Welcome to Our 2016 Travel Blog

P.J. Gardner, May 25, 2016

In June and July 2016, P.J. and Arjan took another ridiculously long vacation—this time, for 50 days.

Our trip this year was more or less the reverse of our trip in 2014. In 2014, we took a 17-day Holland America Line cruise called “The Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Amsterdam on the ms Veendam, followed by travel around Northern Europe for another 23 days.

This year, we are spending a month in Northern Europe, followed by an 18-day Holland America Line cruise called “Viking Passage” from Rotterdam back home to Boston on the ms Rotterdam.


First, we flew to London on June 1.  After a few days in London, we took the train to Edinburgh, Scotland, and then rented a house in Doune, Scotland, for five days.  After spending about ten days touring Scotland, we flew to Berlin, Germany. After a few days in Berlin, we took the train to Rotterdam, Arjan’s home town in the Netherlands, where we visited some of Arjan’s lifelong friends. After a few days in Rotterdam and a day in Amsterdam, we rented a car and drove to Friesland, in the north of Holland, where we rented a house and visited with more friends and family.

Scurrying back to Rotterdam, we caught our Viking Passage cruise on July 2.  Our first stop was Bergen, Norway.  Then we sailed to the Shetland Islands, visited three places in Iceland, spent a day cruising Prins Christian Sund at the southern tip of Greenland, and stopped at two places in GreenlandBack in North America, we visited St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, before arriving back home in Boston on July 20.

In our previous travel blogs for other trips, posting blog entries has been a bit backwards from what you’d expect, P.J. being the professional writer and Arjan being a non-native speaker of English. On past trips, P.J. gave up writing most of the blog posts to Arjan, who turned out to be a very entertaining and articulate travel writer.  When we travel, P.J., who loves landscape photography, whips out (actually lugs around) her camera and tries to capture each place we visit to illustrate the blogs with images.

This time, we alternated creating blog posts while we were in Europe, but once we were on the cruise, Arjan did most of the writing.  P.J. kept taking pictures, but because of the limits to internet access, most of the images had to wait until the trip was over.

Again, we tried to update this blog as our travel progressed—whenever we had internet access and time—but we are still not finished. There is usually a lag in posting our photos, because processing photos on the road takes too much time. Keep coming back. We’ll let you know when we are done.

To start at the beginning of our 2016 trip blog, go here:

Photographs on this site, unless noted otherwise: © 2016 P.J. Gardner. All rights reserved.
Note: The photograph of the ms Rotterdam on this page is not an original photograph.

For our blogs from previous trips, be sure to visit: