Friday, April 13, 2012

Edingburgh, Scotland

Edingburgh Castle
South Queensferry (Edinburgh):  This is a tender pier so you take the lifeboats into the pier from the ship.  This is the port for Edinburgh, Scotland.  My daughter and I proceeded to follow several other guests from the ship up a hill and through a wooded path to the nearby train station where we took the train about 30 minutes into Edinburgh.  Upon arriving, we immediately felt as though we had entered the world of Harry Potter with all the ancient stone buildings.  It was lovely and although it was a bit cool, we walked our feet off!  We entered the Royal Mile about midway and walked to one end where we toured Edinburgh Castle.  Then we wandered the Royal Mile all the way to the other end to see Holyrood Palace.  We wandered some more as we headed back to the train station and our ride back to South Queensferry.  We needed to soak our aching feet before a leisurely dinner!
POSTED BY denise stone AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Friday, April 13, 2012

Invergordon (Inverness), Scotland

Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness
Invergordon:  Port for Inverness and Lochness.  We didn’t have any specific plans when we disembarked the ship and only hoped to find some tour offerings on the pier.  That we did!  There were taxis available for tours lasting as long as you like.  We decided we wanted to go to Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness but were hoping to share the trip with two others from the ship interested in the same tour.  Well, that turned out to be interesting because there were two 70 something year old ladies that were interested in the same thing and also wanted to share a taxi.  It turned out they were Russian and one spoke NO English while the other spoke very little.  The taxi driver thought I was their interpreter until we were a few minutes down the road when I explained I spoke no Russian and had never met them before.  It was funny because one lady seemed to be flirting with the rotund taxi driver.  Since she spoke no English, her only means of communication were her facial expressions and the words “Yum Yum” each time we saw food or a restaurant.  Hope she wasn’t hungry.  We made an unscheduled stop at a Gin distillery and the Russian ladies bought some samples.  Our main difficulty was getting the ladies back to the car on time at each stop so that we did not overrun our time limit (and budget).  We did have time to make a stop at Cawdor Castle, one of the few remaining continuously inhabited castles in Scotland.  It was lovely but we would have liked to have more than 30 minutes to tour the property. 
POSTED BY denise stone AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
Friday, April 13, 2012

Lerwich, Shetland Islands by Cruise Ship

Lerwick, Great Britain (Shetland Islands):  Again, we had no specific plans and hoped we would find an option when we disembarked.  We were disappointed this time because it was rainy and there were no tour operators at the pier.  We tried to rent a car but since they drive on the “wrong” side of the road and I figured they would give me a stick shift (which I haven’t driven since college), I decided against that.  We went back to the ship and rested for the day.  I am disappointed we didn’t do anything here because ships rarely visit the Shetland Islands.
POSTED BY denise stone AT   12:00:00 AM   PERMALINK
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It’s not a dream; it is a Holland America Alaska Cruise!
 

No one knows Alaska like Holland America Line. Premium service and comfort has been perfected. Tradition is evident everywhere, from classic teak deck chairs to friendly stewards offering hot chocolate - complimentary, of course. Every stateroom is larger than most other cruise lines and offers stylish appointments such as the custom-designed Mariner's Dream bed.    Get the most from Alaska by enjoying a verandah stateroom or suite, which are more spacious than any other ships in our class. Dining on a Holland America ship is a delight to experience with detail to quality and service that is top notch. Enjoy the elegance of the main dining room, the Pinnacle Grill or a quick bite by the pool or room service.

 

Every day on board brings a wealth of activities and enrichment programs to showcase Alaska at its best. Learn new ways to prepare seafood in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine. Keep in touch with your work or loved ones in the Explorations Cafe, powered by The New York Times. Relax in the Crow's Nest and enjoy panoramic views. 

 
What makes Holland America Line a step above?
 
  • Every cruise in Glacier Bay National Park will feature ranger commentary from the bridge and an informative presentation. A Hunan Totem speaker will talk about their ancestral ties to the land.
  • A ranger from Wrangell-St. Elias National Park will provide bridge commentary for every visit to the mammoth Hubbard Glacier. Tinged natives will showcase their culture during visits to Yakutat Bay.
  • Seattle departures will host a pre-cruise presentation by a ranger about thonal parks of the Inside Passage.
  • Land tours offering several choices to fit your time and to see the most of Alaska.
  • Comfortable domed rail cars and coaches making travel enjoyable to some of most desirable destinations in Alaska.
 

Be sure to bring your binoculars along to view the many different wildlife experiences up close.

 

 

 

 
Denise Belisle Stone
Denise Belisle Stone
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