Celebrity Cruises' Great Adventures - Salmon Snorkelling Safari in Norway - the Ben Fogle Story
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One of my all-time favourite films is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. I love a quirky rescued academic (Ewan McGregor), a gentle romance (Emily Blunt), and best of all, the entire premise of the film is completely bonkers. Add to this, the captivating scenery which is, in fact, Morocco, a charming foreigner and you have a film in which I indulge myself at least three times a year.
On a glorious tangent, I noticed that Celebrity Cruises are now offering a Salmon Snorkelling Safari in Norway as one of the Great Adventures created by writer, explorer and Celebrity Cruises’ destination expert, Ben Fogle. What a fabulous idea, actually getting in there amongst the fish, this is wildlife in the raw. That of course, is really what Ben Fogle is all about, experiencing nature for real and immersing yourself in the moment. How exciting: a Norwegian river, salmon hurtling by and you being part of it. This may be the closest I get to being Emily Blunt!
I wouldn’t perhaps have associated the derring-do Ben Fogle with cruise culture, however he freely admitted after his first voyage to the Med that he thoroughly enjoyed it and his fears about a lack of privacy and being crowded were totally unfounded. He delights in peace; quiet as well as space and he found it aboard Celebrity Silhouette. The Lawn Club (real grass) looks authentic and classily civilised.
Ben’s desire to get under the skin of whichever country he’s in goes way back to his time on the tiny, remote island of Taransay and it is this that has so inspired the Great Adventures. His pleasure in kayaking prompted the adventure paddling around Stockholm’s archipelago and Ben’s keen curiosity about explorers of old, Amundsen of MS Fram and Thor Heydedahl of Kon Tiki in particular, ensures that a port of call in Oslo can take in the museums and exhibitions celebrating these two. Research shows that Ben was a midshipman in the Royal Naval Reserve, so his interest in ships is suddenly explained.
It has long been said that to understand a country you need to engage with its food, and for most of us that involves tucking into a few tasty meals whilst on holiday. And why not go one step further, and take a Sicilian Gastronomic Tour starting in Catania fish market, partaking of the hub bub amidst Italian shoppers? Fear not, lunch is involved at a later stage after a cookery lesson using local produce and wine. Culture, history and Sicilian life is woven into this Great Adventure.
Top of my list after the Salmon Snorkelling has to be the 3 Ss in Naples: Sun, Sorbet and Sorrento. You simply cannot get more Neapolitan than ice cream and this shore excursion takes you to a Gelateria where you can help make your very own, before heading to the beach to enjoy your creation. A great addition to your Celebrity Cruise!
So the brilliance of these Great Adventures is that there is something for one and all, if cold Scandinavian waters and physical activity are for you, marvellous. If, on the other hand, a pleasant stroll and an authentic Italian meal, cooked with your involvement, hits the spot, fantastic. Whichever you pick, it will get you genuinely involved in the destination, experiencing new and interesting things.
My ultimate adventure might be a day or so with Ewan, Emily and the rather dishy Amr Waked (charming foreigner) hosted by Ben himself on a small island, cooking, fishing and kayaking. Any chance Ben?
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