Cruise Specialists hosts Steve and Wendy Bodenheimer are taking us along on another amazing journey. We hope this series shows you what you can expect on a Holland America Grand Voyage. Here are previous peeks: Grand voyage send off, what to expect at sea, Polynesia, and New Zealand.
One of the benefits of being a Cruise Specialists Guest on a Grand Voyage is the many special events we organize. We’ve already had two big cocktail parties, which were very well attended and lots of fun (who doesn’t like free cocktails and fancy appetizers). We’ve had 4 of our planned 8 dinners in the Canaletto Restaurant.
A special dinner was held for our Guests who are booked in suites and another is scheduled for some of our VIP’s. A pleasant lunch was held for the 50 plus people who are new Clients and we just had another cocktail party for the people who are booked to go on any of the 3 overland tours offered in Cambodia and South Africa.
And of course that’s just the planned fun, not to mention all the other hang out times! Including some of these great ports.
We live near Albany, New York but today we visited Albany, Australia. We were here 8 years ago but once again didn’t remember it even after looking at the pictures. So arriving today felt like a brand new port.
A shuttle took us for the short ride to the Town Square. Just a few of the sites:
- the very modern Albany Entertainment Center
- the National Anzac Center which tells the moving story of the 40,000 Australians and New Zealanders who fought in the Great War of 1914
- the historic whaling station
- the Gap and Natural Bridge
- the Brig Amity (a replica of the ship that brought the first settlers to Albany)
- even the fun Dog Rock (a large boulder shaped like the head of a dog)
Combine those places with a vibrant main street filled with nice stores and restaurants and you have a very desirable tourist experience. Most people we talked to loved the town.
We were intrigued with a description of the Biblimum Track, a walking trail that runs from Albany all the way to Perth. It takes weeks to complete the walk but since it starts right in the city, one can take a relatively short walk on it just to say you were there. And so we had a taxi take us around the bay to the Princess Royal Yacht Club.
Our walk back took us through some beautiful residential neighborhoods, over a few miles of the Biblimum Track, along the coastal promenade, and back into the city. It was a beautiful walk. About 12 miles and 15 geocaches for our efforts, including one that required Steve to wade into the water up to his knees!
The day after Albany was Fremantle, known to the locals as Freo. It is the gateway to the much larger city of Perth, which is a great option during this overnight port stay.
We love the look and feel of Fremantle and enjoyed revisiting some of the well-known places:
- the 12-sided Roundhouse that was originally a prison
- the Western Australia Maritime Museum
- the Esplanade Reserve Park at the waterfront, complete with ferris wheel
- The Boardwalk in the yacht area, lined with big outdoor cafes for beer and fresh fish
Those who headed on to Perth find it to be a beautiful city, with a look and feel all its own. In fact, it reminds some of Calgary, Alberta – a pretty city that comes with a downtown core that completely clears out on weekends. It’s a great option for a relaxed day of walking along the water and exploring.
Now we’ve said goodbye to Australia and we’re on the way to Indonesia. We’ll be overnight in Benoa on the island of Bali, home to many of our Crew members and their families.
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