Grab your coat, hat and luggage and let's board the Saga Rose on January 4th 2002 for a trip around the world.
We will be gone 110 days, hit 36 ports in 25 countries and travel some 32,000 nautical miles.
On Jan. 3, we fly overnight from the USA to London, England. On Jan. 4 we transfer to South Hampton, embark Saga Rose and set sail at 9:30 p.m. Four days at sea and our first port on the trip is Agadir, Morocco and there we have 12 hours to go ashore and shop.
We hit one last port in Africa, which is Dakar, Senegal, before heading 2,000 miles across the South Atlantic and the equator to Recife, Brazil. In every port we generally have eight to 12 hours ashore to sight see and buy souvenirs.
After Recife, we hit Rio De Janeiro and go ashore and get a good photo of the gigantic statue of Christ The Redeemer. From Rio De Janeiro, we cruise south an hit ports in Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina. We veer off South America and hit Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, where we were not allowed to go ashore. We cruise back to Punta Arenas, Chile, on to Puerto Montt and then to our last port in South America, Valparaiso.
On April 2, from Valparaiso we island hop the next 6,000 miles to New Zealand. The islands we make port in include Easter Island, Pitcairn Island (no more leave), Papeete, Tahiti then Bora Bora in French Polynesia and on to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.
From the Cook Islands we cross the international date line and lose one day. We drop anchor in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand (no shore leave), then hit port in Auckland before we leave New Zealand. We then cruise up the west coast of Australia to Sydney, Cid Harbour, Cairns and Darwin.
On March 7, we leave Australia and cruise on to Padang, Bai Bali (no shore leave). We pull anchor and cruise on to exciting Singapore (12-hour shore leave). Our next port a call is Malacca, Malaysia.
After Malaysia we cruise for four days to Colombo, Sri Lanka. From Sri Lanka we cruise two days and dock in Cochin, India and get 10 hours to sight see. From Cochin we cruise two more days for our last stop in India, which is Mumbai (Bombay).
We booked a side trip from Bombay to Agra mainly to see the Taj-Mahal. That cost $1,499 each. It was an overnight trip and we had to fly to another port to re-board the Saga Rose.
An exciting two days.
From Bombay, our next port-a-call was Muscat, Sultanate of Oman and 11 hours ashore. Two more days of cruising and we dock in Salalah. From Salalah, we cruise into the Red Sea and dock in Agaba (Petra), Jordan.
From Jordan, on April 1, we cruise into Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt and drop anchor. We take a launch ashore and have 11 hours to shop and sight see. We then cruise on to Suez (Cairo and the pyramids) and on April 4, we have a daytime transit of the Suez Canal.
We leave the canal and cruise into the Mediterranean and on to Athens, Greece. We had shore leave from 8 a.m. to noon --16 hours to see the Acropolis and other old historical buildings.
Leave Athens and cruise to Syracuse, Sicily and Italy. From Italy we cruise to Tunis, Tunisia. Then a three day cruise to Lisbon, Portugal and a 14-hour shore leave. From Lisbon, on April 12, we cruise three more days back to South Hampton, England and arrive on April 15, to end a wonderful, fulfilling three month and 12 days dream trip.
We transfer to London for flights home.
This my friend's is the itinerary from a trip that my wife Carolyn and I booked in May 2001. It is a trip I had dreamed of ever since World War II.
Cost of the trip was $29,242 or about what a new car would cost.
We had made a down payment on the trip and the balance was due September 20, 2001. Just before the final payment was due, Carolyn's father Glen Allen had a bad report on his health and we canceled the trip. Thank goodness we had taken out cancellation insurance.
Well it was just a dream trip that never came true.
I have thought about the trip many times and I wonder how it would have affected our lives. I may have wound up an alcoholic with 99 days of cruising and looking at that beautiful ocean and going ashore in about 25 countries.
I bet my bar bills would have been as much as the cruise cost.
We may have met a lot of interesting folks and made friends for life. We probably may have improved our bridge knowledge and played pinochle, poker and rook. I may have learned how to dance a little better. I also think the captain would have taught me how to navigate an ocean liner.