Elite Days Away: Dropping Anchor in Luxury Ports Around The World
Escape to the most coveted travel destinations and experiences with Travel Writer, Joy Greedy.
Growing up in small-town Australia I loved the distant sound of a train whistle; now as an adult living in Singapore, I get the same thrill hearing a ships’ horn blast.For me, it signals the start or end to an exciting voyage.
To see the soul of a city view it from the deck of a cruise liner; the city and surrounds look so much more panoramic, especially in the early morning or evening with a glass of bubbly in your hand!
Dropping Anchor in Luxury Ports Around The World
SILVERSEA’S small luxury ships are designed for those who aspire to rewarding sea voyages and pleasurable memories that last a lifetime. Spacious, luxurious accommodation, with ocean view suites and flawless service including your personal butler!
Smaller Luxury Cruise Liners have the advantage of intimate docking, something the gargantuan Liners of today struggle with. It is a great bonus indeed not to have to play chicken with the crowds at each new port of call.
My dream list was ticked recently with a voyage of a lifetime on the SILVER WIND around the British Isles. The itinerary was magic, but it was the Embarkation from the iconic London Tower Bridge that had me welling up with emotion. It was late afternoon on a glorious English summer’s day. As the ship’s horn blasted, we enjoyed canapes and cocktails. The ship moved slowly, tugged toward the bridge, which gradually opened above us. The crowds were out in force cheering us on, as we sailed under the open bridge Rule Britannia sounded out in all its glory, it was just one of those unforgettable moments. The late afternoon sun sparkled on the river, as we listened to a detailed history of all the iconic and notable landmarks along the way. From our bird’s eye view, we got to see the essence of the city and the hardworking river Thames.
So many ports so little time. Some of my most memorable Dropping Anchor are:
My Home country, so indulge me a little, Sydney Harbour is one of the most naturally beautiful and accessible harbours in the world, ask any hardened Sea Captain, and they too are captivated by the majestic harbour entry headlands, natural beauty, the secret coves, luminous waters, and white sandy beaches. Sailing in you are in the heart of the city, and eye to eye with the sails of the Sydney Opera House and the iconic Harbour Bridge. I love the Australians, any day of the week they are out eating, drinking and embracing the natural beauty of their city; it’s just one big celebration, Cheers Mate!
Auckland New Zealand:
Like most cities, approaching by road can be very nondescript, but by sea, you get an entirely new perception. My favourite memory of Auckland was our Cruise Ship SILVER SPIRIT silently gliding out to sea, the skyscrapers flashing lights, the ocean like quicksilver in our wake, the outlying hillsides dwarfed by the looming volcanic islands, a hint of sulphuric vapour hanging in the night air.
Laidback, cool, Barcelona. The city of Gaudi one-of-a-kind, a flamboyant architect whose works dictate the mood of the city. Once again arriving by ship, you find yourself in the heart of a pedestrian-friendly space. Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter, from every vantage point we could look back and admire the SILVER WIND anchored in port.
Sultry, seductive, mysterious Istanbul, straddling two continents and often the backdrop of many a crime or Spy novel. Cruising into Port to the call to Prayer, we glided past ascending minarets, Palace Pavilions and the Blue Mosque. At dusk we sailed away from the city, the air weighted with the smell of exotic spices, the Muezzin call to prayer escorts the ship as we make our way along the mighty Bosporus toward the Black Sea.
Arriving in Venice by road is underwhelming, let’s face it if you have seen one Autostrada you have seen them all. But to arrive by sea in style, in one of the most romantic cities in the world is an experience of a lifetime, even if it does mean getting up at 5 am in the morning to see it! Gliding down the Giudecca canal high up on deck, early morning birds wheeling above you, past centuries of Italian History. Below, Vaporetto and Gondolas compete for water space. Past St Mark’s Square and Venetian Palaces, to see them from this height is breath-taking, elevating you to another dimension of beauty.
New York City USA:
Once again sailing past all that history, you cannot help but be moved with intense emotion. The Verrazano Bridge, scene of many a popular movie and whose influence changed the shape of the statuesque Queen Mary 2. The elegant skyscrapers summits are shrouded in mist. It is a joy to see the familiar Empire State Building in all her Art Deco glory and Lady Liberty gazing down on us mere mortals. You can’t help but think of all those that came before, hopeful of a new start, or of those onboard the fateful Titanic, that sadly didn’t survive to see their dreams a reality.
The one destination I have visited that is more picturesque than any photograph. A simply stunning port of call. Instead of a bird’s eye view, you find yourself gazing up towards the heavens. Vertiginous whitewashed cliffs tumble down toward the sea in a profusion of burgeoning bougainvillaea, hot pink against immaculate whites and the bluest of cobalt competing with the Mediterranean below. The sunsets are legendary a true photographers dream.
Hong Kong China:
I love Honkers! While now its officially part of China, Hong Kong still maintains an individual identity, freewheeling, hard trading, unrestrained eating and great nightlife, but it’s no place for motorists. Go by sea and avoid the frenzy on the roads. Hong Kong has been described as a tropical paradise cum International City with the worlds largest number of lofty skyscrapers. At night those Skyscrapers light up like a neon Christmas tree, and if you are lucky enough you will catch the amazing laser light show. The harbour is buzzing with all manner of sea-going vessels, old-style red-sailed Junks, alongside Star ferries which run the show, it all seems chaotic, but there is a skilful control to the pandemonium. As the ship sets sail, you gaze up at the cloud-shrouded peaks lit by the occasional flash of the laser from the foreshore below.
“Hark now hear the sailors cry, smell the sea, and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly, into the mystic.” – Van Morrison
Only just having scratched the surface of stunning locations to sail into, we have so much more to look forward to, SILVERSEA LUXURY CRUISE LINES have an itinerary to suit the most discerning of traveller, Luxury cruising in luxury ports all around the world!
I always had an idealistic view of cruising or travel by Ocean Liner, the streamers hanging on until that bittersweet moment when the ship pulls away from the shore. The waving crowds and the marching bands. It doesn’t happen so much now, but there are exceptions, some countries are so grateful for our company it is touching. One trip to Vietnam we were treated to non-stop marching and band playing for all they were worth by the local school children, they enjoyed it as much as the passengers. In Myanmar, we had traditional dancing and streamers, and in all these smaller Asian countries there was always a welcome gift as we disembarked on tour.
In the Scottish Isles, a lone piper welcomed us and saw us off as the ship’s horn blasted a last hurrah, a tip of the hat in appreciations for allowing us to visit these beautiful ports of call.
An insider tip: In any beautiful port reserve a table on the patio of SILVERSEA at La Terrassa you will be sure to have the best view of that city on that day!
For Silversea information, visit https://www.silversea.com