Monday, 14 June 2010

LEADING US CLIMATE EXPERT, DR. JASON BOX, OFFERS INSIGHT INTO GLOBAL WARMING ABOARD HURTIGRUTEN'S "IN THE WAKE OF THE VIKINGS" - ICELAND-GREENLAND-CANADA SAILING

Hurtigruten has announced the addition of foremost Greenland climate expert Dr. Jason Box as a guest lecturer on its 14-day "In the Wake of the Vikings." Dr. Box, associate professor of geography at Ohio State University's Byrd Polar Research Center, has traveled to Greenland 18 times over a span of 15 years, studying and witnessing the effects of global warming, and offers considerable experience and insights into the island's geography and culture. As a contributing author to "Climate Change 2007," which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year, Dr. Box has appeared as an expert on CBS News, NBC's Today Show and the Discovery Channel and been quoted in The New York Times and numerous other venues. This incredible odyssey, departing Sept. 26, 2010 from Iceland aboard the deluxe 318-passenger MS Fram, encompasses some of Greenland’s and eastern Canada’s most spectacular natural and historical landscapes. Booking by July 31 means savings of 25% -- reduced fares are $4,743 to $9,316 per person, double. Passengers who book suites also receive free round-trip airfare from JFK or Newark Airports.

Making use of multimedia lectures and Q&A sessions, Dr. Box will leave Hurtigruten's guests with a clearer understanding of one of the world's most discussed climate issues, global warming, and its effect on Greenland’s glaciers and climate. "We bear witness to a pivotal moment in Earth's climate history with Greenland at the epicenter of that change -- as its glaciers react to the planet's warming," explains Dr. Box. "During my lectures, I will be focusing on the current state of research undertaken by myself and other leading scientists and discuss some of the possible solutions and options available." Other onboard experts from numerous disciplines, including geology, marine life, environment, history and culture, will also be on hand and will join the landings and shore excursions where passengers have the chance to get close to the culture, wildlife and communities of Greenland’s most isolated areas.

Before boarding the MS Fram in Reykjavik, Iceland, guests can take in some of the cosmopolitan city’s many museums and shops or sightsee among the glaciers, waterfalls and geysers just outside the city's boundaries. Four days are spent exploring the eastern and southern villages of Greenland including visits to Køge Bay, where the Greenland ice cap races to the sea; Umivik, the starting point of Fridtjof Nansen's epic first crossing of the Ice Cap; and Qassiarsuk, where Erik the Red in exile founded a colony that persisted for some 500 years. The ship then heads across the Labrador Sea, stopping in Newfoundland and then turning south to Halifax via St Anthony, Bonne Bay and Baddeck in Nova Scotia -- taking time to visit three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: L’Anse Aux Meadows, where Norse settlers began to get a foot hold in North America; Red Bay; and Gros Morne National Park; among other excursions.

Sailing aboard The MS Fram means large, comfortable lounges with panoramic windows and wonderful views from large outdoor decks; no need to dress up for dinner (unless you want to) and open seating; fresh seasonal ingredients, plenty of incredible seafood and a comprehensive wine list; multilingual tour directors; comfortable cabins - from the smaller inside accommodations to the large outside suites that offer TV, mini-bar, queen-size beds and numerous bonuses including a free bottle of champagne, two free shore excursions, complimentary wine with lunch or dinner and a free round of mini bar use; and a friendly and well-informed crew, ready to offer assistance and suggestions when asked. The public areas also include an Internet café, a wellness center with saunas, work-out room and two glass-screened heated outdoor whirlpools.

All sailings include cabin category selected, three meals daily aboard ship, lectures, services of naturalist guides, specified land excursions and PolarCirkel boat landings, ship transfers, government fees, cruise taxes and port charges. Add-on airfares from dozens of North American gateways range from $100 to $600. Prices do not include airline fuel surcharges, air taxes and ticketing fees of $439 to $489.

Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen, as well as year round along Norway's coast. Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten's visitor-friendly web site, www.hurtigruten.us; or by phone: (800) 323-7436; fax (888) 524-2145; 24-hour number for brochures, (800) 582-0835.