With talks of travel bubbles – ahem, travel corridors – having taking a backseat once again, we look to overseas for some much-needed vicarious satiation of wanderlust. Today, we’ll take a slightly different approach – instead of going on holiday, we’ll keep chugging along at our desks, laptops in hand.
Except that said desks will no longer be in whichever part of the house is simultaneously furthest from the kids and untoward distractions, and instead in a cabin. On a cruise ship. Sailing across the ocean, though reasonably close to all-important wireless Internet signals.
It’s all a part of adventure travel group Hurtigruten Expedition newly launched work-from-ship plan. It’s an unusual pivot for a company that promises, normally, to take travelers away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life – including Internet connectivity, and by extension your incessantly buzzing phone.
For now, they’ve identified six itineraries that are particularly suited for North American-based travelers. These range from shorter, eight-day getaways that swing you past some of the US West Coast’s redwood-filled National Parks, as well as a two-and-a-half-week expedition to remote islands in search of brown and black bears.
In your downtime, you’d be more than welcome to partake in any of each itinerary’s pre-planned activities, which include hikes along the coast, hopping onto a local lobster boat along the Atlantic coast or kayaking in Alaska. Which, in our book, is far more exciting than a jog around the neighbourhood can ever be (especially on your 200th go).
You’ll get to sail on ships with all the creature comforts necessary to make your trip productive (and more importantly, fun). Take the MS Roald Amundsen (if you’ve opted for any of the six trips they’ve highlighted) for example. In line with the ship’s provenance, you can expect interior décor replete with Scandinavian sensibilities, which means plenty of granite, oak and wool in stylish cabins. Some of them even come with bathtubs and private balconies. The ship’s three restaurants celebrate Nordic and Norwegian heritage, and you’ve also got a gym, infinity pool and science centre to round out the amenities.
Thankfully, the vessel, which joined the fleet in 2019, also happens to be pretty cutting edge where it comes to sustainability. It’s equipped with an electric propulsion system that helps the mid-sized ship cut down on fuel consumption, along with carbon emissions, by a good 20 per cent.
(Related: A staycation on a yacht)
The best part? Provided the weather’s working with you, you’d be more than able to recreate some infamous virtual backgrounds during Zoom meetings, much to the amusement (or ire) of coworkers. Not every background would be perfectly replicable – you can’t quite get high-speed Internet while chasing the Northern Lights, but we’re sure that someone, somewhere is working on that.
Click here for Hurtigruten Expedition’s work-from-ship offers.