By: Janet Steinberg
When someone tells you about a place, you hear it. When someone shows you a picture of a place, you see it. But when you discover that place yourself, you remember it.
Be it volcanoes or earthquakes, sunshine or storms, glaciers or gastronomic journeys…the experiences we have are what we remember throughout our lifetime. Come along with me as I share with you my favorite experiences of 2011.
SOUTH AMERICAN CRUISE: SILVERSEA’S SILVER WHISPER dream cruise sailed me south…way south…on a 3902-nautical-miles voyage from Buenos Aires, Argentina, through the Strait of Magellan, to Valparaiso, Chile. Port stops included: Punta del Este and Montevideo (Uruguay); Puerto Madryn (Argentina); Port Stanley (Falkland Islands); Punta Arenas, Laguna San Rafael Glacier, Puerto Chacabuco, and Puerto Montt (all in Chile).
Silver Whisper docked in Punta Arenas, Chile.
CARIBBEAN CRUISE: SEABOURN’S QUEST sailed me to paradisiacal islands such as Isla Catalina and Mayreau where Seabourn Quest included a unique “Caviar in the Surf” beach barbecue with complimentary water sports. Even if the Quest hadn’t stopped at any ports, sailing on this magnificent new (2011) luxury vessel would have been enough of a destination in and of itself.
Seabourn Quest staff sets up Caviar in the Surf at
Isla Catalina, Dominican Republic.
AEGEAN CRUISE: CRYSTAL SERENITY’S “Aegean Dreams Cruise” from Istanbul, Turkey to Venice, Italy sailed me some 1920 statute miles to far away places with strange sounding names like Kusadasi (Turkey); Mykonos, Santorini, and Athens (Greece); Kotor (Montenegro); and Dubrovnik (Croatia). Perfect weather, perfect seas, perfect cruise!
Crystal Serenity docked in Kotor, Montenegro appears
to be sitting on the sidewalk.
MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE: CRYSTAL SERENITY’S “Capitals of Art & Architecture” cruise sailed me some 1852 miles from Barcelona, Spain to Venice, Italy. Her ports of pure pleasure included over-nighting aboard the ship in Barcelona (Spain). Cannes (France); Sorrento and Venice (Italy). Day stops included visits to Rome and Florence (Italy) and Dubrovnik (Croatia).
EUROPEAN HOTEL: ISTANBUL’S CIRAGAN PALACE KEMPINSKI, dramatically situated on the shores of the Bosphorus, is the only Ottoman Imperial Palace in Istanbul that is a five-star hotel. Once the home of Ottoman sultans, the Ciragan Palace Kempinski graciously combines Ottoman-era sophistication with 21st century technology. Ciragan Palace Kempinski blends luxury, grandeur, glamour, and history in perfect harmony.