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.
Tenerife looks very interesting. The water is so blue!ReplyDelete
I'd like to visit the Canary Islands - in the off season when the locals aren't quite so tired of tourists. Looks like a great country to explore - with loads of hiking and driving possibilities.ReplyDelete
Leigh I think you'd love the hiking and biking opportunities there.Delete
I've never been on a cruise and I kind of fear that I wouldn't like the set schedule involved. Your pics are beautiful though! I love being on the water.ReplyDelete
We consider cruises our 'taster' plate of places and often do go back for more time on land. We don't take the 'cruise port tours' preferring to explore on our own. We -- for years -- had a mantra: "We are NOT cruise people!" Then tried a couple and are now hooked.Delete
The Canary Islands sound lovely, Jackie. I know what you mean about morning arrivals. The day and the destination are both waiting to be explored and devoured. Makes me want to go there.ReplyDelete
I wasn't a cruise person - I've been on one -- but every week when the ships dock here and I see them from my back porch, I sigh. It's a nice experience.
I love being in Fort Lauderdale prior to a cruise and just watching the cruise ships go by. . .like watching planes arrive and depart; they all get the travel juices flowing.Delete
I've always wanted to go to the Canary Islands. Maybe a cruise is a good option for that. The ferry trip from Spain sounds like a good idea, too.ReplyDelete
Cathy, After reading your Paris post, I am not so sure about you and boat travel though. ;-)Delete
I never really considered the canary islands high on my list of places that i really wanted to visit. But its interesting hearing other people going there and their take on it. Makes me hope to try to get there sooner if i can.ReplyDelete
Oh, how I can relate to your words about the magic of early morning arrivals into port. There's just something about them. And the Canary Islands sounds so exotic. We had found a trans-atlantic cruise that included it as a stop and I did a little research and thought, "What a neat sounding place." But I've never really heard from anyone who's been. So I greatly appreciated your post!ReplyDelete
Our family has cruised a few times and quite enjoy them as well. I like to describe it as a reconaissance mission to determine if we would like to go back. Sailing into port is my favourite part of the day as well - I can hardly stand the anticipation as the possibilities of the day lay open before us. Canary Islands is one of the places that I would love to cruise to, however, I haven't been able to find one that takes place during school holidays.ReplyDelete
You know, I agree. I'm not a huge cruise fan, but one of the best parts is definitely arriving in a new port. We stopped in Cabo on a cruise last year, and seeing the stunning landscape surrounding the port was the best part of the entire day.ReplyDelete
What a lovely series of views. I want to go right now!!!ReplyDelete
Interesting article. I will be there soon. We've already booked hotel in Santa Cruz. Is there any problems with public transport? Should i book taxi in advance via http://kiwitaxi.com/Spain/Tenerife+South+Airport or similar service?ReplyDelete