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galeforce9

Route of the Vikings Live on Board

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MightyQuinn

I have to tell you I was quite surprised as I honestly thought we were neither far enough North nor late enough in the year. In any event even the modest performance was a real treat. If you have not seen them I hope at some point you have the opportunity. The crew especially were excited about seeing the lights. I understand a number of them got up to see it and were all buzzing about that the next day. My camera did not adequately capture the lights but a fellow passenger with s better camera sent me a couple of photos that I will treasure.

 

As to L’Anse, no we did not take a Seabourn excursion (other than Ventures zodiacs we did not take any this cruise). We simply tendered ashore and walked about ten minutes along an quiet paved road to the park entrance. We paid a nominal fee to enter. I don’t believe there are any moose on the island. In fact the archeologists conjecture than one possible reason the Norse abandoned the settlement after a short time was perhaps because there was little game. As to trail heads there was one that was mostly a boardwalk path adjacent the park. The one we did was accessed by a set of wooden steps almost across the road from the park. This one went along the water part of the way and was very scenic. The Appalachian trail hike was further away but I do know one of our CC Roll call members and her DH did hike this trail.

 

 

 

 

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I want to give all the above posters who supported my Black Fly warning a big round of thanks, it did my heart good to get this kind vindication. I had always considered the CC forums a place where information, reviews, live blogs were freely shared. So the slight backlash I got from a couple of folk was quite surprising and unexpected, therefore, my sincere apology. Glad to know the information I gave out was viewed by most as a public service.

SLSD: I will be happy to report the status of the deck repair when I board the Sojourn on Oct. 7th. I am hopeful it will be over and done with by then. We did the Kobe-Seattle itinerary on her last year and had a wonderful time. A great mix of Japan, sea days, and Alaska. We especially loved our stop in Kodiak where we took an awesome trek through Ft. Amercrombie, just a short taxi ride away. Here’s a link with more info

https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/alaska/hidden-park-kodiak-ak/

Plane7c: yes, we saw many many people on some of our stops with the head netting gear you referred to. We understand it is very effective in keeping those pesky little devils from being able to get at you. Will definitely bring one along if we should ever get back to these destinations.

Mighty Quinn: Since we were new to these port stops we opted to take the shorex in L’Anse to the tune of $129 per person. Come to find out it would have been just as easy as Chairsin reported to do on your own by simply walking to them, not too far a distance away. Lessen learned.

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I want to give all the above posters who supported my Black Fly warning a big round of thanks, it did my heart good to get this kind vindication. I had always considered the CC forums a place where information, reviews, live blogs were freely shared. So the slight backlash I got from a couple of folk was quite surprising and unexpected, therefore, my sincere apology. Glad to know the information I gave out was viewed by most as a public service.

SLSD: I will be happy to report the status of the deck repair when I board the Sojourn on Oct. 7th. I am hopeful it will be over and done with by then. We did the Kobe-Seattle itinerary on her last year and had a wonderful time. A great mix of Japan, sea days, and Alaska. We especially loved our stop in Kodiak where we took an awesome trek through Ft. Amercrombie, just a short taxi ride away. Here’s a link with more info

https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/alaska/hidden-park-kodiak-ak/

Plane7c: yes, we saw many many people on some of our stops with the head netting gear you referred to. We understand it is very effective in keeping those pesky little devils from being able to get at you. Will definitely bring one along if we should ever get back to these destinations.

Mighty Quinn: Since we were new to these port stops we opted to take the shorex in L’Anse to the tune of $129 per person. Come to find out it would have been just as easy as Chairsin reported to do on your own by simply walking to them, not too far a distance away. Lessen learned.

 

 

 

No just wanted a picture other than bites every time I saw the thread I started

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I want to give all the above posters who supported my Black Fly warning a big round of thanks, it did my heart good to get this kind vindication. I had always considered the CC forums a place where information, reviews, live blogs were freely shared. So the slight backlash I got from a couple of folk was quite surprising and unexpected, therefore, my sincere apology. Glad to know the information I gave out was viewed by most as a public service.

SLSD: I will be happy to report the status of the deck repair when I board the Sojourn on Oct. 7th. I am hopeful it will be over and done with by then. We did the Kobe-Seattle itinerary on her last year and had a wonderful time. A great mix of Japan, sea days, and Alaska. We especially loved our stop in Kodiak where we took an awesome trek through Ft. Amercrombie, just a short taxi ride away. Here’s a link with more info

https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/alaska/hidden-park-kodiak-ak/

Plane7c: yes, we saw many many people on some of our stops with the head netting gear you referred to. We understand it is very effective in keeping those pesky little devils from being able to get at you. Will definitely bring one along if we should ever get back to these destinations.

Mighty Quinn: Since we were new to these port stops we opted to take the shorex in L’Anse to the tune of $129 per person. Come to find out it would have been just as easy as Chairsin reported to do on your own by simply walking to them, not too far a distance away. Lessen learned.

 

 

 

I had also commented on your photo Airtana. My comment was the same as Galeforce, that I thought it was too much to see that photo each time when viewing the forum. You may not realize, that when you view CC on the app, it previews that last posted picture. So the picture of your neck was the first thing everyone saw for days in a row on the forum. I did not mean to offend you personally and there should be nothing to be vindicated from. After seeing all the beautiful photos from this voyage, it was odd to have the bug bite photo so prominently displayed. Perhaps you have some other scenic photos of the cruise to share? All the best and glad you enjoyed your cruise.

 

 

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I think we will definitely invest in hat with netting if we ever do that cruise air tana.

 

And I will go to your link about the other itinerary. I'm glad it was fun for you. We are booked now and already excited about May!

 

I have enjoyed this entire thread and since I read it on my laptop, I don't see photos first. But believe me, I showed the photos to Mr. SLSD and he shuddered.

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I had also commented on your photo Airtana. My comment was the same as Galeforce, that I thought it was too much to see that photo each time when viewing the forum. You may not realize, that when you view CC on the app, it previews that last posted picture. So the picture of your neck was the first thing everyone saw for days in a row on the forum. I did not mean to offend you personally and there should be nothing to be vindicated from. After seeing all the beautiful photos from this voyage, it was odd to have the bug bite photo so prominently displayed. Perhaps you have some other scenic photos of the cruise to share? All the best and glad you enjoyed your cruise.

 

 

Hey, Sunprince, thanks for your reply. I had no idea the app showed the last photo posted, OMG, that was awful to see that image every time you logged in. I can now understand why galeforce9 wanted to change it. I thought you guys were just upset about the post itself. So sorry for the misunderstanding. Unbeknownst to me I recently realized I had my settings on CC (not the app, but direct website) so that I did not see any posted photos unless I clicked on the attached link. And I thought it was that way for everyone, until my husband showed me how to change that in settings so the photos show up automatically. Mea culpa

 

Thanks for setting me straight. Regardless of the bites, we had a tremendous and amazing cruise visiting so many varied landscapes and cultures. We’d got back in a skinny minute, just better prepared the next time.

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Chairsin, I can certainly imagine the excitement on Quest at the prospect of seeing Northern Lights. I bet the sighting was particularly special since it wasn't expected. I hope they make an appearance in my future! Thanks for the info on LAM. We were considering SB shorex because I thought moose were afoot in that area which would put a real damper on any walking or hiking. Now I know that's not the case, we'll venture out ourselves. Airtana, I also appreciate your comments and I understand the lesson learned! Thanks to you both.

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Before I begin with our stop at Red Bay in the interest of accuracy I want to edit my comment about moose near L’Anse Aux Meadows. I should have said I was told they were not prevalent in the northern part of the island of Newfoundland which is where L’Anse is located, not that they are not to be found anywhere on the island.

 

Alright on to Red Bay. The lovely morning got off to a good start as it was actually nice enough for the first time to breakfast outside at the Colonnade. We were able to enjoy the sail in and admire the red rock cliffs which gave the town its name. And as an added incentive some whales surfaced some distance off back of the ship to entertain us.

 

After we anchored it was a fairly long tender to yet another historic site. In the 1970’s an archeologist discovered the remains of a Basque whaling settlement dating to the mid 16th century on a Saddle Island located a five minute boat ride from the town of Red Bay. The Basque came seasonally to hunt bowhead and right whales ( called right whales because they were slow moving and easy to catch thus considered to be the “right” whale to hunt).

 

Once ashore we went to the Park’s Interpretive Center and paid a small fee entitling us to the visit the exhibitions there, take the boat across to Saddle Island and wander along the dirt and boardwalk pathways there at will. We spent a couple of hours there reading signs about the history of the whaling operation, watching the seagulls devour sea urchins, and speaking with the Park Ranger we encountered about the site.. There is a modern shipwreck partially submerged just off the Island and adjacent to it marked by white buoys is the still submerged remains of the San Juan, a shipwreck dating to the Basque era. And I should note that on this island (maybe because their was a light breeze?) we did not encounter a single black fly.

 

We then returned back to Red Bay we came upon Airtana and DH who suggested we all go for a short hike on the far side of Red Bay up to the top of Tracy Hill via 670 steps up (and 670 down).Another passenger joined us and we crammed into a car driven by a local who agreed to take us there and pick us up later for a nominal fee. We surprised ourselves by getting up to the top in short order - stopping occasionally enroute to take pics. One of the stops was by a pond where legend has it Captain Kidd stashed some booty. We were told it had once been drained but alas no treasure. The views from the top were amazing - down to the town, Saddle Island and our ship.

 

We did not notice then that we were being ravaged by the black flies - they just seemed to be a minor annoyance when we were not on the move. I had my head net with with me but did not put it on as I felt it would obscure my vision etc. Let me say now my DH was much smarter and did put it on. He did not get bitten. But even with all of the bites I would do that hike over again. And of course while I suffered days of horrible itching it was not the severe swelling and inflammation that Airtana experienced. It was one of my favorite days of the trip and was to get even better later on that evening. Not to make light of the situation but we joked later that we had no idea that there was a blood drive going on in Red Bay that day and that we had all unwittingly been volunteered as donors. My good CC buddy 2Sailingnomads said they should rename it Red Cross Bay!

 

So how did the day get better? That evening we were enjoying cocktails in a friend’s suite when someone yelled “whales.” We ran out onto the balcony and watched a show for half an hour of two groups of humpbacks actively frolicking fairly close to the ship. Of course the shame of it all is that our whale expert, Dr. John Ford, had just left the ship a couple days prior when all of the Ventures team members departed.

 

Picture to follow later!

 

 

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Red Bay looking to Saddle Island 56fc306d357df71538c7b7b4dd62a081.jpg

 

On Saddle Island. The hill in the background is Tracy Hill and the steps went from right to the left side up to the top of the ridge.4c6774f7243029a468dc2979af1c1506.jpg

 

Modern shipwreck adjacent to the still submerged Basque shipwreck.5bb8ae111e1c4637b4cdfc9b90d4cf4f.jpg

 

View from the top of Tracy Hill down to Saddle Island - note the Seabourn tender in front of the Island. 62f5764b605d104960b859ebfec63567.jpg

 

What goes up must come down - luckily the edge of the steep steps had been painted orange to help us gain perspective. 9ccf14a91e898e22b97fc24e4f323863.jpg

 

 

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Our next stop was Corner Brook. I have to tell you that after weeks of visiting small towns and villages it was strange to visit a larger, more populous place. The number one thing to do from here is visit Gros Morne Park almost a two hour drive away. I almost rented s car (a two hour bus ride on a Seabourn tour with no opportunity to hike once we reached the park was a non starter for us) but with a 3’30 all aboard I was very concerned with being crunched for time. We do have friends we did the drive and enjoyed it very much but wished they could have lingered more at the park which they pronounced quite special. And no black flies! In fact that was the first thing most people asked the locals who came on to man the hospitality desk. We took a taxi a ten minute drive up a steep hill to the Captain Cook monument ( that man was everywhere!) and walked a few miles back down into town. 238cd54adf560548e9ebec816b14a0a9.jpg

 

From there we wandered around the town a bit and eventually made our way back to the ship after passing by these two locals who seemed fascinated by our ship.

48958cc464ece8ae01644f23b8f4401e.jpg

 

As we sat on the ship that afternoon anticipating the sail away an announcement was made that due to a technical issue our departure was being delayed. I believe we eventually left close to 8PM. So of course had that been the original scheduled departure we could have enjoyed a leisurely drive to and from Gros Morne. Oh well.

 

The next day was Quebec City. I won’t say much about it as it is regularly on the Seabourn itineraries and well known to many of you with its touristy old town and hill dominated by the Chateau Frontenac. The best part of that day was Shopping with the Chef Jes.. He is so passionate about food it is great fun to sample nibbles and hear him figure out what he intends to prepare with his purchases.

 

And of course that afternoon was consumed with the dreaded packing. The advantage to flying straight home is you can just cram clothes in the bag but as we were going to be hanging out in Montreal with friends who were flying in to spend there days there with us it was not that simple.

 

That evening we were dining with the Hotel Director Stefan (he came on board mid cruise when Ares left) when the Captain made an announcement that there was a mechanical problem. He needed to turn the ship sideways and drop anchor to see if the problem could be resolved as currents were quite fierce. Of course the big concern was should be significantly delayed it would impact our arrival and potentially cause some passengers to miss flights. Many nervous passengers as a couple hours ticked by before we were able to get underway and our arrival into Montreal was timely. f969309bb27fb4662d2c2e9c34ec4923.jpg

 

 

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Thanks Chairsin, I have enjoyed your trip vicariously. We are doing this trip next August. Did you see any more Polar Bears and Walruses during your 3 days in Nunavut?

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No unfortunately since the zodiac trips were canceled in Akpatok due to rough seas we did not get a another shot at polar bears. Nonetheless I count myself fortunate to have seen them at all.

 

And thanks to info provided on the first part of this thread by Galeforce we are seriously considering doing the Route of the Vikings part one next year to complete the trip.

 

If you have any more specific questions about part 2 please feel free to ask. Hope you enjoy the trip as much as we did.

 

And I have to say here in closing my trip journal that one of the things that made this trip so very special was the many fellow wonderful passengers with whom we cruised. I think there is something about these sorts of trips that attract intrepid travelers who put things into perspective and don’t complain about all the little things that invariably go wrong. Instead we had a ship full of mostly happy glass half full sorts of fellow cruisers who were great fun to to be around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you Airtana. And you and your husband are right up there at the top of the list of wonderful fellow passengers we met on this cruise.

 

 

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Thank you once again Chairsin for continuing the thread, I've so much enjoyed it. Thanks again to Galeforce as well! Fabulous photos and commentary from you both.

 

Looking at the photos of Quest, once again I think how very attractive the O class ships are.

Whenever I cruise on them I always feel I'm onboard the prettiest ship in the port. I remember a crew member who had noticed me admiring the ship from the dockside saying to me how beautiful she was (it was Quest, by coincidence) and how proud he was to be working on such a fine looking ship. I never grow tired of looking at the lovely O class sisters!

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Thank you once again Chairsin for continuing the thread, I've so much enjoyed it. Thanks again to Galeforce as well! Fabulous photos and commentary from you both.

 

 

 

Looking at the photos of Quest, once again I think how very attractive the O class ships are.

 

Whenever I cruise on them I always feel I'm onboard the prettiest ship in the port. I remember a crew member who had noticed me admiring the ship from the dockside saying to me how beautiful she was (it was Quest, by coincidence) and how proud he was to be working on such a fine looking ship. I never grow tired of looking at the lovely O class sisters!

 

 

 

Thanks isklaar! I do hope you find the time to post about your forthcoming adventures too, work permitting!

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Thanks to galeforce9 and chairsin for this great thread!  And to airtana for the very relevant warning.  It has led to us booking the 45 day Dover to Montreal departing July 16, 2019.  Others must have seen this also as the ship is pretty full.  At the risk of asking for too much I would appreciate it if galeforce9 could lend any information about the tours you booked.  We're in Virginia and not as familiar as you with the UK options.  I usually go with Tours by Locals and have had good success.  Several of the Seabourn tours look fine but your tours seemed to really excel!  Thanks in advance.  We have friends on the first leg so would have 4 folks easily.

Stan

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