Sunday, 17 March 2013

A South Atlantic greeting from an Irishman on Saint Patrick’s Day

“Here on the good ship ‘Fram’ everything is relaxed and friendly, with first names being the order of the day amid the total informality of this South Atlantic crossing. As the only Irishman aboard, it was a total coincidence that I was asked to write this on Saint Patrick’s Day. From a long line of Irish writers such as Shaw, Yeats, Behan, Binchy, O’Brien and many more, I regret that I am not one but I am lucky to know Hurtigruten and the wonderful ships in it’s fleet.

My favorite time is at Christmas and I have sailed north from Bergen to Kirkenes many times along the beautiful coast of Norway, and in case you missed something you get a second chance going south! Having experienced ‘Vesterålen’, ‘Nordlys’, and ‘Midnatsol’, the youngest member of the fleet ‘Fram’ has more than fulfilled my expectations. Although the temperature on the outside decks may be different, inside the warm friendly atmosphere is the same whether in Norway or South Atlantic.

I see in contrast that ‘Fram’ displays as an ‘explorer’, from the daily work schedule of the other ships which service the ports on the beautiful coast of Norway. I am delighted to be amongst the lucky passengers to experience the great voyage back to Europe. See you next Christmas!”

Mike O’Neill