So we are back from our cruise to Greenland, Iceland and Norway. It confirmed most of my preconceptions. Cruising is mostly done by old people, I would say at least 80% were retired. People who cruise go on a lot of cruises. My favourite comment was from a woman at breakfast who in response to the all purpose opening conversation gambit of "This is our first cruise." replied "I've been on over 50 but my husband here has been cruising for 74 years, he started when he was 8." At this point the husband smiled and having clearly not got a word in edgeways since he married he didn't try to speak throughout the meal. Cruisers are also not very adventurous. In Qaqortoq (southern Greenland) there were no tours arranged and the town only had 3000 inhabitants so there wasn't a lot to do. The only obvious walk was around the lake a distance of 6km. It was a bit strenuous and took 4 hours but there were some fantastic views and the bird life let you get within a couple of metres clearly not worried by people. There were 1900 passengers on our boat and we were the only people to take that walk.
Having said that it was a fantastic holiday for the money. The food was excellent and free - very useful in Norway where someone carelessly ventured into an ordinary cafe for a coffee a sandwich and a slice of carrot cake and was charged £27. The entertainment was also very good with a cinema, a theatre with an excellent group of singers and dancers and some very good vocalists and musicians doing a classical concert series. All this is better than it sounds, honest. There were also quite a few miscellaneous performers - pianists, cabaret singers and the like. I was amused by a duo on percussion and synth doing cover versions of Alan Parsons Project and Steeley Dan numbers though didn't have the time to devote to them that perhaps I should. We played a lot of bridge. You get to stay right in the heart of some some major cities without having to unpack and repack in a moving hotel. Seeing the fjords by boat is fantastic and it is by far the easiest way to get to Greenland.