The Living Journey
Welcome to The Living Journey – a collection of journal entries and photographs by our own Residents that offers an exclusive glimpse into their adventures at sea. Experience The World through their eyes as they share personal and authentic stories of what it’s like to travel the globe from the comfort of home on this luxurious ship. These posts capture their once-in-a-lifetime experiences not found anywhere else on earth. This blog is continually updated so we invite you to come back and visit often.
I wouldn’t let myself believe this trip was actually happening until we got all the way here.
Four airports, an actual port, and various assorted taxis and ferries later we were on the Ship, cruising through the Mediterranean on our way to Portofino.
The last group of islands in Raja Ampat that we visited on the expedition was a day spent snorkeling, kayaking and Zodiac cruising around the islands of Misool, one of “The Four Kings” that are known as Raja Ampat.
We anchored near the village of Kwatisore and close to several bagans, fishing platforms built around a boat. Fishermen live on the platforms and fish for about six weeks at a stretch. Because there is no refrigeration, they keep the captured fish alive in nets under the bagan while locals in boats come by and to purchase some of the catch every day.
We joined the Ship on January 13th in Palau. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s an archipelago nation of over 500 limestone islands. Only a few of them are populated. There are only about 25,000 people altogether and most of them live on Koror.
After the crowds and history of Bangkok and Ayutthaya, Ko Kut was a complete change. We anchored off this tiny island and ferried people to the pier near a white sand beach.
The crew had set up a buffet lunch and brought out the kayaks and Hobie Cats.
On our first visit to Shanghai in 1995, our family visited the Jewish Ghetto of Shanghai with an English-speaking guide who gave us a very good overview of the history of the Jewish “stateless refugees” (predominantly from Germany and its neighboring countries) who arrived in the 1930s.
We woke up with the Ship tucked into Boger Bay on the southeast side of Ellesmere Island. We were very close to the beach and there were lots of polar bears around. As a matter of fact, we had to cancel both the kayaking and hiking expeditions because we had 10 plus bears roaming around the area.
One of the great experiences on our Expedition through the Northwest Passage this summer was taking helicopter flights over regions that we sailed through. Our first flight was after our brief stop at Clyde River in southern Baffin Island in the territory of Nunavut,
Embraced by Mother Nature. That’s the overall sense from this Expedition to date. There is no “Wow Factor” anywhere that can compete with this. Fewer than 300 ships have made this transit. First among them was a 1903-06 expedition by Roald Amundsen (who also was first to reach the South Pole) —
Nuuk, Greenland marked the start of our Ship’s 24-day expedition to cross the Canadian Arctic region from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the so-called “Northwest Passage” – a dream of European (and Russian) governments and adventuresome sailors for five centuries.
We left Belfast and spent 2 days at sea before arriving in the Faroe Islands. I know your first question is, “Where are the Faroe Islands”? The Faroes are remarkably isolated. They are about 220 miles northwest of Scotland between Norway and Iceland.
Dartmouth, England, is a lovely resort town on the western side of the south coast of the English Channel, at the mouth of the River Dart (which gave the town its name), in South Devon. We anchored offshore, just beyond where the River Dart flows past the old fortified Dartmouth Castle as the River meets the English Channel.
After Porto, it was on to St. Malo for our final French port of the summer. The Brittany coast is one of my favorite parts of France. We were truly blessed on this visit to have three totally perfect days.
We arrived in Barcelona with just one day to explore, and so were delighted to have a bit of a driving tour and a visit to Sagrada Familia, the master work of Antoni Gaudi, who exemplifies the style of Catalan Modernism.
After a stop in St. Tropez, we made a quick sail over to Cannes. The film festival was long over but the place was gearing up for the big marketing/media conference, Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity. Apparently, this has become a huge meeting for the marketing and creative communications industry and is now even bigger than the film festival for Cannes.