I am about to start exploring Europe, and it’s going to be an amazing whirlwind tour with a splattering of many countries. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit England and Ireland while I was on my vacation with Niamh and her family, but it’s going to be even more amazing all the places I’m about to go. Here’s a list of what’s on the menu:
The best thing about this is that I’m going to get to go to quite a few different cities in each of these countries as my ship stops in these places more than once. I will be particularly familiar with Norway. I’m also going to get a few overnights including Stockholm Sweden, St. Petersburg Russia, Maderia Portugal, Tenerife Canary Islands, Honningsvag Norway, and Barcelona Italy.
Personally I am most excited about St. Petersburg and Barcelona. Also very high on my excitedness list is both Casablanca and Tangier in Morocco. In about 2 weeks from now I will have been to 6 of the 7 continents. Antarctica will have to wait for some other time. Holland America has had a ship go to Antarctica a lot in the past, however I think this year was the last year for this for whatever reason. I guess I’ll have to go there on my own one day.
Two places that I won’t get to go to on this contract are Venice and Istanbul – both places that I really want to visit some day. I’m not complaining too much though, I have SO many really awesome places I’m about to see.
The photo team here on the Ryndam is very good. There’s me, Niamh, Saskia, Becky and Zhou Ye. Saskia is Indian ancestry, but she was born and adopted in The Netherlands, so she speaks only English and Dutch. Becky and Niamh are British, and Zhou Ye is Chinese. She’s from a city near Changchun, so it’s really cool for me to have someone else to speak Chinese to on the ship, and this someone is even in my department. Zhou Ye is our videographer, Becky is our Black Label artist and Saskia is a photographer. Becky is leaving for vacation in a few days and will be gone for about 5 weeks, after which she is coming back here. In the meantime, our Black Label artist is going to be Joanne, who happens to be my Operations Manager with Ocean Images. This means that I’m going to be working with my boss for 5 weeks. It’s going to be very interesting to say the least. I’m sure I will learn a lot in this time.
I spent the first couple weeks on the ship getting back into the swing of things, and readjusting back to the Ryndam after nearly 10 months on the Volendam. I am feeling very good right now. I’ve had a few quiet days the last week because we’re in the middle of the Atlantic right now and there’s not much to do on the ship because the guests are all mariners. This means they’ve sailed many times in the past and aren’t too concerned with taking photos. So we don’t have a lot to do which gives me a chance to make preparations for the European season.