Julie is heading to Norway aboard Hurtigruten’s MS Nordlys

Saturday, August 4, 2012 A cruise in Norway!? What a lovely idea; I’ve never been to Norway; have always wanted to go. I’m immersed now in reading about fjords, Vikings, Norse gods, gorgeous people, fresh fish and unfettered wildlife in preparation. But Norway is north of Boston. I live in Boston and try never to go north from here. Boston is north enough for me, cold most of the year in fact, frigid in the dead of …

Read more

A cruise in Norway? What a lovely idea, especially in summer

Friday, August 26, 2011 A cruise in Norway!? What a lovely idea; I’ve never been to Norway; have always wanted to go. The fjords, Vikings, Norse gods, gorgeous people, fresh fish. But Norway is north of Boston. I live in Boston and try never to go north from here. Boston is north enough, cold most of the year, frigid in the dead of winter, lots of snow and ice. I don’t do north. Give me the Caribbean, …

Read more

Our last day in the Galapagos brings us to North Seymour Island

Special to AllThingsCruise.com It’s our last full day on the MV Evolution, and the hour-to-hour activities arranged by International Expeditions don’t stop. During the night our captain has once again crossed the equator as we sleep, bringing us to tiny North Seymour Island, an “uplifted” island, simply pushed up from the ocean`s floor due to lava eruptions. This is a good island for hiking to see one of the largest Magnificent frigate bird colonies, the Magnificents being …

Read more

Fernandina and Isabela: Two of the youngest islands in the Galapagos

Special to AllThingsCruise.com Each night before dinner one of our two naturalist guides presents a half-hour slide lecture on what we’ll be seeing and doing on the following day. So last night, Boli explained that we’ll be visiting two of the “youngest” islands in the archipelago, Fernandina and Isabela.Because the Galapagos are identified geologically as one of the earth’s “hot spots,” centers of acutely hot magma rising from inside the earth and producing intense volcanic activity on …

Read more

Magnificent frigate birds are a special feature of Santiago Island

Special to AllThingsCruise.com Tuesday, April 5 — During the night, while we slept, our ship has made its way to Santiago Island. On our morning walk we see the endemic Galapagos flycatcher, a famously sociable bird.  In fact, as we hold out our hands, he hops closer and closer until he is sitting on our finger, totally unafraid, constantly curious.  He even pecks at one of our camera lenses, supposedly seeing his reflection in the lens, and …

Read more

A full day spent on Santa Cruz, the most populated of the Galapagos Islands

Special to AllThingsCruise.com Monday, April 4 — To reach the shore of each island, we leave our 200-foot ship the MV Evolution, which has been comfortably converted from an old Japanese fishing vessel, in two pangas, small motorboats holding 15 people each. Today we will spend the entire day on Santa Cruz without a midday siesta on the boat. Santa Cruz is the most populated of all the islands, with 16,000 people living in Puerto Ayora, the …

Read more

Julie Hatfield reports on the exotic birds and animals found in the Galapagos Islands

Special to AllThingsCruise San Cristobal Island – Perhaps because my husband and I are here at the beginning of the rainy season, the islands look greener than we expected from what we had read about the “barren volcanic rock landscape.” It’s quite lush, with lots of trees and flowers and bushes. All the better for the birds, which means it’s all the better for the Massachusetts Audubon Society group who are on the same cruise. Of particular …

Read more

Sea Lions rule the Galapagos

Special to AllThingsCruise They loll around around the harbors and spoon together the same way we do when we sleep, even to the same way we belch and cough. But it’s obvious that in the Galapagos, sea lions rule. We’ve come here at the beginning of April to join a group of visitors on the MV Evolution, the 200-plus-foot ship owned by International Expeditions which will take us to seven different islands of this archipelago 600 miles …

Read more

Before heading to the Galapagos, Julie Hatfield tours Guayaquil, Ecuador

Special to AllThingsCruise.com At first glance, the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador, is nothing to write home about. Hot, dirty, ugly, dangerous, the only reason I´m here is that it is the gateway to the Galapagos islands. This city is the best stopping-off point on the way to the famous islands put on the world map by Charles Darwin almost 200 years ago. But I´m waiting for the cruise given by International Expeditions, of Helena, Ala., and they …

Read more

Julie Hatfield Bio

Julie Hatfield was a features, society and travel writer for the Boston Globe for 22 years and is currently a freelance travel writer/content provider to the Globe, the Boston Courant, JustLuxe.com, passportnewsletter.com, Travelvideopostcart.com, Examiner.com, Global Traveler Magazine, Executive Travel Magazine, visualtraveltours.com and the Where Boston Guest Book. She is an active member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).

Trusted by over 1.5 million cruisers since 2003.
Get FREE access to members-only pricing.
There is a highly acclaimed way to receive multiple quotes from a site called CruiseCompete, where cruise specialists compete to offer you the best deal. The media sums it up for CruiseCompete:
Score Luxury Cruises at Bargain Prices” (The Street)
Best site for cruise deals” (The Wall Street Journal)
28 Best Travel Sites” (Kiplinger's) Multiple annual mentions
36 Web Addresses You Should Know” (The Washington Post)