NCL’s Megaship Epic

Ready to get slimed? The kids can’t wait. We’re aboard Norwegians new megaship Epic (153,000 tons!) that has forged a partnership with Nickelodeon that means kids—and their parents-have the chance to get slimed, get up close and personal with SpongeBob, Patrick Star, Dora the Explorer, Diego and Jimmy Neutron at breakfast or “meet and greets.” On the pool deck of Epic (http://www.epic.ncl.com/ ), kids are lining up to be chosen to play the games Can you recite …

Read moreNCL’s Megaship Epic

Our last day aboard the Explorer- Kayaking at the Top of the World

DAY 8 —  KAYAKING: ARCTIC STYLE  Schnapps or Whiskey with my hot chocolate? The waiter wants to know. He’s come by my kayak this morning.   Our ship, the Lindblad Expedition’s National Geographic Explorer  is anchored nearby.  It is a spectacularly sunny day here in the arctic and the waters couldn’t be calmer.  We take off our hats and unzip our parkas. An arctic bird swims beside us; there are jagged snow-covered peaks. In fact, the name Spitsbergen …

Read moreOur last day aboard the Explorer- Kayaking at the Top of the World

Surprises in the Arctic Desert

DAY 7 — WALRUS!   It is 34 degrees and the gusting wind makes it feel a lot colder. I’m hiking behind a man with a rifle, my hands cold inside my two layers of gloves. I’m wearing four layers of clothes as we hike through ankle-deep snow. Did I mention it is July 7th? Welcome to the Arctic. The Lindblad Expedition’s  National Geographic Explorer is at Nordaustlandet (northeast land) the second largest of Svalbard’s islands. On …

Read moreSurprises in the Arctic Desert

The benefits of being outdoors- A Chat with Richard Louv

DAY 6 — ARE YOUR KIDS SUFFERING FROM NATURE DEFICIT? The next time you think about getting your kids or grandkids a tutor, a private soccer coach or more violin lessons, take them out for a walk in the woods instead. “Most parents want their kids to get what it is like to be fully alive, using all of your senses” explains Richard Louv, author of the best selling Last Child In the Woods:Saving Our Children from …

Read moreThe benefits of being outdoors- A Chat with Richard Louv

The Arctic: A food court for animals

DAY 5  —  FOOD COURT FOR ANIMALS We’re smack in the middle of a bustling fast food court—for Arctic animals. Aboard the Lindblad Expedition’s National Geographic Explorer,  in the Arctic, we’re at the north entrance of Wood fjord in the part of northern Spitsbergen that’s covered with what’s called “fast ice.” Naturalist Ian Bullock explains to me that there is an abundance o food here.  Thus the Eider ducks, the walrus — yes, we see a walrus!– …

Read moreThe Arctic: A food court for animals

Polar bears in the water and ice

DAY 4 — Polar Bear! It is 5:30 a.m. and like many of the passengers aboard the Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic Explorer, 9-year-old Evie Plunkett jumps out of bed and into more layers of clothes than she’s ever worn. This was no onboard emergency, but something just as significant to the Lindblad Expeditions guests exploring these Arctic waters… a polar bear just 90 feet from the ship.  On board this ship in the Arctic—we’re less than 1,000 …

Read morePolar bears in the water and ice

Learning how to shoot like a photo pro in the Arctic Ocean

DAY 3 — PHOTO 101    Be aware of camera angles, says CT Ticknor, our photo instructor aboard Lindblad Expedition’s National Geographic Explorer.   “Get low, get high,” she suggests.  “Let your images tell a story. “ “Pull the person into the moment you are sharing… make the story richer…get in close,” she suggests. That’s assuming you know how to use your camera. B&H Photo Video in New York has lent me a brand new Canon Rebel EOS …

Read moreLearning how to shoot like a photo pro in the Arctic Ocean

Sailing to the land of the Ice Bears

 DAY 2 – To the land of the Ice Bears “Breakfast whales! We’re not even out of bed after our first night aboard  Lindblad Expedition’s  National Geographic Explorer when the PA system announces. “Whales!” We were told the night before to be prepared for middle-of-the-night sightings here in the Arctic north of Longyearbyen, Norway.  “You can sleep any time,” exploration leader Lisa Trotter  had told us the night before. We’ve been instructed to have binoculars, cameras, mittens …

Read moreSailing to the land of the Ice Bears

Norway and Svalbard & Land of the Ice Bears

DAY 1 – Oslo, Norway.  More Than 21  million children. A staggering number-when you realize we’re talking children who are refugees in  today’s  world. Half  the people on the run from war and conflict are children. And they are especially vulnerable  of being kidnapped, exploited  or forced to become  child soldiers. Welcome to an excellent exhibit at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, where an amazing interactive exhibit for children about refugees– Nansen and I–  has …

Read moreNorway and Svalbard & Land of the Ice Bears

Cheering on the humpback whales

DAY 10 — “HONK! HONK!” They are really whales—eight to 10 of them right in front of the boat alternately spewing water high in the air, honking and “fluking”—diving for food and showing us their magnificent tails. We watch them “blow” spewing water high into the air. It’s fun to watch them! There is a mama and a baby (imagine a 25-ton baby!) flapping and breeching and spewing. “What a great show,” says Faith Barnes. “The best …

Read moreCheering on the humpback whales

CLOSE
CLOSE