Our visit to Istanbul during the MSC Cruise (on the MSC Musica) was packed with shopping, and savoring Turkish flavors – whether it was Turkish coffee or kebabs. Turkey is delightful, and so colorful.
The first few pictures (below) were actually taken in Izmir, I could only tell since I looked back at my pictures, and saw some pictures of the cruise in the evening. I will include those here, so that you can see the sequence of events. The cruise stopped in Izmir first, and then we had our evening onboard, and the next day we got off at Istanbul.
Here are a few pictures taken back on the cruise ship that night.
Now let’s venture into Istanbul, and to the Grand Bazaar! Many people come to the bazaars of Turkey to get great bargains – you can find tea-sets, glassware, ornaments, clothes, handbags, and many other items. These bazaars also tantalize you with their aromas and Turkish treats. Don’t forget to try the Turkish coffee!
Time for some Turkish Coffee at Red Cafe
We left the Grand Bazaar, and ventured into the streets…..I must have asked this man if I could have a picture taken with him.
I think this is also called the Blue Mosque, but this is of course in Istanbul
Here’s the Mosque from a different angle
Here are the last pictures of Istanbul:
Well, I hope you think Turkey is as delightful as I do. I have only showed you some pictures of Izmir, the Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and some of the surrounding streets. I’m sure Turkey has many other hidden delights.
Don’t overlook MSC Cruise Lines – they are not as well known as some of the bigger names, but should be. I have cruised with them in 2006 on a 7 day cruise from Venice, Italy on the MSC Musica that included stops in Bari, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Katakolon, Greece; Izmir and Istanbul, Turkey. I would highly recommend the MSC Cruise Lines. Here are some pictures.
There’s a great reason to visit Hubbard Glacier, and that is to see it before it melts away. Yes, sadly when you visit such an incredible place, it really hits home that you are indeed lucky to see it. Who knows how many more will see it before it disappears or diminishes? The evidence of the melting is right there in the ocean, with chunks of ice all around.
This is Day 7 of the Vancouver to Alaska seven day cruise (Thursday, May 17, 2012), and sadly the last day of the cruise. Most people think that a seven day cruise finishes on the 7th day, but in reality it actually finishes on the 8th day in the early hours of the morning. We will be disembarking tomorrow morning at around 8am.
So today is a Day At Sea – this is a day to enjoy the ship, and it is as necessary to have these days as it is to have port visits. You don’t just want to be rushing around visiting ports all the time, because when will you find the time to enjoy the ship? The ship itself is a very important factor in your cruise enjoyment, and believe it or not, some people enjoy this part of the experience so much more – that they don’t want to get out at the ports to walk around.
Today is the very important viewing from the ship of Hubbard Glacier. This was to be my second experience of seeing glaciers – the first one was of course, Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. As I was eating breakfast in the Park Cafe, I couldn’t help but be struck in awe at what I saw through the windows of the Solarium, where the Park Cafe was. I saw lots of ice, pieces of ice all over the ocean floor – it was just as though we were floating on ice. It was an amazing sight, and I wish I had taken more pictures of the ice at it’s thickest – but my camera was charging, so this is the picture that I got through the window, and it was taken with my Iphone at approximately 8am. The other pictures were taken with my camcorder, and not my regular camera, so may not be as nice and clear as they should have been.
Then after breakfast, I went outside at approximately 9am, and took pictures from the side of the ship.
Wow, we are surrounded by ice!
Now for a view of Hubbard Glacier itself. It was hard getting a good spot to take pictures, as there were so many people out braving the cold to see the awesome and breathtaking Hubbard Glacier.
We got really close to the Glacier!
More people looking at the Glacier:
Enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee, and trying to stay warm
The Radiance Of The Seas against the backdrop of Alaska, near Hubbard Glacier
Bye Hubbard Glacier, I hope you will be around for many more years to come! Don’t melt away.
We left Hubbard Glacier at around 10:30 am, and the rest of the day was spent taking pictures, attending a brief CruiseOne seminar, and enjoying the ship (as well as packing). Next, I’ll tell you about the four day post cruise tour that I took once I disembarked the cruise ship. The cruise tour was hosted by Royal Caribbean, and involved going on a bus around Alaska – deep into the wilds of this very mysterious place. Thank you for reading.
It is now Day 4 of the cruise – Monday, May 14th, 2012. I don’t have any excursions booked for today, but one of the main excursions for this port is the zip line – which is for all those who wish to experience adventure, excitement and who aren’t afraid of heights. I’m not daring enough to take the zip line – I like adventure, and excitement – but I think I either don’t like to be too high up or I’m just afraid of rides.
Icy Strait Point is very picturesque, and I’m glad I came off the ship to take a look. There were several people onboard the ship who didn’t want to get off today because it was raining, and there had been a steady drizzle for most of the day. We had to get on a tender boat to get to where the boat docked, and when I got off, I couldn’t help but be in awe of how beautiful the Radiance Of The Seas looked against the snow-clad mountains.
After taking pictures of the ship, I walked along the beach, to where I could see the zip line. The rain kept on falling on the lens of both my camera and camcorder, so I kept on putting them away, and then getting tempted to take them back out again a few moments later, and then away again after a few minutes because of the rain. It was a busy time mostly due to the rain. Here are some more pictures that I took along the way.
As you may have noticed in one of the pictures, somebody had started a little fire on the beach to keep everyone warm. It was quite icy cold in Icy Strait Point, it surely lives up to it’s name! The drizzle did put a little damper on my outing, as I would definitely have liked to take more pictures, but I didn’t want to damage my camera, and already had got it wet various times.
I walked into the big brown building which was kind of like a museum towards the end of the pier, and this building also had quite a few shops. Apparently, I had missed a native dance, and found out about this later.
I then started on the track of one of the nature trails on the other side of the building shown above (museum) to the left of it, and discovered a most incredible sight – a lake with trees and snow-clad mountains in the distance (shown below). By this point, it was drizzling quite a bit. I then recorded the zip line on my camcorder, and will have to put it into a video later and add the link.
Altogether, I spent about two and a half hours in Icy Strait Point, and would definitely recommend that you get off the ship to visit this port. Don’t listen to those who tell you there’s nothing to see here, if you like natural beauty, you will see a lot of that around you. I then proceeded to take the tender boat shown below at the dock back to the Radiance Of The Seas.
Recommendations: take your umbrella to Alaska, and a thick jacket, plus gloves, and you can’t go wrong. Will soon write about Day 5 of the cruise.