15-16 September 2019:
Quebec City:
In the Shadow of the Chateau

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived this morning for a two-day visit to beautiful Quebec City, the penultimate port of call on this cruise. On Tuesday we will complete our trip from Iceland with a call at Montreal.

The Chateau

Chateau Frontenac on a previous visit

There are few more attractive and enjoyable port towns than Quebec City. The food aboard ship is marvelous, but the lure of the bistrot and cafés is almost irresistible.

So, too, just the joy of time travel in the lower city, which is the oldest part of Quebec as well as strolls through the more ornate upper town which is dominated by the Chateau Frontenac, one of the iconic hotels of the world.

You can read more and see other photos from our many visits to Quebec City by clicking on the tag at the bottom of this blog entry.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

14 September 2019:
Saguenay, Quebec:
Up the Fjord

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Saguenay River and the small town of La Baie a few hours sailing up the Saguenay River from the Saint Lawrence is one of the great daytime voyages of the world, in the company of the Norwegian, Chilean, and Alaskan fjords.

Along the way–sometimes accompanied by beluga whales and other sea creatures–we pass abeam of Notre Dame du Saguenay, a statue of the Virgin Mary erected in 1881 by a traveling salesman who fell through the ice one winter and credited his survival to divine assistance.

Notre Dame du Saguenay. Photo by Corey Sandler

Cruise ships have come up the river to see the foliage and the statue for all the time since, and in recent decades the little town of La Baie has become a port of call for a small number of cruise ships each year. What sometimes seems like the entire town comes out to greet guests and escort them to the parks and trails and other enticements.

We reached the town of La Baie at lunchtime, and I went with a group of guests for a return visit to one of the most spectacular pageants anywhere: La Fabuleuese Histoire d’un Royaume, the Fabulous Story of a Kingdom.

More than a hundred local residents plus horses, cattle, a goat, a pig, and a gaggle of trained geese appeared on stage. Few shows on Broadwsy or the West End can match this production for its showmanship.

Here are a few scenes:

Photos by Corey Sandler

You can read more about previous visits to La Baie and the Saguenay fjord by clicking on the tags at the bottom of this blog post.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

13 September 2019:
Sept-Îles, Quebec:
Islands in the Stream

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Gulf of Saint Lawrence is considered the largest estuary in the world;

An estuary is a tidal inlet, a partially enclosed body of water that is influenced by rivers flowing into it as well as the open ocean.

The Saint Lawrence estuary begins at the eastern tip of Île d’Orléans, just downstream from Quebec City, the highest reach of ocean tides on the river.

At Sept-Iles, the river is considered to meet the Atlantic Ocean.

The town, now greatly dependent on natural resources and tourism, is the meeting point of French and Innu cultures.

The city of Sept-Îles extends along a natural bay whose entrance is protected by a natural rampart of seven islands: Grande Basque, Petite Basque, Corossol, Petite Boule, Grosse Boule, Manowin, and De Quen.

I went out today by inflatable Zodiac boat to visit a mussel farm on Grosse Boule. It was an exhilarating trip, briefly interrupted by sightings of two whales in the river.

Here is since if what we saw on the island today:

Grosse Boule island. Photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

The scenery on the river is attractive, and there are many excursions for tourists. But Sept-Îles is primarily an industrial town; about 25,000 people live in the city, many of them directly or indirectly employed by the iron ore shipping or aluminum smelting industry.

Extraction of iron ore began in 1954 at a mine in Schefferville, more than 250 long and lonely miles to the north. The Schefferville mine closed in 1982, although new technologies and increased demand may result in a reopening.

Today most of the iron ore comes from Labrador City in far-western Labrador on the border with Quebec.

There are few roads into the wilderness; the ore is transported to Sept-Îles on the privately owned Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway, loaded on ships and sent to processors around the world. The iron company is primarily owned by Rio Tinto.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

12 September 2019:
Havre St-Pierre, Quebec:
River Town

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Havre St-Pierre is in Quebec, which is the largest province of Canada on the mainland of the world’s second-largest nation.

Havre-St-Pierre is a big place, too. It sprawls across 3,900 square kilometers or 1,504 square miles, about the same size as the greater metropolitan area of Montreal.

But only about 3,500 people live in the municipality of Havre-St-Pierre, which works out to about 3 per square mile. Montreal, which lays ahead of us, has more than 4 million residents.

Silver Wind at the dock today

Today the port is in heavy use as a shipping port for iron and titanium ore.

Fishing concentrates on snow crab, scallops, and lobster in the Gulf, and salmon and trout in the freshwater rivers and lakes.

In 1857, the first European settlers were mostly French Acadians who came across from Les Isles de Madeleine, the Magdalen Islands.

Since 1948, the Quebec Iron and Titanium Company, owned by the Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto Group, has mined deposits of ilmenite, a mineral composed of iron and titanium, at a site about 40 kilometers or 25 miles north.

Their railroad, the Chemin de fer de la Rivière Romaine, brings the ore to the port, where it is loaded aboard bulk carriers and shipped upriver to Sorel-Tracy near Montreal.

Titanium is used to make white pigments, and alloyed with iron, aluminium, vanadium, and molybdenum or other elements to produce strong, lightweight metals for aerospace, military, industrial, and medical products. It is also used in jewelry in pure form or as an alloy with gold.

The other form of mining in Havre St-Pierre is aimed at the wallets of tourists. A bit west up the river is the amazing natural phenomena of the Mingan Archipelago, the largest group of erosional monoliths in Canada, limestone monoliths formed over thousands of years by wave action, strong winds, and seasonal freezing and thawing.

I went with guests by boat today to Le Petite Íle au Marteau (Little Hammer Island) to see some of the monoliths and the old lighthouse that faces out into the wide mouth of the Saint Lawrence.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

11 September 2019:
Corner Brook, Newfoundland:
Mill Town

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

At long last, land.

We arrived about noon in Newfoundland, after five days st sea from Iceland.

The glories of Atlantic Canada are numerous, and Corner Brook is not far from the spectacular Gros Morne park and other natural attractions.

But here in town, the roads near the port are criss-crossed by huge flatbed trucks carrying logs and dominated by the massive plume of a very large paper mill.

Silver Wind at the dock in Corner Brook today, upwind of the paper mill

The good news is that you can set your watch (or to be more accurate these days, double-check your cell phone clock) by listening for the factory whistle: the original century-old steam whistle sounds at 8 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.

I went with guests to visit some of the “outports” of Newfoundland.

Bottle Cove, the Newfy-adjusted name for Bateau Cove (Boat Cove) when the French were here

Corner Brook is located on the Bay of Islands at the mouth of the Humber River; it is the principal commercial center for all of western and northern Newfoundland, and also the administrative headquarters of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nations government.

Outside of town on Crow Hill is the Captain James Cook National Historic Site.

Yes, that Captain Cook.

In 1767, the famous British explorer and cartographer surveyed the Bay of Islands and was the first to map the area.  At the memorial are some copies of his charts, and an attractive view of the Bay of the Islands—the one here in Newfoundland, not the one in New Zealand.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

6-10 September 2019:
The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

In case you were wondering…Silver Wind is safe and sound and headed for Newfoundland where we expect to call at Corner Brook tomorrow, 11 September.

When we sailed out of Reykjavik five days ago, our plans were different. The itinerary called for three days at sea and then calls at St. John’s, Newfoundland and a brief return to Europe at St-Pierre and Miquelon, a French-governed set of islands nearby.

That is, until this happened:

Actually, that was only part of the story.

We had Hurricane Dorian making its way up the east coast of the United States and over top of Nova Scotia. And to our east, we had another storm, Hurricane Gabrielle, out to sea but effectively putting us in a sandwich of storms.

Our captain and crew took good care of us, threading the needle between the “disturbances” but the course we took was far from our original plan. Our three-day crossing became a five day trip.

The seas were…as some mariners say…a bit lumpy. But we have made it across the pond.

Land is in sight, and more blog entries to follow.

Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

4-5 September 2019:
Reykjavik, Iceland to the New World:
Crossing the Atlantic, Part 2

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived 4 September in Reykjavik, the capital of the island nation of Iceland.

Strokkur geyser near Reykjavik. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

To those guests leaving us here, safe travels. And welcome aboard to new friends.

We went this morning to visit the country’s newest man-made attraction, FlyOver Iceland, which opened last week near downtown. It is a spectacular simulation of a helicopter (or hang glider) tour of Iceland.

Although I have been to Iceland many times, there are still many, many truly amazing places that are all-but-inaccessible. Hanging waterfalls, sulfur-dusted volcanoes, hidden valleys, glaciers, and snowfields. Oh, and puffins.

Visitors to the attraction sit in theater-like seats–with a seat belt–that move into the 20-meter (66-foot) spherical screen and then rise, descend, twist, turn, and tilt with the scenery.

This is state-of-the-art entertainment in every sense. We are still soaring…

FlyOver Iceland
A scene from FlyOver Iceland

Onward to Canada (with a Detour to France)

The previous cruise began in London, and we leave from Iceland to complete our transatlantic crossing. Ahead of us, after three days at sea, our first landfall will be in St. John’s, Newfoundland which is often cited as the nearest part of North America to Europe. It’s close enough.

From there–and stay with me here–we make a brief visit to France. That is, we are scheduled to stop at the remote island St-Pierre in the St-Pierre and Miquelon islands. These rocky places are all that remains of New France in what is now Canada. France has held on to them through some very thin years; today there is a bit of tourism to see a bit of history and for some guests a way to check off another place on their bucket list.

From New France we head into French Canada, with stops in the Province of Quebec at Havre-St.-Pierre, Sept-Îles, Saguenay, and then resplendent Quebec City and cosmopolitan Montreal.

Here’s our plan:

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

3 September 2019:
Heimaey, Iceland:
The Fiery Home Island of Vestmannaeyjar

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Heimaey is the principal settlement of the Westmann islands, a small, mostly quiet, occasionally very hot place in Iceland.

This is the only inhabited land in the Vestmannaeyjar islands. In January 1973, a volcanic eruption destroyed half the town and threatened to ruin its essential harbor.

At 1:55 in the morning, the middle of Heimaey began to shake, and lava emerged from new fissures that stretched about 1,600 meters or one mile from one shore to the other. Lava fountains spouted as much as 150 meters, or 500 feet high.

Just east of town, a new cone began to build. Because it was near an old church, the locals called the new volcano Kirkjufell (Church Mountain), but the official Icelandic place-naming committee chose Eldfell (Fire Mountain) instead.

Strombolian eruptions deposited thick tephra over the northern half of the island, building a cone of 200 meters or 660 feet.

The lava flow was in some places 100 meters or 330 feet thick. Not something you’d want to try and hold back with a shovel.

It’s not like this is something unexpected. Iceland is by considered the most active volcanic area in the world, sitting astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian Plates are moving west and east respectively, and also over the Iceland hotspot, a funnel to volcanic matter.

It is estimated that a third of all the basaltic lava in recorded history has been produced by Icelandic eruptions.

We made it through the lava-narrowed mouth of the harbor at noontime, with perhaps 10 meters or 33 feet clearance on each side. And then I went with guests on a very strenuous, very exhilarating hike up Eldfell, the new volcano in town. Here is some of what we saw today:

The narrow neck of the harbor after Silver Wind had backed into place at the pier
At the pier in Heimaey
Climbing…
Heimaey is home to about five thousand humans and about eight million puffins. This chick had been rescued and was being cared for before release

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

2 September 2019:
Seyðisfjörður, Iceland:
The Pearl in a Shell

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

About 36 hours after sailing from Scotland, we arrived at the east coast of Iceland and the port of Seyðisfjörður, which–if you can get past a few extra Icelandic characters–is pronounced just the way it looks. SAY-dis-fuhr-dir.

This is one of Iceland’s most picturesque towns with a collection of 19th century wooden homes, surrounded by beautiful nature. Poet Matthías Johannessen called Seyðisfjörður a ‘pearl enclosed in a shell’.

Like many remote places, it exists because of its protected harbor, established by foreign merchants, mostly from Denmark, and fishermen from Norway. It’s a small town of about 665 people, spread across 82 square miles or 213 square kilometers.

Settlement traces back to the early period of habitation in Iceland. The ruin of a stave church nearby has been carbon-dated to the 10th century, with earlier graves from the 8th century.

On this visit, I went with guests on an adventurous hike up the side of the mountains to visit a valley of waterfalls. It was a treat for the eyes, and an ache to my knees. Here is some of what we saw today:

The Valley of Waterfalls
An abandoned whaling station and village near the mouth of the fjord. All photos by Corey Sandler, 2019. All rights reserved

Seyðisfjörður was home to British and American forces during World War II  and some of the elements of the bases can be seen around the fjord, including a disused landing strip. And this was one of the few places that saw actual combat, or at least an attack, during World War 2.

You can read more about this place by clicking on the Seyðisfjörður tag at the bottom of this blog.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)