Author: Ann Kaser
Date of Trip: August 2008
Sometime the last minute vacation can be the best vacations. While surfing the net, I found a Transatlantic Crossing Cruise on Holland America which just jumped out at me. It was on the new ship Eurodam. We decided to book and were on our way in 3 weeks. A relocation cruise can be a great deal for a long cruise.
We flew to Copenhagen, Denmark 3 days early. The direct flight from Newark on Continental Airlines was an easy 7 hour trip. We arrived at 6:45 am. This gave us 3 full days for sightseeing in Copenhagen before the cruise. After doing some research, I booked the Best Western City Hotel in Copenhagen. The location was perfect, two blocks from Nyhavn Harbor. The hotel was old, but the room were comfortable, a great full breakfast buffet, and friendly staff. We were in our room by 8:30 am. The elevators were small and no bell hops were available, but that was not a problem. The cost was about $280 a night. Transportation from the airport to downtown was either by subway or taxi. With luggage taxi is the easiest. It costs about $45 to town center depending on traffic as you pay by the time rather than distance. They take credit cards if you do not have Danish currency.
One of the best ways to get an overview of Copenhagen is to take a Boat Tour from Nyhavn Harbor. It is about $12 and 1+ hrs in length. The tour takes you through the canals where the guide points out the main sights and gives you the history. From this it is easy to walk back for a closer look. All of the city is located near the canals. The changing of the guard at the castle is everyday. The gardens at Tivoli are beautiful. There are many museums. art galleries, and of course, The Little Mermaid. Many of the streets are pedestrian streets. Food is very expensive. Coffee can be as much as $10. The taxi to the Harbor for the cruise was about $30. Be quick to get in as the clock is running. No tips are necessary as that is included in the fare. Copenhagen is a fun town, small, and easy to get around in.
We cruised on the Holland American Eurodam. it was a beautiful new ship, but I was a little disappointed. It did not have the “WOW” of a new ship. The rooms were small and poor storage. The drawers were under the bed. Great idea, but for seniors it was difficult to use.
The cruise itinerary was excellent. I would go again on the same one. It went to Oslo, Stavanger, and Bergen Norway. Each port was in Norway, but each was unique in its own ways. Economy is based on the sea. Homes in the area have lot of glass to maximize the sun because of the long dark winters. Wear your walking shoes as the towns are great to see on foot, but a lot of cobblestone streets left from the past.
Our next port of call was the Torshavn, Faroe Islands. I had never heard of them either, but had an interesting day. There is a free bus that you can take around the city. We had an experience on our visit. As we were eating breakfast, the clouds (fog) lowered and concealed the town in about 10 minutes. It lasted about an hour and lifted. This happens frequently. The Islands are intriguing. Reykjavik, Iceland was our next stop. The seas were smooth, but lots of fog.
The weather was cool for most of the trip, but comfortable with a sweatshirt. A raincoat and umbrella would probably be a good idea for all of this trip as showers are frequent. Reykjavik’s Blue Lagoon is renowned for its mineral rich waters. Gullfoss is a top attraction.
The next two days of the trip were at sea. The captain gave us a surprise at dinner when he announced we were going to Greenland the next day. This was not a part of the itinerary. While cruising the Prince Christian Sound, we saw huge glaciers, waterfalls, and large ice floes. This is located in the southern Arctic which freezes. The fog was of the pea soup variety at times which was celebrated by pea soup on deck as we cruised though the sound.
St. John New Foundland was our next port. In St. John we got a tour on a school bus just off the ship. It was for 2 hrs $25 pp. –a good value. The tour guide was a middle school history teacher who was great. He was knowledgeable with interesting facts. Signal Hill is a prominent area for St. John. Public gallows were here, Cabot tower and Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless transmission here in 1901. It is also the closest point to the place were the Titanic went down. On to St. Pierre, France, an island off the coast of New Foundland. It is small, but worth the effort to visit. Tenders are needed to get to port.
Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia were the next stops. Be sure to visit Peggy’s Cove in Halifax. It is the most photographed area of Nova Scotia. There are monuments to Titanic and Swiss Flight 111 victims. Many are buried in Halifax cemeteries. FRED bus is free to hop on and off in Halifax. Stop near the ship.
The port of disembarkation was New York We arrived at 6 am to a well lit Statue of Liberty. The trip was wonderful, but it was great to be home. Anyone who is looking for a Transatlantic crossing this trip is fantastic. The Eurodam was a 5-star ship with good service, food, entertainment, and ports of call. The trip was 16 days of fun, relaxation, and enjoyment. We plan to transatlantic again next year on the Eurodam. The itinerary is similar, but have a few different ports of call. If you are a frequent cruiser and have not checked into the future cruise program, I strongly recommend this for Holland American or other cruise lines as it saves you when you book your next cruise on the deposit plus you often get shipboard credit. We always make the deposit as it is good for 4 years. It is $100 pp rather than the usual 20% or more deposit.