Cruise for a cause

Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic life – Visitnorway.com. The Daughters of Norway fjord cruise will include views of Geirangerfjord.

The Daughters of Norway sponser their third fundraising cruise, this time to the land of their roots

The Daughters of Norway are using their passion for both Norway and philanthropy to sponsor a seven-day fjord cruise to Norway.

The cruise, which will depart Copenhagen, Denmark on August 24 before visiting Oslo, Stavanger, Ålesund, Geiranger, and Bergen, is a fundraising effort for the organization.

“Cruises are our most effective way of fundraising,” says Ellen Hinds, past Grand Lodge President and chair of the Cruise Committee. “It’s a great experience.”

The money raised through the cruise will go in part to the Daughters of Norway scholarship fund, which has had great success this year. “We have raised enough to give five $1500 scholarships,” says Hinds. “Sometimes we can only give four, or only $1000, so this is a great year.”

The Norwegian cruise will be the cherry on top of two other successful cruises sponsored by the Daughters of Norway. In 2009, the organization cruised to Alaska, while in 2011 they sponsored a cruise tour of New England and Canada. Hinds went along on both cruises. “My husband and I have totally enjoyed the experience,” says Hinds, describing past cruises that have included great meals and shopping, great connections, beautiful views, and even Scandinavian entertainment.

The August 2013 cruise will be on the eleven-deck “Vision of the Seas,” a Royal Caribbean ship. With eight pools and whirlpools, eight bars and lounges, a spa and a casino – not to mention beautiful fjord views – there is sure to be not a single dull moment for those who will be on the cruise with the Daughters of Norway. Booking is being handled by Karin Zamarripa in the Mt. Vernon, Wash. AAA Travel office. Zamarripa herself is a Daughters of Norway member of Nelli Gerdrum Lodge #41, the same lodge where Ellen Hinds is a member; from top to bottom, the cruise is truly a Daughters of Norway effort.

Daughters of Norway members and their families invite anyone to join them on the cruise, whether they are familiar with the organization or not; after all, Norwegian-Americas are the one of the most pleasant groups to travel with. On the Alaska cruise in 2009, Hinds’ husband stopped to help a woman with something she had dropped. When she saw the button he was was wearing that pronounced him a member of the Daughters of Norway group, she smiled and said: “Those Norwegians. They are so wonderful!”

It is that wonderful Norwegian heritage that has inspired many people to join the cruise. “Most people who are doing this want to get back to their roots,” says Hinds. “They just have a real connection, emotionally, with where their family came from.” Since everyone is responsible for getting to Scandinavia on their own, Hinds says that many will extend their trip either before or after the cruise to meet with family or to visit heritage sites of importance to them. In the Mt. Vernon travel office, Karin Zamarripa can work out any kind of travel package. This flexibility is another advantage of the trip.

Hinds strongly believes that the Daughters of Norway cruise is an absolute must for anybody considering travel to Norway. “It’s been such a positive experience for my husband and me, and for the members who have gone,” she says. “Food, entertainment, and everything is all part of the price. It really is the best, most affordable way to travel!”

For more information about the Daughters of Norway Fjord Cruise 2013, contact Karin Zamarripa at (360) 848-2083, or (800) 743-1703, ext. 2083.

This article originally appeared in the Mar. 29, 2013 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

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