Woke up this morning to blue skies, eighty degrees and a flat sea. Tied to the pier the ship is not rocking and will make for a great day of sight seeing in this quaint Columbia port town of Santa Marta.
This is the oldest city in Columbia and the second oldest in South America. The port is guarded by a lighthouse high up on a very rocky island. The port is an interesting mix of high end container shipping, a local fishing industry and a major coal distribution centre. Tourism is major with cruise ships now regularly calling. Streets near the dock are lined with vendors selling local trinkets and a variety of fresh fruits.
After a day in Santa Marta the ship departed just after 5:00 p.m. for the San Blais islands where we will anchor and dingy in to shore.
We are underway having departed Fort Lauderdale at 9:00 pm on Tuesday evening. The weather is warm but rainy and very windy. For the past 12 hours the wind has been over 60 kph making for a very bumpy ride. The ship is very stabilized but you do need to establish your sea legs as you walk sideways down the hall. Has not stopped us from enjoying all the ship has to offer from a food and beverage standpoint. Last night’s sail away party was a great start.
Below are pictures of the Crow’s Nest which overlooks the bow of the ship and is a great vantage point to see dead ahead and shots of the carpets which keep reminding you of where the front and the back of the ship are located. They are also colour coordinated to port (red) and starboard (green).
As we set out on a full circumnavigation of the globe for the second time in our lives, we have decided to stay with Holland America and their ship the Amsterdam. It is by no means one of the largest cruise ships. Its smaller size allows it to dock or anchor in many ports where a larger ship could not. The third Holland America Line vessel to bear the name Amsterdam, this elegant, mid-sized ship features a three-story atrium graced by a stunning astrolabe.
LENGTH 780 ft.
WIDTH 105.8 ft.
We were fortunate to get the same cabin as we had in 2013. It looks out on the Promenade Deck from a large window over the head of our bed. Our cabin door exits to a hallway which is only one cabin away from the door to the open deck. Our cabin location makes moving around the ship very easy and provides us with a sea view at all times. The bathroom is spacious and is as modern as you can get. We also learned on the previous voyage that very little time is spent in the cabin (sleeping essentially) so a larger cabin or a cabin with more amenities seems like a waste of money.
If you look at the picture below we are on the starboard side of the ship as shown and in the cabin midway along the second lifeboat. The lifeboats are considerably above head level and there is a deck (Promenade) which totally encircles the ship on our level. The picture above is from our cabin and, believe it or not, is considered “a partially obstructed view”.
We depart Fort Lauderdale on January 22 but fly in to Fort Lauderdale on the 20th so we can avoid any last minute delays due to winter conditions back home. One would not want to miss the boat!
In 2013 we went around the world on the Holland America cruise ship Amsterdam. In January, 2019 we are going to do this again with a number of changes to our itinerary which will make this a very different voyage.
Perhaps the most significant route change is the trip through the Suez Canal, across the Mediterranean Ocean, north to Norway and then diagonally back across the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale where we depart.
While the duration of the voyage is four months, this time we will be starting mid-January and finishing mid-May. Essentially this is a two week later trip. For the trip we will have our same cabin and the same ship as in 2013. We enjoyed both features last time and were fortunate to be able to get the same again.
If you would like to follow along on our trip, please hit the “follow” button on the right side of your screen. The site will then ask for your email address. Fill it in and anytime we post a new entry you will receive it. The posts are usually quite short, with lots of pictures that have been reduced in size to allow for fast downloads and to minimize data consumption. Internet on the ship is very expensive so you communicate in as few words as possible and with lower resolution and sized photos.
We welcome your comments at any time. Space for comments may be found at the bottom of the posts. Enjoy!