on BA from Chicago to LHR were perfectly on time and uneventful. George did try to lose his sunglasses twice on the first flight, but they are now safely in my purse. And yes, he has his hat.

 

No broken bones as a prelude to this trip. Instead, my Maine Coon cat, Missy, had the drama as she apparently got into some ant poison and was foaming at the mouth and unable to swallow. So I had to take her to the vet three hours before our flight. She will stay there at least for the weekend to recover then hopefully be able to go home. It's always something, isn't it!

 

After 2 nights in Oslo, we head by SAS charter flight to Svalbard to embark on Silversea Explorer for 14 nights. We actually have been to Svalbard on Explorer five years ago, but it was in June, which meant a lot of ice that the ship could not get through. Also, being June, it was daylight 24 hours a day, so no possibility of seeing the Northern Lights on that trip. Hopefully this time will be better for that as well as polar bear viewing.

 

After the first week cruising around Svalbard, the ship will take us along the east coast of Greenland the ultimately to Iceland. We have been to Iceland twice before, but it is one of our very favorite places on earth, so we are happy to make a return visit.

 

This will be our fourth cruise on Silversea Explorer, and the ship has been recently renovated, something she direly needed. We are anxious to see the results. Particularly important to me is the reported doubling in size of the exercise room.

 

We are excited to be traveling with some our favorite travel buddies on this adventure. I will blog every day, though in that part of the world Internet is somewhat unreliable. I will also post pictures if I can get good enough signal. Any questions--please speak up, and I will try to answer .

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Rachel looking forward to your posts and photographs. Safe travels north and hope you both have a wonderful cruise and adventure. Thanks for keeping us all updated. Jean.

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Rachel, awesome that you are on your way.

 

I hate to burst your bubble, but you will still have 24h of daylight in Svalbard at this time of the year. We did this trip in 2011 pretty much this exact week. We did not see darkness from the time we left Oslo, until we returned to Tromso.

 

I did a quick check of this year's sunrise/sunset times, and there is no sunset in Longyearbyen until 24 August of this year. You will definitely have some nighttime in Iceland, though.

 

The ice should be better, though, so you may get further north in Svalbard. Right now it looks like open water surrounding Spitsbergen, so you can completely circumnavigate that island. The east side of Nordaustlandet is iced in but that can change by the day. Keep an eye on this map: http://wms.met.no/icechart/

 

Have a great time, and be sure to enjoy Oslo. We loved it there.

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We have arrived in Oslo; staying at Radisson Blu at the airport; will take the HO HO tomorrow in Oslo. Will be great to be back on Silver Explorer one of our favorite ships. No problem bringing the big polar bear gun through security and onto the plane; had it in checked luggage.

 

Oh, I mean the long telephoto for those binocular bears. :cool:

 

Seamail may be limited by an hour a day limit on internet; but will try to join Rachel in posting.

 

Marc

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Enjoy the trip!

Rachel, we did the Explorer expedition to the Arctic right after you did, the crew remembered Georges hat when we gave your regards. At that time the bartender was Gareth...and he's definitely moved up in the Silversea world!

Looking forward to your postings.

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Have a great voyage Rachel and Marc! Look forward to learning from you as we would like to see polar bears someday.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Have a wonderful trip! Looking forward to postings and pictures

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Fair Polar Winds and Following Polar Seas Rachel & Marc. Thanks for starting this thread and we are so happy to have a 100% healthy Rachel and George blogging/posting (except for ailing Missy (hope your vet gives you good digital news soonest).

 

Marc, thanks for also chiming in...liked your polar bear gun story :)OkSu

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Thanks everyone, for the well wishes. Marc, George wanted to bring a polar bear gun!

JP, Iceland is where we hope to see the northern lights. We have a tour set up for the night after we disembark. Hopefully we will be lucky with the weather.

 

The flytoget train was not working this weekend in Oslo. It is by far the quickest way to get from the airport to downtown. We were left with either bus or taxi, so I knew George would not tolerate a bus ride after the long flight. We took a very expensive taxi ride to Hotel Continental which is right down town. Comfortable room and big modern bathroom, nice restaurant.

 

Met up for dinner with friends who are also on this trip, and now it is time to crash.

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All the best.It was about this time of year we saw the lights off Greenland so hopefully they will shine for you all.

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Have a wonderful cruise. Very much looking forward to the photos. I agree with you about Iceland. It is indeed a great place to visit. Almost an alien landscape.

 

I got a glimpse of the Northern lights of about all of 5 seconds on a night with few breaks in the clouds but that was in the dead of night and pitch blackI thought they were only visible in winter and hours of darkness? Good luck whatever the case.

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Looking forward to hearing about your trip, Rachel.

 

Friends of ours were in Svalbard on an expedition ship two weeks ago and they ran into several days of fog. This meant every zodiac landing was cancelled because . . . the crew couldn't be certain there were no pesky polar bears waiting for them.

 

Hopefully this will have cleared by now and you'll have wonderful wildlife sightings!

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I'm heading that way, Reykjavik on Saturday on Silver Wind. We don't go as far North as you, but Northern Lights are on my "Bucket List" along with Edinburgh Tattoo on August 21.

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Rachel, just checked the itinerary--wow! Excited to be following along. Wishing you and George a fantastic time! (Hope you get good news on Missy soon.)

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August 6, 2017--Oslo, Norway

Les and Fletcher, hope our luck with both the norther lights and the fog is better!

David, wish you were with us, but have a great time anyway. The Tattoo is also on my bucket list.

After a good night's sleep, we awoke refreshed and ready to go exploring in Oslo. It was a perfect sunny morning with temp around 70F.

Breakfast, included in our room rate, was an elaborate buffet with lots of different fruits, veggies, breads, cold meats, cheeses, good yogurt, and a hot area with sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, etc. You could also order made to order things like omelets, fried eggs, and pancakes. Since food is relatively expensive in Oslo and we wanted to maximize sight seeing, we ate a lot and skipped lunch.

The HOHO bus stop is right outside our hotel. George and I have been to Oslo twice before, but the one thing that we had missed, and that was on my must see list was Vigeland park, a huge city park filled with larger than life sculptures of humans in every stage of life, all done by one artist, Gustav Vigeland. We paired up with our travel buddies Alice and Kim, got on the bus, and who would we see but Marc and Arlene.

So we made a 6-some to visit the park.

It is very beautiful, more so than I thought from the photos. In addition to the huge statues and fountains, there are flowers everywhere. Lots of roses, which were very fragrant. Kids were rolling in the grass down a hill. Just a totally pleasant place to visit.

After that, Marc and Arlene set off in search of lunch while the rest of us decided to visit the huge ski jump north of the city. This involved walking back to the subway/tram station then taking the tram to the site where the Olympics had been held. So a lot of walking but good for us.

The ski jump is HUGE! Not the same as the one there for the Olympics. This one is new and improved and made of steel. Even far away it is amazingly impressive.

We finally made it back to the HOHO bus to complete our circle around town. Then decided to do an early dinner at an Italian place I had found on TripAdvisor, which was delicious, and pretty reasonably priced for Oslo.

 

While we were eating, the temperature dropped dramatically, the wind whipped up, and it started pouring rain, which continues now. So much for after dinner exercise, but I got plenty of steps today.

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August 6, 2017--Oslo, Norway

 

 

 

Les and Fletcher, hope our luck with both the norther lights and the fog is better!

 

 

 

David, wish you were with us, but have a great time anyway. The Tattoo is also on my bucket list.

 

 

 

After a good night's sleep, we awoke refreshed and ready to go exploring in Oslo. It was a perfect sunny morning with temp around 70F.

 

 

 

Breakfast, included in our room rate, was an elaborate buffet with lots of different fruits, veggies, breads, cold meats, cheeses, good yogurt, and a hot area with sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, etc. You could also order made to order things like omelets, fried eggs, and pancakes. Since food is relatively expensive in Oslo and we wanted to maximize sight seeing, we ate a lot and skipped lunch.

 

 

 

The HOHO bus stop is right outside our hotel. George and I have been to Oslo twice before, but the one thing that we had missed, and that was on my must see list was Vigeland park, a huge city park filled with larger than life sculptures of humans in every stage of life, all done by one artist, Gustav Vigeland. We paired up with our travel buddies Alice and Kim, got on the bus, and who would we see but Marc and Arlene.

 

So we made a 6-some to visit the park.

 

 

 

It is very beautiful, more so than I thought from the photos. In addition to the huge statues and fountains, there are flowers everywhere. Lots of roses, which were very fragrant. Kids were rolling in the grass down a hill. Just a totally pleasant place to visit.

 

 

 

After that, Marc and Arlene set off in search of lunch while the rest of us decided to visit the huge ski jump north of the city. This involved walking back to the subway/tram station then taking the tram to the site where the Olympics had been held. So a lot of walking but good for us.

 

 

 

The ski jump is HUGE! Not the same as the one there for the Olympics. This one is new and improved and made of steel. Even far away it is amazingly impressive.

 

 

 

We finally made it back to the HOHO bus to complete our circle around town. Then decided to do an early dinner at an Italian place I had found on TripAdvisor, which was delicious, and pretty reasonably priced for Oslo.

 

 

 

 

 

While we were eating, the temperature dropped dramatically, the wind whipped up, and it started pouring rain, which continues now. So much for after dinner exercise, but I got plenty of steps today.

 

 

 

Hi Rachel (& George!). This sounds like a wonderful trip! Happy to follow along. Best, Jim & Kathy

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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OOOO! Loving your posts and photos! Vigeland Park is one of my favorite places...so glad you enjoyed it too. You have a great itinerary...very envious of you two. Have fun, we'll be following along!

Linda and John

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I believe my parents on on the ship with you. They called me yesterday from Svalbard to let me know that they weren't going to have much internet availability. I then hopped on line and got some great screen shots of them from the port webcam. Sadly, it wasn't a live feed, but I managed to see both of them when it took a pic every 15 minutes. If you bump into a couple from Scottsdale, AZ it is probably them. First is a pic of the boat, followed by pics of them (to the left of the SilverSea logo).

Boat.jpg.6df95c5dd74af9f5162909644305531a.jpg

Dad.jpg.bd6e70a8601e856ce802d0bada55992f.jpg

Mom.jpg.23b4d754da566a057ef52beec2fe023f.jpg

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I believe my parents on on the ship with you ...followed by pics of them
You've got great eyes!

 

Hope they have a wonderful time. That Explorer is a cute little ship.

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