My daughter and I wanted to see the Northern lights,it was on our life list of 'things to do'. We were also excited about a cruise in the Artic.I had previously cruised the Fjords on Marco Polo when she was run by Transocean.I had been impressed by the ship,crew and itinerary and therefore chose her again as she is an excellent sailing ship and we expected that all the weather may not be good. We were right to be cautious and when the worst of the weather hit we felt safe, the ship sailed well and the itinerary was fulfilled although the ports of Molde and Alesund were exchanged for each other in the program.
As hoped we saw the lights several times whilst on board which was fantastic, exciting and what we had hoped for having chosen a cruise to see the lights as maximising our opportunities to do so. It was hilarious the first formal dining night when the tannoy went in the middle of late dining,everyone left the dining room, running in all directions not knowing where the ships bows were or how to get there in order to see the lights. Evening dresses, high heels and if you were lucky your coat,boy was it cold, but an adventure and fun.Dinner was quite late. We saw the lights on board four times.The last two times it felt so close it was almost touchable.(It was a sobering thought that although we had had a thorough life boat drill there was a great deal of confusion amongst passengers when the tannoy went, I noticed several passengers checking where their lifeboats were again the following day.
The scenery was jaw dropping on this cruise,the air was so clean and the light perfect for painting and photography. The itinerary was so well designed everything just became more and more stunning and interesting. We were never cold in all our layers,and we enjoyed the friendship of the passengers and helpfullness of the crew throughout the cruise.
The onboard lecturers on Photography and Astronomy were helpful,interesting and well chosen.It was a pleasant surprise to have a free coach shuttle when necessary,tourist information on board at some ports and efficient,trouble free customer friendly tendering at Svolvaer,the Lofoten Islands.