Shore Excursions In Corfu: Achillion Palace

achillion palace

About 30 minutes from Corfu’s Old City, Achillion (also Achilleion) Palace represents what some might call an obsession. Elizabeth Amelie Eugenie was the Empress of Austria. Known as Sisi she was assassinated by an Italian anarchist in Geneva Switzerland in 1898. Before her death, she built the beautiful palace that reflected her admiration of Achilles. With its… [Read More]

The Second Coming Of Torstein Hagen: Full Circle In Bergen

On Viking Star Torstein Hagen stands beside a model from the fleet of Bergen Line, where he began his career in the 1970s. © 2015 Ralph Grizzle

For Torstein Hagen, returning to Bergen, Norway, was about much more than christening his new and much-lauded ocean-going vessel, the 930-passenger Viking Star. The event marked a “coming home” for Hagen as well as the crowning achievement of a Lazarus-like return from two potentially catastrophic events in his life. The first was his being ousted from Royal Viking Line. Hagen… [Read More]

Shore Excursions In Corfu: A Jeep Safari, Four-Wheelin’ Through Curvaceous Corfu

corfu jeep safari

Grab the steering wheel and put your right hand on the gear shifter. Prepare for a drive like you’ve never experienced before. After our exhilarating mountain bike ride yesterday, today we seated ourselves behind the wheel of a 4×4 to explore curvaceous Corfu on four wheels. We passed through some of Corfu’s most charming villages, sometimes along some roads… [Read More]

Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen

Fredericksberg Gardens in Copenhagen

The late Victor Borge often sang a song whose lyrics began “Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen, Salty Old Queen of the Sea …” This was a popular seaman’s ode to Denmark’s great capital, a city whose fortunes have been tied to the sea. The majority of Baltic Sea cruises either begin or end in Copenhagen. This gives… [Read More]

Prelude To A Viking Christening

Look Closer: Viking Star (left) docked in Bergen on Saturday, May 17, 2015. On the far right is Fred. Olsen's Black Watch - the former Royal Viking Star.  As seen from Mt. Floyen. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Prelude to a Viking Christening Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports Saturday, May 17, 2015 The excitement in the air is almost overwhelming here in Bergen, Norway, and it was noticeable even before I stepped out of the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Bergen this morning. Not only is it Norwegian Constitution Day here in Norway, but… [Read More]

Join Me For A Special Cruise To Antarctica, February 3, 2016

Seabourn Quest in Antarctica. © 2015 Ralph Grizzle

When people ask me about my favorite cruise destination, the answer is nearly always Antarctica. During the past three years, I’ve made two trips to the White Continent, one on Silver Explorer and the other on Seabourn Quest. Though they differ, what each ship showed me and my fellow passengers was essentially the same: the… [Read More]