Sailors passing 66 degrees 33 minutes north and crossing into the Arctic Circle traditionally have to fulfil a series of gruesome tests to gain the approval of King Neptune and gain Bluenose status. But despite having a number of volunteers willing to appeal to his nicer nature – the powers that be on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth felt it probably wasn’t in keeping with their luxurious image to be freezing their guests with buckets of iced water in below zero temperatures!
So, Amanda Reid the Entertainments Director on the Queen Elizabeth came up with an alternative plan to offer up the gift of a night of Viking dancing and entertainment to Neptune whilst giving their guests a unique event to remember.
The Arctic Vikings Dance Night party was made available to the different departments to come up with ideas for the celebration.
Executive Chef James Abhilash had his team create canapés and treats served in a spectacular display of an ice sculptured polar bear and a fierce looking Viking made out of butter.
Vando Bilandzic, Public Rooms Manager held a raffle to win a bottle of Champagne with the purchase of a glass of special Viking Punch.
The daylight outside, despite the hour, didn’t affect the party atmosphere and the entertainment team entered into the spirit by dressing in Viking finery and bringing along their pet polar bear for a dance.
When the band took a brief sojourn, the on-board Queen Elizabeth’s Theatre Company brought the traditional welcome to the Arctic circle to life with King Neptune, Queen Aurora Borealis and the Seaweed Court. With a special guest appearance from Commodore Christopher Rynd they officially granted Bluenose status to the Queen Elizabeth’s passengers and crew.
When the band returned, guests were invited to join in with a more upbeat line dancing session, with the Entertainment Team leading an ‘Arctic Roll’ dance to the somewhat appropriate Ice Ice Baby song, by Vanilla Ice.
The polar bear seemed to enjoy it, and the dance floor was filled with shimmeying, grapevining and side stepping. The Vikings agreed, a new Cunard tradition may well have been started!
Whilst the night still appeared young with it still being daylight, passengers were shipped off to bed to get some rest before spending the morning cruising around the scenic Magdalenefjord and the afternoon visiting one of the four permanent settlements, Ny Ålesund, on the island of Spitsbergen.
Image courtesy of Cunard.