Actually, I've been on a 12-day voyage that embraced Iceland, the Norwegian fjords and, for a brief period, the Arctic Circle.
The last time I took my family on a cruise someone commented, rather sarcastically I thought, "How nice for you, Simon", so I'll keep this short.
Or, rather, I'll report - direct from the Captain's Log (with my own observations in brackets) - on the conditions we experienced:
Southampton: Cloudy, 75oF
Reykjavik, Iceland: Overcast (very wet/very windy), 56oF
Akureyri, Iceland: Overcast, 59oF
Alesund, Norway: Cloudy, 67oF
Hellesylt/Geiranger, Norway: Cloudy (showers), 68oF
Olden, Norway: Overcast, 60oF
Bergen, Norway: Overcast (incessant rain), 62oF
Apparently it rains, on average, 235 days a year in Bergen and between October 29, 2006, and January 21, 2007, rain fell for 85 consecutive days. Fact.
To be fair, the sun did pop out from time to time and when it did it was worth the wait. You can't beat sitting on a stateroom balcony, good book in one hand, gin and tonic in the other, while the world goes by at approximately 17.5 knots. (It helps if there is some scenery to look at. I'm less keen on cruises where there is nothing to see apart from the horizon.)
Of course there's always a downside (why else would you read this blog?) and the downside of cruising is that you put on at least half a stone in weight. As a result, the trousers I wore quite comfortably before I left are now hopelessly redundant.
The good news is that I'm a lightweight compared to many of the ship's passengers. On the final evening there was a fire sale of clothing and, I kid you not, sizes included L, XL, XXL, XXXL and XXXXL!!! I bought a couple of t-shirts sized XXL. However, another week of eating and drinking on this scale and I'd be searching for a label that reads XXXXXL - or "You fat bastard" for short.
Anyway, I have posted some photos of our enormous floating hotel.
Above: the Crown Princess towers above Alesund, an attractive Norwegian town renowned for its colourful Art Nouveau architecture. While we were there we visited the Jugendstil Museum. The exhibits were interesting but the cafe was outstanding. I particularly recommend the chocolate cake.
Below: the ship in Geiranger fjord. To get this photo we had to climb a steep hill. Fortunately there was a bar a bit further on and I was able to get my breath back with the help of a large glass of beer.
One more post - about my holiday reading - and then it's back to work.