Guests aboard National Geographic Resolution woke up bright and early to a beautiful morning off the coast of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands. After a bountiful breakfast of blueberry pancakes and bacon, Zodiacs shuttled us across the water to reach the docks at Saint Helier. We split into groups and took the bus to our choice of excursion.
The first of these was ‘Fortified Jersey,’ which included a stop at Noirmont to see the coastal fortifications, gun emplacements, and a World War II memorial to the United States Navy. The next stop was the Jersey War Tunnels, where we walked through a labyrinth of tunnels dug by slave labor during the German occupation. The exhibition provided unique insight into what life was really like on Jersey during World War II, and we discovered moving stories of heartache and heroism.
The second group went to Mont Orgueil, the oldest castle in Jersey. It has seen many of the events that shaped Jersey’s history. It was used in the last French wars and refortified during the German occupation. Specially commissioned, hidden artwork and quirks like the ‘Wheel of Urine,’ made this an intriguing visit full of unusual nuggets of information.
Both groups returned to National Geographic Resolution, where we set sail for Guernsey. Some of us were lucky enough to spot dolphins swimming alongside the ship as we enjoyed a delicious lunch.
The afternoon offered a choice of two activities in Guernsey: a visit to Castle Cornet and a walk through town or a scenic island drive. Those who chose the first option heard highlights of the castle’s fascinating history and explored four small museums before taking a walking tour of St. Peter Port. Guests who chose the second option were treated to a breathtaking journey through some of Guernsey’s most spectacular scenery, including the wild cliffs at Pleinmont Point and the sandy bays of the west coast.
By the time we all returned to the ship, we were ready to relax with a glass of wine over dinner before enjoying a presentation entitled, “King Arthur: Myths and Legends.”