Friday, 22 July 2011

Tony Soper Joins Fred. Olsen

Expedition leader, naturalist and veteran broadcaster, Tony Soper, will be joining guests aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Braemar cruise to the North Cape in June 2012. Appearing as part of its Vistas cruise enhancement programme, Tony’s expert topic will be ‘Flora and Fauna’.

Tony Soper started his career as a trainee with the BBC and is a co-founder of its Natural History Unit. His many TV credits include BBC2’s ‘Nature’ and the film series ‘Discovering Birds’ and ‘Beside the Sea’. A renowned bird watcher, he is also an accomplished expedition leader, having led wildlife safaris to both the Arctic and the Antarctic, and is a pioneer of expedition cruising.

Many people will have fond memories of his time on the classic children’s nature programme, ‘Animal Magic,’ which he co-presented with multi-voiced Johnny Morris. The much-loved series ran for 21 years, from April 1962.

The cruise also lends itself perfectly to Tony’s subject. Setting sail from Dover on June 14, the first port of call is Ijmuiden (for Amsterdam), then Braemar cruises north to Leknes, in the Lofoten Islands, inside the Arctic Circle. The wild landscape, with jagged peaks and white sand, is visually stunning, and one of the most picturesque in Norway.

Next port is Tromsø and from there the classic ship travels right up to the North Cape, to Honningsvǻg, Norway’s most northerly village, framed by rugged mountains and the Arctic Ocean. At this time of year, there is daylight around the clock, so the sightseeing is unparalleled. On the return journey, Braemar visits Trondheim, then Ǻlesund, with its strikingly pretty ‘Art Nouveau’ architecture, and, finally, the bustling port of Bergen, with its cobbled streets and quaint wooden buildings. The cruise then returns to Dover on June 27.

A North Cape cruise offers many opportunities for spotting birds and wildlife, including reindeer, whales and many species of seabird, and no doubt the guests’ enjoyment will be greatly enhanced by Tony Soper's fascinating and well-informed talks.

Prices for this cruise start from £1,529 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside twin cabin, Grade ‘I’. The price includes all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes, and there is no extra charge for the Vistas activities.

For more info, see or the specialist cruise travel agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.