Seabourn Sojourn
November 2014
Barcelona - Africa and Asia
November 12 to 19th        We had a smooth on time flight from New York JFK to Barcelona on Delta
Airlines.  A driver arranged for by our hotel was waiting for us and our room at the Le Meridien was
ready for us.

This was our 3rd visit to Barcelona.  The first was in May 2009 at the conclusion of a cruise with Wind
Star from Lisbon.  On that trip we also stayed at the Meridien for several days before setting off on an
extended driving trip through Spain.  Our second visit was in April  2011 for a one day port stop on the
Seabourn Legend.

Because of our previous visits,  on this trip we primarily used our time to walk about the city.  We found
it to be extremely clean and the people friendly and helpful.  Thankfully for us English is generally
understood and spoken.  We had absolutely no problem getting around other than a couple of times
when we discovered we made a wrong turn, but there was always someone we could ask for directions.

Temperatures were in the 60's during the day and a bit windy.  Great for walking the city!  We ate at
several restaurants we remembered from 2009, and found lots of new ones.  We tried to pick local tapa
and Spanish restaurants, all of which we found reasonably priced.

My Photos are inclusive of our three visits to this wonderful city


November 19th        Boarding the Sojourn was straight forward.  The Barcelona Cruise Terminal was
extremely well run, and there was no waiting in lines, etc.  We were surprised by the number of crew
members and guests that we remembered from previous cruises.  We enjoyed a leisurely lunch while
waiting for our room to be cleaned.  All of our luggage was waiting for us in our room and we began the
process of unpacking.  At dinner in the we both felt the quality and presentation of the food was even
better than we remembered.

November 20th        This was a sea day and we continued unpacking and getting organized.       

November 21st         Our port for the day was Malaga, a place we have visited on several previous
occasions.  We rode the shuttle bus to the entrance of the old city and then casually walked back to the
Sojourn.  The temperature was in the low 60's with a brisk breeze.


November 22nd        Saturday we were docked for the day in Gibraltar.  We remember being in
Gibraltar on two previous occasions.  During 2009 we took an organized tour from the Marriott we were
staying at which was an extensive tour.  This is a
link to photos of Gibraltar, Cadiz and a number of other
areas in this general area that we visited in 2009.  This time we were docked about a mile from the town
center and had an enjoyable walk into the old town.


November 23rd        Cadiz is another city we visited on several occasions.  We docked next to the city
and enjoyed the morning walking through the center of Cadiz which we had not done previously.


November 24th & 25th         Our next ports were Casablanca and Tangier.  We chose to stay on
board both days as we toured Morocco extensively in 2001.  A link to those photos follows.  We enjoyed
our time on board and I took these
PHOTOS from the ship.      

2001 PHOTOS               

November 26th        SEA DAY

November 27th        We docked at Arrecife in the Canary Islands for the day.  This was a new port for
us and a shuttle bus was available into the city.  We enjoyed walking along the water front and through
the shopping district.  It is obvious that this is a Spanish city as it is very similar to the small Spanish
towns we have visited in Spain.

I have been reading about the early Spanish and Portuguese explores and was trying to visualize what it
must have been like for them to stop in the Canary Islands on their way around Africa and to the "New
World"  A far cry from traveling on a modern luxury cruise ship!


November 28th        This was our second visit to Gran Canaria Island and the port of Las Palmos.
This is a link t
o 2012 PHOTOS I took in April 2012 on an all day tour of the Island.  Our visit this time
was confined to a walk through the shopping district.  The concept of "Black Friday" has spread to the
Canary Islands and the stores were having lots of sales.  The day was overcast with an on and off drizzle.

November 29th        We were docked for the day in Santa Cruz De La Palma on the Island of La
Palma which was a new port for us.  We enjoyed a tour to the Calandera De Taburiente and stopped at an
old Manor House on our return to the port.


November 30th/December 1at        Sea Days on our way to Cape Verde

December 2nd and 3rd
      We were in Cape Verde in April 2012 on the island of Santo Antao for a day.  
Here is link to
2012 PHOTOS I took on an all day trip around that island.

On this trip we visited two islands -
Ilha de Sao Vicente which is a small island adjacent to Santo
Antao where we took a half day tour from Mindelo and
Ilha de Santiago where we were docked in the
city of Praia.  We found Mindelo to be much more scenic and modern than Praia.  The people of Cape
Verde are extremely friendly and helpful.  The port area in Praia is very industrial and we just rode the
shuttle bus to and from the city center.

The weather was excellent with a nice breeze and sunny skies.


December 4th to 9th        Sea Days on our way to Bom Bom Island

December 10th                  Bom Bom is a tiny privately owned island next to the larger Principe which
in turn is part of the
Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe. The Soujourn anchored
and used tenders to reach the shore.  We were among the very few passengers that decided to stay on
board and essentially had the vessel to our selves for the day.  These islands are in the middle of the
Gulf of Guinea which is an area where
piracy of the large oil tankers is a serious problem.  We were
under heightened security precautions, but cruise ships are not in any danger as the tankers are the
primary target.  Because of the value of the tankers and cargo the shippers typically promptly pay a
ransom to get the ship back.


December 11th and 12th        Sea Days on our way to Angola.  We crossed the equator which is always
a fun time on Seabourn!


December 13th                We docked in Luanda Angola for the day.  This is said to be one of the most
expensive cities in the world.  Angola has very large deposits of oil, diamonds and other valuable
commodities, but very little in the way of infrastructure.  There are lots of new high rises in the
downtown area of Luanda which have been built with the oil money since the civil war ended in 2012.  It
is apparently relatively save in the downtown area of Luanda during the day as long as you don't wander
off into any of the side streets or slums.  There really wasn't much of anything we were interested in, so
once again we just stayed aboard the ship during the day  Passengers that did take tours, or walked
about along the shore line told us there was no tourist infrastructure, so even buying a post card or
t-shirt was not possible.  I have included the safety instructions we were given in the following photo


December 14th and 15th        Sea Days on our way to Walvis Bay