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World Cruise Wraps Up in the Caribbean

After 113 days, nearly 33,000 miles and a journey around the world, Amsterdam’s Grand World Voyage ended Monday, April 28 at Port Everglades, the port where it all began back in January.

Since departing, the ship has made 36 calls in more than 25 countries on five continents, including a transit through the Panama Canal and two equator crossings.

Crossing the equator ceremony on the way back to the northern hemisphere.

Crossing the equator ceremony on the way back to the northern hemisphere. Photos from Captain Mercer.

Along the way, guests have explored interesting ports such as Easter Island, Bora Bora, Yap Island, Colombo and Walvia Bay. Overnight calls at Lima, Peru; Papeete, French Polynesia; Sydney, Australia; Hong Kong, China; Singapore; Manila, Philippines; Victoria, Seychelles; and Cape Town, South Africa; afforded guests the opportunity to take overland tours and experience the nightlife of these vibrant ports. A highlight of the voyage for many was a visit by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

Following Tutu’s visit, the ship made way for St. Helena, Ascencion Island and the Cape Verde Islands before crossing the Atlantic and calling at Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Maarten before ending at Port Everglades.

Some final photos from the Grand World Voyage, clockwise from left, Jacob's Ladder at St.Helena, a market at Praia, a small harbor at Barbados and the officers participating in a Q&A with guests.

Some final photos by Captain Mercer from the Grand World Voyage, clockwise from left, Jacob’s Ladder at St.Helena, a market at Praia, a small harbor at Barbados and the officers participating in a Q&A with guests.

At Dominica, Mariners Jan and Dick Yetke took one last opportunity to go snorkeling.

[We went to the} Champagne Reef location. After meeting Cary [our guide], we walked along the rocks to the end where you go into the water since it is closest to the reef area. He gave us a wonderful tour!!! He pointed out special fish, spotted eels, and some old canons. Then we swam into a place where bubbles were coming up from the coral, rocks, and seabed – thus the name, Champagne!!! These are gases coming thru the earth from an active volcano inland. On our way back from our snorkel tour, he went down and captured some of the bubbles in his snorkel, came up, and poured out the warm/hot water into our hands. We were so very happy that we took him as our guide. — Jan Yetke

Photos from Jan's and Dick's diving adventure at Dominica.

Photos from Jan’s and Dick’s diving adventure at Dominica.

Captain Mercer blogged his way around the world, and he offered some final thoughts on the world cruise.

If I were to be asked what comes to mind when thinking about this 2014 Grand World voyage, it would be ‘the weather.’

Apart from those famous ‘Cape Rollers’ off South Africa, we have had the most perfect conditions, in fact, having looked through the log book, it was almost 70 days before we even saw the hint of a larger wave. Some of my more experienced guests used to ask me if it was ever going to get ‘rough’, for some of them actually enjoy it. 🙂

I believe I can safely say that we have all experienced an ‘adventure,’ seen wondrous sights and will take home many memories, which will remain with us forever.

When I reflect on our voyage, the weather at Easter Island, on my third attempt, was beyond belief, calm as a mill-pond and what a lovely visit it was too, I think I deserved it after the previous two calls.

Another would be that of family members of our crew, visiting while we were in Manila. Heaven knows how many photos I had taken that day. And sitting in my office, seeing the children, wide-eyed and beaming with smiles, pop their faces around my door and wish me “hello Captain,” before dashing off giggling, to join their parents.

Of course, our visit from Archbishop Tutu and his family, two CEO’s and the Soweto Gospel choir ought to be mentioned, too. What a wonderful experience it was and one which I will never forget.

Now the packing begins, trying to find room for (another) large Buddha and an elephant bridge. 🙂 I return here again on July 27th, Alaska-bound and more posts, whale-spotting faculties to the fore. — Captain Jonathan Mercer

If a Grand World Voyage is on your bucket list, make 2015 the year to circle the globe and embark on a fascinating adventure filled with exciting experiences, intriguing culture and memories to last a lifetime. Amsterdam once again departs Port Everglades Jan. 5, 2015, on a 114-day Grand World Voyage that sails through the Panama Canal, across the South Pacific to Australia and New Zealand, up to the Far East and India, through the Suez Canal, across the Mediterranean and back to Port Everglades via the Atlantic Ocean.

Whether you can take the full 114-day journey or join the ship for a shorter segment, it’s an adventure not to be missed.

What is the most exciting part about taking a Grand World Voyage? All of the ports, making new friends, learning about different cultures? Tell us in the comments below!

1 Comment
  • Norman Hammer

    Capt Mercer’s daily updates were wonderful. Enjoyed the trip around the world with great commentary and pictures. Capt Mercer and Capt Albert have the best HAL blogs and hope Capt Albert blog returns now that Capt Mercer is home on vacation.

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