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sansterre

LIVE from the ZUIDERDAM - VOYAGE OF THE VIKINGS

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On 8/1/2019 at 5:19 PM, jlocole said:

Woops.  The quote above and question should have been addressed to ST PETE CRUISER.

It looks like it would be a good itinerary: Iceland, Eastern Canada, Boston.

It is a great itinerary, with very few sea days between some awesome ports.  

I will take a look and see what ship might be doing it next year.  This cruise has been going on for decades - very popular.  I can't imagine it won't continue.  Usually it makes 3 trips each summer:  

Europe to America, America back to Europe, and Europe back to America.

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We arrived at Red Bay before 8 a.m. and the Zuiderdam safely anchored.  DH and I enjoyed breakfast in the main Dining room at a window table for 6 with two sisters from LA and a couple from Washington State.  As we finished breakfast, the fog rolled in and by 9:50 the captain stopped all tenders into the port.  The objective now is to bring everyone back to the ship safely.  Many may have spread out and even taken the boat to the whaling island so this could take some time.

Although the fog has lifted slightly in the last hour, due to increasing winds and icebergs in the area, the  captain said it is doubtful tender operations will resume.

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Moments ago, the captain re-opened up service on the tenders to shore.  So now we are rethinking what to do - it is 52 degrees, lightly raining, and wind is around 20 mph from the East.  We both are comfortable inside our cabin and the ship has added a 12:00 movie in the main theatre, a coffee talk with some of the entertainers at 2:00, and a few other activities so I'm happy staying on board.  I'll post a couple photos I took this morning so you get a better picture.

The first photo shows a tender on the way into Red Bay.  Notice the iceberg to the left - it is a little smaller than the tender but remember 9/10th of the iceberg is below the water level.  As the captain said, tenders and icebergs do not mix well in foggy and windy conditions.  And according to the captain there are many more icebergs out in the channel presently.

The second photo of a tender shows the height of these new tenders in use now.  

Both of these photos were taken this morning at 8:30 before the fog started rolling in.

 

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33 minutes ago, FlorenceItaly said:

Enjoying your reports.  Thank you so much.

Thanks FlorenceItaly.  I've struggled with this downloading and uploading of photographs but it is getting easier and faster now.

I'll post some pictures of Sydney and Cornerbrook/Screech-In yet today.  My goal is to post every day with that day's events.

 

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5 minutes ago, sansterre said:

Thanks FlorenceItaly.  I've struggled with this downloading and uploading of photographs but it is getting easier and faster now.

I'll post some pictures of Sydney and Cornerbrook/Screech-In yet today.  My goal is to post every day with that day's events.

 

We have very fond memories of Cornerbrook.  The day we were there the locals were inviting cruisers to their local VFW type organization facility.  There was music, alcohol(for purchase) etc.  It was a very special day for us among the locals.

I am glad to hear the posting is becoming easier.  We are on the 51 day Tales of the South Pacific later this year, and I may do some posting.  I am not that internet saavy but may dh can help me.  We have pre-purchased the unlimited premium because it was less than $50 more than the surf.  Time will tell if the extra $50 was worth it, LOL.  Did you bring your laptop or are you using ship computers?

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Thank you for persevering with your pics!

Love 💗 the pink freighter and those hydrangeas are gorgeous!

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I’ve been able to catch up on your wonderful cruise!!  Thankyou so much for doing this live thread! Much appreciated and looking forward to more!!!!!

Denise😊

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Posted (edited)

The Screech-In in Cornerbrook.  You might recognize some of the people participating - they are the ones in the circle and all are from the ship.  The cost is $10 Canadian to participate but spectators are welcome and there is no charge.   Many in the audience were local residents, just there to welcome visitors to the area. The Screech-In tells the newcomers about the customs, songs, jokes, food, drink of Newfoundland.

It must be because I have purchased the middle plan, that the upload is so slow.  After nearly an hour, the video failed to upload.  For just $70 I can upgrade to the better, advanced plan.  Hmmmmm.

Instead of the video, I will post a photo of the beautiful flowers on every lightpost in town.

FlorenceItaly - I just read your post - you may have seen the same Screech!  It was in the Canadian Legion Building.  And yes, the people of Cornerbrook are warm and friendly.  The lady sitting beside explained everything I needed to know about the Screech!  Interesting that they call the bread "hardtack", similar to Scandinavian bread/crackers.  But in Newfoundland, the bread is so hard they soak it overnight so it is edible.

 

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Edited by sansterre

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And now for that beautiful day in Sydney.   DH and I had been in Sydney many times (8 or 10) before and it has always been rainy, windy, and cold.  But this time it was warm and wonderful.  A friend had driven up from Halifax and we had planned to go to the Fort but that would have been a lot more walking than I really wanted to we opted to just drive around and take in the wonderful views and fresh air.  We remembered the trip out to Bell's house a few years ago and how beautiful the Bras D'or Lake area would have been on a clear day.  So first to North Sydney then we south along some beautiful waterways that are part fresh water lakes.  Thank you Tracey for a perfect day in Northern Nova Scotia.  A picture is worth a thousand words so here are a few:

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We are home (Florida, yes it is hot) after our mini Voyage of the Vikings from Copenhagen to Boston departing July 30 as you were boarding.  Just 80 of our cruise were remaining on board for the return to Rotterdam, many who were Dutch or at least Northern European.  Although we enjoyed our time on board, a part of us would have loved to continue with you! Thanks for sharing with us.

Lifeboats:  A big improvement and overdue. We had 4 tender ports and they proved more s.table and less toxic fumes than the old ones.  An officer told me they are $280,000US each, so no small investment.  Thanks HAL

Lincoln Center: Previous group was excellent and standing room only at most performances.  Hope yours is as good.

Annie Francis: She was on our cruise as well.  Also excellent.  She is getting a long cruise in, too!

Captain Bart and Hotel Director Darren Lewis were great and more visible than usual along with many of the senior officers.  The staff greeted us at the gangway when returning from shoreside close to all aboard.  Also at gala nights at the dining room, third floor.  Professional touches we usually only got on the smaller ships on longer cruises.

 

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:

We are home (Florida, yes it is hot) after our mini Voyage of the Vikings from Copenhagen to Boston departing July 30 as you were boarding.  Just 80 of our cruise were remaining on board for the return to Rotterdam, many who were Dutch or at least Northern European.  Although we enjoyed our time on board, a part of us would have loved to continue with you! Thanks for sharing with us.

Lifeboats:  A big improvement and overdue. We had 4 tender ports and they proved more s.table and less toxic fumes than the old ones.  An officer told me they are $280,000US each, so no small investment.  Thanks HAL

Lincoln Center: Previous group was excellent and standing room only at most performances.  Hope yours is as good.

Annie Francis: She was on our cruise as well.  Also excellent.  She is getting a long cruise in, too!

Captain Bart and Hotel Director Darren Lewis were great and more visible than usual along with many of the senior officers.  The staff greeted us at the gangway when returning from shoreside close to all aboard.  Also at gala nights at the dining room, third floor.  Professional touches we usually only got on the smaller ships on longer cruises.

 

Interesting to hear more about your cruise....thanks for posting.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the captain in the Dining Room 2 (early seating) last night.  He didn't stop at our table, but was walking from back of dining room.  Perhaps he came to see the iceberg he negotiated the Zuiderdam around as we left Red Bay.  Both sides of the ship were able to see and take great photos of the large iceberg!  I will post a picture of that tonight.  Along with a few other from yesterday afternoon.  

We have been cruising at about 18 knots, with just a few periods of fog this morning.  The captain said we will slow down in case of fog and icebergs.  It has been a cold, cloudy day, but the seas are very calm.

Edited by sansterre

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Still following along!  Yes, I believe it was the Screech-In while in Cornerbrook.  Today I moved our 2020 VOV from Zaandam to the Jewels of the Baltic Viking Passage(Aug 9-Sept 7) on the Zuiderdam next year.  I prefer the Zuiderdam, and we will get the Baltics also.  The bummer is we will have to fly one way to Copenhagen versus the RT Boston.  I really wish we could have done THIS years itinerary but with our 51 day Tales of the South Pacific in October it just wasn't feasible.  You are off to a GREAT start!!

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Thank you for your reports and phhotos.

Lovely hanging basket of Petunias.

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On 8/4/2019 at 12:05 PM, cat shepard said:

Thank you for persevering with your pics!

Love 💗 the pink freighter and those hydrangeas are gorgeous!

 

11 hours ago, erewhon said:

Thank you for your reports and phhotos.

Lovely hanging basket of Petunias.

 

2 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Just got caught up on your reports and great pictures.

 

Wonderful job.

Thanks all.  I love flowers and they seem to be particularly colorful up here in the northern hemisphere.  

In every port, I'll be taking at least one picture of a flower.

 

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Posted (edited)

Sad to report that after watching the fog lift and fall again for the past two hours, the captain has just announced that we will not be able to tender into Paamiut, our first intended port in Greenland.  We have been at anchor for two hours, waiting to see what the weather would do.  There is little wind (4mph), it is cold (36 degrees) but the fog is the problem.  I took some photos of the land and of a boat that came out to welcome the one and only tender into Paamiut during that brief time when the fog lifted and will post them later.

Edited by sansterre

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Red Bay, Labrador and Paamiut, Greenland were the two ports we missed last year on the Voyage of the Vikings 2018.  I am very disappointed to miss them both again. 

Next we are off to Nanotalik which is a change in our original itinerary.  We were scheduled to stop at QaQortoq on August 7 until someone realized there were two other ships in port that day.  For such a small town, 3 ships would be too too much.  So HAL rearranged our schedule and we will stop at Qaqotoq on our return instead of Nanotalik, August 27th. Our arrival in Nanortalik will be 8:00 a.m. which is 10:00 EST.

There are some additional activities added today, a lecture, movie on the main stage, entertainment by instrumentalist Nestor Santurio, lunch in the dining room and Pinnacle (for$15.00), and Bingo (no doubt with a charge!).

Yesterday, while waiting for the weather to improve in Red Bay, the CD interviewed three wonderful entertainers on board.  Pictured (left to right) in photo below:  Comedian Kelly McDonald, Instumentalist Akos Laki, Vocalist Annie Frances, and Cruise Director Jonathan Beaumont.

By the way, Akos Laki was guest entertainer last night with an excellent performance on the saxophone and clarinet.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/4/2019 at 12:12 PM, DeeniEncinitas said:

I’ve been able to catch up on your wonderful cruise!!  Thankyou so much for doing this live thread! Much appreciated and looking forward to more!!!!!

Denise😊

Me too!  For me, the scenic Cruising of Prince Christian Sound on August 8 and again on August 26 is the highlight.

I tried to find out information on the Voyage of the Viking 2020 on HAL website but could not.  Perhaps they were reworking their website, but I couldn't seem to find anything last night.  If the future cruise director is available, it would be easier to simply ask her!

Correction:  regarding the picture above of guest entertainers, that was taken two days ago while at Red Bay in foggy conditions, not yesterday.  Mea culpa.

 

Edited by sansterre

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I am so sorry you missed Paamiut!  I've never known it as a port stop, maybe it was a maiden call?  Yes, you are correct in thinking the Prins Christian Sund is the highlight of Greenland for cruising.  Doing it both ways should prove even better.

It was foggy for us entering westbound and the fog lifted just as we got to the entrance.  I was afraid we would miss it!

There was a massive iceberg in the sound which prevented the much smaller Marco Pollo from going thru the week before.

Thanks for sharing.

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2 hours ago, sansterre said:

Red Bay, Labrador and Paamiut, Greenland were the two ports we missed last year on the Voyage of the Vikings 2018.  I am very disappointed to miss them both again. 

I'm disappointed with you!  I was on last year's VOV also and was really hoping you would make it there this year.

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20 hours ago, sansterre said:

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Great hunk of ice. 😀. Too bad you missed a port today.

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