Top of the World Cruise Part 1 - June 24 - July 3rd, 2010

Ocean Princess
  • Top Of The World Cruise
June 24 - July 13th, 2010
  • Dover, England; Newcastle (Tyne) England; Edinburgh (Rosyth) Scotland; Torshavn (Taroe Islands) Denmark; Seydisfjordur, Iceland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Prins CHRISTain Sund, Greenland; Qaqortoq, Greenland; Newfoundland (St. John) Canada; St Pierre Et Miquelon, France; New York, New York USA
Bob & Debe Canaday

Taking everyone on this journey with us is so exciting. Because really doing it was amazing. We can honestly say that in 45 cruises, this is by far the very best cruise we have ever done. That is as far as the itinerary. The ship was very small with only 680 total guest fitting on the ship and it was easy to know a LOT of people by the time you got off. Including the Captain, Cruise Director, Chef, and even the Production Show staff. But that was also awesome. As we take you on this journey, be prepared for new things to see. The ports of call on this trip make it impossible to have only one blog. So we will be splitting this cruise in half. It was 18 days with 11 ports of call (including the embarking and disembarking ports of call) with every port something and somewhere new and amazing. So get ready for an amazing journey. (Just a reminder - if the photo is small, you can always click on it and it will enlarge. But remember that you have to click on the back arrow to go back because closing it will only close the site)
On this journey we will go from St. Louis to New York to Dover to the cruise port. I know, that sounds like a journey in itself and believe me it was. But the port of Dover was the most important part of what I mentioned. Because we would board the Ocean Princess there even though late. You see, with delays in St. Louis to New York, then bumped off our flight from New York to Dover. And about a 2 hour drive from the airport to the port usually but a wreck on the highway to Dover, well, just glad we made it. The good news is the ship did wait for us and the airlines bumped us up to Business class for the flight from New York to Dover, England. Yippee, seems that even though things started bad, they are still really good and getting better.
We arrive at the ship, get rushed on and off it goes. We had heard about the beautiful white cliffs of Dover, England but to see them was surreal. With another ship passing in front of them - how gorgeous is that. Also overlooking the port was the Burg Castle. With no time for us to venture around Dover - that was something we would have loved to visit. Hopefully a next time. ;)
Our first full day was a sea day (this is when you notice how small the ship is and what is missing lol). We did get to see a lot of oil rigs (no oil spills I checked) and went to our CC meet & greet. Surprisingly, the Captain came in and talked to us. I had the privilege of spending about an hour just chit chatting. The good news, it got us on the list for a bridge tour but that will be later on the blog. lol For now - off to our first port of call, Tyne (Newcastle) England. A shuttle took us to Tynemouth, a neat little town where we walked to the train station and off to Newcastle we went. (cost 3 lbs 80 pence for train) Once in Newcastle we found the hop on hop off stop and for 8 lbs - we explored the city.
Newcastle was a neat city with lots to see. Including a series of bridges. (Millennium, High, Swing, Tyne & an unknown name were bridges in the below photos) The Millennium bridge is a tilt bridge and when it tilts it brings the walkway up. This happens everyday at noon. We were there just in time to see that. Also we saw the Earl Grey statue (he was from Newcastle and his Earl Grey tea is still the favorite of the Queens and now my favorite). We also saw China Town, Town Wall, Music Hall Bldg (neat), Royal Theatre, St. Nicholas Cathedral, St. Mary's Church and the Hay market. Along with many monuments & other churches.

Oh, and while we were there, England would be playing in the World Cup Soccer Game. Needless to say, the results weren't favorable and left the town sad. Below you can see the Quayside Market on the Tyne River with the city behind it. (we did hit up the local library for some free Internet also lol)
On our return to the ship we decided to visit Tynemouth before catching the shuttle to the ship. The town was unique with an old fountain, remains from the Monastery, Statues, monuments along with pubs and churches. Definitely a place to go back and visit more.

Next day, it was off to the Port of Rosyth and on to the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. To get to Edinburgh it was shuttle ($6) to Iverkeithing. Then train (4 lbs 70 pence) to Edinburgh. You get off pretty much right below the Tourist Center and very close to several hop on hop off buses. So for 12 lbs each, it was on the HOHO red bus. We went by the Sir Walter Scott Memorial, St. Johns Church, Edinburgh Castle. There we got off and visited the Castle along with shopping on the Royal Mile. Back on the bus it was off to St. Cuthberts Church, Royal Palace (where we also got off), Alexander Bell apartment, Dog statue (a story with it), Gladestone Place, St Giles Cathedral - well, you get the picture. LOTS to see and little time. We didn't get to the Royal Yacht nor the new Mother Earth Adventure museum. Both look great. Again, hopefully a next time.

After another day at Sea, it was off to one of the ports we soooooooooooo look forward to going. Torshavn. This is one of the Taroe Islands in Denmark. Also known for its grass roofs on the houses. We got off the ship early and walked around the town even up the huge hill sides. We loved seeing the woolly sheep and we even found a free shuttle that took us around the town for sightseeing. We also visited a couple of the churches and the big lighthouse that sit right at the dock. But one highlight was seeing the Royal Yacht of Norway pull into port. We didn't see the Royal Family but we were told they were on there. What a beautiful yacht!

As we pulled out of Torshavn, we sailed through many of the islands. Oh my gosh what a gorgeous site that was. Awesome. And to see that many of them only had a very small village on it. Just stunning as you can see in the below photos. Stunning.

From Denmark to Iceland. Oh my what a difference. And to think we were there the following day. Seydisfjordur, Iceland (yeah, just try to say that lol) was fogged in and a very small place. (800 people) Some awesome waterfalls and the mountains were beautiful when you got the few seconds of a view. We were tendered into the village since a ferry was at the dock. Once in town, you could no longer see the ship. Totally covered in fog. But later in the day it lifted somewhat, the ferry left, and the ship docked. Glad we couldn't see the ship pulling in and out of this port since it was scary. lol Many of the things were closed and we managed to walk the entire village in a short amount of time. The highlight was the small blue church there. Its inside was stunningly beautiful. We were also able to sneak some free internet in our window from the local wifi. lol That saved some money. lol

Ok, so we have heard that it can be rough on this cruise and we finally found that out. It was a very rough night and the Captain had to change our route. We would no longer be going around the southern tip of Iceland to get to our next port but instead - we would be going around the entire top, east, and west side of the island to get to the southwest tip and our next port. We were warned about the weather and rough seas but hey, for me (Debe) it was life on the ship as normal. For Bob, he slept a lot. lol This photo is the water outside our window. :)
The next morning was our Bridge tour. The water was still rough and we literally slept in waking up just 5 mintues before the tour was to begin. So we threw on clothes on & headed to the bridge. Barely making it. (notice no photos with me in them lol) The bridge tour was great and the highlight of it was crossing the Arctic Circle while in there. We have a photo to prove it. lol We also got a photo of me (Debe) in the Captain hat & his chair but you won't be seeing it. lol)
As we went around the northern part of Iceland, the weather cleared up and the sun came out. Just in time for us to see the northern fjords of Iceland. They were nothing we had ever seen before and were just beautiful. They were like long fingers of land coming off of the island of Iceland. And even though the rerouting caused us to not see the Volcanoe that had recently erupted in Iceland, we were able to see another extinct volcanoe covered in snow. Oh, and saw the highest cliff in Iceland. (Check out the people standing on the top of the cliff. I would never do that)
Finally to beautiful Reykjavik, Iceland. Better known for the erupting volcanoe that stoped air traffic all over Europe and Germany among other places. And also known for one of the stops for the Bachelorette, Ali's, dating on Season 6. But for us - it was real life. Amazing. A huge city with so so so so so much to do. Bob and I couldn't agree when trying to plan the trip so finally, last minute we decide on the Golden Circle Tour thru Grey Line. (he wanted to do the Blue Lagoon so that is on our list of things to do NEXT TIME lol). This tour took us to the Geothermal Plant. The scenery getting there was amazing. Then by the beautiful Lake that has thousands of small summer homes. On to the Parliament area which isn't used very often anymore. Then to the Gullfoss Waterfalls.

In the below photos you can see the beautiful falls. Not near as big as Niagra Falls but very beautiful in their own ways. The water ends up in a canyon that is also neat. We spent alot of time climbing down and back up to the beginning of the falls. It was so loud to be so close you could barely hear each other. And the mist from the falls did some damage to your hairdo. lol For Bob - no hair, no problem.

Looking away from the waterfalls you could see what looks like a huge lake but was a glacier. They say Iceland is green and Greenland it ice and that is somewhat true. But here is one part of Iceland that is ICE.
Next was off to Strokkur Geyser. We have never been to a geyser so this was fascinating to us. Or at least me. lol I could have sit all day and just watched it. But we had only 30 minutes so we didn't get near the photos I wanted to. But we did get some great shots as you can see.

As we headed back to our ship, we got the stories of how Iceland people believe in elves, trolls and fairies. Since elves live in rocks, they paint doors on them so they can come out if they chose to. They can't build their house if a big rock is in the way unless an elve tells them they can. Hmmmmmmm I would just say YES he said we can. lol Another photo below is the scene from our ship. Just a stunning place with all the mountains. A couple other things to see while in Reykjavik is the Pearl (water tank that has become a huge tourist attraction) and the big church in town. And of course the Blue Lagoon. (yep, our next time there we will do)

Here is a video I took of the Stokkur Geyser as it spewed its hot water. I wish I would have let the video keep going since it spewed immediately after I turned it off again. ;(
Ok everyone, we are halfway through the trip. Six ports down, five exciting places still to visit. And tomorrow on the cruise would be July 4th. No big celebration but on the next blog, you will see the decorations for both July 1st Canada Day and July 4th Independence Day. But for now, time to rest up for the new big ports of call. A cruise doesn't get any better than what we are seeing. So goodnight to all and see you in a couple days. (or however long it takes to get the other half of the blog done. lol

  • To be continued....................................
  • Watch for Part 2 soon!!!!

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