On Following the Titanic

Image from Wikipedia

Although everyone knows the its story is legendary, we were surprised how much we encountered the RMS Titanic on our recent cruise around the British Isles.

We visited Liverpool, the home of White Star Line and the location of Titanic’s registry.

Liverpool from the departing ship

We traveled on Princess Cruise Lines, which is one division within Carnival Cruise Lines – that includes Cunard Line, the company that White Star merged with following the disaster.

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We visited Belfast where the Titanic was built (the actual site is on this side of the silver building – Titanic Belfast, a museum dedicated to honoring Belfast’s shipbuilding industry that is located on the former Harland and Wolff shipyard that built Titanic)

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Our cruise started in Southampton, the same city that Titanic started.

We stopped in Cobh, Ireland (then called Queenstown) – which was Titanic’s last stop where 125 people boarded. (More about Cobh in a future post.)

Several years ago we had a cruise stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) where 150 passengers are buried in three cemeteries

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… and I imagine many readers remember this in 1997 …

… but for me, the images of this video is what strikes me.

On the Rest of the Journey

This post is a synopsis of the rest of our trip. Previous post provided info about the most prominent stops. Not that the remaining stops don’t merit their own post, but I don’t want to drone on about this trip.


Gibraltar (UK)
I thought Gibraltar was a small peninsula with a big rock at it’s point. Wow, was I ever wrong because it’s primarily a rock with 30,000 people living around it’s base. We walked from the dock to the tram (which took us to the top), then we walked down, and back to the ship. Of all our days on this trip, this was our highest count of walking steps – 24,500+.

Gibraltar Whole Rock

Caves, tunnels, views, and monkeys entertained us on the way down. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the airport with a main road crossing the runways, so see this 1-minute video. The return trip through the strait was at night … and with city lights on each side of the ship, one can tell Africa and Gibraltar are closer than one may think.

We visited Montserrat while in Barcelona. Located about 30 minutes outside the city, it’s a monastery located at the top of the Serrated Mountains. Within the altar is the Black Madonna. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to experience the stunning views because of the lingering fog – but we are glad we went. Because of the fog, here’s a link to a Google Images search to accompany mine.

Cadiz (KA diz) is the closest port to Seville (Sevilla), but getting there is a 2-hour trip in each direction. Given we were only in port 8-5, we first visited Jerez (the next section), then spent the afternoon in the Cadiz’s Old City. To me, Cadiz was the most unexpected surprise of the trip. The Old City was vibrant, and a grand cathedral serves as its hub. Thumbs up!

Jerez de la Frontera (Jerez)
From Cadiz, we took a ship’s tour to Jerez, a 20-minute ride from the port. Walking through it’s main square and past the Alcazar castle of the Moors, the focus of our tour was the Gonzalez Byass Bodegas that produces sherry (wine). We loved both the tour and the sherry samples.

Founded in 227 BC by the Carthaginians, today’s Cartagena is a small city for 200,000+ nestled in a small bay flanked by 5 mountains. The dock is close, so we strolled the streets to the Roman theater, the old bullring, the waterfront, and to the Castillo de la Concepcion for panoramic views of the city.

Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca, the largest city and capital of the Balearic Islands, was our first stop after leaving Barcelona. It was a Sunday, so many stores were closed and the local free walking tour we wanted wasn’t available. The weather was beautiful, so we made the best of what we could without a map.

Although more posts about this trip may appear over time, the links to past posts from the rest of the cruise are below.

Lisbon Sun Effect

On Remember (the) Maine

Remember the Maine was a battle cry associated with the Spanish-American War in the late 1800s. This post is not about the ship explosion in Havana harbor, but about our two port stops in Elyse’s beloved Maine.

We had visited Maine 15 years ago (or more), but this was our first visit to Bar Harbor. This small town is a resort town in a scenic setting and the getaway into Acadia National Park.

Bar Harbor received its name after a sandbar that only appears in the harbor during low tide. It’s a nice walk, but get back before high tide returns.

Bar Harbor Low

A nice walk across the bar to a small island …..

Bar Harbor High

…. just don’t get stuck out there

With its outcroppings of pink granite, Cadillac Mountain is Acadia’s high point, and its summit provides an outstanding view of the harbor and surrounding islands.

Bar Harbor Cadillac

3 Ships brought 6,000 people (We had the best spot on the right)

Our next-day visit to Portland delivered a warm, sunny day. With a population of about 66,000, Portland is Maine’s largest city. With walks along the Eastern Promenade, through the trendy neighborhood of Munjoy Hill, to the commercial district, and visiting the stores, galleries, and restaurants of the vibrant Old Port District, who knows how many miles we walked.


Portland Old Port District

The Old Port District is alive!

On to the last stop.

On Mary Time

Whether Mary had a little lamb, Hail Mary, or Along Comes Mary, this post has nothing to do with Mary – but everything to do with our cruise stops in Canada’s maritime provinces.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (population 35,000) is PEI’s largest city and provincial capital. It may be a city, but it sure as a small town feel. It’s also the setting of the novel Anne of Green Gables.

We walked around the residential neighbors with well-maintained homes and took the long walk to Victoria Park and beyond to the lighthouse. Interestingly, the rocks and sand are red, and even the shallow water near the shore had a red cast.

One of the many gorgeous old homes

One of the many gorgeous old homes

The red in Charlottetown

The red in Charlottetown

The boardwalk along Victoria Park is a refreshing walk

The boardwalk along Victoria Park is a refreshing walk

Charlottetown is also the home to Cows Ice Cream, rated the world’s best ice cream by Tauck’s World Discovery. We tried it, it was good, but sorry Tauck, it’s no Graeter’s, which wasn’t listed! Nor was Viveka’s beloved Mövenpick!

After Charlottetown, we cruised north to Corner Brook on Newfoundland’s west coast. This will probably be the closest I’ll ever be to Kayjai (she’s on the east coast).  On this day we were without a camera because of issues. Too bad because the fiord-like trip into Corner Brook was scenic.

Corner Brook, Newfoundland (pic from Wikipedia)

Corner Brook, Newfoundland (pic from Wikipedia)

Halifax was our final maritime stop. Unlike the two previous stops, Halifax is definitely a city … and the amount of new construction surprised us. Interestingly, the fortress that guarded the city is atop a hill above city center.

Old Clock installed 1803 just below the Citadel

Old Clock installed 1803 just below the Citadel

We didn’t realize the role that Halifax played in the Titanic disaster. With the nameless headstones, the trip into the cemetery with the most gravesites (121) from the ship was surreal.

Halifax Titanic Graves

The unidentified and the identified (amazingly, some were identified in 1992)

The unidentified and the identified (amazingly, some were identified in 1992)

We also boarded a bus for a trip to Peggy’s Cove, a small, picturesque fishing village found among the glacial remnants. Tour buses flock to this village for its charm, scenery, and lighthouse.

Peggy's Cove is picturesque

Peggy’s Cove rocky shore

Hope you enjoyed your quick journey to the Canadian maritime provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia.

Visit our next ports.