Happy Hour on the Black Sea

September 10, 2012

After an amazing day spent cruising the Danube River in Romania, we returned to the Clipper Odyssey in the late afternoon. Once everyone was back on board, we made our way back down the Delta to the Black Sea. It was a stunning evening, with warm temperatures and a beautiful sunset. The only thing to make it even more perfect….VODKA. We convened on the pool deck for a vodka and caviar tasting. Let’s just say after a full day outside on the Danube River and a refreshing shower, this native spirit was well received. The shots ranged from smooth to fire water and points in between. Some even needed a second try, just to be sure! There were also many great debates on which caviar met the winning standards. A very boisterous and fun way to end our time along the waterways of the Danube.

Ready to try some vodka the Russian away? We still have space available on our Black Sea expedition, departing September 22!

India's Gifts

September 10, 2012

Looking for a truly unique way to celebrate the holidays? Why not leave the stress of this hectic time of year far behind and embark on a colorful adventure to India—not only will you get to experience incredible snorkeling on our Maldives & India expedition, and visit one of the holiest places of worship for Buddhists, the Temple of the Tooth, on our Splendors of India with Sri Lanka journey, you will also get to pick up some magnificent gifts for your friends and family back home, just in time for the holidays.

If you join our Splendors of India voyage this November, you get the chance to visit Kandy, Sri Lanka, where there is a fantastic tea store, complete with lovely tea containers. The island nation is also the home of Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine. As such, you can find plenty of lotions, scents, and herbal remedies throughout. Masks and gems also make excellent gifts, especially the sapphires, which Sri Lanka is known for.

In India, gifts abound! Authentic artisan and vintage carvings; shawls, pashminas, and scarves; images of deities in everything from ceramics to brass sculptures; and plenty of gold jewelry. In Mumbai, you can visit a store dedicated to fabric goods of all kinds—table cloths, napkins, wraps, and stoles, even handmade purses and clutches. On Elephanta Island, be sure to stop at the market on the way to the caves—silver artifacts of elephants, jewelry, paintings, wooden carvings and boxes, purses, you name it!

Don’t let the holidays stress you out this season; visit India with us and pick up some memorable, once-in-a-lifetime gifts. And be sure to get something for yourself, too!

On Location: Weddings in the Mediterranean

September 7, 2012

Written by Roger Crowley.

One of the small joys of our Mediterranean voyage has been the weddings. Almost every port in Sicily has provided us with glimpses of magnificent Italian marriage ceremonies—the brides with their white wedding trains and delicate lace veils, male guests done up in sharp suits, the women in heels so high, we sometimes feared for their safety in the old cobbled streets! Throngs of well-wishers gathered to watch the ceremonies, small children in new clothes running excitedly through the legs of their grandparents, video and photo opportunities created beside sea walls, baroque churches, and ancient fountains. In the magnificent cathedral of Marsala we got to watch a marriage service unfold. One of our explorers was moved to tears by the ceremony, and the beautiful singing, she was introduced to the bride at the end!

Come with Zegrahm to the Casbah - and So We Did!

September 7, 2012

April 14-26, 2008 found us travelling with Zegrahm on their North Africa's Roman Legacy voyage--from Malta to Malaga with stops in between in Tunisia and Algeria.

The highlights were a late afternoon tour of the American Military Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia. The present site was established in 1948 and lies over part of the ancient Carthaginian city destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC. Most of the Military Dead gave their lives in the landings in, and occupation of Morocco and Algeria and subsequent fighting in the liberation of Tunisia. At sunset men in our group who served in WW II participated in the lowering of the colors. It was beautiful.

Before going on the trip we watched the 1938 movie ALGIERS with Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamarr. While touring the picturesque alleys and souks of the maze-like Casbah we had the opportunity to visit a local home which was 300+ years old. From their fourth floor roof top we looked down on the harbor and could envision the scenes from the movie.

In Algeria we visited a number of places including a Koranic school, the Church in honor of St. Augistine of Hippo who was born in Algeria in 354 AD and the best preserved Roman ruins in North Africa.

One cannot visit Algeria without being exposed to the serious political problems--past and present facing the nation. For the Algerians a must see visit for foreigners is to the site of the May 8, 1945 massacre of Algerians by the French. Note: everywhere we went we had police escorts clearing the way. There is still concern about the Moslem extremists and their attacks on the Government.

Also what came through is the split within the population between the Arabs who inhabit the sea coast and the Berbers who are the mountain people with a different language and culture and who are demanding equality within the nation now dominated by the Arabs.

Another great trip Zegrahm!!!!!

Trip: North Africa's Roman Legacy
First Name: Dick & Betty
Last Name: Podol
City: Reston
State: VA

On Location: Montenegro

September 5, 2012

Written by Roger Crowley

We spent today in the tiny little country of Montenegro, steaming into the gulf of Kotor, an amazing Mediterranean fjord. We took on a pilot at dawn to guide us through the intricately twisted channel backed by spectacular limestone peaks, up to the perfect little medieval port of Kotor. Like being in a little part of old Venice – without the canals! Massively fortified walls, red roofs, old churches, Italian-style palaces, archways, narrow passages, a castle on the hill – to which some of us hiked for a stunning view over the whole scene. The ship looked tiny from up there. Now we’re steaming north along the Dalmatian coast – next stop Dubrovnik.