Top of the World Cruise Part 2 - July 3 - July 13, 2010

  • Ocean Princess
  • Top of the World Cruise
  • June 24 - July 13, 2010

  • Dover, England; Newcastle (Tyne), England; Edinburg (Rosyth) Scotland; Torshavn (Taroe Islands) Denmark; Seydisfjordur, Iceland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Prins CHRISTian Sund, Greenland; Qaqortoq, Greenland; Newfoundland (St. John) Canada; St Pierre Et Miquelon, France; New York, New York.
  • (reminder - all photos can be seen larger by clicking on them. If you do, remember to click on the back button as clicking on the X will close the entire blog) I have picked this color for this blog since it is the color of the glaciers and the icebergs when seen in the water. ;)
First, if you are just joining us, this TOP OF THE WORLD cruise was broken down into two parts. You are now on PART 2. To catch the first part of the cruise you will need to go to the archives on the right of this page (scroll down if you need to) and click on June 2010 Top of the World Cruise. Now as we continue - a couple days at sea and we are back to our cruise. Part 1 took us from Dover to Newcastle, on to Edinburgh, to gorgeous Torshavn, on to Iceland even though we were rerouted and headed across the Arctic Circle. We survived the rough seas and still got to hit our second and most popular port of call in Iceland on the southwest part. How exciting that was and to top it off - our ship celebrated Canada Day (on July 1st) and Independence Day (on July 4th). Below and above you can see the decorations and cakes made for the occasions. For the July 4th day - I made sure I dressed for the occasion. I mean, if we aren't going to have fireworks, the least I could do is show my patriotism. And I had a lot of compliments for doing it.
Ok, now back to the cruise. We have left Iceland and are heading to Greenland. Gosh the icebergs we saw as we entered the Prins CHRISTian Sund were amazing. So, now here we are heading to Greenland. Yes, the island that is 80-85% glaciers and ice. This island is the second largest ice body of the world after Antarctic. Greenland is also the largest island but the smallest population to size with its 57,000 plus people. Our first part of Greenland was going through the Prins CHRISTian Sund. This was straight off the National Geographic. The most beautiful, stunning and amazing thing ever. I didn't know what to expect but this WOWed me. Mountains that climb to the sky and a small canal type waterway that barely fits our ship at times. Then the icebergs that float next to the ship as we travel the waterway. We really didn't see wildlife other than birds but who cared - there was so much to see. The glaciers around every corner either sitting in the mountain tops, hanging off the mountain sides or meeting the waters edge. Stunning with their bluish green color. And the waterfalls that many times came down the entire mountainside. Speaking of the mountains, it seems every few feet the mountains changed in color and shape. Just a very picturesque site. The photos do not give it justice but is all I can offer. Sure hope you can enjoy them. First, read the description in the photo below and maybe that can help you know a little about what to expect.
Oh, and with icebergs, glaciers, mountaintops covered with snow and ice - you get cold. lol And Bob and I were lucky enough to find two chairs on the 5th deck with a little bit of heat blowing down on them. That became our place for the day as we spent about 10 hours going thru the Prins CHRISTian Sund channel.
After traveling for hours thru the Sund, the Greenland Ice patrol checked out the remainder of the channel to be sure we would be able to continue the coarse. If icebergs cover the exit and/or parts of the channel, we would have to turn around and go back. But the Ice patrol, traveling in a helicopter, gave us the OK to continue on.

Below photo shows our ship as the captain swung it into a 360 to give all sides of the ship a great view. Plus, we blew the horns to help a small amount of ice to cave off the glacier. It was awesome considering the small area we were in. And, as not to miss a thing, we had lunch out on the deck. Below, you can see someone took our photo with a hanging glacier on the mountain behind us. Nothing like eating burgers and fries on the deck with mountains, snow and glaciers all in site. (but eat fast - food got cold quick lol)

In the following photos, we were shocked at what we saw. Spending hours going thru the Sund channel with no human life in site, a small village appears at the bottom of these mountains. A village of 160 people (seal hunters) lived here. Since they do not see life for many months at a time and ships are only able to travel this area when the weather permits, they were excited to see our ship. (remember our ship was a small ship) So they ran to the edge to wave and greet us as we did another 360 turn at the village and sounded our horn. A surreal moment for sure. In the first large photo you can get a feel of how tall the mountains were and how small the village is. lol If you can find the village. ;)
Around the village area we also saw this boat (below) as it was looking for seals on the icebergs. It made me sad to think they were being killed but who am I to say how they make a living and survive. I now understood why we didn't see any wildlife while traveling through the Sund though. These people were not locals but just some fishermen visiting Greenland and hunting. By the way, this boat was fairly large. So that gives you a little picture of how big many of the icebergs were.
Today we arrived in Qaqortoq, Greenland. This town was about 3000 plus people who fish, hunt seal and other water wildlife to survive. It is also hard to get into and out of Qaqortoq during winter months. Luckily, the icebergs didn't totally cover the entrance so we could visit it. With no large dock, the ship used tenders to get us onto land. There wasn't a lot to do at this port but walk around. No tours were offered by the ship either. We visited the local little church dated back to the 1700's. We also went into the local hotel and found that Internet was $22 an hour. Shocked us enough to not ask the price for a room. lol The library did have free Internet but there was a long list. We walked to the lake which was beautiful and the flowers were blooming giving it the extra beauty. A quaint little town worth visiting.

A very unique thing about this town was the carving on the rocks. You would find faces, fish, etc in many of the rocks all around. Very unique and neat. The people are called INVITs and definitely have a unique look. Also something I saw was the local cemetery which made me sad. I guess living in a small place hard to get to means that getting a headstone is hard to do. I saw only two in the entire cemetery. Most were just wooden crosses painted white. I am sure they still remember their dead the same as we would though. While we were there the flags were at half mast to recognize a religious figure from Greenland that passed away

ON most of the souvenirs, (which were hard to find) you would see this fountain in the town.(below photo) It seems to be a popular gathering point for the locals who came out with babies in strollers and sit around to have a drink. I do have to say that since it was their summer, they did have their share of mosquitoes and bugs.
After a couple days at sea, it was off to Newfoundland (St. Johns island) Canada. We got up early and watched the ship sail in. A couple of whale were spotted before we went into the bay and docked. Newfoundland seem to be a bay where the town headed uphill from the dock. And once we got off and started walking, we saw that it was much steeper than we thought. Their main street is Duckworth that has many pubs, souvenirs shops, restaurants and Internet cafes. Very nice. The streets were lines with row houses on both sides and the main town was very picturesque. We walked up to the Basilica of St. Johns and was lucky enough to go in it before they closed it off for a funeral. But since Bob needed Internet to do some work, we headed to the local "employment agency" to have a few hours of work. (a local told us. lol) We did visit many monuments they have all over town remembering the service men, firemen, police, etc. Very nice.

But I can't leave Newfoundland without mentioning the beautiful Newfoundland dog. It is hard from the photo above for you to understand how large it is. But look at his foot compared to the guy's foot next to him. And this breed has webbed feet and are known for their rescue services they provide. A beautiful breed but don't go looking for them. They must have cold weather. Matter fact, this day in Newfoundland was a heat wave and way to hot for this breed. (then again, it was way to hot for the locals causing the electric to go out all over town due to the a/c's being turned on all at the same time. lol) In the below photo you can see the cannons on Signal Hill. As we left, the locals gave us a three gun salute wishing us well and goodbye and we answered with blows from the ships horn. Very neat.

We also got to see many whales blowing their spouts in the water, flapping their flippers/fins in the water, and playing around as we sailed away. I watched out our window until the sun started going down and saw them the entire time. Very neat thing to watch.

We pulled into a fogged in St Pierre early in the next morning. From looking off the ship - you wondered what was there. We decided to pass on the pay shuttle to town and walk, not knowing what we would see. lol But, we finally made it (not a bad walk at all) Not a beautiful town but neat. It had what they called a main square that had a fountain there (it was off this day) that dated back to the 1800s. This island was used during prohibition. At that time it thrived but now it has gone back to more of a poor area. (from what we could tell). They had many monuments that were around town and we visited the Cathedral of St. Pierre. We also visited a museum and heard an amazing story about Auguste Neel who was beheaded there in the square. The gullintin used displayed in the museum. The fog lifted for short periods of time but overall, this sleepy fishing village was dead to the world. Nothing going on, no people around to be seen, very sleepy. I will say that the marina was lined with some colorful fisherman's buildings that even in the fog - stood out. And a very neat light house that helped the fisherman back to the marina.

With a couple days at sea before heading into New York, and the weather hit a nice temperature level to sit outside by the pool, we enjoyed the couple days relaxing and enjoying the sun. Then finally, we sailed into a beautiful New York. We decided that with this long of a cruise, we wouldn't stay any time in New York except long enough to visit the Chinese Consulate to get visas for an upcoming Asia cruise. So it was off the ship, to the airport to get our luggage checked in, then off to get visas. Since we were trying to do the applications/receive visas in a day - we gave them the information and headed to the movies (Twilight's new movie) before heading back to the consulant and getting our visas. Then off to the airport to head back home.
I can only say that in 45 cruises, this was our all time favorite cruise ever. If we were to recommend a cruise to anyone - it would be this one. I know, you have to do it on a small ship but do it. It is worth everything you do to give up all the extra activites you get on bigger ships. Otherwise you are missing out on some of GODS most beautiful sites in this world. Just stunning views everywhere you go. And even though most of the cruise you have to stay up until about midnight to catch sunsets and be up just about 3 hours later for sunrises, the ones you get are stunning. Just see for youself.
We want to thank you all for taking this journey with us and only wish that each one reading this gets the chance in their life to do this cruise. You will never regret it. If you can't do it in your life, we are glad that you got to visit these places with us. We know you could never experience the excitement of seeing the things we saw in real life like we did but we do hope that you did experience seeing a part of the world that you otherwise might not have ever seen. Thanks again for taking this journey with us and hope you will continue to join us as we take more trips around this wonderful world we all live in.

  • The END

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