A storm in Marseille, France, made it impossible to enter the port so Captain Mark Rowden had a fantastic alternative for guests on board Ryndam. The captain decided to call at Villefranche, France, only a short distance from Monaco. In the early morning, tenders were lowered to bring us ashore for an excursion to Monaco. With Hotel Manager Simon de Boer taking care that all booked guests were on time at the gangway and Captain Rowden at the steps leading us to the tender, we were soon on our way. It was just half an hour coach ride with beautiful scenery before we reached Monaco.
From the special coach parking underground we took the escalators and lifts to the top of the hill where in just a few steps we were at the palace, cathedral and harbor viewing point. We visited the church and the square in front of the palace. Lucky we were. There was a changing of the guard soon to start.
Next, the coach took us as close as possible to the town’s world famous casino. We climbed a few steps and uphill we could see the beautiful casino square. We had an hour or so to walk around before the coach brought us back to the tenders landing stage.
This was our last destination before our final call at Barcelona where we would start our trip back home. Again we experienced the master skills of our captain. On the regular shortest sailing route to Barcelona there was a heavy storm which could have delayed us for up to four hours before we could arrive in Barcelona. No one wanted that so we sailed along the coast which made it possible to have a great farewell dinner, ending with the famous baked Alaska cake. Special thanks to Captain Rowden and Captain Krombeen (Seattle office) for the pleasant sailing back to Barcelona.
All good things must come to an end. For 21 days we had a great time on board Ryndam and met many wonderful people and crew who help make Holland America Line the best cruise line. Many thanks to Captain Rowden, Hotel Manager Simon de Boer, Iris Knubben and all of the crew members who gave us, once again, an unforgettable experience. Hope to see you again on one of the DAM ships.
Cornelis “Cees” Kloppenburg and his wife Yvon recently sailed on board Ryndam and blogged about their experience in a series of posts. Enjoy!