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Captain Greybeard YOUR EXPERT GUIDE TO CRUISE SHIPS AND CRUISE HOLIDAYS


Arch blogger John Honeywell, aka Captain Greybeard, offers his latest musings on the wide world of cruising


The Write Stuff U


nder cover of darkness, four men steal ashore from a cruise ship, determined to visit the Parthenon. Followed


by barking dogs on their journey from the port of Piraeus, and picking fresh grapes from the vine for refreshment on the way, they finally make it to the Acropolis. Among the noble ruins, they discover


fractured columns and statues propped against fragments of marble, “All looking mournful in the moonlight.” Pretty much


38 WORLD OF CRUISING I Winter 2011-12


the same sight that greeted me on a sunny October morning this year when I visited Athens on a cruise aboard MV Discovery. My four predecessors beat me to it by a good 144 years, however. Their night- time adventure wasn’t a result of the latest Greek financial crisis but the threat of quarantine from the port authorities. They were led by one Mark Twain,


whose account of the visit is just one episode in The Innocents Abroad, a fascinating tale of his transatlantic voyage


and Mediterranean cruise aboard the good ship Quaker City in 1867. The list of destinations will be familiar


to any modern-day traveller: Gibraltar, Venice, Pisa, Istanbul, Sebastopol, the Pyramids, Alexandria and Cadiz. While the ascent of Vesuvius is still a popular excursion today, not many would take a train from Marseille for an extended visit to Paris. Twain found Civitavecchia “the finest nest of dirt, vermin and ignorance we have found yet, except that


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