Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
galeforce9

Route of the Vikings Live on Board

Recommended Posts

Thank you galeforce9, I have so enjoyed your wonderful photos and commentary:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you galeforce9, I have so enjoyed your wonderful photos and commentary:)

 

+1. Others who post have a “standard” now ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also want to thank you galeforce for your wonderful photos and information about this cruise. It sounds like it has been a great cruise. I am looking forward to Chairsin and others commentary on the next segment.

 

No pressure Chairsin:D. I promise to finish of my blog with some photos in a few days once the jet lag and sorting out our house has settled.

 

Julie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh sure - no pressure my good friend Frantic! Can’t wait to read your Med trip blog and glad you returned home safely.

 

Not being the master photographer Galeforce is she will be a hard act of follow. Hopefully my words will paint pictures where photos fail.

 

We boarded the Quest yesterday on a rare beautiful Icelandic summer day. All the locals have been exclaiming that thus far this has been the coldest and rainiest summer in over 100 years.So it was especially nice to have a perfect day for our sailaway and well attended CC Meet and Greet alfresco at the Sky Bar

 

If I might step back a bit, we arrived in Iceland almost a week ago after a few fun days of hiking in the area around Mont Tremblant outside Montreal. Once in Iceland we filled the first few days with intensive walking and sightseeing in Reykjavik. Rain and cold weather did not hinder our plans - just pulled out proper gear and off we went. Walking around the city itself (more like a town) was a perfect antidote for jet lag. We pretty much avoided the shopping streets and focused on the more interesting waterfront promenade and back street. You have seen some wonderful Reykjavik pics from Galeforce so I will just add a here are a few other perspectives here.

 

Here is the Sun Voyager sculpture with the backdrop of the mountain across the water.

8b1040159b30150a79f20b65aabde44c.jpg

 

 

And the interesting “raven’s nest” house on the point by the sculpture museaum.9eb7b51b0492277dfefb8494aa84bc9d.jpg

 

The view from the top of the bell tower of Halgrim’s cathedral looking down to the colorful homes by the pond.4e3f878f62d7ca965e6b1b7d245c8c76.jpg

 

And the inside of Harpa, their amazing concert hall with stellar acoustics where we attended a classical concert and took a behind the scenes tour. The bright red interior of the hall, birch stained red, is meant to be evocative of a volcano. d1e487764e18d714bd8e38f41d0ed250.jpg

 

Tomorrow I will detail our driving adventures as we toured the South Coast. And then I will return to the cruise itself.

 

I will note here that as the seas were rough today we sadly had to miss our planned port of call in Heimaey Island. Thus puffineless be safe we are heading toward Greenland.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Chairsin for carrying on this thread. Your pictures are absolutely wonderful and you’ve seen things we’ve missed and will pick up when we return this winter (already planning after a fantastic day after disembarking). I’m sorry you missed the puffins in Iceland but I know that one of your stops is famed for polar bears, so hopefully you may see one. The onboard archaeologist said that on every trip to that place (other cruise lines) they have seen them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Galeforce I hope your post Seabourn separation pangs are not too severe and you had an uneventful flight home.

 

To continue our post cruise Iceland adventures let me say how glad I was that I reserved a car in Iceland so we could wander on our own instead of being dependent on tours and the constraints inherent in them. And one of the reasons we booked the hotel we did in Reykjavik was because their their ample hotel parking just out the front door.

 

Thus during one of our days in staying in the city we drove about an hour south to a special bird reserve along an estuary near Erybakki. It was fortunately a clear day and I was enthralled with the drive there through moonscape scenes with lava fields softened by moss. In other places steam vents randomly sprouted. Then as we approached the ocean the scenery changed to green fields crisscrossed with streams. Once we turned off to visit with the birds we first had to deal with some other critters who owned the road. c1adb616459c50950dfe289bdf9f7c97.jpg4369ebf5e969b0c07079feed64e063ee.jpg87d78b060c9c65d0934045a266f76f5e.jpg

 

From there we enjoyed a lovely lunch at a restaurant overlooking the water from which we watched a few frolicking seals. Then we decided to head up to see the Gullfoss waterfall - one of the stops on the famed Golden Circle. Even arriving at 5PM as the crowds were thinning out it was still a bit of a zoo. I must admit the falls (I believe the tallest in Iceland?) did not exactly blow me away. We were to see more ingesting falls later in the trip

 

After three nights in the city we checked out (leaving our large suitcases behind) and headed further south along the South Coast. Enroute to our new hotel we stopped to explore the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. This is the famous one where if you are willing to get a bit (or a lot) soaked you can actually walk on a pathway behind the waterfall. So of course we did!

 

After checking into our nearby Hotel Umi located on farmland in Eyvindarholar we drove five minutes to the nearby Skógafoss - probably my favorite falls of the trip (and in Iceland as you can imagine there was many contenders). What I loved about Skógafoss (in addition to the small crowd of tourists) was that you can actually walked up 524 metal steps to get to a viewing platform that overlooks the first waterfall. From there your can continue to wander up the hill on various hiking trails to look at the almost ten more falls at various points upstream. These trails are also used by the serious hikers who from here hike on overnights treks to the nearby glacier. 0d24866810286071902f07ae09724664.jpg

 

It was a full day and we were happy to retreat to the comfort of our hotel for a glass of wine in the with glass walls looking through to the famous little volcano that erupted a few years ago and disrupted air travel in much of Europe - Eyjafjallajökull.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The next day’s destination was the main reason I wanted to spend time in Iceland before the cruise - to visit the famous iceberg black beach and and lagoon of Jökulsárlón. It was a three hour drive but fortunately it was a beautiful day and an easy drive on a fairly flat two lane road.And of course the bonus was the scenery of the snow covered volcanos on the left and the ocean on the right.

 

As to Jökulsárlón it was everything I had expected and more. At the lagoon I felt as though I was back in Antarctica - minus the penguins and parkas. d92e2d9dd57822ed9cb26827f53ec27d.jpg

80e01f9691596e06b4a6502f34588e63.jpg

 

There was actually an option to go out in a small boat and cruise amidst the bergs but we passed.

 

Then there was the visual feast of icebergs beached on the black beach.d17b36dc2c8ea8404233556cda505677.jpg0c2b61c44d5d284b1538a15d74982cf1.jpgc189928c9d0c8214887a6c7e3d463445.jpg

 

We spent a half a day there thankful for the long hours of daylight. On our drive back we detoured for a stop off at Skaftafell for a hike to the glaciers edge and the “black” waterfall (so called for the flanking black basalt columns). 856d01e8f0eb3a6b78e77ebad779b922.jpg

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Chairsin, wonderful photos and good advice for places to visit when in Iceland. Why am I not surprised you chose to walk behind the waterfalls :Dyou adventurous soul.

 

I hope your cruise is going well. Best to Sailor Man as well.

 

Julie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fabulous photos Chairsin! I look forward to your experiences onboard after seeing your adventures pre embarkation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chairsin, thanks for sharing your experiences through words and photos. You efforts are motivating me to rethink how and where we go on our pre-cruise adventure next year!

 

Love that black beach. Transported back to Antarctica...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enjoying your continuing reports Chairsin. Thanks for posting those lovely photos. I hope to visit that beach too some day. Looking forward to news of Greenland. Seems surreal as I started back at work today and spent 10 hours at a desk - until Tuesday I was enjoying the sub Arctic great outdoors and walking at least 10 miles a day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay enough of the preamble (though I have to say that on our drive back to Reykjavik we detoured to visit Pingvellir Park - the birthplace of the Parliament and where two techtonic plates meet - it’s a place I highly recommend anyone add to their Iceland must do list).

 

Okay so we boarded on the sixth - a lovely day as I mentioned earlier. Met up with many old friends and met some new ones at the Meet and Greet.

 

Next morning we were looking forward to a wonderful day of Puffin viewing on nearby Heimaey Island. Sadly the sea gods were not cooperating. We looked out at the rough chop seas and knew before it was announced that there as no way we were tendering ashore. Disappointed on two fronts - no puffins and and additional sea day. But the Seabourn team, as always, had plan B in their pocket and filled the day to keep us distracted. And that evening we enjoyed an Ad Hoc beef rib dinner at the Colonnade and drowned our sorrows in Humboldt Fog cheese.

 

Next morning another full on sea day. Cold, wet and foggy. We are beginning to thing the soundtrack of this cruise is the fog horn. And speaking of ship operations we were invited to s special Diamond Members bridge tour. I must admit I almost did not go but so glad I did. Not only was there fascinating info about cruising in ice waters and the challenges it poses for the bridge team but we were able to see the lovely tribute prominently displayed there to Captain Larsen. Quite moving. We also went to a Diamond galley tour with the ever enthusiastic Chef Jes. And the day was capped with a formal night and a great dinner in the calm oasis of the TK Grill.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pleased that there is a tribute to Captain Larsen on the bridge. The fog horn was very frequent on our trip too. At one point around Greenland it lasted for 36 hours and for a time it was every 45 seconds. It is very loud on deck 7 under the pool deck !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not wishing to interrupt the flow of Chairsin’s excellent reports on the second leg but I realised I’d only posted the Godafoss pictures from my Akureyri private tour by 4 wheel drive vehicle

 

From Godafoss waterfall, the route, with plenty of stops, continued to the volcanic landscapes of Lake Mývatn-Dimmuborgir-Grjótagjá-Námuskarð—Krafla-Viti. The weather was a bit miserable but the scenery was spectacular and the midges weren’t too bad!

 

59c24ce3d883f824c8d44e9f8b65961d.jpg

 

f3dae885ad3b37cb479e9d108ebd39b0.jpgd5310fe1efbd9be2aa46b3367d75ac89.jpg34cb68e18e53904e9843c10f4b52c073.jpg8f50b56c1ef0bf7dd8442fd72331e764.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We then headed on to the waterfalls of Dettifoss and Selfoss. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. It was quite a wet hike to the falls from the parking area. I found my hiking stick very useful as it was quite uneven under foot. The waterfall was stunning. We weren’t sure whether we were getting soaked by heavier rain, spray, or a bit of both!

 

7762463c3a046f52e74fb02124cd2c5a.jpgebbb5135636dfa7bdff09609f95652df.jpg5e5f252f604f3f43b0f588df072e1c17.jpg

 

Selfoss falls were a short walk from the Dettifoss falls.

 

cfc1b8e40cfdcb180280f147f95aaa23.jpg

 

The toilets at the parking were the portaloo type but not too bad. In spite of its very remote location, the falls are heavily visited. Lunch was a packed one, courtesy of the ship, sat in the car out of the rain.

 

The paved road after Dettifoss disappeared and we were then on rough track for a good while. The good news is that they are working on a new paved road along this stretch and we were able to use it for some of the way.

 

Another couple of volcanic sites followed. The route back to the ship was

Hafragilsfoss-Hljóðaklettar-Ásbyrgi-Húsavík and back to Akureyri after 10 hours, in need of a hot shower, feeding and watering!

 

685d2f1e85ad9e2d4fbc7da7bc4a5316.jpg5c3362cc0e33a18237ae81329419eba2.jpg

 

We’d covered two Seabourn trips in one, they visited Dettifoss from Vopnafjordur and the Lake Myvatn area from Akureyri. A long day but well worth it. Our driver, Little John, was excellent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And speaking of ship operations we were invited to s special Diamond Members bridge tour...We also went to a Diamond galley tour with the ever enthusiastic Chef Jes.

 

We were also surprised to have gotten the private invitations to both tours. However, apparently it wasn't just for Diamond members, as our friends (Platinum) were also invited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We were also surprised to have gotten the private invitations to both tours. However, apparently it wasn't just for Diamond members, as our friends (Platinum) were also invited.

 

 

 

No such platinum invitations on the first leg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No such platinum invitations on the first leg

 

Our Platinum friends are in a signature suite; not sure if that had anything to do with it.

 

In any case, there are about 42 Diamonds and 1 Diamond elite currently on board, and they couldn't have invited all of us, since, if everyone had accepted, that wouldn't have been a feasible group size... so who knows, and who cares, what the selection criteria were... Normal tours are available for everyone anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sfvoyage,

Thank you for clarifying the bridge tour matter. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

 

Galeforce,

No apologies needed for your inserting more of your great pics. And as to the foghorn one thing I learned on the bridge tour was that in areas of low traffic they are required to sound it every two minutes but in higher traffic areas at a more frequent interval.

 

Two days ago we woke up early excited for our daylong transit of the Prins Christian Sund which many of you who have done the original Route of the Vikings in past years raved about. We sat in the Square sipping coffee shortly after 7 bummed that we were enshrouded in dense fog - as in you could hardly see your hand in front of your face. One of our very cheerful baristas said not to worry it would burn off and be a sunny day. We were highly skeptical.

 

Well as soon as we entered the sound, while the sun never really came out, the fog did indeed lift and we started to see the landscape on either side of the ship. It did drizzle off and on all day but nonetheless at the first glacier we stopped and the kayaks and zodiacs were launched. As my pictures hopefully show the ship was close enough to this glacier and many scenic sites during our transit that you could see the ice calving and marvel at waterfalls. 94e21e10a43cedbe8a8252347085850a.jpgb19b87036112ef3692fd24ae79007885.jpgc6d39475eabb0b4b614345c8f468a7ba.jpg257daefe693e55e71d056edb4d9b7bb1.jpg8abcf6df8b613860e5e2cc29cf286ba6.jpg

 

After breakfast we camped out in the Observation Bar with half of our fellow passengers for the rest of the day. We only left to grab a quick lunch and return to take in this scenic place until almost 6:30 when we were through the sound. I simply bundled up in my rain gear and spent many hours out on the deck looking from side to side and straight ahead as the ship played dodgeball with growlers (small icebergs in Arctic speak).

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

However even as we completed our transit the visual feast continued. First we actually had a brief glimpse of something that I believe is called the sun.909d777517b1176f66f7fe210d10feb1.jpg

 

Then our wonderful commentator, who had been providing just the right amount of information through the ships PA system all day during our transit, directed our attention to the base of two tall twin peaks. There at the base was a small settlement that 130 hardy souls call home. Talk about a tough life. e5874e3119df659ea2d3b77cc65ed7eb.jpg

 

We then retired for a wonderful special order dinner of steak tartare in the MDR accompanied by a lovely bottle of wine from the premium list. Post dinner we popped into the Obs Bar for a little Sauternes and were treated to this very interesting night sky. 0cfa8b5e7687bfbb028e34d5fc3fabe0.jpgIt was a wonderful day!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! What gorgeous views! I can imagine that this voyage is special for all who take it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After our day cruising the sound the next three days were spent visiting the first three of our six Greenland ports. Many similarities in each port - colorful houses and the proverbial wooden Danish church amidst the rocky hills and signs of a tough life in these tiny communities. But there are subtle differences in each if you examine them closely. Weather has been wonderful fog out at sea lifting near the shore as we approached each port of call. Daytime temps have been in the mid 50’s to upper 40’s with light winds, and clear skies to a few scattered clouds. Obviously the further north we go the colder it will become.

 

In Qaqortoq we took a much needed 6-7 miles hike around a scenic lake at the edge of town. In Paamiut we climbed rocky hills for views down to the sea and searched in vain for the elusive white tailed eagle, the Nattoralik. And yesterday in Nuuk, the capital and largest town with a population of just under 20,000 (a third of the country’s population) we took the shuttle bus to the Old Colonial Harbor area and spent time visiting the very informative museum. Then late in the afternoon we went with a friend on a private Fjords Safari tour in a tiny open boat for a couple of hours. Up close views of icebergs but no whales.

 

And speaking of whales two days ago there were decent sightings from the ship in the evening and less so from the Colonnade in the morning. Hopefully as we head north sightings will increase with both frequency and proximity. And our whale expert, Dr. John Ford, who was on our Antarctica Cruise joined the ship yesterday. Actually with Iggy, Luchi, and Trevor already on board it really does feel like a reunion of our Holiday Antarctica Cruise just over a year and a half ago.

 

We have been to a couple of fine shows but mostly we have enjoyed long dinners in the various venues with good food, wine and companionship. We have also been enjoying the lectures talks - he is Icelandic but has family ties to Greenland. Mostly the food has been very good - a few off things like chicken a bit over cooked. But also some special treats - two days ago they shopped a ship unloaded freshly caught halibut and managed to purchase some on the spot. This was a very special treat at last nights dinner. A few new new to me wines on the red side of the complimentary wine list - especially a Chilean Syrah we have been enjoying. They ran out of Sauternes but good news at our limited restocking yesterday I have been told we have a good supply now.

 

*About pictures,.Suddenly I am missing the icon for photos (the mountain) when I post a reply. All i see next to thie camera icon now is a paper clip. When I try to post photos using this is tells me the file size of my photos are too large. So until a sea day and I have time to figure out what is going on or how to resize the images it looks like I won’t be uploading any pics. Any thoughts from the experts out there would be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some photos (finally!) to go along with my last posting.

 

There first are some images of some stone sculptures around the town as Qaqortoq. There are a group of 40 of them created by various artists over the last 30 years and obviously made on site. b61cb4753a9666ac6c7d28196c381eee.jpgd108d8bc60d9432151e6377764d7ec13.jpg

The next pict are from our 6plus mile hike around the lake at the edge of town. 611de52bb643578688ba2681f4764ad8.jpge8ee1b86e35c8411271959203ad7d001.jpg

 

The next are from our next stop Paamuit.We hiked to the top of some rock hills to take in the views. Here is the ship and s shipwreck in the distance. The next pic is a close up of the shipwreck as seen from the tender. 53fb1a82a308459ad37b52ee0980d625.jpg2d4af40a980f2057d94ecd77a42003fd.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And here are the pictures of our day in Nuuk. As I noted it is the largest town in Greenland. The crew were excited because we docked so those that had some time off were easily able to get off the ship off for a few hours. I do recommend the museum, even for those who tend to pass on them. In addition to comprehensive displays and write ups detailing the history of people in Greenland there was a very raw documentary detailing life in Greenland many years ago. It gives an unblemished look at the tough living conditions of these people.

 

The following is a view of the Old Colonial Harbor complete with icebergs. Then there is a pic of the statue in the water depicting the strong connection the people have to animals. And finally a rack of colorful kayaks evolved from the ones that were so important for survival in this harsh environment for many years now used mostly for recreational purposes.

6080dc3175a979d34e30c4026f30b78f.jpg713669812766f81ab43b11ecd7af5ee2.jpg0f6f965c93ec4b4cdb7c3a40d9a15a2b.jpg

 

In the early evening we took a two our hour open boat ride in a small 6 passenger craft to get a close look at the fjord and icebergs. I will apologize now for all of the iceberg pics but even after Antarctica I’m still obsessed with them. f07974517518ce03671fc73765fa0515.jpgf6244e8b9e017c8837cce58c6502c279.jpg39820e54cdd49715a56af55d2e188e1b.jpg

 

This was a private tour. We were given special one piece suits to put on over our clothes. We wore our own boots, beanies and gloves. After two hours out on the open water even well geared we were cold but glad nonetheless we had taken this tour. We met people who had been out earlier for 7 hours on this small craft - would have been far too long for my taste.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...