Candidate Profile

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Vikings & Scandinavia
Since 2003 Dr Fenella Bazin has enthused audiences through her lectures on more than 30 cruises in Europe and North America for Hurtigruten, Viking Ocean, Saga, Fred. Olsen, Noble Caledonia and Voyages of Discovery. She was the first Resident Historian to be appointed by Viking Ocean Cruises.

She is constantly updating, developing and widening her lectures, building on her familiarity with Scandinavia and her growing understanding of the Baltic, Mediterranean and North Atlantic.

Fenella enjoys meeting guests on the ships and feels it is an integral part of the experience. It often leads to permission from guests to include accounts and information, particularly about wartime Norway that have never been published.

She studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and, as a mature student, for her doctorate at the University of Liverpool. For over 40 years she organised the University’s Continuing Education programme on the Isle of Man, was Director of Postgraduate Studies at the University’s Centre for Manx Studies, trained Blue Badge tourist guides, and for 25 years was a member of the Manx Heritage Foundation.

Publications include book, and articles in many academic journals and reference books in Britain, Ireland and North America. In recognition of her work, she was awarded the Silver Medal of the Gustav Adolfs Akademi of Sweden.
1. Man and the Arctic: artists of northern Norway
The dramatic landscapes of Arctic Norway have attracted tourists since the 19th century, when wars and revolutions made it impossible to enjoy the Grand Tour. The century also saw two other developments: the appreciation of the Sublime and the rise of national awareness. Artists revelled in painting the clarity of the northern light, celebrated folklife and recorded some of the challenges of surviving the harsh climate of the far north.

2. Furnishing a palace from scratch: a challenge faced by the Norwegians in 1905
After the Norwegians gained their independence from Sweden in 1905, they found themselves not only with a new royal family but also an empty palace that had been recently vacated by the Swedish king. This is the intriguing story of how virtually every community in the united to furnish the royal residence.

3. Norway reborn: the impact of Viking history on Norway's identity today
How does a country with fewer than 5 million inhabitants establish itself on the international stage? This is the fascinating story of how Norway became a nation again after centuries of domination by Denmark and Sweden, through art, literature, music, science and polar exploration.ods of navigation, and the glass-making technology they imported from the Middle East was an important element in the building of cathedrals and monasteries.

4. Norway under siege
The aftermath of the Nazi invasion of a neutral country; the extraordinary courage of the men and women who were involved with the Shetland Bus; the total devastation of northern Norway in late 1944 and early 1945; and story of the re-building of towns in Finnmark.

5.The Shetland Bus: a Norwegian lifeline in the Second World War
The 'Shetland Bus' was the ironic name given to the route plied by small fishing boats sailing in dangerous winter conditions between Norway and the Shetlands, carrying refugees in one direction and agents and ammunition in the other. Courageous young men and women risked their lives helping the Norwegian Resistance. Some accounts in this lecture are unpublished personal stories related by family survivors.

6. Norway Today
An introduction to Norway: to the system of government, the economy, and everyday life.

7, The Vikings at home
How people lived in the medieval period; houses, food, clothes, shipbuilding; travel over land and sea; the adoption of Christianity. A Viking’s wealth was visible everywhere: in the jewellery worn by his wife and daughters, his ornately-decorated house, and his ships. Wooden stave churches were heavily carved, and the stone memorial slabs carried pagan as well as the Christian stories.

8. Managers, servants and slaves: women and society in the Viking Age
Using evidence from excavations, contemporary images and the sagas, a picture emerges of the lives of Viking women, their responsibilities and the powerful role they had in their family and society in general.

9. Trade, travel and innovation in the Viking Age
Powered by a totally new concept of ship design, Vikings were able to travel further and faster than their contemporaries. Their journeys took them to new lands and cultures, where they observed and absorbed new technologies and ideas, further consolidating their position in the known world. They adopted these new methods and techniques, leading to their domination of northern Europe and the North Atlantic during the Viking Age.

10. Gods, dragons and the natural world: the art of the Vikings
Ornate silver, wood and stone carvings and beautiful personal ornaments including brooches and glass and amber beads often give a vivid insight to the world of the Viking Age, including trading routes, occupations and domestic lives.

11. Two Viking colonies: comparing Iceland and the Isle of Man
Using accounts from sagas, chronicles and archaeological evidence, we compare the integration with the existing Celtic culture in the Kingdom of Man and the Isles with the new proto-democratic society that was established by the Viking settlers in the previously uninhabited Iceland. We also look at elements and influences that have survived into modern times, including parliamentary systems, attitudes and language.

12. The World of the Sagas
Love and jealousy, murder and revenge, bold adventures and dangerous voyages: all these and other great stories are found in the medieval sagas of Iceland and Greenland.

13.From Greenland to Vinland: the Vikings discover North America
Intrepid Viking explorers sailed west from Greenland to discover a new world with wild wheat, grapes and butternuts. They encountered 'skraelings', initially trading with them but eventually retreating to their base in northern Newfoundland. Why did the attempt at colonisation fail? And why were the Greenland settlements abandoned by the 15th century?

14. 'New Norway' in Pennsylvania: Ole Bull's Utopian dream
The story of a remarkable Norwegian musician, whose love of America led to the establishment of a Norwegian colony in the middle of the 19th century. We examine the conditions encountered by the emigrants on their dangerous Atlantic crossings, journeys that could last 13 or 14 weeks, and look at the lives that they shaped for themselves in the New World.

15. The Secret World of Edvard Grieg: an illustrated lecture/piano recital
Most people are familiar with Grieg's Piano Concerto and the music of the Peer Gynt Suites. His piano music is a store of wonderful musical ideas, influenced by and responding to the Norwegian landscape and the folk culture of his beloved West Coast of Norway. Both are illustrated with paintings by Norwegian artists.
A lecturer for the Universities of Birmingham and Liverpool since 1971, Dr Fenella Bazin has also enhanced the cruise experience for passengers of a total of 31 voyages, including 15 since 2003 for Hurtigruten (formerly Norwegian Coastal Voyages) and since 2011 for Fred. Olsen (5), Voyages of Discovery (1) and Saga (1). Since 2015 she has completed nine cruises for Viking Ocean Cruises and in April was delighted to be the first Resident Historian on Viking Star.

Specialising in Scandinavian and Viking subjects, she is constantly updating, developing and widening her lectures, building on her familiarity with Western Norway and her growing understanding of the North Atlantic and Baltic regions.

She finds that meeting guests on the ships is an integral part of the experience and often leads to permission from guests to include accounts and facts, particularly about wartime Norway, that have never before been published.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Star ST200203 In Search of the Northern Lights 12 Tilbury Monday, February 3, 2020
Viking Star ST200122 In Search of the Northern Lights 12 Bergen Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Viking Sun SU190720 Into the Midnight Sun 14 Bergen Saturday, July 20, 2019
Viking Sun SU190706 British Isles Explorer 14 Greenwich, London Saturday, July 6, 2019
Viking Sky SK190406 Scandinavia & the Kiel Canal 10 Copenhagen Saturday, April 6, 2019
Viking Sky SK190327 Scandinavia & the Kiel Canal 10 Amsterdam Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Viking Sky SK190218 In Search of the Northern Lights 12 Bergen Monday, February 18, 2019
Viking Sky SK190206 In Search of the Northern Lights 12 Tilbury Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Viking Sky SK190125 In Search of the Northern Lights 12 Bergen Friday, January 25, 2019
Viking Sea SE180904 In the Wake of the Vikings 14 Bergen Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Viking Sea SE180612 Into the Midnight Sun 14 Bergen Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Viking Sea SE180529 Viking Homelands 14 Stockholm Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Viking Star ST180215 Southern Mediterranean Discovery 7 Civitavecchia (for Rome) Thursday, February 15, 2018
Viking Star ST180208 Iconic Cities of the Western Mediterranean 7 Barcelona Thursday, February 8, 2018
Viking Star ST180201 Southern Mediterranean Discovery 7 Civitavecchia (for Rome) Thursday, February 1, 2018
Viking Star ST180125 Iconic Western Mediterranean 7 Barcelona Thursday, January 25, 2018
Viking Star ST180118 Southern Mediterranean Discovery 7 Civitavecchia (for Rome) Thursday, January 18, 2018
Viking Star ST180111 Iconic Western Mediterranean 7 Barcelona Thursday, January 11, 2018
Viking Star ST180104 Southern Mediterranean Discovery 7 Civitavecchia (for Rome) Thursday, January 4, 2018
Viking Star ST170410 Mediterranean Odyssey 12 Venice Monday, April 10, 2017
Viking Star ST170401 Empires of the Mediterranean 9 Piraeus (Athens) Saturday, April 1, 2017
Viking Star ST161002 Eastern Seaboard Explorer 12 Montreal Sunday, October 2, 2016
Viking Star ST160918 In the Wake of the Vikings 14 Bergen Sunday, September 18, 2016
Viking Star ST160807 Viking Homelands 14 Stockholm Sunday, August 7, 2016
Saga Pearl 11 P2158 Fjordland Gems 7 Dover Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Viking Sea SE160605 Into the Midnight Sun 14 Bergen Sunday, June 5, 2016
Boudicca D1518 Exploring the Arctic 27 Newcastle Sunday, August 2, 2015
Viking Star ST150627 Viking Homelands 14 Stockholm Saturday, June 27, 2015