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ex HARALD JARL ::: ex ANDREA ::: SERENISSIMA :::

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  • Seagull
    replied
    Day 4 - 25th January 2017 - Acajutla, El Salvador.


    During the night Serenissima had headed back 'down' the coast, this time bypassing Guatemala on her way to another country - El Salvador - where she was due to arrive at the port of Acajutla at around 11am.
    But you know me - a morning at sea doesn't mean I am going to have a lazy lie-in! On the contrary, I am up and about even before sunrise.



    The view from the bridge wing. Total calm, contemplation and happiness.




    I didn't disturb the officer on duty on the bridge, but I did love the mood of this glimpse through the side window. Although you might not make it out at this size, the computer 'wallpaper' shows a familiar ship, and even a Norwegian flag at the bottom.




    I made my way to the observation platform. Half past six in the morning ...here comes the sun.

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  • Seagull
    replied
    There was indeed a special feeling about boarding the ship in Puerto Quetzal - as you say THAT moment, and perhaps the walk over the connecting bridge to the landing stage and waiting ship contributed to that feeling and certainly provided the perfect opportunity to capture the moment in a photo.

    She's a special ship, pakarang, and you can be sure that I'd have figured out a way to share these trip-memories with you somehow someway.

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  • pakarang
    replied
    Thank you so very much for this new trip report - I'm so glad that we are pledging to go on for at least a year. Without the forum, there is no way I would have been able to see your wonderful trip-memories, especially as I have completely opted out from Facebook for nearly the whole past year already.

    The first image really sets the tone for me: with anticipation that I myself feel when I soemtimes are about to start a journey, board a ship - or an aircraft. As I have a tendency to say: THAT moment when you are about to start a new journey! The best feeling in the world.

    And the last picture is also such a wonderful shot - the green grass and the atmosphere makes me beg for more!

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  • Seagull
    replied


    Another classic favourite photo of the ship.

    We were able to get to grips with archaeology and real Mayan pyramids that afternoon, but there was a choice of activities during the morning. While the naturalists, especially the keen birdwatching enthusiasts, headed for an exploration of the mangrove swamps by small boat, I was undoubtedly influenced by my minion, and opted to visit a banana plantation! A great excursion, which also allowed time to get involved with a local community and visit a school. Perhaps some of you might like to see this in a "People of the World" thread sometime.

    But here in the ship's thread I'll just end Day 3 by saying that I returned to the ship and my cabin to find Sea-Troll clutching a chocolate, and also an invitation for me to join the Captain's Table at the Welcome Dinner which would take place the following day.


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  • Seagull
    replied


    I was one of the first ashore after breakfast, keen to picture the ship in these pleasant surroundings in such lovely weather.




    A number of ports on the Pacific coast are making efforts to attract more cruise ships, and it was no surprise when the Mexican equivalent of Leith's welcoming piper turned up, though in this case the sound was supplied by a loudspeaker and the emphasis was on the dancing.

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  • Seagull
    replied
    Day 3 - 24th January 2017 - Puerto Chiapas, Mexico.



    It's next morning, and there are reasons you might be confused!

    Firstly I should mention that Mayan-style pyramids seem to be the design of choice for cruise terminals in this part of the world! Serenissima did indeed depart the previous evening, but contrary to what you might expect (knowing that the Panama Canal was the finale of my cruise) she headed up the coast. I nearly wrote 'north' but it is actually west a bit and then north-west, which takes us into Mexico at Puerto Chiapas, some 13km from the border with Guatemala.

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  • Seagull
    replied


    My next photo was taken later in my cabin after the briefings and safety drill. I photographed my mascot Sea-Troll with the towel-swan that had decorated my bed. As you can see, they have some company! That afternoon many of the ladies had been keen to purchase the local hand crafted bags and shawls and suchlike, all in very traditional patterns and designs, but what did I choose to buy? - a MINION! And I'm not even blushing!



    Sunset before the evening departure.

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  • Seagull
    replied
    Even though I had booked this voyage so long ago, all the single cabins had already been taken, but I was allowed a very nice small double, 309, located directly at the bottom of the main stairs down from Reception.


    My porthole at the end of the quay




    I went up to decks 4 and 5 to photograph more of the surroundings of the port, including the pyramid-shaped cruise port building.

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  • Seagull
    replied
    Although I was totally prepared for a decision to close the forum, I knew that I would forever feel guilty about one thing in particular - my not having managed to completely catch up with my cruises on Serenissima. Now that our captain has spoken and I’ve pledged another year at least, it is time to welcome you aboard for another voyage with me, and, as I did for the previous two cruises, I shall concentrate on photos of and from the ship herself.


    A cruise aboard MS Serenissima - "Ancient & Natural Wonders of Central America"
    January 22nd - February 8th 2017


    Days 1&2 - 22/23 January 2017 - Guatemala, and embarcation in Puerto Quetzal.

    Fortunately, as I am posting in the ship's thread, I have no obligation to describe the excruciating flight connection involved. Too much politics and prejudice on my part might surface for this polite forum! But finally aboard the second flight of Day 1, I was at last heading to Central America where on arrival in Guatemala City a well-organised transfer to a comfortable hotel awaited the group. Day 2 took us by road to Antigua Guatemala, a delightful UNESCO World Heritage town with colonial buildings, cobbled streets, fine squares, Baroque churches. A benign nearby volcano puffed obligingly for our cameras, and we enjoyed a tasty buffet lunch in civilised and relaxing surroundings. There was ample free time to enjoy museum and art exhibitions or shopping for local handicrafts and unusually for me I actually bought something! Already a souvenir on Day 2 - I’ll show you in a moment!



    Then we continued to the Pacific coast at Puerto Quetzal where the dear ship Serenissima awaited us.




    Welcome aboard!

    Last edited by Seagull; June 23rd, 2017, 12:56.

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  • pakarang
    replied
    Not sure you all have seen these two "drone"-films on the website of Noble Caledonia... but if you haven't, this is what elegance and true ships are made of:

    https://vimeo.com/220008098

    https://vimeo.com/220008434

    Enjoy!

    Leave a comment:


  • Tommi
    replied
    Thank you Cecilia for the report. Atmospeheric real-life photos and lovely presentations and explanations. It's very nice to "ride with you" as always.

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  • Seagull
    commented on 's reply
    Clipper! What a find! Oh to have been a 'fly on the wall' to see your face when you were watching that news item ...and suddenly saw our dear ship!

  • Seagull
    replied
    Thank you, every one of you who enjoyed this voyage with me.
    And as for the question of Polo and Pakarang ...yes amazingly I DO get some sleep, probably rather more so than along the Norwegian coast on a hurtigrute where I like to wake and venture out on deck at many night ports.
    On a cruise type of schedule on Serenissima I love to get up early when the ship is approaching her destination for the day, as you have seen. But I am generally retiring to my cabin right after dinner. You have to remember that photogenic late evening light and sunset is much earlier on the cruises I have been on than is the case in Norway.

    At one point during the time it took me to gradually post this trip, Serenissima was once again, one year later, back in the Azores on her way from Central America and the Caribbean! This year she actually made it to the island of Santa Maria, which she did at the start of her cruise. I'm not sure whether she was able to land the cruise guests on Corvo or sailed around that island as I did, as there was a gap in what I could see of her track on AIS. At the island of Terceira the ship moored in the port of Angra do Heroismo rather than Praia do Vitoria, thus avoiding the complicated bus shuttles in between (and possibly inspired by my group's enthusiasm for the afternoon hiking!)

    The Azores cruise will not figure in her plans for 2018 as Serenissima will spend the period December 2017 to February 2018 in the Indian Ocean!

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  • Seagull
    commented on 's reply
    I do always associate escargot with you, remembering your description of your first encounter wuth them in your younger days!
    One person at the table that night told me she could never quite face having them served in their shells from which one picks them out with a tiny fork, but she thought she'd try them baked this way in a sauce and looking less snail-like - and she thoroughly enjoyed them.

    Yes indeed, I do think there have been very successful changes - such is the flair of the Filipinos.

  • pakarang
    replied
    To me, it seems like the former Harald Jarl is fast becoming the most-travelled-(exhurtigrute in the history. I can't recall any other ship, apart from former Midnatsol (of 1982) that has tracked around the world as much as Serenissima.

    Wonderful report - and I have to ask too, as above, did you ever sleep on this cruise?

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