The Traveling Steve's

Welcome Aboard the Island Princess!

The Steve’s are now aboard the Island Princess, and sailing northbound along the coast of Norway. On the noon ship’s announcement, the Captain informed us we had now crossed the Arctic Circle (link by Wikipedia.) Quite simply put, this imaginary line (no we didn’t see the water change or anything! ?) means at this time of the year (occurring around the Summer Solstice) we will have 24 hours of daylight for the next 5 days of this 16 night cruise due to our far northerly location.

We had a wonderful 7 night stay in London prior to this cruise, as noted in previous posts. On Monday we checked out of the Churchill Hyatt Recency and took a private car service from the hotel to the port of Southampton, which took about two hours.

Steve (DOS) and I have taken a similar itinerary to this Norway (Arctic) Cruise several years ago on Celebrity, but are taking this cruise on Princess now as it was supposed to include Spitzbergen, which the Celebrity Cruise did not. As luck would happen, unfortunately, Spitzbergen was canceled at the last minute on this cruise (a couple weeks before sailing) due to some environmental regulations regarding fuel type requirements, and also the prohibition of large ships sailing there now. Spitzbergen is very remote and so far north that ships usually only sail one cruise a season, so while sad for us, it must be far worst for the residents and the loss of tourist dollars on their economy.

Anyway, we have been very busy and are now on Day 5 on this 16 night cruise, sailing roundtrip from Southampton, England. We’ve already been to two ports of call, and this is the second of our 6 sea days, so I thought I’d do a quick post as long as the ship’s internet is still cooperating.

The internet is very slow, especially when uploading lots of photos, so I’ll add in some photo galleries when I get back home. Steve (DOS) and I have taken so many hundreds of photo so far – the scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and between enjoying the cruise, excursions, onboard entertainment, food and drink, there’s not much time left to upload and sort thru all the pics and then post, especially with slow internet. That’s the sign of a good cruise! We have a nice Vista Cabin in the aft of the ship which not only has a large balcony with incredible views, but also provides shelter from the winds which you really can feel on the Promenade Deck on the sides of the ship.

I’m signing off for now, possibly a few days while heading up thru the Arctic Circle, but will return at some point before we get back to Southampton and then fly home. Here’s a few random photos that have uploaded to the “Cloud” so far, so I’ll post these now, as I’m not sure how well the internet will be the next few days if at all, as we go further north towards the North Cape. So Cheers for now!

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