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

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    What a beautiful port that was - another place to put on my "places to visit"-list.

    There is a lot of charm I can see, but the morning arrival was the thing that was the best. Seeing the arrival from sea to shore, in changing light must clearly have been worth getting out of bed for.
    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
    Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

    Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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      Day 6 5th October 2017 Naples, Italy.



      Early morning out on deck. It is starting to get light, but perhaps you can still make out the constellation of Orion in the resized photo - look for the three stars of Orion's belt between the aerials!




      Vesuvius! For a moment, seen from this distance, I thought it looked a little bit like Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh! Some years ago, in the Firth of Forth and heading for the port of Leith aboard Fram I had the opposite of such a sensation, the sweep of the coastline taking on a rather Italianate aspect in the morning light.

      This is actually my first visit, and once again in such circumstances I am so happy to be arriving on Serenissima. Sunrise in the bay of Naples doesn't get better than this!


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      • Clipper
        Clipper commented
        Editing a comment
        OMG! Orion is my all-time favourite constellation so combined with Serenissima, I'm in heaven with that shot.



      I had brought an early morning coffee from the lounge and sat on the upper deck to enjoy it.

      Then the pilot boat arrived.


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        It was time to head for the foredeck and preparations for arrival.



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        • Tommi
          Tommi commented
          Editing a comment
          People will miss a lot of fantastic views if they stay in the bunk!



        Serenissima will fit in neatly to the aft of Seabourn Encore.







        Castle view forward...

        ...but I also like this photo looking aft along deck 4




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          After breakfast we joined the morning excursion to Herculaneum. This was D's first visit there, though he had been to Pompeii as a teenager on a cruise with his parents, (but doesn't seem to remember which ship!).
          The superb archaeologist guest lecturer on Serenissima had prepared us well for the excursion with another in his series of outstanding presentations the previous afternoon. His appreciation of geology along with archaeology helped explain the differences between the sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii.









          On leaving the buses on our return to the ship we were directed around a van that was making deliveries. While I hung back taking photos, D was ahead of me and so, appropriately as it turned out, had entered the cabin before I arrived. Talk about excited! It had been decorated for his birthday with balloons, towel creatures, cards from the crew and from the Noble Caledonia team, and other treats. Our cabin girl, already on familiar terms with Sea-Troll, had also enlisted his cooperation!



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          • Clipper
            Clipper commented
            Editing a comment
            Poor Sea-Troll. Distressing to learn that he needs one of these - https://www.amazon.com/Hemorrhoid-He.../dp/B001V9X4G6 even if it's not quite the right size. That said, his expression indicates a certain enviable tranquility. Maybe he could let me have one of his spares.

          • Seagull
            Seagull commented
            Editing a comment
            nah …he insists it's a lifebelt and he's training for those MOB (mascot over board) situations!

          • Clipper
            Clipper commented
            Editing a comment
            Ok Cecilia, that's your next challenge - a photo of Sea-Troll sitting in a MOB boat.








          It was pleasant relaxing on board after lunch, a grandstand view of the ferries coming and going. Seabourn Encore had already departed by the time we left our mooring, passing the impressive 1930s architecture of the Stazione Marittima.




          Serenissima was heading for Messina in Sicily, where it would be my turn to have been before! But D's day wasn't yet over, and there will be some 'bonus photos' to show you next time.





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            Birthday celebrations at dinner always happen on Serenissima! ...they've seen the all-important date on your passport!
            In anticipation of what would happen towards the end of the dinner service, I had reserved a centrally located table for six and ordered a bottle of sparkling wine as an aperatif for the lucky table-mates.







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              The meal choices seemed particularly good that evening. Here is an absolutely delicious starter:-
              "Crispy Filo-Cup filled with Creamy Mushroom Ragout and Wilted Spinach".


              "
              Anticipating dessert AND cake later, I skipped the soup course (I'd otherwise have had the "Red Beans Soup with Bacon Bits" ; D can't digest those kind of beans.)
              So we both continued the meal with the same choice of main:-
              "Grilled Salmon Fillet served with Champagne Risotto, Half Tomato, Asparagus and Herb Butter Sauce"

              .


              The Baklava was the unmissable dessert choice! So mouth-wateringly yummy!
              Last edited by Seagull; April 13th, 2018, 21:21. Reason: oops ...couldn't spell Baklava!

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                And then the lights dimmed, the music played, the sparkler sparkled...



                I waited for the lights to go back on before taking a photo during a further enthusiastic rendering of birthday songs! You can now appreciate the strategic table position, as folk in every direction look to see whose birthday it is!




                Assistant Cruise Director Wendy and Tour Manager Reba from Noble Caledonia congratulate Birthday Boy.



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                  D loved all the attention (and the not-having-to-do-anything-himself such as blowing out candles or cutting up the cake!)



                  Cake is served, and of course Birthday Boy gets the strawberries!

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                  • Clipper
                    Clipper commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Excellent! So D is 21 at last. I feel you captured the moment there.

                    "Grilled Salmon Fillet served with Champagne Risotto, Half Tomato, Asparagus and Herb Butter Sauce" has got my mouth watering. I may need nip over to Waitrose and treat myself to a Gressingham "Duck à l'Orange".

                  • Tommi
                    Tommi commented
                    Editing a comment
                    So great to see all the celebrations. And very smart to reserve a table in the middle of the dining room.

                  Day 7 - 6th October 2017 - Messina, Sicily, Italy.

                  This would be my second voyage through the Strait of Messina, both aboard Serenissima.
                  So of course I was up early that morning.




                  What better than an entirely different early-out-on-deck image to show you - a full moon and moonlight reflected on the ruffled on the water.
                  I was thrilled with this image, grabbed from an ever-changing sky as clouds rolled past.

                  Seen from the bridge wing, the string of lights along the coast come into view. Both coasts actually, as the ship is heading towards the point of land at Torre Faro on the Sicilian side of the strait, and the coast on the left of this photo is the Italian mainland. With wave after wave of low cloud passing over, this is perhaps less obvious than on my last time here. Right on cue D turns up to check where we are, and then goes off to the lounge for early coffee and biscuits or a bun when I say I'll not be going to breakfast before we dock. I tell him exactly where to look out for whirlpools as we turn into the strait, but mention he might not see any, as the sea is so much choppier than it was for me last time.



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                    Now there are more ships around, like this Tirrenia cargo ship



                    They are keeping a careful watch from the bridge.



                    Eventually we reach Torre Faro, where the lighthouse is much less obvious in my phoro (as I didn't catch the light!) than the tall tower that once carried the overhead power line across the strait. Replaced by a submarine cable, the tower remains as an historical monument.

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                      I love this wider view from the bridge wing a couple of minutes earler which caught the drama of yet more fast moving clouds and rain.




                      Now Serenissima is in the strait, and I'm now on the foredeck platform looking back at clearer skies, and even managing to capture an area of fleeting whirlpools on the left.



                      Having safely navigated such a passage where - as recounted in that blurred blend of classical mythology, literature and history - so many struggled, it seems bizzare but yet delightful that it is only now where the ship slows down for the arrival of a local pilot boat! Arriving by sea at Messina is my kind of thing that I would never tire of repeating
                      Never the same twice ...the same but different.

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                        I catch up with D (who did see a whirlpool) and point out landmarks and buildings as the ship approaches the harbour at Messina, passing the old fort San Salvatore with the column and golden statue of the Madonna of the Letter, patron saint of the city.




                        Nearly there, in the city centre. This is actually a place where such a privilege isn't entirely restricted to ships as small as ours, but for now it is just us.

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