Destination Immersion

Catching Up With Heike Berdos in Scotland

Thursday, March 04, 2021
By Azamara

Have you taken a moment to wonder where the Azamara Pursuit, Azamara Journey, and Azamara Quest have been docked over the last year? The answer may surprise you! Since June of 2020, the Three Sisters have called King George V Dock in Glasgow, Scotland home. Located along the River Clyde, these are uncharted waters for our ships! Typically, when we cruise to Glasgow, we dock our ships elsewhere — but this is no ordinary visit. 

Despite the unusual circumstances, our crew is working hard to ensure they’re all ready to set sail again soon. One of the crew members currently in Glasgow is Hotel Director Heike Berdos — who we had the pleasure of chatting with recently. We discussed what she’s been up to, life onboard our ships these days, and what she’s looking forward to when we return to sailing. Here are some highlights from that conversation.  

Thanks for chatting with us today, Heike. 

Of course. I’m always happy to chat. 

When you arrived in Glasgow, you did a mandatory quarantine. What did you do to keep busy during this time?

Time flew by really quickly. I was lucky enough to be staying in one of our Continent Suites, so I had lots of space. In fact, I was able to set up a spin bike inside to keep myself fit! 

Heike and her Spin Bike

Apart from that, while in Glasgow, all crew members have an 80GB data sim card that allows us to stream movies, documentaries, music, and television shows. We also had delicious food delivered to us three times a day. It was all so well coordinated and organized — I’m so proud of our teams on board.

Did you learn anything about yourself during quarantine?

I learned a lot during this entire pandemic. In Greece, we also had long, extended lock-downs. Usually, I am an avid traveler and never in one place for more than 10 days. So, I was amazed at how I was always able to make the best of the situation. I had great bonding time with my housemates and got used to all the virtual calls to keep in touch with friends and family. Most of all, I learned to appreciate what we had pre-covid, and I am sure I will be much more attentive to the good times ahead of us.

What are you most looking forward to when we can travel again?

I had a dream of our first cruise, leaving port with guests. It was a wonderful dream. I’m looking forward to the day it comes true, and I believe it will be super exciting for all our guests and crew. In general, I miss traveling so much.

What will be some of your duties while in Scotland?

Heike wearing her mask with another crew member

Since we have only a very minimum manning, we have taken on some little projects, such as taking care of all crew cabins on the Triplets (editor’s note: The Triplets is how we sometimes refer to our ships), taking inventories of all items, comparing standards, creating reports of what has to be fixed when more technicians arrive, etc. There’s always something to do. 

Once it’s safe, where do you want to travel first?

On a personal note, my first trip will be back to Africa. I miss the nature, the bush, and the animals out there. A Safari is my absolute favorite trip for a holiday.

A photo Hekie took of lions while on safari in Africa

For many of us, this time has made us thankful for the things we have — what are you most thankful for?

My health and sanity, as well as having such a fantastic connection with my family and friends. We look out for each other and care for each other very much.

What is your favorite part of working with Azamara? 

Heike poses with friends

Meeting, working, and learning from so many different people — both guests and crew — from all over the world. I love learning about different cultures and, of course, traveling to so many countries around the world. I’m continually discovering the unknown.

Is there somewhere Azamara travels that you think is underrated? What makes this place so unique?

To be honest, I am not sure which cruises could be underrated. When meeting guests, everyone has a different bucket list. What might be underrated for one person is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for another person. If I had to choose one, I might say our Suez Canal Cruise — from Greece to the United Arab Emirates — is one that guests often ask me about. Personally, I really like this cruise, and one of the biggest reasons why is the climate. This area of the world only has 22 days of rain per year — and I’ve never experienced one in all these years. This weather allows us to plan on several deck parties — even when cruising!

What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten while cruising with Azamara? 

Easy! Sepia Pasta with garlic and seafood.

Where’s your “Happy Place”? 

A photo Heike took of a gorilla and her child

In nature, the mountains and the sea. Tropical locations and the bush. I love it all. I like to visit remote places, experience pure nature by hiking, swimming, boating, and walking.

What’s your favorite season? Where do you love spending it? 

There is no favorite season, really, since every country “glows” in different seasons. This is how I plan my travels. When I’m searching for a place to visit, I learn about which countries shine in different seasons. Then, depending on the time I’m planning to visit, I make my decision that way. So no matter the season, I’ll see the place I’m visiting in its best light. 

Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us, Heike. We’re looking forward to exploring the world with you again soon. Until then, keep up to date with all the latest Azamara news by subscribing to our email newsletter

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