There must be an affinity between sailing on cruise ships and flying in helicopters. While cruising in Alaska on board Radiance of the Seas I flew from Skagway to land on a glacier. In Barcelona a couple of years ago I stepped off P&O’s Oriana and into a chopper to swoop over the Sagrada Familia and the Nou Camp stadium.
Yesterday in Geiranger, Norway, I left Cunard’s Queen Victoria to board a shiny new Eurocopter EC 130 for a 20-minute flight over the fjords.
From an improvised landing site high up on the Eagles Bends road, the seven-seater craft dropped towards the Queen Victoria and MSC Opera moored down below and then climbed up to the 5,000-foot summit of Mount Dalsnibba.
Broken floes of winter ice still clogged one end of a placid lake as we hovered over a ridge before heading off in the direction of Hellesylt and then turning back to fly up Geirangerfjord once more.
The Seven Sisters waterfall and its partner, The Suitor, facing each other across the valley looked even more spectacular from the air than they had done when we had sailed past them earlier in the day.
All too soon, we were back on the ground. The adventure had cost £90 a head, but it was worth every penny, and we had crammed in sights that would have taken us hours to visit if we had been crawling along the narrow, twisting roads in a coach.
Back on the ship, the occupants of the cabin next door were breaking the peace by singing along to Westlife’s Flying Without Wings.
I could have asked them to turn the noise down so I could appreciate the stillness of the fjord. But instead, I sat back, smug in the knowledge that I had been flying without wings myself.
So there.