"Fred. Olsen has a mantra: ‘There is one class of guest, everyone on board is a VIP.’ This VIP treatment was evident from the moment I stepped on the MS Borealis at Liverpool cruise terminal. The elegant design created a sense of luxury throughout and the cabins felt incredibly spacious. There was a fantastic choice of restaurants and bars to suit every taste. Well-rested and full of good food, I was ready for our first stop."
"First, I explored Belfast’s compact, vibrant city centre. If you’re looking for quirky pubs, Michelin star restaurants, and impressive architecture, you’re spoilt for choice. The highlight of Northern Ireland’s capital was the Titanic museum. The attraction draws together the construction of the ship and the tragic events that resulted in her sinking. After enjoying the hustle and bustle of Belfast, our next stop was going to be a big change of pace."
"As the ship approached the cruise terminal for Iceland’s biggest city, I was lucky enough to be welcomed by the sight of a lone killer whale in the ocean! Reykjavik is a spectacular place, showcasing the best of Iceland’s food, literature, and arts. Surrounded by mountains from nearly all sides, the towering landscape gives a preview of what was to come later in the trip."
"The Golden Circle is Iceland’s most famous attraction. A short drive from the capital, you find the natural wonders of Thingvellir National Park, Geyser geothermal area, and Gullfoss Falls. The waterfall was a highlight. Gullfoss, meaning ‘golden falls’, gets its name from the glowing colour of its water as it churns up sediment. I was also bubbling with excitement to see the geysers and they certainly did not disappoint! It was thrilling to witness a dramatic performance of mother nature’s power."
"I woke up to breathtaking scenery in Isafjordur. As I was on a smaller ship, we were able to dock at the port rather than having to tender. I had some time to grab breakfast and explore the quaint town before setting off on the Secluded Valley Life excursion.
"Guests on Fred. Olsen cruises are considered travellers, rather than tourists. This means the trips are thoughtfully designed to offer an authentic experience, revealing the hidden gems of each destination. These excursions show you another side to Iceland and place you in the heart of local life.
"I travelled through endless green valleys on my journey to the highlight of the excursion, a local farm. Here, I learnt all about life in this secluded area of Iceland and it was fascinating to see how they’ve adapted to extreme weather. At times, their homes can be covered by several feet of snow and they have to dig channels to even be able to make it to their front door. As the day finished, I got to experience the midnight sun, a natural phenomenon where the sun never fully sets – a truly surreal feeling!"
"The focus of my visit to Akureyri was whale-watching, but I ended up coming face-to-face with an abundance of local wildlife. I spent a very cold day spotting puffins and porpoise, but the star of the show was a very friendly humpback whale. He put on a real show, diving and cresting several times, showing off his belly to amazed onlookers. After my time on the boat, I had some time to explore the city before we boarded again and sailed across the Arctic Circle to our final destination."
"Even though it’s one of the world’s smallest capitals, Tórshavn is the largest of the 18 islands that make up the wild and rugged Faroe Islands. Known for its multi-coloured buildings, grass-covered roofs, and cobbled streets, exploring the island is like stepping back in time. With clean, fresh air and nature abound, a tiny population and a laid-back culture, there’s a real sense of wellbeing in the Faroese capital. As the sun set on the final day, it felt like the perfect ending to my epic adventure."