Well, we have now been home for a month, which included a three week visit from my dad to see his Great Grandson. As can be expected, life has been rather hectic getting caught up after six months away.
Finally caught up, and with nothing better to do on a rather dull, grey and rainy day in Maple Ridge, I have an opportunity to pen our experiences during our three days in Sydney and the rather long flights home. Continue reading
Sydney, Australia – Arrival
It’s all over, our epic voyage around the world aboard the Sea Princess has come to an end, as the vessel secured alongside the White Bay Cruise Ship Terminal in Sydney. One hundred and four nights, 5 continents and countless ports, unfortunately has reached a conclusion, and it’s time for us to say our final goodbyes to our many new friends, both crew and pax.
Alongside Fremantle – 07:00 to 18:00
Western Australia, Perth and Fremantle are new territory for both of us and we have eagerly awaited this tour, having heard that Perth and the surrounding area is one of the world’s most liveable cities, similar to Melbourne. Today’s tour includes a drive through Fremantle, then head the 12 miles to Perth, where we visit King’s Park, then have some free time in Perth Central Business District (CBD), or downtown. The finale is a cruise up the Swann River back to Freemantle.
Scenic Cruise by HMAS Sydney – 16:00 to 17:00
Today is the first of 7 sea days between Fremantle and Colombo, but at 17:00 we will be stopping above the resting place of HMAS Sydney II to conduct a very well attended and moving memorial service. In addition to the memorial service, we also attended an excellent presentation by a retired RAN Commodore.
Alongside Fremantle – 07:00 to 18:00
Prior to the cruise neither Judi or I have visited the Perth/Fremantle area, bur since joining the cruise we have met many of the 300 pax departing today and they all speak highly of the local area, so we are eagerly awaiting our all day tour. Today we are driving around Fremantle followed by the drive into Perth and then cruising back along the Swan River to Fremantle. With some nice weather and clear skies, we look forward to a great day.
At Anchor Off Busselton – 07:00 to 18:00
Busselton, for Margaret River, is our first tender port of call on this Grand Adventure. Since the anchorage is open to both northerly and westerly winds, it was good to note the wind last evening backing towards the south. Sitting here in the anchorage a few miles off-shore, we have a light chop of about 1 to 2’ created by the off-shore easterly winds. Big improvement over the previous 3 days and nothing the ship’s tenders can’t handle.
We are staying in Melbourne post cruise for a few days, so taking one of the ship’s tours today will hopefully give us some ideas for places to visit in more depth. The Yarra River cruise with downtown drive and visit to Capt Cook’s cottage in Fitzroy Gardens looked like it would hit a great selection of attractions. So we both signed up.
Alongside Melbourne – 08:00 to 17:00
Melbourne is our first of many ports of call, over the next three and a half months. We are planning to spend a few days in Melbourne post cruise, so today we embark on a tour, which includes a city drive and cruise along the Yarra River. Hopefully this tour will provide some idea of where we should visit post cruise. This post will focus on our day aboard the Sea Princess and I will create a separate post for the tour.
Finally, the wait is over and after 15 months of counting down the days, which changed to hours last night, we finally boarded the Sea Princess, our home for circumnavigating the globe during the next 104 nights, or 3 ½ months.
After the enjoyable pre-cruise dinner last evening, it was a long night for both of us, as we were like kids at Christmas, eagerly awaiting the pinnacle of this grand adventure. Suffice to say, neither of us got much sleep last night. For Judi, this is a new experience, as her previous longest cruises were 36 days on Diamond Princess and 35 days on Emerald Princess, so 104 days is a shade longer. However, for me this is a walk in the park, as back in my deep sea days I regularly completed 4 month voyages and even one of 9 months, but those days were just so many years ago.
Read on to find out how our first day went.