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    During the bus tour we were thrilled to have a photo stop in perfect weather to see our ship far below. She had moved from the small harbour to accommodate some ongoing works and other vessels, including the ferry.
    Mount Pico with a blanket of cloud can be seen across the water.


      Yet more opportunities to enjoy different views of the ship later that afternoon.


        There was lots of free time to explore Velas, where Serenissima had returned to the harbour.



          Day 8 – 24th April 2016 – Praia do Vitoria, Terceira island.

          The flag was already going up when I went out on deck next morning

          Although I took many photos as the ship approached the lighthouse seen in the previous photo, they don't show anything of Serenissima herself, and so this next photo was taken as we docked at the island's major port of Praia do Vitoria. After breakfast I made the early start on a morning excursion to the charming town of Angra do Heroismo. On the return route to the ship for lunch we were fortunate to have stopped in a small town during a local festival.


            There were all sorts of possibilities for free time during the afternoon as half-hourly shuttle buses had been arranged. It was possible to spend more time in Angra do Heroismo, or perhaps visit a museum in the small town of Praia which was only open in the afternoon. But a number of us had decided to sign up for a hike in the area of Monte Brasil - the site of a large fort built by the Spanish in 1590.

            So no more ship views, except for a couple of the courses at dinner, for which the hike had given me an appetite!


            • Ralf__
              Ralf__ commented
              Editing a comment
              Superb pictures, as far as i can see it her on my i-phone near galway. My laptop is stored derp down in the trunk area of our little campervan.

            Day 9 – 25th April 2016 – return to Ponta Delgada, São Miguel island.

            It's early the next day out on deck, cloudy and windy. Serenissima is approaching her starting point at Ponta Delgada. There had been a change of plan. We should have been at Santa Maria, the southernmost island of the Azores, but the sea conditions were expected to worsen, and even if we had made it we might not have been able to leave and return to Ponta Delgada for the end of the cruise and flights home.

            As you see, at was already unpredictable even here at Ponta Delgada!


              The decks were still a bit wet after earlier rain.

              Despite the short notice a morning excursion had been arranged, taking us to different locations on the island of São Miguel than those already visited on the first day (AND those to be visited before an overnight hotel stay, for those taking the group flights home on the 27th).


                Lunch back onboard featured a popular Sushi Special...

       addition to the many other cold and hot choices.


                  Although the rain had stopped, I decided not to go ashore as I would have a free afternoon to explore the town after transferring to the hotel the next day.

                  The aft stair

                  Goodness, I must have missed this on previous voyages!
                  Clipper had asked me if there was any trace of the deck names from the ship's days as Andrea, and here you see reference to Deck 3 as "Atlantic Deck"!


                    I had gone to get my packing done, and in my cabin found I had an invitation to the Captain's table for the Farewell Dinner that evening!

                    In the dining room the tables were already being set, and I had a look for my place which turned out to be next to the Captain!


                      On the bridge

                      A brief moment of sun


                        I wouldn't have wanted anyone new to Serenissima to miss out on an engine room visit, but as there were spaces left on the list, I signed up.

                        Of course it wasn't quite so thrilling an experience as being underway at the time!

                        Not the best of photos, but I love that expression - you can see she is in good hands.

                        On exiting from an engine room visit it is often possible to catch a glimpse of part of the galley.


                          As we were in port, my travel mascot Sea-Troll had been able to gain experience in the engine department safely!...

                          ...before moving to further training in Reception!

                          And then it was time for the welcome preceding the Farewell Dinner. Sea-Troll looks a bit awkward - he was used to a previous Captain on both previous cruises, AND I had failed to produce a Serenissima uniform (or pack his Hurtigruten one!).

                          Moreover he was not the only troll/creature present at the Captain’s table that evening, so was a bit shy. This Welsh Teddy is much involved in supporting the activities of Air Training Corps cadets, and gets photographed on his travels as well as locally in Aberystwyth.
                          Last edited by Seagull; May 21st, 2017, 10:50.


                            At dinner I particularly enjoyed the Baked Escargot with Garlic Bread...

                            ...and the Salmon Rillettes with Crème Fraiche and Chives (unusually for me I seem to have chosen a second appetizer instead of the soup!)

                            This was followed by a Sorbet


                            • pakarang
                              pakarang commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Ohhhhhh.... I'm so loving the variety in your shots, but that escargot certainly got me hungry.... That is one thing I really miss eating - wehn prepared to perfection. To me, it looks like the food on board has improved over your previous voyages. Do you feel the same way?

                            • Seagull
                              Seagull commented
                              Editing a comment
                              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.

                            My main course was the Lobster Tail with Asparagus Risotto and Lemon Butter Sauce.

                            It is surely possible for you to guess the dessert course! - a grand finale to the evening.