And so my journey continues. The last two months I have written about my Viking Cruise experience that took me to seven countries in 13 days. This is my last installment chronicling a fabulous adventure.
I left off swimming in the Blue Lagoon at Reykjavik, Iceland. Unfortunately, our next stop at Nanortalik, Greenland got cancelled due to weather conditions. I was so looking forward to visiting the old Danish colony and being greeted by the locals with a coffee party and their famous Greenlandic cake, but safety comes first and we kept sailing. That being said, kudos go out to the staff and the passengers. No one complained and everyone banded together to make our additional time on board fun.
Qaqortoq, Greenland was our next port of call. Once again, I wanted to do all the excursions. There was a self-guided tour of this quaint seaside town, which was the one that I ultimately chose. However, there was another excursion to a Greenlander home for an up close and personal look at their life on Qaqortoq or to the fur house to learn about their trade. Walking this tiny town, stepping into the Old Church and viewing the Stone and Man sculptures made for a very peaceful day before boarding the ship.
I’d like to digress for a few minutes from our ports of call to talk about life aboard the Viking Sea. Everything on this ship is geared toward pure relaxation. You can spend a quiet afternoon by the pool reading and drinking wine, catching one of the lectures or playing board games with newfound friends. You can go to the spa, gym, take a yoga class and even hobnob at afternoon tea. At night, you can listen to classical music emitting from the Atrium or gather round the piano in the Explorer’s lounge but my favorite was dancing on deck to the sounds of The Viking Band and Super Six. I was there each night, front row center!
Ok, back to our ports of call. L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, which was discovered by none other than Leif Eriksson, was our next stop. A land with meadows as far as you can see made for the perfect place for a Nordic settlement. I toured a restored Viking village and a recreated village in Norstead, which gave an impressive, realistic look into Viking life. Again, a tough choice on excursions as there was an opportunity to join a local family on their fishing boat to cruise the North coast in search of Humpback whales.
A day at sea and then we pulled into Saguenay, Quebec. I decided to disembark at my leisure and explore the town on my own. I visited a local craft market, an old church and multiple galleries. When my stomach started growling, I ducked into a fabulous café to watch fellow passengers skim across the water in a seaplane for a view of the fjord as I dined on mussels and a glass of wine.
Ah, Quebec, one of my all time favorite places. Here is where I wish I had more time to spend enjoying all that it has to offer. Walking through the town I felt like I had just stepped onto the pages of a fairy tale. The architecture, cobbled streets, the smell of fresh pastries and the energy of the city were intoxicating. There were so many excursions on the list but I simply wanted to get lost in Old Town. Sadly, my time there ended all too quickly and I found myself sitting beside the fireplace in the Explorer’s Lounge on my last night aboard the Viking Sea.
Disembarking in Montreal, suitcase in hand, I glimpsed back at the ship and waved goodbye to new friends, a place I called home for 13 days and wonderful memories of my trek through Viking territory.
Debbie Martinez is a Miami Dade resident and Travel Editor for The Florida Villager. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.