2018 – British Isles, Iceland, North Eastern Canada and finally Miami. September 15-October 16, 2018

Itinerary London to Miami

September 15th, We are on the SEATAC shuttle from Bellingham. First leg of the big trip. Well be in London on Sunday afternoon. Boarding the ship Monday.

Day 1 – Sept 15th Flight from Seattle to Cologne, Germany to London Heathrow

Originally we were going to stay in London 4 nights before the cruise started. I had surgery on the 11th so we changed the plan. I scrambled to get air changed. Eurowings was the only choice at $1,900 for 2pp, one way. We left home the 15th , Saturday at 11am and took shuttle to SEATAC. Flight departed on time for Cologne, Germany at 5pm. 9 hours later we landed in Cologne. 3 hours later we’re in London Heathrow Airport. We arrived the 16th at 2pm. Total travel time 16 hours.

Our large suitcase checked bag did not make it. We filed a claim and hailed a cab at the airport and for $86 he delivered us to the wrong hotel. We walked 6 blocks with our luggage to the correct hotel. (Good thing we did not have the big bag.) The room was up one flight of stairs (no elevator). This was Best Western Seraphine Olympia 225 High Street. The room was $706 for 4 nights, non refundable. We had to cancel the first 3 nights due to change of plans.

We settled into our room and then walked around the neighborhood for a dinner spot. Ate at Five Guys Burger place. Yum!

Since we arrived on a Sunday stores were closed but I needed to get some essential clothing since ALL my stuff is in the lost bag. Due to the surgery I could not pull or carry a bag. Bob’s stuff was in the carryon and I had nothing. So Monday morning I walked to H & M when they opened at 9am. Got a few things to tide me over and rushed back to the hotel for our shuttle at 9:45 am.

While we were on the shuttle Monday morning I got a call from the airline that my luggage was just delayed and at Heathrow to be picked up by me. The shuttle service would not let us divert so we got off and hired a private taxi to do this and get us to Southampton. Our taxi driver kindly took us inside the airport and our attempt to retrieve luggage failed because we did not have a boarding pass to get to the counter. Numerous other passengers were in the same situation. So we left without the bag. When I checked into the ship I told them and they said the Port Agent would get it delivered. We didn’t see the bag for 4 more days as it was flown to Cork, Ireland – our 3rd port.

Cost of change of plans and lost luggage about $2,500. Insurance will not cover because I got the type that is for emergency evacuation due to medical issues, etc.

Sept 17th – Checked into ship and got room 10144 a handicap Balcony. Huge space and we unpacked what little we had and joined the sail away party on deck 12. Nice weather!

 

Sept 18th – St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands. We got off and wandered the town. I bought a sweater at the local Cancer thrift shop for $8. Then we had hot chocolate.

 

Sept 19th – Portland, England

 

Sept 20th – Cove, Ireland – I got off and toured the Titanic and Emmigration Museum. Fascinating stories. It was cold and rainy. This port town was the last stop for the Titanic before it started across the Atlantic bound for America. When I got back to the cabin the missing suitcase was waiting outside the door! Yea!

 

Sept 21st – Dublin, Ireland

 

Sept 22nd – Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

Sept 23rd – At Sea

 

Sept 24th – Kirkwall, Scotland

 

Sept 25th – Invegordon (Inverness) Scotland

 

Sept 26th – Edinburgh, Scotland – CANCELLED due to rough seas. This is a tender port and the captain announced that there was no anchorage safe.

 

Sept 27th – Newcastle upon Tyne – We took the train from the port to the city and walked to the River to see the Millenium Bridge. We got there at noon just as they were “lifting” it from the river for boats to go through. Then we had lunch at Pitcher and Pint. Really good and nice day out. Easy to take train back too. It was only 8pounds each for all day.

 

Sept 28th – at sea

 

Sept 29th – Southampton again. We had to pack our belongs and leave them in the room. We knew our new cabin # but could not go there until about 2pm when the crew had prepared the room. Nice quiet day doing nothing.

 

Sept 30th – at sea

 

October 1st – Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Great Britain. We got off the ship and walked over to Jimmy Perez’s house. He’s the main character of the detective series “Shetland”. The town relies on tourism and the series helps a lot. We also went to the museum.

 

October 2nd – at sea

 

October 3rd and 4th – Day one in Reykjavik, Iceland. We did the Golden Circle Tour and saw Gullfoss Falls, the rift in the earth where the North American and European plates meet, and Geyser area. 8 ½ hour tour by bus. The 2nd day we stayed on the ship because it was very wet and cold. It snowed over the pass on our way back on the tour.

 

October 5th and 6th at Sea crossing the Atlantic.

October 7th – St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada

October 8th – at sea

October 9th – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

October 10th – Portland, Maine – 83 HOT degrees!!! My friend Julie lives here and picked us up from the ship. We went to lunch across the harbor and had a lobster roll. Yum! She also gave us a tour of the area. This is our first U.S. port and by far the warmest.

 

October 11th – At sea

October 12th – At Sea

October 13th – NYC

October 14th and 15th – at sea

October 15th – Miami – off ship. HOHO bus around Miami and then to Airport hotel for the night.

October 16th – fly home Delta

Cape Horn – March 30, 2017-Day 9

March 30, 2017 Day Cape Horn is a rocky headland on Hornos Island, in southern Chile’s Tierra del Fuego archipelago. It’s surrounded by wild seas off the southern tip of South America where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet. The albatross-shaped Cape Horn Monument commemorates the lives of thousands of seafarers who perished attempting to sail around the cape. A secluded lighthouse and the tiny Stella-Maris Chapel are nearby.

Many people book this cruise just to say they have cruised around Cape Horn. It is usually stormy and the ship may decide to travel through on the inside passage which is calmer. We had calm seas and our captain gave us a real show by going around the horn twice. Those prone to sea-sickness did not appreciate the ship leaning over so far but we thought it was great fun. My photos show the passengers lining the decks to get photos. We could also be inside at the front of the ship in the Crow’s Nest but that became very crowded. There was plenty of viewing for all actually.

 

 

 

Ushuaia, Argentina Day 8 of Cruise

March 29, 2017 We are only here from 2pm until 6pm but the daylight is long and we enjoy the tour we have chosen which takes us to Tierra del Fuego, national park of Argentina. Ushuaia is known for the end of the Pan-American Highway which runs from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the tip of South America. We had our photo taken at the southern end in Ushuaia.

PanAmericanHwyUshuaia (22)

 

Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago at South America’s southernmost tip, shared by Chile and Argentina. It’s known for its dramatic landscape of snowy mountains, glaciers, tundra and wind-sculpted trees. Its main island, Isla Grande, is home to the Argentine resort town of Ushuaia. Sometimes called “the End of the World,” Ushuaia is a gateway to the region and Antarctica to the south.

 

 

Ushuaia (35)
Andes Mountains
Ushuaia (50)
View of our ship across bay

Punta Arenas, Chile – Day 7

3/28/2017 Our next stop is almost to the tip of South America in Punta Arenas Chile. See map for location. This is a cute little town and we made straight for the closest cafe with free Wi-fi. Wonderful hot chocolate and pastries! It was a bit chilly at 54 degrees so I climbed the hill for views of the harbor and town below.

Punta Arenas (3)
Big green parks
Punta Arenas (7)
Map of Punta Arenas, Chile Area
Punta Arenas (8)
Hot Chocolate and free Wi-Fi
Punta Arenas (9)
I love Churros!
Punta Arenas (14)
Evidence of visitors from around the world
Punta Arenas (15)
Marla at the top of town

Port Stanley Falkland Islands, Day 5

3/26/17 The Falkland Islands are 1,050 miles south of our last port of Montevideo, Uruguay. After 2 days at sea we are ready to get off the ship and see PENGUINS!

Penguin visit

North Pond Penguin Colony is one of the areas to see Gentoo and Magellan penguins in their natural environment. It is a 2 hour, 60 mile drive across the island and we are in a Land Cruiser with Gus, the owner of the tour company. There are 16 vehicles, all 4WD for driving across the peat bogs. We are spread out so there is no crowd at the penguin colony. Half way along we stop at an old sheep farm for lunch.  I’m lucky to sit in the front seat with Gus and enjoyed our conversation about the lifestyle of this area. The Falkland Islands are a British Colony off the southern coast of Argentina. In 1982 Argentina tried to take it back-you may remember The War of the Falklands. A 10 week war was interesting to hear about from Gus, our driver, as he was in high school when this happened. Scary times for sure. Since the colony had no defenses, Britain sent the ships immediately and bombed the heck out of the Argentine ships and shot down their airplanes. The wrecks still exist on the ground and in the sea. The Argentines also left thousands of land mines behind so many open lands and beautiful beaches are closed for safety. Eventually they will clear this out but it is not a high priority.

Article from Wikipedia: “The British government regarded the action as an invasion of a territory that had been a Crown colony since 1841. Falkland Islanders, who have inhabited the islands since the early 19th century, are predominantly descendants of British settlers, and favour British sovereignty. Neither state officially declared war, although both governments declared the Islands a war zone and officially recognised that a state of war existed between them and hostilities were almost exclusively limited to the territories under dispute and the area of the South Atlantic where they lie.”

My own research says the islands main industry is fishing, seconded by wool. At only 3,000 residents, we found it charming and quaint. There is no high school and the children are shipped off to England boarding school for high school education. All of this is paid for by Britain, including the seasonal vacations. The people are friendly and proud of their homeland.

Penguin Colony

After our tour we had a couple hours to enjoy Port Stanley, where 90% of the population lives. The area is quaint and tidy with just one market. There are a few pubs but most were closed for Sunday. We did find a chocolate shop though and the clerk asked who we toured with – knowing that we most likely went out to see the penguins. We told her it was Gus and he is her cousin. I assume everyone is a cousin to some extent. Such warm and friendly people.

Stanley Town
Port Stanley
Chocolate Shop
Chocolate Shop
Monument
Monument in Port Stanley
Port Stanley apts
Apartments

Now to the tip of South America. First Full Sea Day – Day 3 of cruise March 2017

Start of SeaDays

We are finally at sea. The Zaandam departed Montevideo, Uruguay on March 23rd at 6pm. The weather is 77 degrees, calm winds. This photo shows our favorite part of the ship. This is called the Promenade Deck because you can walk all the way around the ship on this deck. Outside! Four times around is one mile. Our cabin is just to the right of where I am standing taking the picture of the sunset. We have a window and could see this beautiful sunset. Those chairs have soft cushions where we lounge most days after lunch on sea days. Ahhhh. Our favorite part of cruising – after I have rounded this deck about 12 times anyway.

Montevideo, Uruguay – Day 2 of cruise

3.23.2017 The Zaandam departs Buenos Aires at 6pm on the 22nd and we travel north 141 miles across the wide river to Montevideo, Uruguay. We arrive 5:30 am on the 23rd. This lovely city is so different from Buenos Aires. The government is stable and the people are hardworking and love their country. Montevideo has consistently been rated as having the highest quality of life of any city in Latin America.

I chose a tour offered by a local company just outside the port. They had wi-fi on the bus and for $20 the 3 hour tour was perfect. We went shopping at a local craft market where I bought a scarf. He said his wife made it. Possible!

Pioneer Memorial
Pioneer Park
Modern Building
Monument and Modern Building
I bought a scarf
I bought a scarf from this nice man.