One of the best parts of a cruise is the early morning arrival at a new port of call. It’s the time when that city comes to life for us. No longer a section in a guide book or a point on the map, it is out there just waiting to be explored.
Many times we are so taken with a place that we vow we must return. That’s how we felt about Santa Cruz, the capital of Tenerife – one of the seven Canary Islands:
As we approached the island about 7 a.m. the rising sun was a spotlight on clusters of homes tucked away in the hills to the north of the city.
From the balcony of our Celebrity Constellation we watched passing ferries which always prompt ponderings about their destinations followed by speculation that “if we were to return one day we could hop aboard and see first hand where it goes. . .”
We’ve become accustomed to Fred Olsen cruise ships in Europe but were surprised to see this Fred Olsen Express ferry zip past us. We’ve since learned the fleet has 76 weekly departures and transports some 2.7 million foot passengers annually between cities in the Canaries. It would be a way to get around that island chain. . .hmmmm, the temptations grew.
We shared the usually-busy cruise port that day with only one other cruise ship. More than 800,000 cruise passengers visited in 2011. It was the end of the season, though, and we were among the last of the ships to stop prior to repositioning across the Atlantic.
Tenerife was the last land we’d see for seven days. Refueling took a bit longer than expected so as the sun began to set it was time to cast off for our trip across the Atlantic. It is always fun to watch the shore crew release the ropes and send us on our way. . .
The Canary Islands are just 300 km (180 miles) off the coast of Africa. We think it would be great fun to one day take a ferry trip from Spain to the Canary Islands with a stop in Funchal, Madeira before returning to Spain. Have you done that? Got any recommendations for us?
And.. . it is Travel Photo Thursday so take a quick spin around the world without moving from your computer through photos at Budget Travelers Sandbox.