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Exploring Canada and the American East Coast on Fram

Mon 14 May 2018

Our Cruising Specialist, Ann, recently enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Canada and the America East Coast on board Hurtigruten's expedition ship Fram. Read her exclusive review:

One of my first cruise bookings was with Hurtigruten for an Antarctica Voyage on the Fram. This aroused my curiosity about the ship and made me want to see her for real. During April I was lucky enough to do so, joining Fram in Halifax and cruising along the coast to Boston, sampling a few days of her Canada and the American East Coast itinerary.

Fram carries an Expedition Team who between them has full knowledge of everything from ornithology to history. They are happy to chat to you when they are not giving lectures on their subjects and you also have the opportunity of dining with them which is a lovely touch. They also have a professional photographer who is happy to help you with your photography and who posts her photos of the day in the Reception area.

The public areas are equal to any of your more traditional cruise ship and she has a well equipped gym, sauna and outside Jacuzzis to enjoy on the sea days. The cabins are very comfortable and the lower grades are perfectly adequate for the amount of time that you spend in them. The bathroom has a heated floor which is lovely when you step out of the shower and great for drying off your swimwear when you’ve been in the Jacuzzi. You can book a larger cabin such as a mini-suite which will give you a double bed and a seating area or a suite which will also give you an outside balcony.

Visit remote communities Peggy's Point Lighthouse, Nova Scotia Our Cruising Specialist Ann with her fellow explorers Colourful houses clinging to the rocky cliffs Enjoy thrilling excursions in Polarcirckel boats Traditional fishing boats Take advantage of the onboard kayaks Old State House, Boston Boston

The food is served buffet style for breakfast and lunch, hot and cold, and they cater for every possible taste and dietary requirement. The evening meal varies between a buffet or a set menu but if there is something that you don’t like or cannot eat they are happy to offer you an alternative. One evening we had a full vegetarian meal which made a lovely change but my favourite meal was the Columbus menu with Clam Chowder, New York Strip steak and Lime Pie. You do not need to dress up at all for dinner, it’s a very relaxed environment and you can stay in what you have worn all day including walking trousers if you wish.

You have a choice of optional excursions depending upon your interests and abilities and they have local guides as well as members of the expedition team accompanying. They try to give you a taste of the facilities as offered on the Polar voyages and where possible you are able to go kayaking directly from the ship, no prior experience is necessary. They will also transport you to and from the ship in the Oxe Pro boats which are similar to zodiac styled boats and the Polarcirkel boats which are specifically designed for Hurtigruten.

One of my favourite trips was out to Peggy’s Cove which was so pretty and we were lucky in that the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky but it is such a pretty coastal fishing village with the main catch being lobsters. You are also able to do the Arctic Swim, subject to the weather conditions being agreeable, where you take a dip in the sea with the temperature is around 1 or 2 degrees – not for the faint hearted or those with heart problems!

Expedition ship Fram Fram Cabin with seating area Spacious cabin Twin cabin Enjoy delicious cuisine on board Delicious dessert Deck layout of Fram Gym on board Beautiful lounge on board Fram Enjoy a drink at the bar The Bridge on Fram Great selection of food at the buffet

The expedition voyages, whether to the Polar regions or warmer destinations are most suited for those who are interested in nature, history and wildlife and who have a reasonable fitness level, so they get the most out of experience. Age is really no barrier.

A lasting memory for me will be seeing a number of whales blowing and breaching along with a few small icebergs, think the correct name is an ice floe but for me it’s an iceberg! Both of these made me pinch myself and I feel so lucky to have had this experience.

Blue Water Holidays Blog