Day 3: The highlight of today’s cruise was a horse-burro-mule ride into the desert

DAY 3: ABOARD THE SAFARI ENDEAVOUR—A glorious sunrise greeted us as we approached the fishing village of Bahia Agua Verde and dropped anchor near a handful of sailboats bobbing gently on the calm waters off a fine beach. The Endeavour dwarfed the other vessels, and I remarked that their occupants were probably saying, “There goes the neighborhood.” This proved to be untrue, at least in one case, as we kayaked along the cliffs, nosing into small coves, …

Read moreDay 3: The highlight of today’s cruise was a horse-burro-mule ride into the desert

Day 2: Snorkeling from the white beach of Isla San Francisco in the Sea of Cortez

ABOARD THE SAFARI ENDEAVOUR — We awoke early and headed to the upper deck for our first view of Isla San Francisco, one of the many uninhabited islands along the coast of the Baja California Peninsula. The ship was anchored in a pretty half- moon-shaped bay with a ribbon of beach bordering clear blue water — and we had this idyllic setting all to ourselves. Michelle, the ship’s Wellness Director, was leading a yoga class on the …

Read moreDay 2: Snorkeling from the white beach of Isla San Francisco in the Sea of Cortez

Iceland ProCruises: Saying goodbye to a magical trip

Sometimes magic happens. Nothing you can really plan.  Even if you make all the best arrangements in the world, some trips just don’t quite come together as hoped. Maybe the food isn’t to your liking; the shore excursions too tough or too tame; entertainment rather bland or not your type; crew members inattentive or rude; fellow travelers are prima donnas or grouches. Maybe your room that looked so great in a brochure turns out to be dingy …

Read moreIceland ProCruises: Saying goodbye to a magical trip

Iceland ProCruises: Island rises from the volcanic ashes

ABOARD THE OCEAN DIAMOND – Shortly after midnight on Jan. 23, 1973, residents of Heimaey were awakened by the blare of fire engine horns. Looking outside, they were horrified to see bright red lava exploding into the night sky and a wall of fire spewing from a fissure snaking across the island. Although they had long lived within the shadow of a volcano, the eruption  came as a  surprise to the 5,300 Icelandic residents. “Can you imagine …

Read moreIceland ProCruises: Island rises from the volcanic ashes

Iceland ProCruises: Cruising on a photogenic glacier, sharing it with a seal

ABOARD THE OCEAN DIAMOND – James Bond was here. So was Batman. And Laura Croft the Tomb Raider. No wonder filmmakers have chosen this Icelandic spot for movie magic. The Jökulsárlon Glacier Lagoon is spectacular and considered one of the top natural wonders in a country that is known for natural treasures. Hard to believe the glacier lagoon has been here a mere 70 years or so. The lagoon was formed as the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier began to …

Read moreIceland ProCruises: Cruising on a photogenic glacier, sharing it with a seal

Iceland ProCruises: Whales, horses, sheep, mosquitoes and crossing the Arctic Circle

ABOARD THE OCEAN DIAMOND – Imagine Iceland without horses, those beautiful short husky creatures that look so striking on the country’s landscape. That’s the way it was until the Vikings came more than 1,000 years ago and brought  Nordic horses with them. Although they are smaller than most horses, I learned shortly after arriving in Iceland not to call them ponies. “Icelanders get very offended when you say they are ponies,” said Hermann Guõmundsson, expedition team member …

Read moreIceland ProCruises: Whales, horses, sheep, mosquitoes and crossing the Arctic Circle

Hurtigruten offer: See the Northern Lights or travel again for free

Imagine standing on the deck of a cruise ship along the north and west coasts of Norway, watching a vivid display of green and purple lights dancing across the clear Arctic skies above you. This display, known as the Northern Lights, is an incredible natural phenomenon—and one that guests aboard Hurtigruten’s Classic Coastal winter voyage have an excellent chance of seeing as the ship sails above the Arctic Circle. In fact, Hurtigruten is so confident that their …

Read moreHurtigruten offer: See the Northern Lights or travel again for free

Iceland ProCruises: Visiting a restful lagoon and powerful waterfall

ABOARD THE OCEAN DIAMOND – No way around it. I was going to get cold. Very cold. I’d have to made a mad dash in low 50-degree temperatures, still wet from the dressing room shower to that glorious warm lagoon outside. Chilling for sure. But well worth it. Since opening in 2004, Myvatn Nature Baths has proven to be a comforting experience for travelers and residents. When I saw the shore excursion listed on the Ocean Diamond’s …

Read moreIceland ProCruises: Visiting a restful lagoon and powerful waterfall

Iceland ProCruises – Searching for trolls and elves

ABOARD THE OCEAN DIAMOND – Stopping to take photos of elves in a flower garden in Siglufjördur, I heard a man’s voice behind me, “You must be an American.” Sure am, I replied. He nodded at my Indiana University cap as a hint that I was from the States. Then the man named Viktor began regaling me with tales of trolls and elves and how important they are in Icelandic culture. The lady who owns the flower …

Read moreIceland ProCruises – Searching for trolls and elves

Iceland ProCruises: Visiting birthplace of Iceland’s independence hero

ABOARD THE OCEAN DIAMOND – Iceland gained its independence from Danish rule on June 17, 1944. No shots were fired. No one was killed. Who was the man Icelanders say was mainly responsible for this bloodless revolution? Iceland’s independence was obtained by the hard work of many but it is attributed mostly to the tireless efforts of a man named Jón Sigurðsson. Born June 17, 1811, Jón is credited with stirring a great national awakening in Iceland. …

Read moreIceland ProCruises: Visiting birthplace of Iceland’s independence hero

CLOSE
CLOSE