I never expected to see Santa sailing the Arctic Ocean on a cruise through the Norwegian fjords and beyond to the Arctic ice pack. But that’s exactly what happened one July morning on Regent Seven Seas Voyager. Captain Dag Dvergastein made a rare announcement over the ship’s loudspeaker encouraging guests to step out onto the balconies of their suite. What did we see? Santa sitting on top of a tender motoring around the ship.
Here’s the backstory: our attempt to reach the Arctic ice pack failed when Captain Dag had to turn the ship around for a passenger’s medical emergency. The ship rushed to meet an evacuation helicopter rather than toward the frozen Arctic. Knowing how disappointed his guests were (many had booked this cruise specifically because it included an attempt to reach the Arctic ice pack), the Captain searched for an experience that would cheer everyone up. When Voyager encountered an ice field as she sailed toward Honningsvag and the North Cape, Captain Dag found his opportunity. A quick meeting with Cruise Director Jamie Logan (aka Santa), and a plan was hatched. Christmas music blared as we watched Santa sailing the Arctic Ocean in July.
This, my boomer travel friends, is one of the beauties of small ship luxury cruising—the Captain’s ability to surprise his guests with unexpected experiences.
Have you experienced a surprise event on a small ship luxury cruise? Did you see Santa sailing the Arctic Ocean? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email with your comments or questions.