In my last article, I took you onboard the Viking Ocean Cruise ship, Viking Sea, and shared with you all the benefits of cruising on a smaller ship… then promptly left you hanging as to the cruise itself, In the Wake of the Vikings. Wait no more, for I am about to take you on the route that Leif Eriksson took from Norway to Canada.
We started out in the seaport of Bergen Norway, traveled through the Irminger Sea, Labrador Sea and the Gulf of St Lawrence before anchoring in Montreal, Canada. After traveling that distance (13 freezing days through icebergs) in the lap of luxury, I can’t even imagine how Leif and his crew made it in a Viking boat. I don’t know how many of you have seen one up close and personal, but I did on this trip and can’t believe anyone survived traveling on these boats. Talk about perseverance and a strong will.
Pulling up anchor in Bergen, Norway, we made our way to Lerwick, Shetland Island, Scotland on to Torshavn, Faroe Islands, Denmark, Reykjavik, Iceland, cruised Prince Christian Sound, Nanortalik, Greenland, Qaqortoq, Greenland, L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, and three stops in Canada, Saguenay, Quebec and Montreal. Sound amazing? It was!!
But…isn’t there always a but? But herein lies the problem. At every port Viking had so many excursions, I was hard-pressed to pick one without FOMO. In Bergen I could choose from visiting a local farm, a harbor tour, several gastronomic experiences, a tour through farmlands and fjords or walking through this storybook town. I ended up exploring on my own and finding little shops tucked away on cobbled streets, following the sounds of singing to a balcony where a couple were singing opera and an old church serving soup to the poor where I became a bit of a voyeur experiencing the kindness of strangers to those less fortunate.
In Lerwick, there was no hesitation as I had to see the Shetland pony farm but there were tours of the countryside and town, a hike on an uninhabited island and a Viking longship adventure. It was cold and rainy the day we pulled into Torshavn so I opted to sleep in, go to the spa and walk through town but there was so much more to do. A cruise by the cliffs to bird watch, an excursion in the fjords on a rigid inflatable and a chance to visit the island of Vagar were all enticing but I made the right choice as I found the most breathtaking coat, and of course had to have it.
Next on our itinerary was Reykjavik, Iceland and there was no question as to what I was going to do as it has been on my bucket list forever and that was visiting the fabled Blue Lagoon. However, there were other excursions such as whale watching, a glacier adventure and for the camera buffs, spending time with a professional photographer.
Oops, out of space again. Six more stops on the cruise so you will have to wait till next month to share in The Wake of the Vikings. Until then, safe travels.
Debbie Martinez is a Miami Dade resident and Travel Editor for The Florida Villager. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.