Transcript: [standup on balcony]
As a travel writer, I’m fortunate to be able to take my kids on a lot of cruises. My son’s been on Disney’s flagships, on Royal Caribbean’s large ships and on Carnival’s Fun Ships, but he seems to prefer the adventure-seeking, thought-provoking expeditions offered by Silversea Cruises. This week we’re in Greenland on Silver Explorer.
[visuals with voiceover]
Now in my 50s, I am endlessly drawn to the power of the polar extremes. The lands above and below the polar circles mesmerize me with their natural and manmade spectacles, from their bone-chilling seas strewn with chunks of ice to their tiny towns perched upon rocky landscapes.
These regions are not without life, and I enjoy engaging with the folks who carve out an existence in such harsh climates and to learn something about their lives.
If I am lucky, I get close to towering sculptures of ice carved by nature and experience the awe of the magic dance across the sky that is the Northern Lights.
And for one week in Greenland I experienced all of this with someone special, my 18-year-old son. What better gift can a parent give to a child than an appreciation of the planet and its natural wonders?
For Alex, our trip to Greenland was a learning experience. Simply trying to pronounce the names of the places we visited was a challenge:
[Alex at waterfalls with local guide learning to pronounce placename]
We had a knowledgeable expedition staff who took time to explain what we were seeing both off the ship and back on the ship. One morning we went ashore in a place where eight mummified bodies were discovered in 1972.
[Alex talks with Elizabeth, a Silver Explorer expedition team member, about the Greenlandic mummies]
In the afternoon, Alex learned about the geography of Greenland.
[Alex talk geography with Stefan, Silver Explorer’s expedition team leader]
We had moments of bonding. Our photo album is filled with pictures of in remote ports. We enjoyed arduous hikes together as well as relaxed walks along desolate beaches.
We did all of this from our luxurious home on Silver Explorer. We had a spacious suite, with a separate living room and bedroom, a large bathroom with a tub and a huge balcony that we enjoyed both from the outside and from the inside of our suite. We had a wonderful butler, who brought breakfast to us each morning before we headed out on Zodiacs to make landings ashore.
[Visuals of our suite and balcony and butler]
Alex and I had a lot of fun watching kayak demonstrations, where the kayaker rolled under ice-cold waters. We enjoyed playing with cute puppies that will grow up to pull sleds across the snow in winter.
We climbed mountains for beautiful views across vast seascapes, and we saw a ton of beautiful icebergs. In Ilulissat, we boarded a boat built in the 1920s to sail among the ice fields. It was something that neither of us will ever forget.
Nor will we forget our last night on Silver Explorer when we stood out on deck for hours watching the beautiful Northern Lights.
Expedition cruising is not often thought about when families are considering trips together, but in my view, these adventure-seeking, life-enriching voyages are among the best things that a family can do together.
[Visual of Zodiac taking us ashore with Silver Explorer in our wake]
That is the power of the polar extremes on a voyage presented to my son and I on Silver Explorer.