Discover Ferries is delighted to announce the ‘Blogger of the Month’ for June as Kirstie Pelling.
Kirstie Pelling, along with her husband Stuart run The Family Adventure Project. Together they make up a team of share an adventurous spirit, a passion for independent travel and three growing children. Their marriage is the semi-controlled fusion of an adventure addict and misadventure magnet and their multi-award winning blog, The Family Adventure Project, is part of a long term experiment in doing adventurous things together as a family.
Kirstie is a big fan of ferry travel and Discover Ferries interviewed her to find out just why she chooses to travel by ferry:
“Ferry travel is far easier for us than travelling by plane. We enjoy long distance cycle touring and try to avoid the inevitable airport faff of boxing and cling filming bikes and praying they will arrive. An airline once managed to lose one of our bikes between Heathrow and Amsterdam at the start of a year long cycle expedition of South America – I can’t see this ever happening on a ferry!
Over the years we have travelled with many different ferry companies and have fond memories of being entertained by various characters; the balloon man who reminded us of Mr Bean with his menagerie of bobble and bubble creations, the pirates who took our excitable toddlers on treasure hunts, the captains who chatted with us as they manned the ship and the wildlife experts who pointed out dolphins in our wake.
We enjoy the many big and small rituals of a ferry, like climbing into the little bunks, instagraming the ship leaving port and watching a late night movie in the cinema. For many years we held a family Mastermind competition in our cabin at the end of our trips, posing questions about the journey with little souvenir prizes.
But most of all we enjoy getting our heads down on freshly made beds as the ocean shifts and shapes our dreams, drifting off to the secure hum of the engines, and waking to a new horizon and a new country. At Ijmuiden last year we recreated a family portrait taken years before, of arriving in Holland and standing together on a windswept beach before the rest of the world fully woke up.”
Best ferry journey
“Our bike ride of the Camino Santiago with toddlers and a baby was a gruelling but utterly rewarding blast between ferries at Santander and Bilbao, and the ferry journey home was cool and comfortable after miles of hot meseta.
Perhaps our most fun sea-based trip was hopping around the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia on a trip to see The Moomins. A very different kind of pilgrimage from the Camino. I have vivid memories of touching down in Finland in the middle of the night on our way to ride the Åland Islands.
And the most beautiful? The ferry from Denmark to Iceland for our six week road trip of this quirky country, via the enchanting Faroe Islands. There’s nothing like trying to stay on your feet in howling winds as the terracotta shades of parliament and the grass roofs of Tórshavn loom in front of you out of the mist. And we figured port of Seydisfjordur in Iceland had to be amongst the most atmospheric in the world as we approached it in mid summer, after a night when darkness hardly impacted on its wild and empty shores.”
“This summer we are planning a Grand Tour of Europe by train. We hope to travel the four points of the compass, to places as diverse as Norway, Bulgaria, Portugal and Italy, carrying only fold up bikes in order to be fleet of foot and light of luggage. We hope to begin our Interrail journey with an old favourite route; travelling on DFDS from Newcastle to Amsterdam. Our eldest child is almost eighteen, and in the spirit of the Grand Tour, it might be a rite of passage for him. But for us it is so much more. It’s a shot of nostalgia, a final fling, and a last chance to bag a ferry bunk as a family of five.”