These days, the Hanseatic Inspiration, according to the shipping company an expedition class cruise liner, is visiting the Azores. When we went today to Horta to do some final shopping for school starting on Monday, we saw the mid-sized ship being moored in the harbour. It was somewhat good to see it, it means that after one and a half year of COVID, things seem to become normal again, cruise liners a part of normality in the ports of the Azores. Nevertheless, this visit left me with mixed feelings.

Unusual stop

In the late afternoon you could spot the ship just off the south coast of Faial, nothing unusual, as this is the route they are taking when going further west to Flores and Corvo. This one though, was really close to the shore and after taking a closer look, I realized that it stopped and there was a flock of Zodiacs being released. So, I decided to stop as well and have a closer look, I was wondering what they are interested in, most likely the cliffs of Lajinha with their caves and volcanic rocks. Surprisingly though, the Zodiacs went to the little bay and harbour of Feteira, a small port with a bar, a restaurant and apart from the fact that we are having a swim there every weekend during the winter, having nothing really exciting for the passengers of an expedition class cruise liner.

Exploring the effects of climate change with a cruise liner?

One Zodiac after the other came close to the rocky shore and I could see that their guide pointed at the shoreline and seemed to explain something. That’s when I really got mixed feelings, are they seriously exploring the damages caused by hurricane Lorenzo two years ago and the currently ongoing recuperation works to their guests. I hope my feeling got me wrong, but if a half-booked cruise liner is making an expedition to show the impact of climate change to the interested guests, then something is wrong.

Ps. In case any participant of the cruise reads this post, and you were just enjoying the beauty of the port of Feteira and the cliffs of Lajinha, then my mixed feelings got me wrong. Please correct me if this was the case. I will update.