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Holy Ship! trivago On-tour ’17!

The opinions expressed in this article are my own and not the views of my employer.

I feel lucky to be a part of an organisation that has reached the peak of office culture! The most awaited yearly event for trivago.. it’s that time of the year when trivago takes the entire company for 4 days of luxury vacation to a “surprise” destination in Europe. Can it get better? Ask trivago! They notch up their level every single year! After last year Ibiza, the 7th On-tour was here. And it came right in the 6th week of my joining the company! So more reasons to be amazed and astonished to go for a holiday with 1300+ international trivago guys from more than 60 different countries!

Mind you that we only knew rumours about going up north, but had absolutely no clue what the itinerary was! It was incredible how 700+ trivago guys at the Dusseldorf Hbf were already getting the party started at 3:00am. Every single soul seemed to bubble with excitement. The board at the main station read: “trivago zug”! So well, “trivago trivago everywhere”  had already begun! We boarded the train and knew it was a 6-7hrs journey up north.

Being tired from moving my apartment last evening, I slept off in no time in the train after the heavy breakfast. I woke up to see the large cruise by the window of the train. There we were! We were at Warnemünde Port near Rostock in Germany.

So now the rumours have been confirmed and we were all ready to take over the ship. Yes, the entire ship belonged to trivago.

Thousands of people from the same family onboarding the ship together was an unique sight!

While rejoicing with champagne and live-music, the next 2hrs we on-boarded the 13-deck beast!

I had my cabin on the 4th deck. The “Holy Ship, Its tour time!” welcome card was already lying on my bed!

There was the Day-1  schedule placed underneath the pillows!!

I went around the ship for a while. It was nice to get lost and find the way back. The interiors were top-notch. Soon I had lunch with some fellow colleagues. The meals seemed promising. I was already looking forward to explore the cuisines over the next few days!

Soon I was on the deck!

First time on cruise, along with thousands of trivago peeps. It was as exciting as it could get!!!!

Leaving the German shores, off we were into the Nordsee.

It was fun doing the security drills!

The rest of the afternoon was all about fun games. The bars were already open for the next 3 days! We soon gathered at the deck for a quick meetup. The 1300+ people were already divided into about 100 groups and we went into different team games. The games varied largely: dropping eggs without breaking them using sticks and balloons, smelling and identifying stuffs blindfolded, replicating rope knots with human chain, acting out and guessing games, etc.

There were games as crazy as teams having to build a chain as long as long possible by tying together the clothes they are wearing. So basically we were at some point half-naked on the windy deck for the team! It was fun!

So there’s the team I was a part of. Amazing how each of those unknown faces were now a team together!

We enjoyed the first sunset on the deck. Soon it was dinner time. Every meal was a bliss because of the incredible variety of food they had, a pleasure for the foodies!

After dinner before the party began, I went for a walk up the deck. I saw the Jacuzzi empty there. However odd time, it was absolutely irresistible. In 10 min we were into the Jacuzzi.

The next 2hrs straight we were in the Jacuzzi with cocktails.

While we were in jacuzzi, another amazing memory we made was: looking high up to find we were passing under the 8km long Øresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark!!!!!

The famous Swedish rock band Mando Diao had already started playing. We were still in Jacuzzi while people were already dancing down the deck. It was getting cold and the Jacuzzi steam was keeping us warm. After 2hrs of relaxing and enjoying the music, we were back into the open-air deck.

The party of-course went on till 8am in the morning. I think I was back to my cabin at around 3am after having a good time dancing. Mando Diao was really good and kept us on the floor thorough-out.

So I woke up to the voice ”Gooood Morrrrning trivagooooooooooooo”! Yeah that’s the phrase still ringing my ears! Every announcement started with this. And whether you be in spa, lift, or deck, you always heard it loud and clear! There was the card lying with the Day 2 itinerary!

I woke up pretty late, and had already missed the Spa! Nevertheless, once I went up the deck I figured it was raining in the middle of the sea.

With a coffee in hand, I started to go around the deck.

A sight I wouldn’t miss with my camera!

Looking at the clouds and the infinite sea, I spent some quality time with myself!

Very soon we were close by the land.

We were welcomed by some beautiful islands along the ship. Norway it was!

Right after lunch, it was time to off-board the ship.

We off-boarded near the city of Kristiansand in the south of Norway.

We didn’t know where are we hiking exactly. As you might have already realised by now: trivago likes to surprise us!

We started walking together along this beautiful town!

Soon we were into the Jegersberg area when the the trail overlooked a lake.

And from here on it was sightseeing in its purest form.

The weather was fantastic, the lake was clear blue, and we were walking along with thousands of lovely trivago people!

The hiking trail was both hilly and flat but mostly around this lake! The scenery was absolutely fantastic.

It was interesting to find trivago markers everywhere, however remote we were in.

After walking for around 2hrs, we were out of the Jegersberg trail.

We relaxed for sometime by the port area for sometime after the long walk.

Soon we heard that there was a surprise waiting for us! In no time we reached an area were two ladies beautifully dressed in ancient clothes welcomes us with alcohol shots!

We were in the Viking Village by Gudvangen, the was most important trading area during the Viking era!

I was already a little late and didn’t realise what was happening in the middle of huge crowd encircled. For the next hours we enjoyed watching Vikings fight each other with some awesome sense of humour.

Soon we took a walk down the history lane of the Vikings with some unique pieces of information.

These people were absolutely amazing to talk to.

They were no dressed up actors, but real Vikings of all ages who have the Viking era as a lifestyle.

Apart from echoing the history, there were fun activities such as archery, throwing the axe, etc we could take part in. I made sure to pose with the awesome Vikings!

The were barbecues continued till sunset.

We spent some quality time at the authentic Viking Village by the Gudvangen lake.. grilling, drinking, and talking to the amazing Vikings!

Sitting by the calm lake of Gudvangen, we were amazed by the beautiful day!

We were back into the ship at around 7pm. Soon we were all ready for the “dress to impress” evening.

The ship now had handsome trivago men and pretty trivago ladies ladies all around for dinner.

The deck was decked up for the awesome night ahead! After dinner began the indoor live music followed by dance and party!

trivago parties are always dope, so was this! I don’t remember the time I got back to my cabin, but it must be at around 4am in the morning!

I woke up again with the voice ”Gooood Morrrrning trivagooooooooooooo”. The day’s agenda was here. So we had sailed through the night to Denmark.

Early morning Basketball at the cruise deck while getting closer to Copenhagen, how much cooler can it get?

The windmills and the islands looked beautiful from distance.

From the deck we could see the industrial part of Copenhagen.

We had lunch by the deck and collected our passes for the trivago activities we had registered for, namely Large Boat Ride, Small Boat Ride, Bike Tour, Speed Boat, Street Food, and Beer Tasting.

We off-boarded at the Copenhagen deck. Time for boat rides by the canals!

It was an hour tour in the boat along the canals of Copenhagen.

It somehow reminded me of Amsterdam. But ofcourse Amsterdam had its own charm.

After the boat ride, we walked around the city centre of Copenhagen.

Soon we were walking the famous Nyhavn.

It was originally a busy commercial port where ships from all over the world would dock. Now the old port street is lined with beautiful old and classy restaurants dominate the old port.

No wonder I was lost from the group with another friend of mine.

Always good to be lost in a new city! We kept walking down the harbour till we found some trivago flags along a small boat.

So now we had the small boat ride too, wobbling close onto the water.

Once we grabbed a coffee at a nearby bistro, we walked towards the Little Mermaid.

Ofcourse it is overhyped, but when in Copenhagen, it is worth a visit.

Originally the Little Mermaid was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen in the early 1900s.

Interestingly the little mermaid has twice she has lost her head, once the arm was sawn off, and several times she has had paint poured on her. But every time she is rescued and restored, so she can stay in her place by the water and bid travellers welcome to Copenhagen harbour.

We returned back to our ship at around 7pm.

It was time to sail back towards Germany. Goodbye Copenhagen!

We were back into our ship. We wanted to relax before getting ready for the traditional night!

Everyone had their own stories, but for me that’s exactly what I meant by relax! Cruise, sunset, beer, and the warm pool! A blissful hour!

Later during the evening, it was time for the “traditional night”. Everyone were in their outfit from their country. As much international trivago is, we had some amazing experience with more than a 1000 people from more than 50 countries! The amazing Karoke night was an added event to this evening.

We had a lovely team dinner as well!

The party continued pretty late that night. The deck and the club floors had people dancing all the way to glory!

Out at the deck, experiencing the sunrise while we approach German coast was a bliss! Yes, most of us didn’t sleep!

It was soon time for breakfast and offboard the cruise.

A dream trip where we lived to the fullest, was coming to an end!

Just when we thought the party was over, arrived the “trivago party train” to take us home!

It was the craziest and wildest party one could imagine in a moving train! 7 hours of insane dance and music on the way back after the cruise! We were a family now!

Good vibes all around.. memories that will be etched forever!