Monday, June 16, 2014

Cruising the Mediterranean





Taken from Silver Spirit as we sailed the high seas


The itinerary said: Board Silver Spirit in Civitavecchia, on the outskirts of Rome.  
Day 2:  Portofino
Day 3.  Liverno with trips to Florence and Lucca
Day 4.   "
Day 5   Sardinia
Day 6   Porto Mahon
Day 7  Ibiza
Day 8  Barcelona

The Silver Spirt is a luxury 5 star cruise.  Elegant, gracious, spacious and understated are words used to describe living on board.  We were pampered by our butler, Marlon.  This 500 passenger ship has many advantages, one being it can visit ports that are unavailable to large ships.




We were disappointed to find our from Captain Mino Pontillo that due to stormy weather our landing in Portofino was to be cancelled and we were sailing on to Genoa.    We did have a rough sailing on our first night and during the night, I went to our balcony and the large waves told me our Captain had made a wise decision.  



Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba ("the Proud one") due to its glorious past and impressive landmarks.  In 2004 Genoa was named European Capital of Culture.  Birthplace of Christopher Columbus and architect Renzo Piano .  Genoa claims a first for blue jeans, pesto and the earliest bank of St. George founded in 1407.  I plan to return and explore the architecture of Renzo Piano the museums and galleries.




 Day 3 and we are on our balcony waiting to greet the port of Liverno.

Today we are going to Florence. Travel Industry Today have published my account of visiting this city. Should you wish to read please click on link.




50 comments:

  1. Dear Helen,
    What a marvelous itinerary! A cruise on the Mediterranean sounds like a wonderful and relaxing way enjoy these beautiful cities. Have a fabulous holiday!
    Cheers,
    Loi

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    1. Hello Loi
      I feel you would like a cruise, such as the Silver Spirit offers. You have been working extremely hard with both your properties. Having a Butler was divine and how quickly one gets used to such service.
      Helen xx

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  2. Lucky you Helen, it sounds totally wonderful!
    Such a great itinerary, I hope you have an amazing time, and well done on having your account of Florence published - I should love to visit there too one day, the only Italian city I have visited is Verona, for the opera, and I;d love to return to see it all properly.
    Enjoy the rest of your cruise Helen, and thank you for sharing!
    Gill xx

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    1. Hello Gill
      I hope you make it to Florence one day soon. There is so much to see and do for all tastes. Verona and the opera sounds delightful and something we would love to do. Thanks for your support

      Helen xx

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  3. Hello Helen,

    How positively glorious all this sounds. Such a wonderful itinerary and pure pampering all the way. Bliss.

    We have often toyed with the idea of a cruise but have yet to find a winning formula for us. We do like the idea that yours is a smaller ship and so can venture where others may not be able. That has much more appeal for us than the gigantic vessels one can see ploughing through the waves.

    Rather sad to have not had the opportunity to visit Portofino. That is somewhere we should like to see but have not managed to get to yet. One day.

    We look forward to more reports from the Med........! Happy Days!

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    1. Dearest Jane and Lance

      We were indeed pampered. How quickly one gets to feel entitled to such service. Marlon our Butler just seemed to appear when we thought about something yet was not obtrusive and had a great sense of humour.
      The Silver Spirit never feels crowded yet there is not an empty feeling either. Many passengers on board are on for long voyages and an unusual number of repeaters. Like you, we dislike the large vessels, which contain thousands of passengers.
      We must return to Portofino but know we will love it even more having waited.

      Helen xx

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  4. Did you do this post on the ship Helen? If so, it is charming to think of you sitting on board watching the beautiful Mediterranean sunsets as you tap the keyboard.
    I have a special fondness for Genoa, as H and I were invited there in 1992 to celebrate the discovery of America in1492 by Columbus. They had a huge Expo on the waterfront and built a wonderful aquarium as part of the celebrations. We dined in Palazzos and were taken to eat at a famous restaurant known for its Pesto.

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    1. Hello Rosemary
      That is a delightful thought of me tapping away as we sailed into the sunset. I made notes on board ship. Genoa was quite surprising and we had not expected so much, following the disappointment of Portofino.
      We plan to return for a 3 day weekend. How special to be invited for the 500th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of America. I am sure you received the royal treatment. The waterfront was impressive and I loved the domo by Renzo Piano.
      Have a great week
      Helen xx

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  5. What a great adventure! Florence is the Holy Grail for artists such as yourself. Enjoy and look forward to future reports. And congratulations that your article was published in Travel Industry Today. Happy sailing.

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    1. Hello Sanda
      Yes, Florence is the Holy Grail for artists and lovers of art and beauty.
      Thank you for your good wishes. I was very happy to have Travel Industry Today feature my scribbles.

      Helen xx

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  6. Ahoy Helen!

    How exciting! So many beautiful and culturally rich destination await your arrival. Shame about Portofino, but I'm sure you are relieved, and thank goodness for your wise and decisive captain. Looking forward to your upcoming posts and thank you for the lovely and informative commentary about Genoa; so interesting!

    xx
    Poppy

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    1. Hello Poppy
      Yes indeed so may wonderful places to be discovered. There is no better feeling than visiting a port for the first time. Yes we were grateful to our captain. Of course, the Concordia disaster was on our minds as we sailed this exact same route.
      Hope your week is special and that the sun is shining on beautiful Greece
      Helenxx

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  7. Great article, Helen!
    I look forward to more reports from the cruise.

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    1. Hello Jenny,

      Thank you for your kind words of support.

      Hope your week is special

      Helen xx

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  8. What absolute fun. Should you ever make it to Malta, we have some newly built architecture designed by Renzo Piano. Enjoy Florence. I absolutely loved it.

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    1. Hello Loree

      Malta is definitely on my list and even more so from following your spectacular blog. That there is some of Renzo's architecture there has accelerated our plans.
      Helen xx

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  9. How wonderful Helen to visit Genoa.
    I visited Genoa a couple of times with my parents.. we loved it.
    Rich in history and culture. The cemetery in Genoa is most beautiful.
    I have never been to Florence..maybe one day.
    Sailing on a luxury liner . Takes me back to my youth, when we sailed to Africa and Australia on the big P & O liners.
    An exciting adventure Helen .
    The ship sounds superb.
    congratulations on your publication..
    fair winds
    val

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    1. Hello Valerie
      That is a beautiful memory of your parents taking you to Genoa. I will take note of your suggestion for the cemetery and include it in our next visit. Silver Seas is indeed a luxury line, 5 star. I believe there is only one one line that has this designation. I sailed P & O from Australia to San Francisco many years ago.
      Hope your week is special. The world cup is keeping us entertained

      Helen xx

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  10. What a fabulous itinerary plus your own butler. I am very impressed. I'm sorry you missed Portofino, but it sounds like the captain made the right decision. Happy sailing and I look forward to more.
    Sam

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    1. Hello Sam
      Yes, we feel our Captain made a wise decision. Safety is always first.
      I thought of you and know you would have appreciated the various restaurants on board. One evening we dined at
      Le Champagne
      The only Relais & Châteaux restaurant at sea can be found aboard the ships of Silversea. We indulged in an evening of seasonally inspired dishes that are crafted with the finest artisan products and freshest, locally sourced ingredients available. Another evening we dined in the their Japanese restauant.
      Thanks for visiting

      Helen xx

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  11. I'm wishing you safe travels my friend! Thank you for sharing your adventure with us. It means a lot to me! Sweet hugs, Diane

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    1. Hello Diane
      And thank you for reading and commenting. It is always lovely hearing from Florida. I think you would enjoy cruising the Mediterranean

      Helen xx

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  12. Sounds heavenly! Sorry you missed Portofino, but I know you are having a wonderful time. Look forward to reading your article.

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    1. Hello Jen

      It is indeed heavenly. Not a care in the world except to explore and discover. Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

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  13. What a wonderful time you are having Helen. I have copied your account of visiting Florence - you really bring it to life in a way not done in the guide books I am reading. Thank you!

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  14. Hello Patricia
    How kind of you to copy my account of Florence. I find with just one day it is best to leave some time for exploring and enjoying life on the street

    Helen xx

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  15. Oh what adventures, Helen! The idea of a cruise has always terrified me, that never-ending expanse of water, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good tale about it. And the mention of anything remotely Mediterranean is just so stirring.
    Looking forward to more of that magic. Enjoy!

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    1. Hello Suman
      I appreciate your respect for the ocean. Oddly enough, my favourite part of a cruise is to be days at sea without visiting a port. The Mediterranean proved to be very exciting. Such variety

      Hope your week is going well

      Helen xx

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  16. Have a lovely holiday Helen! Your cruise sounds delightful!!

    Happy week!

    Madelief x

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    1. Hello Madelief

      Thank you for your good wishes and I hope all is going great with you and that your garden is blooming
      Helen xx

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  17. I'm sure you will fully enjoy your Mediterranean experience Helen! The cruise-ship passes from some of the most beautiful places in the whole area.
    Enjoy!
    Olympia

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    1. Hello Olympia

      You are so right and would also know and be an expert on beauty living in beautiful Greece.

      Have a glorious weekend

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  18. Sounds like a lovely cruise. We were on a quite similar cruise a few years ago. It's a good way to see different places and enjoy yourself on board. Happy Mid Summer, Helen!

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    1. And a very Happy Mid summer to you also Satu. It is indeed a wonderful way to see a little of different countries. It is so tempting as I always want to remain and see more and more but then we can always return.

      Helen xx

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  19. Dearest Helen, the mediterranean are such a treat! And I am glad you are enjoying it! I have been to all the places - they are not so far away from Switzerland! ---- It is so kind of you to comment on my post - I have been absent for long and did not expect any comments at all! We are in preparation for our holidays (home exchange) with Galway this year and I am so excited to touch Irish soil again! Big hugs and promise me to do something ever day that makes you happy! CHrista

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    1. Hello Christa

      You are spoiled to have such beauty such a short distance from where you live. I am excited to hear you are visiting Ireland (Galway) I was born in Kinvara (south Galway) I hope you have a spectacular time and I will be looking forward to reading all about it.

      Helen xx

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  20. Helen you forgot one thing for your trip....ME! It sounds absolutely fabulous. I am sure you are having a ball. Look forward to hearing all about it.
    Paul xoxo

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    1. Hello Paul.
      I knew I forgot something. Sorry for forgetting you. I'll make sure to bring you along next time. You would have loved the cruise. There were many fun loving and interesting passengers on board.
      Helen xx

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  21. Hello Helen, oh wow sounds like you are having a fabulous holiday, how wonderful, more photos please!
    Thank you so much for your comments, you made my heart soar! With all my love, Linda xx

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    1. Hello Linda
      Lovely to see you here. You would have enjoyed the cruise and have had a lot of interest in the ports we visited. Very inspiring.
      Helen xx

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  22. Hello Pamela & Edward

    Thank you for visiting and how observant you are of the light. Enjoy this glorious weekend
    Helen xx

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  23. Once again, Helen. Thanks for your much appreciated comment on my post. Yes, I will try to post on our trip to Galway. I am really excited. I just had a look where Kinvara is! Lovely! We will be staying in Oranmore - not such a long distance from your home place! Have a good day! Christa

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  24. Hello Helen - Its me again... ;o) Thanks for your advice! Funnily our exchange partners pointed that restaurant out and when I read about it and saw the pictures I got determined to visit! And now with your statement it is absolutely a must to go there! I promise to bring my cam along! Thanks so very much! Christa

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  25. My dearest Helen,

    Hello. How wonderful you will be sailing away into the sunset in the Mediterranean. I can't wait to hear all your adventures. It sounds like you are having the most splendid summer. Thank you so much for all your lovely messages. I'm doing fine. Also, I am having a very busy summer this year. I hope to update with all the news soon.

    Bon voyage!!

    With warmest wishes, ASD x

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  26. Oh Helen, with an itinerary like this you will have plenty to paint when you get home. That first sea photo is breathtaking in the best tones of grey!
    As for you smaller ships company it sounds perfectly quaint and abeling you to come into the smaller ports as you mentioned.

    Oh how I wish I were a guest on that ship with you and all the fine people you will meet :)

    Looking forward to the beauty you will inspire when you are home.

    Xoxo
    Dore

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  28. This all sounds divine Helen. Do share more :-)
    So glad you are enjoying life. Beautiful.
    Di
    xoxo

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  29. Somehow I missed this post, Helen. Our introduction to sailing on a cruise ship was aboard Silverseas ships in the Mediterranean. I can remember vividly how pampered and special we were made to feel. Hope the trip will long be a cherished memory.

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