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Dec 2014

15 Dec. 2014; Lisbon, Portugal.

This morning we had a late arrival, as planned, as the ship is staying overnight here. It gave the company the option to schedule a scenic arrival. Approaching the sea buoy at 0900 hrs. and then being docked by 11 am at the Apolonia Cruise Terminal. Lisbon has three passenger or cruise terminals as it is a very popular cruise destination. There is the old passenger terminal from the days when ships left for New York and the Colonies and it is called Alcantara after the west part of Lisbon which is also the industrial area.  Here still the old Terminal building stands with its 1st. 2nd class waiting rooms. This dock is not ideal for an overnight stay as they built a bridge over it. Ponte de 25 de Abril or the singing bridge, a constant zooming noise caused by vehicles and trains travelling over it. Then there is Rocha a bit more to the East and then there is Santa Apolonia. This terminal is being upgraded to become the major cruise terminal of the three and is located almost in downtown. It took me today approx. 10 minutes to walk back from the Central Square.  Eventually it will be able to accommodate three large cruise ships but today there were only two. The Rotterdam and the Oriana from P&O. So another “All in the Family affair”. Sailing up the Tagus River was very nice today as the sun came out and by 09.30 the angle was just right; it nicely shone over Lisbon on the North bank. Perfect planning and scheduling.  By 11 am the good ship was docked with the nose in, upstream, as it was ebbing and the local pilots do not like to swing on the falling tide as it is hard to maintain position while the river tries to flush you downstream again. The Lisbon pilots embark and disembark at Belem Tower and the Captain and Navigators sail the ship to Belem Tower themselves.  The river is wide and the only challenge can be the swell running at the entrance as it has a […]

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