Here are some
snapshots of some of my ship trips
and ship inspections
in latest-date-first sequence.
- ship inspection & lunch - Melbourne -
QUEEN MARY 2
- ship inspection - Melbourne -
2018 - spotted
at Melbourne's Station Pier -
EUROPA (Berlitz's #1
(EUROPA and refueling tender at Station
2016 - ship
inspection & lunch at Melbourne -
2015 & 2017 -
"BRAVO Music Cruise" Pacific -
RADIANCE of the SEAS
Radiance of the Seas at dock in Noumea, New Caledonia.
inspection and dinner with clients on Silversea's
2009 - ship
inspections or viewings en route...
Wherever I go, I take the
opportunity to sight or even get aboard ships which happen to be
in harbour at the same time I am. I've listed some of these happy
I once spotted the
at Melbourne pier, many years ago. And even in Hong Kong harbour around
2010, on a Star Ferry, I
was able to spot Holland America's
at right above), a very comfortable cruise ship. Every little glimpse and
"makes my day"!
2006 - ship
inspection and lunch - Melbourne - Holland America's NOORDAM
2003 - ship
inspection - Melbourne - MS
2002 - ship
cruise - Germany - RHINE RIVER
1999 - ship
cruise - Fiji - BLUE
There's been many more
over the thirty-plus years I've been representing cruises. Here's
those I can recall from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s...
SHIP INSPECTIONS AND SAILING PRIOR TO JANUARY 1999
Melbourne - Southampton 6 weeks 1972
P&O Lines / Princess
SUN PRINCESS Melbourne lunch aboard in port Inspection
SEA PRINCESS Melbourne lunch aboard in port Inspection
FAIR PRINCESS USA Viewing
PACIFIC PRINCESS Melbourne lunch aboard in port Inspection 1991
CANBERRA Melbourne lunch aboard in-port Inspection 1991
(I have a personal story to relate
My grandparents in the early 1960s sailed from Sydney
to Southampton on part of
maiden round-world voyage,
and they shared their dining table with Lucille Ball.
We saw them to their cabin and I remember everyone being VERY excited.)
ISLAND PRINCESS Melbourne lunch aboard in port Inspection 1992
CANBERRA Sydney lunch aboard in port Inspection 1993
FAIRSTAR cruise Coral Sea 16 night 1994
ORIANA (original) Cruise South Pacific 12 nights 1985
ORIANA (new) Melbourne lunch aboard in port Inspection 1997
MV ARCADIA Melbourne Inspection 1999 (pix below)
QE2 sailed Melbourne - Perth 3 nights 1992 (pix below)
(In the pix above, I am with Monica
Holland (nee McAninly), then Business Development Manager, Cunard.)
VISTAFJORD sailed Barcelona - Piraeus 15 nights 1994
QE2 Melbourne Inspection 1997
QUEEN MARY Toured at Long Beach (after the ship's retirement).
Royal Viking Line
ROYAL VIKING SEA sailed
Kobe - Hong Kong 5 nights 1990
(This ship later became the
ROYAL VIKING STAR
ROYAL VIKING SKY
ROYAL VIKING SUN (pix below) - sailed Sydney - Hobart 2 nights 1994
Royal Cruise Line
ROYAL ODYSSEY Melbourne
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
LEGEND OF THE SEAS
cruise Cairns - Darwin 1999
On board for International Cruise Council of Australasia (ICCA - now CLIA)
for MASTER CRUISE CONSULTANT Accreditation (pix below:)
LEGEND OF THE SEAS again inspected Melbourne 2006 (pix below)
CRYSTAL HARMONY Various
places - several inspections with clients (pix below)
CRYSTAL SYMPHONY inspection and dinner 1997
CRYSTAL SYMPHONY Melbourne inspection with clients and dinner 1999 (Pix
inspection with clients 1997
Norwegian Cruise Line
NORWEGIAN STAR Viewed
at Fort Lauderdale - late 1990s
Seven Seas Cruises
SONG OF FLOWER Inspection in port of Naples whilst a guest aboard Vistafjord cruise 1994
sailed Vancouver - Skagway 1983
as part of a 16-day Westours/Holland America Alaska Cruise Tour.
STATENDAM (new) Melbourne inspection and lunch (1996 or 7)
MAASDAM Melbourne inspection and lunch with clients (1996 or 7)
ROTTERDAM V Melbourne inspection and lunch with clients (1996 or 7)
MS ROTTERDAM VI Melbourne inspection with clients 1999
MS BREMEN Villafrance Inspection while on Vistafjord cruise 1994
MS COLUMBUS Melbourne Inspection 1998
SS INDEPENDENCE Inspected in Honolulu in the early 1980's.
ALEXANDRA PUSHKIN Lunch and inspection - Melbourne - 1985.
became MARCO POLO
the last remaining of five sister ships under CTC.
ps - I worked for a short time for CTC in London in the early 1970s.).
K. D. German Rhine
Cologne - Strasbourg 3 days 1987
Sheraton Boats, Egypt
SHERATON BOAT sailed
Luxor - Aswan (with Insight) 1984
SHERATON BOAT sailed Luxor - Aswan (with Abercrombie & Kent) 1986
Two OBEROI NILE
RIVER BOATS inspected whilst with Insight 1984
(And a spectacular stay at the
Oberoi Mena House Hotel - with pyramid view!)
Blue Lagoon Cruise, Fiji
cruised Yasawa 4 nights 1999
MYSTIQUE PRINCESS inspected and had dinner aboard at Yasawa 1999
Unnamed house boat on
Srinagar Lake stay 2 nights 1984
Assorted day and part-day cruises
Lake Bled in the Julian Alps
of Slovenia has a small island in the middle which houses a Baroque Church
I am going to take some
poetic license now and add some time
I've had on the water which you would not exactly call cruising,
but as Paul Carmen
used to say "At least you're on the water..."
So here we go...
NEW YORK STATEN ISLAND FERRY
NIAGARA FALLS CRUISE CANADIAN SIDE
ANGEL FALLS VENEZUELA by CANOE ABOVE THE FALLS (before the
Also BELOW THE FALLS (and again, away from the Piranha
Saw the REED BOATS on LAKE
This was not actually "on the water" but you would
have to say
it should be included because of a connection with shipping:
This is where Aristotle Onassis began his shipping empire,
borrowing a row boat and rowing people out to an island and back
from a town near Buenos Aires. This always fascinated me.
The town's buildings are totally covered in beautiful paintings by locals.
That's the story if you do the tour, anyway!
The internet suggests his fortune was from more than just a start in a row
ROSSLARE FERRY from
CHERBOURG to ROSSLARE,
Plying among the CHANNEL ISLANDS (Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, etc),
Several CHANNEL and NORTH SEA crossings, including
DOVER/CALAIS FERRY, ALSO TO ZEEBRUGGE,
DINNER CRUISE ON THE SEINE, PARIS
CANAL CRUISE AMSTERDAM
GEIRANGER, SOGNE FJORDS, NORWAY
OSLO - a short boat ride to visit the wonderful VIKING SHIP MUSEUM
CANAL AND RIVER CRUISE ST PETERSBURG
RIVER CRUISES in EUROPE
LAKE BLED... yes, I know, it's not a cruise, but please bear with me:
overlooked by a castle (pic 1). The whole scene is breathtaking. Pletna
Boats (that's them in pic 3 - the "cruise" connection!)
took us across the lake to the church and 99 steps had us up to a vantage
point in the tower of the Church.
You can also visit the Castle back on mainland. Winter time is cold but
beautiful (pic 2).
While still in the same area.....
Plitvice Lake National Park in Croatia has 16 terraced lakes that are joined
by waterfalls. An electric boat links the 12 upper
and 4 lower lakes and they come together into magnificent falls 78 m high (pix
4,5,6). I did not take the electric boats
but certainly loved my time at the falls. All of this is set in 290 sq klms
of forest. Magnificent.
This whole area would have to be in my Top 10 List and I have raved about
this since going and told many clients about it.
These photos are not mine. I'll update them when I find mine.
...okay... back to more water rides:
VENICE CANAL AND GONDOLIER RIDES
CAPRI THE BLUE GROTTO CRUISE from SORRENTO
PIRAEUS to BRINDISI, and some
cruising among the GREEK ISLANDS
SAIGON TO VUNG TAU HYDROFOIL FERRY (several, and all
PERFUME RIVER, HUE, DRAGON BOATS -
9 or 10 single-day cruises on junks on HA LONG BAY, VIETNAM
Incidentally, David has had some
eye-watering sea voyages, none of which he or his family even had to pay for:
early 1957, New York - Cherbourg - Southampton with family en-route from
British Honduras to UK;
One of the CASTLE LINE
ships late 1957 Southampton - Cherbourg - Durban with family en-route to
And then HMAS SYDNEY
in 1967 relocating his Army unit from Vietnam to Brisbane
(which - he says - did
not require dressing up for dinner).
As well as personal
experiences, I subscribe to all the major shipping and cruise books and
so I'm "up to date" with the latest ships and shipping news.
I also have access to what must be one of the most
innovative and helpful booking sites:
In minutes I can find for you what ships are operating where and when, and
give you itineraries, deck plans, cabin layouts and ship highlights. Please see my
CRUISE NEWS & NEW SHIPS
web page (click on the yellow text) for a list of new ship builds expected
over the next several years.
The Berlitz Guide to
Cruising is an annual "Bible" (I have the
last 22 publications on my shelves), however, I'd suggest you'd still need a
knowledgeable travel agent. There is some risk booking on the internet
with regard to obtaining information on the correct visas and helping you
with inoculations, insurance, transfers, flights, etc. You pay no more for a
travel agent and they will take the worry out of your much-anticipated
holiday. A good knowledge of ships and shipping lines will have you on the
right ship and the right itinerary, AND be able to assist you while overseas
if you become ill or need to change your itinerary at short notice. And
often a travel agent has access to better fares/packages...
And my knowledge is not
restricted to ships and cruising - I can also suggest tours, hotels
and other arrangements to enhance your trip.
I have done countless bespoke
tours of Europe and the Americas for past-passengers.
If you're thinking of a
cruise or any other major holiday, I can assist...
Mobile: 0412 278888
For your information - if
you'd like to look at ships past and present
and their separate life-stories, there's a terrific website at
Please go to the MAIN
PAGE and click to open up an A to Z of ships
showing their past and present situations.
Last week I came across a book
called Australian Cruise Ships
by Peter Plowman
and published by Rosenberg.
I ordered one in thru Angus and Roberson - approx. aud 34 delivered.
And my goodness, it is a history of most of the ships
that visited/operated out of Australia up until 2008.
I am so glad I bought this book.
Each page a gem and validates all of the experiences I had.
I have been very lucky to have been selling cruising at that time,
and now still here to see the incredible, purpose built group of ships
which are now on offer. It is a very exciting form of travel.
It has been hard though, to track the life of the individual ships
but these two references cover that.
Actually I owe a lot of my
knowledge to a few devoted, passionate cruise personalities.
Caroline Judd at Wiltrans
took me under her wing and was
at the end of the phone
for some decades helping source particular cabins, getting obscure
clearing waiting lists and making sure I was a part of many of their
inspections and famils.
I truly admire her dedication to her job and her knowledge
and in my opinion she is a true Lady of Shipping.
Wiltrans represented then Crystal Cruise Line, Royal Viking Line,
Paul Gaughin Cruises,
Royal Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, and Renaissance Cruise Line who had
6 ships which when they went in to liquidation in 2001, were sold off to
Oceania bought three one now the Nautica, Seabourn and Silversea others.
From memory Wiltrans also represented Seabourn before Carnival took it over.
Carmen from P&O/Princess
was another who fed my interest, always ready with an answer
and often would turn up with a beautiful shipping book or shipping gift.
He was thrilled for me when I won the
P&O Premium Cruises "Top
Suburban Agency" award for 1990:
In those days I was trading as
This man LOVES ships. I believe he is with MSC now.
Cunard Cruise Line
for a number of years before moving to Silversea.
Her dedication and incredible devotion to servicing her agents,
including me, was enormous. She gave it her all.
always had an opinion or advice for me, an encyclopaedia of shipping.
would be true to say there have been many personalities involved in shipping
both on the ships and behind the scenes. It attracts the eccentrics as well.
A look at the passenger manifests for Trans Atlantic crossings on
Queen Mary, QM2, QE2 and many others would prove this.