Departing Noumea at Noon, we enjoyed the best of both worlds, a 1/2 day in port followed by another relaxing 1/2 day at sea. The tour comprised a drive around town followed by a visit to the Aquarium, before returning to the ship 1/2 hr before all aboard.
Today we arrived in Noumea, New Caledonia, which based on the name you would expect is English speaking, with a Scottish Heritage. But no, it is in fact a French Territory. New Caledonia was first discovered by Capt Cook on his 2nd voyage and since it reminded him of Bonnie Scotland, he named it New Caledonia. In the 1850’s, the French turned up, claiming the island for France and since the British never responded, it has remained French to this day. However, they are holding another independence referendum in September.
Today is our 2nd and final sea day before arriving in Noumea tomorrow for an overnight stay. The Galley and Entertainment Team, really put on a great show today with the galley providing 3 special meals and the Entertainment Team presenting an afternoon concert.
Today is our first day of the 2nd segment’s new itinerary, of the 2020 World Wonders Cruise. Rather than cruising north along the Queensland Coast, we are ploughing our way East, back across the Pacific Ocean towards Noumea, New Caledonia.
I stopped in Noumea a number of times on SS Oriana back in 1978, but have zero memories of this port. Therefore, I can only deduce that it wasn’t overly impressive, as I probably didn’t go ashore.
Regardless, today is another relaxing sea day aboard the magnificent Viking Sun.
We were scheduled to dock in Brisbane at 08:00, departing at 17:00, but last evening we received another “Bing Bong” on the P/A system, throughout the ship. Due to the inclement weather, Brisbane Pilots would not board during the hours of darkness, so not boarding about 05:30 put us alongside at 11:00. To facilitate the tours and crew and pax to enjoy the port, the Captain delayed departure until 21:00.
This post will cover our time ashore and the evening aboard ship. I will do a separate post for the arrival photos.
The Farewell Performance is normally scheduled for the last sea day before a TAR port, but with the little storm causing extensive movement up fwd, especially in the Theatre, the show was postponed until after arrival Sydney.
Read on to view a few photos from the Segment #1 Farewell Show. Continue reading
The Original Itinerary
Last night we heard the dreaded”Bing Bong” through the cabins/lounges, shortly after the all aboard time in Brisbane. Expecting the usual pre-departure announcement from Hotel Services for missing pax, of will Mr/Mrs ………… please contact Guest Services immediately to confirm you are aboard,
But no, this was Bevan the Cruise Director, with an important message from the Captain, These are generally rarely good news, so read on to learn our new itinerary.
After 3 busy days in Sydney, a quiet and relaxing day at sea, is just what the doctor ordered. However, with yet another Cyclone brewing in the Pacific, it was more lively than quiet and peaceful. Certainly not as rough as between Hobart and Sydney, but certainly not smooth sailing.
Upon arrival Sydney, our plan was to catch the water shuttle to Circular Quay and board one of the harbour ferries, for the scenic trip up river to Parramatta. At Circular Quay, we asked one of the volunteers which ferry goes up river. Unfortunately, the record rains had flooded the dock, so no ferries were operating up the river that day.
Change of plans – which berth does the Manly Ferry use? We headed over to berth # 3 and hopped onto the Manly ferry.
Our first choice of long tour outside the city was the Blue Mountains, but with the recent fires, we were advised that they weren’t their usual pristine tourist attraction. Therefore, we cancelled the Blue Mountain tour, switching to the Hunter Valley.
Read on to enjoy our wine tasting escapades.