Thursday, 7 April 2011

To new shores

Those of you who have followed the Blog recently will know that this is an important day: After three weeks on the open waters, after the crossing of the equator, after waves and waves and more waves, finally MV FRAM reaches the shores of Europe to start the season in the northern hemisphere. Not that everybody on board did not like the peaceful, calm course of the days, but now it is time again for some action! And Lisbon is the ideal starting point for probably some of the most colourful itineraries that will bring us to eleven countries in one month. Springtime in Western Europe is the motto of this week's trip, which will take us along the coast of Portugal, the northern tip of Spain, France and the British Channel Islands. 

And springtime it surely was for all the new arrivals, coming mostly from Norway and England, places that are just about to shake off winter's cold grip. A gentle 26 degrees and slightly hazy skies that gave the silhouetta of Lisbon's old town a nigh-oriental impression. Not much time to marvel, though, cause everybody is brought straight to the pier where their home for the next seven days lays fast. For more than just a few the sighting of MV FRAM is not a first, it also is a well-known routine to check in, activate your cruise card and receive the luggage at the cabin; some have been three times on the ship within the last twelve months… So, welcome back everybody, and a warm welcome to you who discover FRAM for the first time!

Eight o' clock sharp, the lines are cast and we make our way towards the mouth of the Tejo River, while the sun sets in the West. Warm air on the decks during the necessary saftey drill, cold champagne during the Captain's welcome. And suddenly it is already midnight, and the decks are getting quiet. A good first night to everybody!