If you have been reading this blog regularly you will know that my other half, Sally, is not having a great time physically at the moment. What with the cancer returning and with her general mobility issues, not to mention the pain from her sciatica she encounters every day, a holiday of any significance is a challenge for her to contemplate. However, when a chance to take a cruise to the Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights and Total Solar Eclipse came up she jumped at the chance.
So just 10 days before departure we booked up a balcony suite on the MS Boudicca with Fred Olsen Cruises for a 15 night cruise from Southampton to visit Alesund, Tromso, Alta, Lofoten Isles (all Norway) and Runavik on the Faroe Isles. Yikes! We had no proper cold-weather clothing, I had not prepared at all for such a holiday myself either but we went for it in a big way given that both the Northern Lights and a Total Solar Eclipse were on Sal’s “bucket list” (mine too!) so we had to do it.
So started 9 days of manic preparation, buying clothes, doing what we could to investigate the destinations and to put together an itinerary. Normally we would arrange to do tours ourselves or to just do our own thing at the stops but this time, given the limited preparation time and given Sal’s limited mobility, we would do the tours organised by the cruise company. This is not always the best way and certainly never the cheapest but we had to accept our limitations on this trip. So tours were booked at each stop.
I decided that this was an opportunity not to be missed for me to do some photography and to attempt to photograph the Northern Lights and Eclipse… neither easy from a photographic point of view… and made even more challenging from a ship that is constantly moving in all directions. What fun!
We are back from the cruise now and so I will be documenting the cruise from lots of different perspectives and rather than just report a day by day account (which would be rather boring I imagine) I will be documenting the various aspects of the cruise… embarkation & disembarkation, cabin & accommodation, tours, ship and crew, Northern Lights, Total Solar Eclipse, food, sanitation on board (vis Norovirus), on board entertainment, photography, weather, facilities for the disabled etc. all in their own blog post along with a summary post at the end.
I hope you enjoy it and may be some of you may find it useful.