When we woke up on 23rd June we had crossed the North Sea and were cruising within sight of the East coast of Britain.

Windfarms off the East coast of Britain

 The sky was grey and there was a slight drizzle. What a change from the blue skies and hot sunshine! We had been so lucky with the weather, sea like a mill pond, blue skies and no need for the warm clothes we had packed “just in case”.

JW  went off to his last session with the watercolour group and I went to Captain Bray’s final talk about his time in the Merchant Navy.

It was like the last day of term, time to pack, say farewell to the friends we had made and exchange addresses,  ‘phone numbers and E-mail addresses.

By the time we arrived back in Southampton, early on the 24th June, we would have travelled 3,543 NM right up to 71 degrees North, basked under the midnight sun and eaten like princes. The crew had lived up to their high reputations for friendly, cheerful service, (I was delighted to see that Fred Olsen Line has been voted Cruise Line of the year by Cruise International Magazine in September this year).

We had our final dinner served by the lovely Carlos, enjoyed the Farewell concert and said goodbye to the beautiful bar staff and then off to bed.

Next morning we docked early in Southampton, had breakfast and were on the coach by 9am. After a tedious journey home we arrived in Cardiff to find that Jennie had stocked up the ‘fridge, left a meal ready and put fresh flowers on the table. We had had a fabulous holiday but it was lovely to be home with our family again.

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