Travel Blog

IMPORTANT – Travel, Testing and Health Requirement information is provided by your Travel Advisor as guidance only and can change without notice. Always reconfirm information by checking government & airline websites before booking and traveling.

I just returned from a 7 nights cruise to Bermuda on the SS. Viking Orion. It was a double experience for me since it was my first time on a Viking Ocean ship and my first time to Bermuda. Both turned out to be a wonderful experience.

As we all know, travel these days is not what it used to be. The preparation can be stressful due to the ever-changing requirements, but I can attest, once you reach your destination, you realize it was worth the trouble.

Four days before my arrival on the island I had to do a PCR test. Upon arrival at the airport in Bermuda I had to do another PCR test and once on board I did one more saliva test. Believe me after all these tests I felt very safe being on a cruise. During the cruise mask was always mandatory everywhere. You had to do a saliva test every morning and have your temperature checked once a day.

The SS. Viking Orion is my kind of ship, sober and elegant. There are many open spaces, lots of light and lots of very inviting sitting areas. It is quite easy to find a lovely intimate, quiet alcove to read a book or even meditate. Cabins are well designed. The bathrooms are really great with heated floors, fog free mirror and glass door to a good size shower. The staff is always eager to help and make sure you are comfortable and happy. Viking Ocean exceeded my expectations.

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I typically try to go on two big trips and as many little trips as possible every year as I have a major addiction to traveling and new experiences. Needless to say the Pandemic put a damper on everyone’s life to say the least and being a travel advisor and my love of travel was a challenge to sit home for many reasons, my job setback and industry setback being the big one after health and safety.

I jumped at the opportunity to go on the Norwegian Encore Alaska Cruise as soon as the cruise lines figured out how to salvage the Alaska Season after Canada had kept it’s borders tightly closed. I was already vaccinated as it was pretty clear early on that to travel anywhere would be requiring proof of vaccinations and I mainly got vaccinated for health and my families safety.

I also had never been on Norwegian Cruise Lines, nor had I experienced Alaska’s beauty in person. I do have experience on creating great vacations for my clients with NCL and to Alaska, but now it was time to see it for myself!

As everyone is, I was very apprehensive about traveling during COVID and also with all the testing requirements – what would happen if I tested positive? What if the cruise cancelled? What if I flew there and had issues and couldn’t board the ship? I can be a nervous Nelly even at small things, so this was going to have me use all my calming techniques I have learned over the years. Besides, the opportunity to travel is too great to resist (answer to all those questions is through your travel professional of course! Know before you go).

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When you ask yourself or your family members where they would like to vacation that would be a truly remarkable experience, what answers do you think of? I consider different places based on location, weather, activity options, time, cost, etc. However one answer is always the same: I want it to be unforgettable experience! When people have shared with me their experiences in Alaska, I’ve not only put Alaska on my bucket list, it’s been at the very top! So, when my wife and I recently had the opportunity to tour inland Alaska with the world renown company Globus, I was ecstatic! I can already tell you… it was an unforgettable experience! Just looking at the itinerary made me feel like a kid in a candy store! We hit many of the highlights of Alaska including stops in Anchorage, Valdez, Fairbanks, Denali, Seward and the Kenai Peninsula.

To name just a few of the activities: Capturing photos of majestic mountains peaks and jaw-dropping Glaciers, cruising through Prince William Sound and seeing Orca whales, Beluga whales, Humpback whales, Sea-lions, Sea-otters, whales and native birds, visiting a local fish hatchery, touring Gold-mining towns, panning for gold, riding aboard a genuine Riverboat powered by steam, eating amazing Salmon-bake dinners, traveling into Denali National Park in a window covered train and then touring Denali Park with professional nature scientists, seeing Moose, Caribou, and other amazing animals, and then visiting the home of a 4-time Iditarod champion and playing with the dogs, and finishing a fantastic week with a cruise of the Kenai Fjords out of famous Seward, Alaska. Did I mention seeing the wild salmon spawning in unbelievably picturesque rivers?

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