Member story: Young adventurer

RACQ member Louissa Chalk took her 12-year-old son, Caleb, on the adventure of a lifetime across the Arctic. This is his story.

Reindeer sledding across arctic tundra, feasting with the Vikings and snowmobiling along the Russian border - I got to experience all of these amazing things on an Arctic explorer cruise. When my mum and grandparents told me that we were going on this trip I had no idea what to expect. Well, let me tell you how awesome it was.
When I left Australia, it was more than 35 degrees celsius and when we got into Bergen, on a snowy winter night, it was minus five. My mum and I went up the Bergen funicular (like a tiny train on a pulley on a steep mountain) and to their famous aquarium. The penguins were speeding through the water and doing jumps. They look really funny waddling around on land.

 We took a 12-night cruise and it was really exciting the first time I walked into my cabin and saw my bed and the portholes. I would see so many amazing sights through these in the days to come. The ship could break through ice if necessary and had really incredible viewing decks inside and outside. The inside viewing decking was toasty warm while I looked out at the freezing cold landscape moving by.

Glass covers much of the viewing deck, giving an astonishing view of all the scenery. All meals were provided and I got to try reindeer, king crab, blue mussels, caviar, salmon, traditional Viking deserts - the list goes on! It was all so delicious.

There was also plenty of the normal stuff I eat at home, like eggs, toast and roast potato. While there was a play area for young children, an ice creamery with heaps of flavours I had never heard of and free WiFi, I really enjoyed going to the many presentations about Norway and the shore excursions.

There were so many options for shore excursions and I thought each one that I went on was incredible. There were bus tours, hikes and walks for the people who wanted to see the coastal Norwegian towns. There were many cultural excursions as well, like having dinner with the Vikings and going ice fishing and reindeer sledding with a Sami reindeer herder.

There was also the opportunity to visit North Cape, the northern-most piece of land you can stand on in the entire world and, for those who like to have lots of fun, you can even go snowmobiling. There was just so much to see and do!

On this cruise there is the probability of seeing the Northern Lights. The crew will always announce it, but if you don't want to be woken you can just turn off notifications. We saw the Northern Lights four nights in a row! Overall, this cruise was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would recommend it to any and all families. It was a true adventure.