Yes yes I know I haven’t blogged for several months. Sorry people. Perhaps a part of me wanted to allow the Sustrans article to stew in its own juices (more about Sustrans soon). Or maybe I just needed to step back from it all. But I’m back online now, and headed to the States for a few months. I plan to continue to present my Driven to Excess research, see what trouble I can stir up, and of course catch up with friends and family.
I’m booked on the next Virgin flight from Heathrow…….Ha!!! Got you! Justkidding… I’ll actually be travelling with my friend Leah, via the Norwegian Jewel cruise ship (depicted above). I know that cruises are the floating symbol of excess, the Las Vegas of transatlantic options, the carbon glutton of the seas- some say three times the impact of flying, but……
Unfortunately I don’t know anyone with a sailboat, and the recession’s impact on the cruise industry mean that you can get relatively cheap passage at the moment. This is in comparison to basic accommodation on a cargo ship which is twice as much! I’ll be reflecting on these conundrums and more here on my blog during my overland return journey to San Francisco from September 19th to October 15th, so watch this space!
When I rang up NCL Cruise Lines to book the voyage, I thought the agent said the ship was called the ‘Norwegian Jew.’ I could imagine this man with long braided sideburns eating gefilte fish out of a fjord…
Anyway… my friend who works in the travel industry, writes to me:
“The most damaging mode of transport you could have chosen. I hope campaigners against big fat polluting cruise ships close the port on the day you travel xxx”
Yes, Ali, I hope so too. Indeed I am experiencing carbon guilt. Nevertheless I am going to try and enjoy it, sliding down the waterslide and going for a swim, enjoying a show or two and trying not to think of the Africans, Bangladeshis, and Tuvaluans for whom the emissions from the smokestacks mean they’re homes will be submerged and livelihoods destroyed.
Anyway, we will be stopping for the day in Lerwick, Shetlands, Reykjavik, Iceland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Halifax, Nova Scotia before arriving in New York on the 30th. I have talks scheduled in Halifax, New York, and hopefully the University of Iceland in Reykjavik will come through soon as well.
I will be blogging daily across the Atlantic, finding out what life is like on a cruise ship, how ‘environmentally friendly’ these ships actually are, and interviewing other passengers, particularly those who are on board to avoid a transatlantic flight.
Stay tuned from the 19th of September, when the Jew leaves Dover. Come down to the dock and protest if you like J x