Sinfonia Cruise To The Portuguese Islands (Part 2)

Monday February 15

I was awake at the crack of dawn!  In a few hours we’ll be on board the Sinfonia.  It felt a bit unreal …

There is a beach cafe with the most amazing freshly prepared, mostly organic food.  They are very environmentally aware and serve meals in eco-friendly containers. We had a great breakfast watching the early morning joggers and surfers. What a delightful way to start the day!

The friendly driver, employed by the apartments, took us to Durban Port and dropped us off at the passenger terminal.

 DSC00051When we took the cruise to Mauritius on board the Melody, we only sailed at 18h00.  That meant we had to wait till about 12h00 before we could embark.

DSC00003This time we were sailing at 14h00 and it meant we could start the embarkation process immediately.  Thanks to our “fast-track” status the process was quick and painless.

We avoided the long queues and by 10h30 we were looking at Durban harbour, enjoying a cold drink on DeBussy Deck 11.

I couldn’t wait to see our cabin. DSC00024 It’s been a dream of mine to stay in a balcony cabin ever since I found out they exist!

Michelle and I fell in love with the cabin the moment we stepped into it and knew we were going to have a great time.

 

 

We sailed just after 14h00 and it was great fun to stand on the balcony and watch a helicopter lift the pilot from the ship once we were safely out of the harbor.

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Tuesday February 16

DSC00027A spectacular sunrise found us DSC00028not too far from the Portuguese Island.

I enjoyed my first cup of coffee on the balcony and decided  I could quite happily get used to this life 🙂

After a late breakfast we were ferried to the Portuguese Island by 80-seater rubber duck.  We spent a few leisurely hours on the island, watching people play and having a good time.

It was very hot and after lunch we couldn’t wait to get back to the air-conditioned comfort of the Sinfonia.

Wednesday February 17

I could not have asked for a better way to spend my birthday! DSC00038 After enjoying a continental breakfast in the cabin we strolled around and discovered how big the magnificent ship really is.

There are 13 decks in total and they are all named after famous composers.  Our cabin was on Deck 12 called Bizet Deck.

Exploring a big ship is thirsty work and we ended up in the Manhattan Bar to take a load off and enjoy a quiet drink. DSC00039

We had a superb buffet lunch in the the Il Galeone Restaurant – what a spread! DSC00026 DSC00001

Champagne and canapes were an extra treat late in the afternoon and, as I stood on the balcony sipping champagne, I knew I could easily live this life!

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After another magnificent dinner we went to see “Romeo & Guilietta” in the Teatro San Carlo – the performers were superb and it was the perfect end to a perfect day!

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Thursday 18 & Friday 19 February

Thursday was spent relaxing, eating (what else) and enjoying our last day on the Sinfonia. All too soon it was time to pack …

DSC00046We arrived back in Durban at about 4h30 and disembarked at 6h30.

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For the last leg of our journey we took the bus to King Shaka airport and then a flight home.

Obviously we just had to have a last sweet treat 🙂DSC00053

Although it wasn’t a long cruise, it was so enjoyable and I’m very thankful that I got to spend my 58th birthday with my daughter on a magnificent cruise ship like the Sinfonia.

Sinfonia Cruise To The Portuguese Islands (Part 1)

Ever since our highly enjoyable cruise to Mauritius, I’ve been looking for an excuse to go on another one. So, with my daughter Michelle graduating at the end of 2015, I knew what the perfect graduation gift would be!  And, since we could cruise around my birthday, we would have a double celebration.

All the planning for this trip started months ago and to make it different from other trips, I wanted us to make use of as many modes of transport as we could.  What follows is our journey …

Friday February 12

The first leg of our journey started when we were picked up at home by an Uber driver.  After battling through Friday afternoon traffic, we got to Park Station, Johannesburg from where we were traveling on the Shosholoza Meyl Premier Classe Deluxe overnight train.

DSC00001While relaxing in their comfy waiting room, having snacks, we were informed that our train was “lost” but we would be notified the moment it was found!  Michelle and I had quite a giggle, but were rather relieved when we heard our train had indeed arrived and we could board.

DSC00002On board we were welcomed with a glass of bubbly and more snacks!

Soon after boarding we were directed to the dining carriage, where we had a gourmet dinner.  Then it was off to bed …

 

Although waking up once or twice during the night, I felt refreshed when I got up just after 5h00 on Saturday morning.  We were traveling through the green fields of KwaZulu Natal and the air was fresh and invigorating.

The Green Fields of KwaZulu NatalSaturday February 13

Durban is a beautiful city with lovely beaches, but believe me, it can get very hot and humid.  After another trip with an Uber driver, we left our luggage at the apartment we booked, and went in search of sustenance.

After lunch at a delightful little beach restaurant, we were very happy to get into the air-conditioned apartment and just relax for the rest of the day.

From the 8th floor we had an amazing view of Ushaka Marine World as well as Ushaka beach. DSC00004DSC00005

 

 

 

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Sunday February 14

When you visit Durban you have to go to Ushaka Marine World.  It’s just one of those things 🙂  They do such a great job of looking after our marine world and educating people! So after a leisurely breakfast Michelle and I wandered over to the shipwreck where this amazing park is situated.

Ushaka Marine WorldI won’t even try to tell you about all the wonderful things you can see, I’ll  let these pictures do the talking:

Don’t miss the next post – The Actual Cruise on board the Sinfonia!

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