Mediterranean Empires Cruise on Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam
A celebration of ten years of marriage deserves a very special travel adventure. Exotic and far away destinations that involve great food, wine, history and romance were the criteria for this trip. Years ago I would have arranged for us to travel by planes, trains and automobiles, however, this year, we went by ship to explore Mediterranean Empires. This itinerary took us to the Aegean Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Sea of Marmara to visit beautiful locations and fabulous ancient cities while enjoying the comfort of traveling on board Holland America’s newest cruise ship, the Nieuw Amsterdam.
This adventure allowed us to spend several days in northern Italy prior to our twelve day cruise. We also spent two days in Venice at the end of the cruise. We sailed as far South as Santorini, Greece and East through the Dardanelles to Istanbul and points in Asia and then back to Venice.
We chose this particular voyage for the ports of call and the opportunity to see so many places rich in history and culture. As with all of our travel, we were very interested in learning more about the local foods and cuisines in each of these destinations.
Traveling by cruise ship has become one of our preferred methods of travel outside of the United States. It offers the simplicity and ease of moving between destinations without packing and unpacking between points along the way. It eliminates much of the coordination and planning and makes your vacation less stressful while offering an ever changing view and agenda to new and exotic places. Most newer cruise ships offer luxury accommodations and specialty restaurants that make the onboard experience a memorable one. Admittedly, this is not deep immersion in to the people, places or culture of any specific place. However, it offers an opportunity to experience the essence of a region or country which may stimulate your interest for future travel destinations.
No matter how many times you board a ship, there is a real sense of excitement as you prepare to embark on a new journey. As you pull away from the dock, the deck of the ship is lined with passengers waving goodbye. The ship’s horn blows, the band plays and champagne flows while everyone stands at the rails as the embarkation port fades into the distance. We are all filled with anticipation of exciting destinations and new experiences that lie ahead.
My paternal grandparents used to take cruises every few months when I was a kid. Even though we weren’t going with them, the excitement of being on the ship, then all the hoopla (like you described) as the ship started to pull away, was so much fun!
Gwen, I don’t even know where to start. I don’t think anyone could have written about and photographed such a luxurious and exciting anniversary cruise as well as you did. You know I’m ‘jonesing’ over Santorini! I could just stare at these photos all day. I’m so glad you and Roger had such an amazing time – barring the killer heat in a few countries!
I’m certain I could squeeze into your suitcase the next time you go on a cruise 😉
Stunning photos…a Mediterranean cruise is high on my bucket list!
Looks like you guys had a spectacular trip! My husband and I are doing a med cruise in October & can’t wait! We chose our trip based on itinerary as well!
I wish Mr and Mrs Bunky had married me too.
LOL! Only you, Sudie, only you… 🙂 You need to come with us next time!!
Incredible photos and such a wonderful way to commemorate your special anniversary. You both deserve this special trip. Croatia and Turkey look amazing. All that fabulous food!! I would gain 20 lbs in a week. And Venice…magical Venezia. Love it all!
Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! The one complaint I often hear about on cruises is the quality of the food. Holland America’s cruise is so food focused I could easily see how some patrons could spend all of their time on the boat. What a luxurious experience!
Wow! Wow! Wow!!!!!!
Thank you for posting this. A trip like this would be a dream come true for my husband and me.
This cruise line looks like an AWESOME way to go!
I especially loved that you included the map, as I love to actually see the course of a trip in terms of relative distances.
Many many heartfelt thanks Gwen for posting and your very detailed response to my question about Mykonos. This has been invaluable to our trip research – the same trip we will take in four weeks time!
Wow, wow, wow! What a fantastic travel experience. great writing and photos, too. it makes me want to go on a cruise NOW! i’ve never thought it would interest me, but you made it so. Can’t wait for more excerpts. R