To the Frozen North - Faroe Isles, Iceland & Greenland
- July 22nd - August 7th 2012

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To the Faroe Isles, Iceland & Greenland by Fred Olsen

It was our first cruise on this lovely Fred Olsen ship, the

MV Black Watch, shown here in Torshavn Harbour in the Faroe Islands. places in the Frozen North we had never visited before but, in July, hopefully not too frozen.

There are frequent trains from St. Pancras, Victoria or London Bridge to Dover Priory, courtesy bus to the ship...
...and from Dover to

Torshavn, Faroe Isles
Reykjavik, Iceland
Nanortalik, Greenland
Narsarsuaq, Greenland
Qaqortoq, Greenland

& back to Dover but we had no intention of returning to Boris's Police State until the Olympics were over, so carried on to Norway on this link.

Since we live in Islington, Central London, the purpose of taking this trip at this time was to miss the nightmare that the arrangements for the Olympics reduced life for the residents to.

Sunday 22nd July. A taxi got us to St. Pancras in no time at all but our train was in & only takes 1hr 8mins to Dover, as South-Eastern have these didimo bullet trains on the high speed tracks. We had a snack in the café & got the 1300 shuttle to the harbour. There were a lot of people there already but our boarding tickets were 97 & 98, so we were in our cabin by 1450. The beds cannot be pushed together, curses. I found our cabin steward Yani & introduced myself. She told me where the Cruise Office was & I gave my letter, letting the Cruise Director know we were aboard & he could use my talks in an emergency (as happened on the Boudicca) to the girl outside it. Then, a massive unpacking but, oh bliss, the big bag goes under Avis' bunk ok. Unlike Fred's other ships, one has a proper key for the door (not using the 'bus pass', the security card). We had the new, more thorough, lifeboat drill after getting tea in their version of the Braemar Room. At 4, we had the necessary lifeboat drill.

Since the Costa Concordia disaster, lifeboat drill has become more rigorous

Then, Avis had a shower while I walked round the deck, found the library, which was not open, so I chatted to a couple of chaps & also chatted in the bar at the stern. I went down to find Avis on her way up in a sexy dress, se we went to the lounge deck. She thought we were on 1st sitting but that is the next trip. We chatted to Norma & Nikki, two old ladies & Avis thought to have a snack before our late dinner but we actually had dinner with them in the Braemar Garden (self-service restaurant), which meant we could go to the 1st show, 60s & 70s but drifted into the 80s with a precipitous drop in musical quality. The dancers were good, though. After, we went up to Ricky Jermy, the Cruise Director. He greeted me by name, having used our cabin number to look my picture up in the ship computer, which I thought impressive initiative & said he might want to use me later in the trip. I said I was at his disposal.

To get to the Faroes, one has two days at sea, so what does one do? The Port Lecturer gave us a good talk on the archepelago & next day, on Iceland. A geologist gave a very thorough survey of the formation of the Solar System & Earth & breakdown of the planet's internals. The next day, another gave a full report on the Faroes, geological & social. After a mile walk round the deck & lunch, there was a talk on polar animals but on the 2nd day, Avis went to the gym before a good classical music concert after tea. I got the Cruise Office to print my String Trio & told the cellist where to get it. Monday had been 'formal' day, where the men dress as bouncers (tuxes) & the women dress 'up'. We actually ate at the hated 2nd sitting, so had a late floor show, Kaye Weston, an unashamedly vulgar singer who ended unfortunately with the ghastly A LL-W, then a good very Oirish funny man, Dusty Young.

Mugged by the Show Team, Megan & Sarah

Megan Price and Sarah Neil without the slap which makes them look the same

Port 1 - Torshavn,
Faroe Isles

Faroes Day Two
Up North

Port 2 - Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland Trip Two Reykjanes area

Iceland Trip Three South Coast

Greenland by the Prince Kristiansund

Port 3 - Nanortalik,

Port 4 - Narsarsuaq,

Port 5 - Qaqortoq,

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Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
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