Finse explores Europe (with a little help from her owner, Viking Cruises Vice President Karine Hagen).
The adorable golden lab in the photo is called Finse, and she’s one lucky pup. Aristocratic by birth and quickly becoming one of the world’s most travelled dogs, Finse is also the star of a children’s book series. Not bad for a one year-old.
Finse was born into a life of privilege in Highclere Castle — which serves as the setting for much of the popular ITV period drama, Downton Abbey. (Finse’s mother, Bella, is the real canine lady of the manor; other dogs have been used on the television series.)
After spending her early puppyhood romping through the castle and its thousand-acre grounds with her nine brothers and sisters, Finse became a Christmas gift from Lady Carnarvon to the daughter of Viking Cruises‘ founder, Karine Hagen, a Vice President of the family-run company.
And it didn’t take long for Finse to become accustomed to the travel-led lifestyle enjoyed by the canine companion of a cruise line VP.
If you missed out on winning Holland America Line’s 140th anniversary signature tulips in our recent competition, we have some great news – we’re giving you the chance to win again!
Holland America Line teamed up with the Keukenhof Spring Gardens in the Netherlands to develop the special anniversary “Signature” tulips, which we previously blogged about.
Special Anniversary “Signature” tulips
Holland America Line is offering 50 Cruise Critic readers* the chance to receive two packs of 7 Signature tulip bulbs to plant for some beautiful spring blooms!
For a chance to receive Holland America Line’s beautiful bespoke tulips, simply send an email with your postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t delay – only 50 people to send an email will receive the tulips!
* Please note this offer is only open to UK residents. Entrants must be 18 years and above. Deadline for entries is December 18th 2013 and entries will be drawn at random on December 19th 2013. Winners will be notified by email.
We’ve already shared a few pictures from the shipyard where P&O‘s newest ship – Britannia – is being built, but if you’re hungry for more information (which a lot of you are), then take a look at this video.
Forget about the thrills and twists of a dark Scandinavian drama, in Norway, as the dark nights draw in, entertainment is all about ‘slow TV’. Slow TV has been around since 2009 when Norwegian broadcaster NRK made a film in real time, several hours long, about a train journey over the mountains between Oslo and Bergen. Norwegians were riveted to their screens. Seriously.
But it was a follow up programme on Hurtigruten, documenting every second of the Bergen to Kirkenes journey (five solid days and nights of viewing) which really thrust slow TV into the mainstream.
Styled on the tea clippers of the 19th century, Star Clippers’ three tall ships – Royal Clipper, Star Clipper and Star Flyer – offer niche cruises to interesting and somewhat off-the-beaten track destinations — but they don’t come particularly cheap.
Tall ship cruises vary greatly from mainstream cruises, too. Conventional cruise formalities from larger lines and ships don’t exist on the tall ships — there’s no strict dress code enforced, for example. And although itineraries are mapped out in advance, the actual time you arrive in and depart from port can be subject to wind conditions.
Read on for a short list of facts that will help you get to know the line a little better.
Gary Bembridge is the author of the recently published Cruise Traveler’s Handbook – the essential guide for any novice cruiser. He also has a website Tips for Travellers, where he offers tips and advice on all aspects of travel, including cruising. We caught up with Gary to quiz him about his top tips for first time cruisers, his favourite cruise destinations – and some predictions for the cruising years ahead.
Where: Seven nights out of San Juan, including St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten, Barbados and St Thomas
Who: Colleen McDaniel, Managing Editor
Cruise Critic Onboard: A Meet & Mingle took place Sunday, where Cruise Critic members and officers from Summit attended to swap stories and get to know each other. Capt. Leonardos Palaiokrassas (or just “Capt. Leo”) told our members: “We appreciate the positive comments … and sometimes the not-so-positive comments. But we are open-minded. We love to hear your feedback; that’s the only way to get better. You are very important to us.”