What an amazing world cruise! Sea Princess has been sailing a 104-night global circumnavigation from Australia taking in 37 destinations in 25 countries over a distance of 28,709 nautical miles (the equivalent of 53,169 kilometres).
The highlights have been too many to mention with visits to Dubai, St Petersburg, New York, The Lost city of Petra, Bermuda, and Ireland as well as transits of the Suez and Panama canals, and calls to The Baltic, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. You can see the full itinerary in This Post, Cruise Itinerary.
We’ve had so many magical moments that it’s been almost impossible to choose which ones to add into this blog post.
Sailing from Sydney on May 15, the ship headed around southern Australia to Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle, before heading north to Dubai, Oman and Jordan. After cruising the waters of the Mediterranean, northern Europe and the United Kingdom, Sea Princess crossed the Atlantic to Canada and then explored North and South America before returning Down Under via the South Pacific and Auckland and will arrive back in Sydney on August 28.
Read on for our cruise highlights and links to the Blog Posts in which we’ve written more about the destinations.
“The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,which Man deemed old two thousand years ago,match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,a rose-red city half as old as time.” J Burgon.
Read More about The Lost City of Petra, Jordan here.
“While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand; When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall; And when Rome falls—the World.” Lord Byron
Read more about our trip to Rome : Highlights of Rome in a Day, here.
A firestorm of poisonous vapours and molten debris filled the streets until nothing remained to be seen of the once thriving community. Destroyed 79AD .
Read more about Pompeii, here.
The 163km long Suez Canal has a turbulent history of struggle and fighting over its control. Over 17,000 ships pass through it each year with an average transit time of fifteen hours.
Read more about The Suez Canal here.
The chalk cliffs were formed during the Cretaceous Period (65 to 140 million years ago) from the remains of marine plants and animals. The views from the walk along the top of the hills are spectacular.
Read more about The White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury here.
A journey through a landscape as old as time. Rugged mountains, desert canyons, ancient forts and palm fringed oases. Our safari took us to Hail al Ghaf, an oasis town surrounded by mango groves.
Read more about the Desert Safari and Wadi tour in Oman here.
Bruges is known as “Venice of the North”. Full of charm. Our Bruges experience included exploring the medieval city on foot and by canal: Chocolates, Belgian beer and Moules Frites.
Read more about 7 Tips for a great day out in Bruges here.
Cobh is rich in maritime history. It was from Spike Island situated in Cobh Harbour (Ireland’s Alcatraz) that criminals were transported to the penal colonies of Australia. It was also the last port of call for the doomed Titanic.
Read more about The Titanic, Australiana and more in Cobh here.
The Alfama Quarter is the oldest part of Lisbon featuring stunning Moorish architecture and many cafes. Where better than to savour a delicious Nata or Portuguese Tart.
Read more about What to do in Lisbon if you only have a Day here.
“The traditional recipe was created by Abraham Kunze, a pharmacist living in Riga, and is based on a composition of 24 different plants, flowers, buds, juices, roots, oils and berries.”
Read more about cruising the Baltic Sea and Riga here.
Known as the “Russian Versailles” the Palace overlooks stunning gardens and beyond to the Gulf of Finland. The gardens contain many fountains, some classical and spectacular, others quirky and humorous, even trick fountains!
Read more about The Best of St Petersburg here.
Eva and I first met in 1983 in the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland,. We’ve been friends ever since. We shared a bottle of Champagne in the Royal Gardens to celebrate our reunion.
Read more about Why you should visit Stockholm, here.
This colourful 17th Century waterfront was once the home to Hans Christian Andersen. Many of its brightly coloured houses are now cafes, perfect spots to watch the boats in the canal.
Read more about Top Things to do in Copenhagen in just one day, here.
An amazing stretch of coastline, towering limestone cliffs with colourful villages that tumble down the hillsides to the sea. Famous for its lemons, there is no better place than Capri to lookout over the sea and sip a limoncello.
Read more about the Amalfi Coast, here.
After visiting the cathedral in Senate Square we headed to the nearby bustling market and enjoyed a scrumptious al fresco lunch of fresh Finnish fish and vegetables.
Read more about Helsinki, here.
We immersed ourselves in Nova Scotia’s Gaelic story at Baile nan Gaidheal – Highland Village at Iona on Cape Breton Island. The roots of Gaelic Nova Scotia are found in the Highlands of Scotland. “Ur beatha Aem Baile” – Welcome to the Village!
Read more about Sydney and Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, here.
A morning culinary tour of Boston’s North End, “Little Italy”; a lobster roll for lunch at Pauli’s well known sandwich bar and following an afternoon of sightseeing, a delicious clam chowder at the Liberty Wharf.
Read more about Boston, a culinary tour, and 23 Italian Foodie tips, here.
Our first views of New York as we cruised up the Hudson River past Liberty and Ellis Islands and onto Manhattan. A glorious sunrise over the Big Apple to welcome us!
Read more about our Hints, Tips and First Impressions of New York, here.
We’re off on our round-the-world adventure. Sailing out of Sydney Harbour past the iconic Opera House as the sun sets behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
A highlight of the wine tasting tour was to visit Seppeltsfield Winery. We entered through an avenue of palms that stretch as far as the eye can see. A tradition is that each year a barrel of port is laid down which will only be opened in 100 years’ time!
Read more about The Barossa Valley, here.
Appetisers of; King Crab; Scallops; Foie Gras; Caviar; & BuviataTiger Shrimp, Pumpkin & Pear RisottoMaine Lobster Tail & Veal Rack Crusted with HerbsSable Breton with Exotic Cream & White Chocolate Bavarian.
Read more about food and dining on Sea Princess, here.
We had a revealing and fascinating tour behind the scenes on Sea Princess visiting; a galley; stage production; print room; ship’s stores; engine control room; mooring area; and ended on the Bridge with the Captain spotting dolphins & whales.
Read more about Facts and Figures, here.
There are plenty of opportunities to dress up on board. I loved glamming up and heading to Traviata Restaurant for formal dinners. It’s also great fun to see what everyone else is wearing and getting your formal portrait photos taken.
It’s always exciting to get an invitation to the Captain’s cocktail party. An opportunity to dress up, mingle with the Officers and other passengers and of course have a photo taken with the Captain. Here with Captain Genarro Arma.
Need more reasons to book a cruise – check out: 10 Reasons to go on a World Cruise.
It was great fun on deck as we crossed the equator. Neptune judged the Pollywogs (those on-board crossing the equator by sea for the first time) for alleged “crimes” at sea and were subjected to “humiliating” punishments like kissing the fish!
We watched many a sunset whilst relaxing with a sundownder on our Stateroom Balcony. The sunsets at sea are colourfully spectacular. The sunset as we cruised down the Rhine from Rotterdam was very special.
Wow! Cruising into Bermuda’s turquoise seas was sensational. We had a great day exploring the island, swimming at the pink sandy beaches and learning about Bermuda’s history.
Read more about Beautiful Bermuda, here.
At the bow of the Ship is a tranquil oasis. The Sanctuary is an ideal place to kick back, relax and enjoy a healthy snack.
The Bridge traverses the entire breadth of the Ship and has stunning views out over the ocean. The Captain provided us with interesting insights on modern navigation and weather conditions at sea whilst we cruised in the Southern Ocean.
Read more about our chat with The Captain, tips for rough weather, and tales of the Exciting Southern Ocean, here.
Pink flamingos; blue and golden macaws; women selling fruit in national dress; brightly painted houses in the Walled City; local handicrafts and tropical plants provided a kaleidoscope of colours during our visit to Cartagena.
Read more about Cartagena, Colombia, here.
This canal is considered one of the modern man-made wonders of the world. Major environmental and geological obstacles had to be overcome in its construction with 25,000 workers losing their lives’ through accidents and disease.
Read more about The Panama Canal, here.
Panama hats are made in Ecuador! We visited the town of Montecristi the birthplace of the Panama hat and watched them being woven. I shopped for a hat and other great handicrafts including alpaca knitwear and jewellery made from ivory nuts.
Read more about How Panama Hats are made and Manta in Ecuador, here.
Panama hat from Ecuador; custom jewellery necklace/earrings from Helsinki & bracelet carved from ivory nut from Manta; T Shirt and Peruvian alpaca cardigan from Lima.
Read more about Fashion onboard Sea Princess, here.
An exciting morning viewing marine wildlife and huge bird colonies of the Ballestas Islands (the “Galapagos of Peru”). We saw dolphins, sea lions, seals, Humboldt Penguins, Inca Terns, Peruvian Boobies, Pelicans, Flamingos and Cormorants.
Read more about Lima, Peru and Islas Ballestas, here.
After dinner there is nothing better than to head to the Princess Theatre for a show. From the stage productions put on by the resident singers and dancers to the great variety of guest performers, there is something for everyone.
Read about The Cruise Director on Sea Princess, here.
Valparaiso is Chile’s oldest city. It’s crayon coloured houses climb up hills so steep that funiculars are used. One of Valparaiso’s most famous residents – Nobel-Prize winning poet Pablo Neruda.
World Cruise Options
Next year, Princess will offer three world cruise options: a 104-night round world cruise on Sea Princess, a 75-night Circle Pacific cruise on Golden Princess as well as an 84-night Circle South America cruise on Sea Princess. Fares start from $13,299 per person twin share for the 75-night Circle Pacific voyage (around $177 a day).
We have four more ports of call before arriving in Sydney, and I’ll be updating this post with highlights from those destinations. I’m a guest of Princess Cruises but all opinions are my own.
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