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Venice here we come

It’s that time of year again, when cruise fans start asking themselves “are the schedules out yet?” It’s around this time of year the cruise lines publish their schedules, itineraries and prices for the year ahead. Not the current year, you understand, but for the year ahead. So right now (March 2010) the cruise lines are publishing their details for 2011 and the early months of 2012.

I’ve been particularly interested because we had decided that we would do a Fjords cruise in 2011, and I had been wondering if we should go with P&O or Fred Olsen, or maybe even Celebrity. The Fred Olsen schedules were published in late February, in fact, and the P&O and Celebrity ones came out in mid-March. Strike Celebrity: no Fjords cruises on Eclipse in 2011. So that left  Fred Olsen and P&O. A look through their schedules left me with a choice between 7 nights on Oceana from Southampton, or 8 nights on Black Watch from Dover.

Then I made the classic mistake – I started looking through the rest of the P&O schedule. The end result was that we ended up booking, not a 7 or 8 night Fjords cruise, but a 17 night Mediterranean cruise on Ventura (again) to Venice. Not much difference….

So what turned me off the Fjords cruise? After all, all of the ports on such a cruise would be new. Firstly, though, there’s the weather question. There’s no doubt the Fjords look great in the cruise lines’ pictures, but on how many days of the year do you get those clear blue skies? I’ve seen a lot of pictures taken by passengers on cruises in which the sky was anything but blue – slate-grey seem to be most common.  Then Val said, with conviction, “I want to be *warm* on my cruise”. Perhaps I was focusing on the Fjords because they’re one of the classic cruise destinations which I was thinking we would ‘knock off’ the list on 2011. In the event, I find myself not at all bothered at delaying a Fjords cruise until another year. As my daughter suggested, unlike the Norwegian Blue I can’t be pining for the Fjords.

As for the Venice cruise itself, I was especially attracted to it because it includes an overnight stay in Venice. A few years ago P&O used to do a lot of cruises (mainly on Aurora) with overnight stays at Venice, but in the last couple of years these have become rarer. The other destinations, also, include a number of places I want to see; Dubrovnik and Korkula on the Croatian coast. Then there’s both Kephalonia and Corfu: I love the Aegean Greek islands, and I shall be very interested to visit, even if only briefly, these Ionian islands that had a rather different history. Corfu, for example, was Venetian and British after being Byzantine and before becoming Greek, and was never in the Ottoman empire.

The final port, which we have visited before, is Vigo (see here for our last visit). The reason this is attractive is that it should break up the voyage back to Southampton. The three sea days across the Med and into the Atlantic won’t be the filler at the end of the cruise, we’ll actually be sailing to Vigo. The only bit of the cruise with just Southampton to come will be the bit after Vigo, and that will only be one more sea day.

One Response to “Venice here we come”

  1. kim cannon says:

    Hey Tom,

    I have a question regarding a cruise. please email me so we can book something. thanks
    kim

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