Monday, 30 September 2013


Bergen in Norway, the second biggest town and former capital was reached early in the morning.
Our pier is just beneath the famous fortress Bergenhus. Its origin goes back to the 13th century.
Around the MS Fram a lot of big supply and maintenance vessels for the oil platforms in the North Sea are moored.
The weather is like the inhabitants would like to see it a lot more often in Bergen...sunny and warm.
At 9 am a sad moment.... we had to say goodbye to all our guests. It was an absolut nice company and wonderful trip with all of them from Reykjavik to Bergen.
The MS Fram started to be prepared for the long Antarctic season. A lot of gear is transported inside the ship and the ship's outside got a new appearance. Have a look at the picture!!!! 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

At sea

Our last day on board......a sea day from Leith/Scotland to Bergen/Norway.
In the morning the sea was calm but that turned to a 5-6 on the Beaufort Scale in the afternoon.
Gannets and fulmars followed the ship and dolphins were to be seen around noon.
The day went with bridge visits and lectures.
The lectures were about the Vikings, stave churches, whales and dolphins, information about the city of Bergen, the art on the MS Fram and also about the destinations with the MS Fram all year around.
Your photographer on board showed his presentation of the voyage pictures and in the evening the Captain Arild Hårvik said goodbye to everyone in the Observation Lounge.
Good bye and have a nice trip back home tomorrow from Bergen!!

Saturday, 28 September 2013


At 7 am the MS Fram reached the lock in the harbour of Leith. Leith is the docks area of the Scotish capital of Edinburgh. Here the famous Royal Yacht Britannia has its home. The ship is open for visitors. The ouside temperature in the morning was already up to 14 degrees...very typical sunshine weather for our trip so far. A free shuttle bus was arranged to bring the guests every hour from the Cruise Liner Berth to Waterloo Place in Edinburgh. Others participated in the excursions to the city of Edinburgh and the Castle or the Historic Royal Scotland excursion. Time was enough to explore the region and specially Edinburgh with his famous castle which is Scotland´s most visited tourist attraction. The ancient Honours of Scotland - the crown, sceptre and sword of state and also the Stone of Destiny which returned in 1996 north over the border- are on view in the Crown Room. It was a wonderful day on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth.

Friday, 27 September 2013


This morning we reached the Orkney Islands. It is a group of 70 islands which lie only 12 km north of the Scotish Mainland. The archipelago have been settled since the Neolitic Period that means around 5000 years ago.
The weather forecast promised lovely weather for today and so it was: a little bit cloudy, then high sunshine and important nearly no wind at all. Two excursions left before 9 am from the pier.
One to the Italian Chapel & Highland Park Distillery and the other one to Skara Brae & Skraill House. It has been said that if you scratch Orkney, it bleeds archaeology. Those who did not want to join the excursions walked to the near by old town and visited the "Light of the North" which is the Magnus Chathedral. It was founded in 1137 by the Viking, Earl Rognvald, in honour of his uncle St. Magnus.
Our vessel left Kirkwall the main city of Orkney at 14 pm. In the afternoon lectures about fish and the Gulfstream and informations for the next day in Leith\Edinburg were given in different languages.

Thursday, 26 September 2013


A beautiful sunrise at 8 am over the mountains of Isle of Skye when our ship reached his destination for today.
The largest town on Skye and the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, Portree.
Portree has a natural harbour fringed by high ground and cliffs. The name of the port Portree might came from "Port Righ" translates as "king´s port". Today the town serves as a centre for tourtists exploring the island of Skye.
Again a lovely day with sunshine and calm warm weather the whole day.
Excursions today:
"Panoramic Isle of Skye and Museum of Island Life" and
"West Highlands & Iconic Eilean Donan Castle".

At 5 pm we passed the famous Kilt Rock. It got its name of the typical kilt fabric pattern made up by basalt columns and dolerite sills. Both have there origin in the time when the Atlantic Ocean started to open.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


The day today we spend on the beautiful islands of Iona and Staffa.
Again a superp day. Perfect weather condions for landings with our Polar Circle Boats.
The outdoor acitivies started around 8 o`clock on the island of island which is one of the oldest and most important religios centres in Western Europe. Christianity was spread throughout Scotland and marks the foundation of a monastic community by St. Columba.

The book of Kells, a famous manuscript, is believed to have been written by the monks of Iona around
800 AD. Vikings "visited" the monastery on the island several times.
Some of our guests went for an early service in the church, others walked around for personal education in the rich historic area of the Abbey and the surroundings. Two groups were shown around of professional guides.
All of us were very embrassed of beeing on the isle of Iona.
In the afternoon the ship sailed 14 nm northeast to the tiny island of Staffa. The name is from Old Norse and
means stave or pillar island. The island is well known for its basaltic rocks specially in the south end.
Nobody lives there. The island became to prominence after a visit by Felix Mendelsson. His Hebrides Overture brought fame to the island.


Again a superp landing with our Polar Cirkle Boats. The guests enjoyed to walk a longside the high cliffs and had a look into the majestic Fingal`s cave.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


We reached Oban, a resort town within Argyll and Bute council area of Scotland.

Oban has a population of about 8,100 inhabitants.
The town is an important ferry port for the connection to the Hebrides.
A modern town which grew up around the Oban Distillery which was founded as early as in 1794.
Up on the hill there is the McCaigs Tower a prominent local landmark.

Outside of the town stands Dunollie Castle.
The weather again was fantastic with temperatures up to 18 degrees.
Two excursions were offered: "Majestic Scotland" and "Seil Island and Easdale".

Monday, 23 September 2013


The Outer Hebrides were on our programm for today. The galic word for for thease islands is "Na h-Eileanan Siar" or "Innse Gall".
The islands became part of the Norse kingdom  for over 400 years in the viking time until 1266 and they were called "Sudureyjar", the Southern Islands. Still 80 % of the population on the countryside speaks scotish galic today. There are some newspapers in galic, a TV station in galic, books are printed in galic and in the schools they teach in galic language. It looks like scotish galic language on the Outer Hebrides has a future.

The weather was calm and for us who now came down with the MS Fram from the northern countries nearly exotic temperatures of around 15 degrees. We docked at the port of Stornoway, the main but small and lovely city on the Outer Hebrides. Excursions were  offered to the Callanish Stones which are the finest example of a stone circle in Scotland dating from about 2900 BC, the traditional black houses and an rebuilt village from the iron age.
The Outer Hebrides are the famous area of the manufacture of Harris tweed which was the main souvenir bought on the island today!

Sunday, 22 September 2013


In the morning around 8 o`clock our ship docked at the smal pier in Leirwick the capital of the Shetland Islands.
The small central city was only a few 100 meters away from the Fram.The weatherforcast for the day was not very good: rain the whole day! But that changed very qiuckly during the morning to a dry and warm day with temperatures of about 12 degrees. Our norwegian guests felt nearly at home.
The Shetland Islands had a great influence by norwegian invaders. The Norwegian language, "the norn" was spoken until the 19th century.

The excursions to the "Jarlshof" and the island of "Mousa" where booth very informativ and well joined by our travellers.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Faroese

View of the inside of the cathedral in Torshavn

Today we reached the Faroe Islands. 18 still green islands of which 17 are inhabited.
The islands belongs to Danmark but they a kind of independence. A lot of exciting culture is to be discover there.
The Faroese viking language is most related to icelandic but has its roots in Norway.
The old Faroes chain dance is still alive but the time for us was too short to get closer in to it. We had an dance performance with the guest some days ago in our observation lounge.
The boat trip to the famous Vestmanna bird cliffs was cancelled due to the strong wind from southwest. Instead of a trip to the northern part of the island of Eysturoy was offered. That trip with beautiful views over lots of waterfalls and nice tiny villages was fantastic.


We had a bus tour to Kirkjubour the old religios center. The Olav church, the oldest stone church still in use from the 12th century, the ruins of the gothic St. Magnus cathedral and the 900 years old kings farm house the oldest wooden house in Europe were visited.

Friday, 20 September 2013

At sea

Today is a sea day with lots of lectures. Tone our norwegean viking women dressed in fine viking clothes gave informations about the live in the middleage in Norway and where ever the Norweagians settled down.

Katja hold lectures about the viking religion, art and the daily live. Informations about the landing tomorrow morning are given by Klaus, Torshavn and the Faroes, his home for many years.

Thursday, 19 September 2013


Around 7.30 am the MS Fram entered the small entrance to the only village on the island of Heimaey the biggest island of the Vestmanna islands. It is always exciting how a vessel of the size of the MS Fram can pass through the steep cliffs on starboard side and the redish vulcanic lava from the last eruption in 1973 on portside. The weather was overcast and rainy, but nevertheless all of us enjoyed the bustrip, the walking tour and also the film about the eruption on Heimaey in 1973 in the museum.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


A new trip starts today from the pier close to the heart of Icelands biggest city Reykjavik. Not far from here the viking Ingolvur Arnarson settled down around 874 B.C. and called the place a Smokey Bay (Reykjavik).

The wind had calmed down and the sun shined the whole day, but it was cold in the city on 65 degrees north. The new guests arrived on time and we could leave Reykjavik just before 8 pm.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Our tour comes to an end!

Today we reached Grundarfjørdur, our second destination in Iceland. During the night it was quiet bumpy and when we reached the harbor of this very nice small settlement the weather was still not nice. But that changed very fast. During lunchtime the sky cleared up and the sun came out. That was more than perfect for all our excursions we had planned in the surrounding of Grundarfjørdur. We had an excursion to a shark farm; we had an excellent boat tour in the bay of Breidarfjordur and we had a bus tour to the amazing highlights of Snæfelsnes. Some guests made the decision to stay in this lovely town Grundarfjørdur; here they could enjoy the town itself or do some hikes like a hike to one of the waterfalls next to the settlement. Everybody came back on board with a smile in his face. It has been a perfect end for a perfect trip.

In the evening our Captain Arild Hårvik invited us to a farewell cocktail. Our last dinner was excellent and when the crew brought the “Baked Alaska” with all the candles on it, everybody felt a bit sad that the cruise came to an end. Tomorrow we will leave our lovely lady FRAM. Some of us will stay for some days more in Iceland to learn the country. For some guests it was already clear, they will come back on board FRAM at any time, on any cruise on any of the seven seas. 

Monday, 16 September 2013

If Iceland was a sheep, we would be at its head!

Already at the breakfast table, we could see some land as a distant dark shade at the horizon. During the morning, this land became bigger and bigger. We watched the land coming nearer on deck, visited our captain Arild on the bridge, or listened to one to the talks in the MV FRAM lecture halls.

We cast the lines in Isafjordur in the very North-east corner of Iceland around noon and started to explore this remote community. Some of us went to town on their own to do some shopping and to relax at the cafe, others joined a guided bus excursion to lean about the life and culture of the people living in Isafjordur in earlier times. On this tour, we visited the fisheries museum, an old fishermen settlement and a local church, where a very charming girl in Icelandic National costume sang Icelandic songs for us. Those guests that were more eager to stretch their legs after one day on the ship set out for a hiking trip in the surrounding valleys.

But the day was far from over: in the evening, the MV FRAM charity auction took place. We auctioned among other items a Hurtigruten flag that was signed by all the officers and expedition staff!  The auction was followed by our extraordinary crew show. In this show the crew shows some of their other talents that guests could not experience on this trip before. Who would have guessed that some sing almost like Frank Sinatra or dance like Psy?

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Good bye North East Greenland National Park and welcome to the civilization again!

Our last day in Greenland was a day with snow and deep hanging clouds. Even it was Sunday we started our landing in Ittoqqortoormiit at 8:00am. Ittoqqortoormiit is a very isolated town at the mouth of the Scoresbysund Fjord system. In former times – before the Greenlanders got their self-government in 1979 – the settlement was called Scoresbysund. But after 1979 all towns and settlements in Greenland had to be renamed as Greenlandic became the official language. That is wonderful for the Greenlanders but a catastrophe for the rest of the world. We had to train the pronunciation again and again and it is still difficult to say it in the right way, but at least we tried.

The inhabitants of Ittoqqortoormiit offered us a special program. We could visit the church, the museum, the tourist office, we joined a dog feeding, we saw the start of a weather balloon, we tasted muskox meat and of course we tried to get the best impression of the town when we walked along the gravel roads. It was an interesting last landing in Greenland.

Back on board we were sailing for a while along the coast of Greenland until the captain turned the ship westwards over the Denmark Strait in the direction of Iceland. This passage can be very rough, but even it was windy our lovely lady FRAM behaved wonderful in the waves. So we could listen to another lecture series in the afternoon to be well prepared for Iceland.

In the evening we had a question and answer round with the expedition team in the Observation Lounge; after only 15 minutes this round came to a fast end when we heard the announcement: Aurora Borealis! Nordlys! Nordlicht! Northern Light! That was what we were waiting for. And now we got it and we got a nice and perfect one. Even it was cold we were standing for a long time on the open decks to enjoy this amazing spectacle. It was a perfect end for our Greenland season.