"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Celtic Explorer Part 1

Plymouth Barbican courtesy of WikiVoyage
Once again, I am looking at cruises for 2016 before even going on my cruise for this year. I started by checking out the new itineraries on the Holland America Koningsdam, which will be new in 2016. It is the largest vessel HAL will build at 2,650 passengers. It has some wonderful itineraries including a Greek and Turkey itinerary. There is also a cruise that departs from and returns to Amsterdam, actually Ijmuiden - that does Iceland, Norway, Scotland and England. It is a great itinerary, but I keep getting drawn back to a cruise on the Prinsendam. The Prinsendam is Holland's smallest vessel and also its oldest. It was built in 1988, formerly known as the Seabourn Sun and the Viking Sun. More info on this Elegant Explorer can be found here on Wikipedia.

Plymouth Sound courtesy of WikiVoyage
The itinerary I am interested in is called the Celtic Explorer and goes to Antwerp, Guernsey, Isle of Scilly in the UK, and Dublin, Belfast, Donegal, Galway and Cobh (Cork) at Ireland. I have been searching for a land tour in Ireland and I just don't like bus tours. I don't mind day trips on the bus from the cruise ship, but bus tours spend too much time on highways on the bus ... and I end up packing and unpacking more times than I can count. 

To stay in nice places, the prices become cost-prohibitive. Mind you, the price for this cruise for a single in a single cabin is almost $5,000 dollars. But the beauty is the room is nice with an ocean view, the food is good and I unpack once and the ship takes me where I want to go.

Mayflower Steps at Plymouth courtesy of WikiVoyage
 This cruise is all about history, from the Mayflower steps at Plymouth to the last place the Titanic sailed before its fateful end. But the best part is it takes me to my family roots. Being a bit of a genealogy buff, I get to go to most of the places my family was from ... Dublin (my father's grandfather on his mother's side) and Donegal, Galway and Cork - from my father's father's side. 

Cobh Port entrance to County Cork
There is even a place to see a room on the Titanic at the Titanic Experience at Cobh.

Titanic Experience at Cobh Ireland

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