In August 2010, Leslie and I embarked on a 23-day vacation, the largest part of which was with the "Baltic Treasures" segment of Cruise West's "Voyages of the Great Explorers" aboard the Spirit of Oceanus. This was our third time on the Spirit of Oceanus - past cruises were Alaska in 2007 and Japan/South Korea in 2009, so you can guess how much we liked both the ship and Cruise West. We also returned to the cabin we had occupied during the Alaska cruise, 256. (For Japan, we got the one across the hall.)
If you're wondering where my travelogues for the past two trips are, well.. I never managed to finish them. Perhaps I will someday. But I swore that I would get this one done in a reasonable time. (I don't consider a year-plus "reasonable, but I did get it done!) You can at least see the photos for Alaska (2007) and Japan (2009). In order to motivate me, I responded to Cruise West's request for a "guest blogger" on each leg and sent in my updates almost every day. What you'll see here is an expanded form of what was on the Cruise West web site. Nearly all of the text was written during the trip, so if you see some things that appear anachronistic based on later events, that's why.
Little did I suspect that this would be our last time on the Spirit of Oceanus and with Cruise West - but I'll come to that later.
The cruise itself was August 8-21, but we took several extra days on each end to both adjust to time zone changes and to explore. The cruise began in Oslo, Norway and ended in London, England. Originally, we had booked a tour extension with Cruise West that would take us to the Bath and Stonehenge area of England, but as we were the only ones to sign up for that, the extension was canceled and our money refunded. We then decided to stay in London until our originally planned departure, and in hindsight that was probably a good choice.
Sprinkled throughout this travelogue are selected photos from the trip. Many more photos can be found at my Flickr collection European Vacation 2010. It is organized by port with a couple of miscellaneous sets thrown in. Each photo here is linked to its page on Flickr, so please click on any photo to see it larger. Use the Next and Back links at the bottom of the page to move around, or use the drop-down box to change to any selected page.
I welcome your comments, suggestions and corrections. Please use the email link at the bottom of each page to contact me.
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