A cruise around the British Isles
I have been lucky enough to have travelled quite a lot in Europe but there are still many places in the British Isles that I have not visited yet.
So when my husband saw an advertisement for a cruise going right round the British Isles departing from Avonmouth, our local port we thought it was too good to miss. We booked with CMV, cruise and Maritime Voyages. The ship used was the Marco Polo. This liner has an interesting history having been built sixty years ago for the Soviet Union. I had never been on an ocean cruise before and was not sure what to expect.
We were very lucky to be given a cabin high up on the 11th floor well away from the noise of the entertainment and the bars. I had wondered whether I would be bored being on a boat for a week as I normally enjoy walking but in fact there was plenty to do with lectures and shows. Some of the entertainment reflected the age of the passengers who were mainly elderly with games like throw the bean bag and rock and roll evenings.
I had booked walking tours at our various ports as I thought I would get cabin fever but instead I found I was surprisingly tired when I came home. This might have been something to do with the amount we ate. There was a lot of good food provided. If you wanted you could have six meals a day, breakfast, eleven o’clock snacks, lunch, four o’clock tea and cake, dinner and even a midnight feast.
I certainly needed those walks. My favourite places were the Scottish Isles which I had never visited before particularly Tobermory with its colourful houses instantly recognisable from the children’s television show, Balamory and Kirkwall in Orkney with its whitewashed stone houses.
I also enjoyed my first visit to Dunfermline where we saw the birth place of Carnegie and learnt something of his life story: How he went from Weaver’s son to one of the richest men in America. He did not forget his native city and endowed it with a concert hall, library, park, swimming pool and technical college.
The homeward leg
We then sailed south visiting Honfleur, a well preserved seaside town at the mouth of the Seine in France and Jersey the largest of the channel Islands.
Our last port of call was my favourite Tresco in the Scilly Islands where we were lucky enough to be taken on a tour of the Abbey Gardens by a retired gardener.