Having been through the Panama Canal more than 20 times, you would think I would be bored, but no. I’m usually the first one out on deck and at the other end the last one to leave. This is an engineering marvel and is a spectacular sight, when provided the opportunity to see the Canal in action. This post will cover the arrival and transit up the 3-stage Gatun Locks, which raises the ship 85’ from sea level to the man-made Gatun Lake.
For our day in Curacao we initially signed up for a morning tour to the more barren and less populated Western end of the island, followed by a scenic sunset dinner cruise. However, with Judi’s back issues and the strong trade winds, we elected to cancel the dinner cruise. Therefore, our day in Curacao consisted of the tour to the National Park, a slave’s home museum and a visit to an exceptional beach with the turquoise blue waters so typical of the Caribbean. Following the tour, we headed ashore for a Skype session with Heather, Jamie and Owen, then Judi went browsing the shops while I explored the local area. Truly a most varied and enjoyable day ashore in Curacao.
This post covers the continuation of our Golden Circle and Icelandic Horse Show tour in Iceland. It covers the visits to the Gullfoss Waterfall, Thingvellir National Park (N America/Eurasia Fault Line), views from the Perlan Building in Reykjavik and the return to the ship through downtown Reykjavik.
Today’s tour is another full day event, even though arrival isn’t until 13:30, so it will be interesting to see the tours returning at 22:30, which is about 2 hours after the normal bed time of most passengers. By the time we finish dinner at 21:45 it is normally a very quiet ship, so I expect to hear some snoring on the return journey to the port. Our 8 hour Icelandic adventure consists of the Thingvellir National Park with the North America/Eurasia fault line, spectacular Gullfoss Waterfall, StrokkurGgeyser, downtown Reykjavik and Judi’s favourite a Icelandic Horse Show. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour, so I hope you also enjoy my ramblings and small sample of photographs taken during the day.
Reykjavik, Iceland – 13:00 to 23:00
This is one of the highlights of the cruise for both of us, being our first ever visit to Iceland and at about 100 miles from the Arctic Circle it is the closest we have been to either Pole. We have read and heard many things about Iceland’s volcanic activity , fjords, mountains, geothermal plants, extreme cost of living, etc. so we look forward to experiencing these first hand. Well possibly not the extreme cost of living! I will do a separate post for today’s tour, but rest assured, it didn’t disappoint.
Cobh, Ireland – 08:00 to 18:00
A rather chilly, completely overcast and very wet day in Cobh, but nothing could dampen a spectacular day. In recognition that 99% of the passengers are Aussie or Kiwis, the locals created the annual Aussie Day, with the entire town adorned with Australian and New Zealand flags. We visited Cobh last year on Emerald Princess and it was just your average port of call, but not today. Today was something special.
After three long days in the past four days, Judi’s back and hips gave up and she needed a rest day, so I headed out on tour on my own. Today’s tour was brilliant, one of the best, if not the best so far on this 2015 World Cruise. This post will cover the departure from Cannes and the return back to the ship from Monaco. Due to the number of photographs taken (> 300)I struggled to cull them down to about 30, so I created four posts for this exceptional tour of the playground of the rich and famous.
After the drive from Cannes we parked in an underground parkade on the waterfront, just off Princess Grace Avenue. This required a hike up the hill towards the casino, followed by about 78 stairs. A bit challenging for some of the passengers, but the sights were definitely worth the effort. Having visited Las Vegas and a couple of U.S. casinos in the RV for meals, this is unlike anything we have seen before. About the best description is classy and stunning.
A previous post covered the approximately 50 mile or 75 minute bus journey to/from Monaco, so this post will focus on Monaco generally, including the Grand Prix Track and the Monaco Cathedral. I have included some incredible photographs of the city, including a number of shots of the track, which include the starting line and hairpin bend.
Today we visited the magnificent Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia. My previous visits were in 1976, when it was still Yugoslavia, and in the interim it has experienced significant turbulence and civil war. While severely damaged during the shelling, with up to 70% of the buildings damaged, UNESCO reports that all damage has been restored. How much will I remember from my previous visits?