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

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  • Seagull
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    Serenissima was in her element and seemed her most hurtigrute-like in these surroundings. Lots of people were out on deck, and there were even announcements on the PA system pointing out particular places of interest.

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  • Seagull
    replied
    Day 9 - 15th September 2015 – Kotor, Montenegro.

    Another new country and port for me, yet a port which felt so very familiar. Both that déjà vu feeling, and the reason that I was looking forward to this day so much, were entirely due to having seen Jan-Olav’s marvellous photos taken on the 'maiden voyage' of the ship as Serenissima.
    So even before the briefing the previous evening I knew it was important to be up early for the two hour scenic 'fjord cruiss' between picking up the pilot and arriving at the quay in Kotor.




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  • Ralf__
    commented on 's reply
    Thank you for this explanation. I was not sure and it would have been strange, since you described the place so expectantly. Never mind, i looked at some pictures at the internet. For me also the first time i took notice of that wonderful village.

  • Seagull
    commented on 's reply
    Yes I did Ralf! Sorry my explanations were not very clear. I went on the excursion to Alberobello in the morning which set off at 08:30 and returned to Monopoli shortly after 13:00. One could then either get off the excursion bus at the old town and have lunch independently there as I did, or stay on the bus to get to the ship for lunch.
    I returned to the ship by the shuttle bus later in the afternoon.
    I did of course take photos in Alberobello, and what an amazing place it is. But here in Serenissima's thread I am only posting photos of the ship.
    ,

  • Ralf__
    replied
    So you have not been to Alberobello?

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  • Seagull
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    The lighthouse at the harbour in the Old Town



    The lighthouse can be seen again on this photo - the view of the Old Town from the ship.
    Then it was time for a pre-dinner lecture "The Balkans in War and Peace", and after dinner the Ukranian pianist, Vasily Golub (who usually played background music in the lounge), treated us to a classical piano recital, including passionate performances of Rachmaninov and Mussorgsky.

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  • Seagull
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    Serenissima was moored alongside the harbour wall, and as it would be some distance through the port area and around to the old fishing and small boat harbour and picturesque Old Town, a bus pick up was arranged. The morning excursion transport would drop off those like myself who had decided not to take lunch on the ship. I found a pleasant lunch place with tables outside in an irregularly-shaped square, and later explored the narrow streets and alleyways and visited the cathedral. Plus, of course, walking along the walls with Serenissima photo opportunities!

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  • Seagull
    replied
    Day 8 - 14th September 2015 – Monopoli, Italy.



    We are now in Italy, but possibly not as you know i!. This is the region of Apulia (Puglia in Italian) - the 'heel' of Italy's 'boot'. Its capital is Bari, and if you have visited the region in recent years that is probably where you arrived, as it is becoming increasingly popular as a cruise port with the big cruise lines. But Serenissima is heading for the small town and port of Monopoli, which is also more convenient for a morning excursion to Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage town with extraordinary 'beehive' shaped houses. I have to admit I had never heard of either Monopoli or Alberobello before I went there on this cruise. Altogether a surprise and delight of a day.



    Approaching Monopoli in glorious early morning sunlight




    Views of the old town as the ship approaches the harbour

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  • Ralf__
    replied
    Moodful pictures. A rather exclusive cruise including the cultural program which is so different form the usual Med - Cruises of Aida, Costa, MSC and similar. It is sometimes hard to explain to friends, why i am not going on the big ships unless being so fascinated by ship travels. They like the "normal" cruises, but they don't know anything about such alternatives. I really do hope, that this niche market will be more and more recognized and will develop, not die.

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  • Seagull
    replied

    Early evening view of Sarande as Serenisimma departed.



    A good opportunity to have chosen to take dinner outside on the aft deck.

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  • Seagull
    replied


    I too took my second, or was it third, cup of breakfast coffee through into the lounge for what was a rather special experience. This is Auron Tare, who has done so much for the heritage of Albania, and it is largely as a result of his efforts that the major archaeological site of Butrint has been preserved. Known to our guest lecturer Paul Harris (who had given a presentation "Albania: Repression, Anarchy & Hope" the previous evening), Auron Tare was invited aboard to speak to us. It was exactly the kind of impromptu happening I appreciate and value in cultural and specialist tourism including small-ship cruising, and which I hope will survive changing commercial pressures and the demographics of customer expectations.




    I returned to my cabin (314) to collect my things for our full day excursion, which included lunch ashore, pausing only to record the view from my porthole at the side and almost beneath the gangway.

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  • Seagull
    replied
    Day 7 - 13th September 2015 - Sarande, Albania.

    So far in this voyage the only places I had visited previously were Mycene and Delphi, both way back in 1981 on a coach excursion from Athens following a conference. The coach had also paused at the Corinth Canal - and I can still remember how delicious the outdoor barbequed lamb lunch was that followed!

    On leaving Greece aboard Serenissima, everything - ports and excursion goals alike - would now be totally new to me until the ship concluded her cruise in Venice. Turkey had already been a new country for me, and there would be more to come. Of these, the one that most people were curious about on my return was Albania. But for now, here is Serenissima’s glimpse of the port of Sarande in the south of country.


    My customary early morning stroll on deck



    Serenissima docked right in the centre of the town, which has however suffered from uncontrolled property development in the transition from communism to free-market economy.

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  • Seagull
    replied
    Thanks Bengt, Ralf and Nari …and not forgetting ombugge'’s earlier (#1099.1) description of the Corinth Canal which so made me smile!
    Your cruise continues!

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  • nari
    commented on 's reply
    Very impressive photos of an increasingly attractive ship, to me, anyway.

  • Ralf__
    replied
    Very impressive. I would have done the same as you: Strolling around the shup to catch each ever possible perspective. So nice pictures. Great!!

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