Around The World In 115 Days

     On January 5 we will set sail on the Amsterdam, Holland America’s co-flagship.  It is a medium sized ship with a capacity of 1300+ (although we expect a lot fewer than that on this voyage).  The title above, obviously cribbed from Jules Verne’s book, is original in the sense that I (Rick) made it up.  Since I made it up, however, I have seen it used by several other people who independently made it up (indicating its pretty obvious & not very clever).  I considered dropping it, but what the heck . . . it’s my blog & I did think of it on my own.  So, there it is.

     There should be quite a lot of interesting stuff on this voyage.  We will be going through both the Panama & the Suez canals.  We will visit lots of churches, mosques & temples.  We will see elephants & camels & kangaroos.  We will see islands, mountains, deserts & The Great Barrier Reef.  So if our ship is not scuttled by an El Nino induced cyclone, and we are not done in by pirates or terrorists along the way, we expect to be back home in May with a new appreciation of parts of the world we have never seen before & some interesting stories to tell.  Of course, many of those stories & all of our best photos will be available to all on this blog.  So welcome aboard.

WC Map0002

     Above is a map of our itinerary, & below is an easier to follow listing of the ports & sea days  (note that if you hover your mouse cursor over a picture a caption will pop up).  Of course, this is the planned itinerary; experience tells us that there will be changes along the way due to such things as weather or local political unrest.  But not too many, we hope!

Day
Date
Port
Arrive
Depart
0
05 Jan 2016
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
11:00 PM
1
06 Jan 2016
At Sea
2
07 Jan 2016
At Sea
3
08 Jan 2016
At Sea
4
09 Jan 2016
Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
07:00 AM
04:00 PM
5
10 Jan 2016
Enter Panama Canal at Cristobal
05:00 AM
05:00 AM
5
10 Jan 2016
Cruising Panama Canal
5
10 Jan 2016
Exit Panama Canal at Balboa 
07:00 PM
07:00 PM
5
10 Jan 2016
Fuerte Amador, Panama
08:00 PM
6
11 Jan 2016
Fuerte Amador, Panama
04:00 PM
7
12 Jan 2016
At Sea
8
13 Jan 2016
At Sea
9
14 Jan 2016
At Sea
10
15 Jan 2016
At Sea
11
16 Jan 2016
At Sea
12
17 Jan 2016
At Sea
13
18 Jan 2016
At Sea
14
19 Jan 2016
At Sea
15
20 Jan 2016
Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia
11:00 AM
06:00 PM
16
21 Jan 2016
At Sea
17
22 Jan 2016
Avatoru, Rangiroa, French Polynesia
08:00 AM
05:00 PM
18
23 Jan 2016
Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia 
08:00 AM
19
24 Jan 2016
Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia
05:00 AM
19
24 Jan 2016
Moorea, French Polynesia
08:00 AM
05:00 PM
20
25 Jan 2016
At Sea
21
26 Jan 2016
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
08:00 AM
05:00 PM
22
27 Jan 2016
At Sea
23
28 Jan 2016
Cross International Dateline 
24
30 Jan 2016
At Sea
25
31 Jan 2016
At Sea
26
01 Feb 2016
Waitangi (Bay of Islands), New Zealand
08:00 AM
05:00 PM
27
02 Feb 2016
Auckland, New Zealand
08:00 AM
05:00 PM
28
03 Feb 2016
At Sea
29
04 Feb 2016
Picton, New Zealand
08:00 AM
05:00 PM
30
05 Feb 2016
At Sea
31
06 Feb 2016
At Sea
32
07 Feb 2016
At Sea
33
08 Feb 2016
Melbourne, Australia
08:00 AM
05:00 PM
34
09 Feb 2016
At Sea
35
10 Feb 2016
Sydney, Australia
08:00 AM
36
11 Feb 2016
Sydney, Australia
06:00 PM
37
12 Feb 2016
At Sea
38
13 Feb 2016
Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia
08:00 AM
05:00 PM
39
14 Feb 2016
At Sea
40
15 Feb 2016
At Sea
41
16 Feb 2016
Cairns, Australia
08:00 AM
05:00 PM
42
17 Feb 2016
Great Barrier Reef 
42
17 Feb 2016
The Ribbon Reef Region
42
17 Feb 2016
Sherrard Island Anchorage, Queensland, Australia
06:00 PM
43
18 Feb 2016
Sherrard Island Anchorage, Queensland, Australia
04:00 AM
43
18 Feb 2016
Great Barrier Reef
43
18 Feb 2016
The Far North Region
43
18 Feb 2016
The Torres Strait
44
19 Feb 2016
At Sea
45
20 Feb 2016
Darwin, Australia
10:00 AM
07:00 PM
46
21 Feb 2016
At Sea
47
22 Feb 2016
At Sea
48
23 Feb 2016
Benoa, Bali, Indonesia
08:00 AM
06:00 PM
49
24 Feb 2016
At Sea
50
25 Feb 2016
Semarang, Java, Indonesia 
06:00 AM
04:00 PM
51
26 Feb 2016
Tanjung Priok, Jakarta, Indonesia
08:00 AM
06:00 PM
52
27 Feb 2016
Crossing the Equator
53
28 Feb 2016
At Sea
54
29 Feb 2016
At Sea
55
01 Mar 2016
At Sea
56
02 Mar 2016
Hong Kong, China
10:00 AM
57
03 Mar 2016
Hong Kong, China
58
04 Mar 2016
Hong Kong, China
09:00 PM
59
05 Mar 2016
At Sea
60
06 Mar 2016
Da Nang (Hue), Vietnam
08:00 AM
61
07 Mar 2016
Da Nang (Hue), Vietnam
05:00 PM
62
08 Mar 2016
At Sea
63
09 Mar 2016
Phu My (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam
06:00 AM
06:00 PM
64
10 Mar 2016
At Sea
65
11 Mar 2016
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
06:00 AM
07:00 PM
66
12 Mar 2016
At Sea
67
13 Mar 2016
Singapore
06:00 PM
68
14 Mar 2016
Singapore
69
15 Mar 2016
Singapore
10:00 PM
70
16 Mar 2016
At Sea
71
17 Mar 2016
Phuket, Thailand
08:00 AM
06:00 PM
72
18 Mar 2016
At Sea
73
19 Mar 2016
At Sea
74
20 Mar 2016
Hambantota, Sri Lanka
08:00 AM
07:00 PM
75
21 Mar 2016
Colombo, Sri Lanka
07:00 AM
76
22 Mar 2016
Colombo, Sri Lanka
05:00 PM
77
23 Mar 2016
At Sea
78
24 Mar 2016
At Sea
79
25 Mar 2016
At Sea
80
26 Mar 2016
At Sea
81
27 Mar 2016
Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
08:00 AM
82
28 Mar 2016
Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
11:00 PM
83
29 Mar 2016
At Sea
84
30 Mar 2016
Muscat, Oman
08:00 AM
06:00 PM
85
31 Mar 2016
At Sea
86
01 Apr 2016
Salalah, Oman
08:00 AM
06:00 PM
87
02 Apr 2016
At Sea
88
03 Apr 2016
At Sea
89
04 Apr 2016
At Sea
90
05 Apr 2016
At Sea
91
06 Apr 2016
Aqaba (Petra), Jordan
08:00 AM
11:00 PM
92
07 Apr 2016
At Sea
93
08 Apr 2016
Enter Suez Canal at Suez
06:00 AM
06:00 AM
93
08 Apr 2016
Transit the Suez Canal
93
08 Apr 2016
Exit Suez Canal at Port Said 
06:00 PM
06:00 PM
94
09 Apr 2016
Haifa, Israel
08:00 AM
11:59 PM
95
10 Apr 2016
Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel
07:00 AM
06:00 PM
96
11 Apr 2016
At Sea
97
12 Apr 2016
Piraeus (Athens), Greece
09:00 AM
06:00 PM
98
13 Apr 2016
Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
10:00 AM
06:00 PM
99
14 Apr 2016
At Sea
100
15 Apr 2016
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
07:00 AM
08:00 PM
101
16 Apr 2016
Livorno (Florence), Italy
07:00 AM
07:00 PM
102
17 Apr 2016
Monte Carlo, Monaco
07:00 AM
04:00 PM
103
18 Apr 2016
Barcelona, Spain
09:00 AM
08:00 PM
104
19 Apr 2016
At Sea
105
20 Apr 2016
Cadiz, Spain
07:00 AM
05:00 PM
106
21 Apr 2016
At Sea
107
22 Apr 2016
Funchal (Madeira), Portugal
07:00 AM
05:00 PM
108
23 Apr 2016
At Sea
109
24 Apr 2016
At Sea
110
25 Apr 2016
At Sea
111
26 Apr 2016
At Sea
112
27 Apr 2016
At Sea
113
28 Apr 2016
At Sea
114
29 Apr 2016
At Sea
115
30 Apr 2016
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
07:00 AM

      No one will be shocked to learn that we will not be the first to circumnavigate the globe.  Actually, the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan was the first to complete such a journey, from 1519-1522.  Magellan didn’t make it because he was killed in a foolish skirmish with the locals in the Philippines; only one ship from his fleet with 18 survivors made it back.  We saw a monument to Juan Sebastian Elcano, the leader of those survivors, in Seville a couple of years ago.

map of Magellan's routeMagellanMonument to Elcano in Seville

      Other circumnavigators over the centuries of whom you might have heard include:

* The first by an Englishman, Sir Francis Drake, in 1577-1580 (discovering the Drake Passage in South America)

Drakes routeSir Francis Drake

*  The first French circumnavigation by Louis de Bougainville (after whom the flower bougainvillea is named) in 1766-1768.  His crew included Jeanne Bare, the first woman to sail around the globe, who was disguised as a man on board.

*  Captain James Cook in 1766-1771.  He actually had three such voyages, but was killed in Hawaii during the third one.  We will be visiting the sites of several of his stops in the South Pacific.

Captain-CookCook_Three_Voyages_59(1red, 2green, 3blue)

*  Teddy Roosevelt sent America’s “Great White Fleet” around the world in 1907-1909 to assert the United States’ claim as an emerging world power.

*  In 1966-1967 Sir Francis Chichester made the first solo circumnavigation of the globe, stopping in port only once.

        While not technically circumnavigations, there are several other well known trips around the globe at least partly by sea that are quite entertaining.  One famous journey that didn’t actually take place, of course, was that of Phileas Fogg & his servant Passepartout in 1872, recounted by Jules Verne in Around The World in 80 Days. It is still a good read (even if you have seen one of the films) and if you have an ereader you can download a copy for free at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/103.  American journalist Nellie Bly was inspired by Verne in 1889-1890 to try to encircle the globe in 80 days and actually made it in 72, a new world record.  Her trip was an international sensation, particularly since it was quite unusual at that time for a young woman to travel alone (her luggage was limited to a single small hand bag).  In 1988 Michael Palin (of Monty Python fame) set out to follow Phileas Fogg’s route as closely as possible and return in 80 days.  You can (and should) find out how it turned out by viewing his 1988 BBC documentary “Around the World in 80 Days,” available on DVD (we borrowed it from Netflix).

Phileas Fogg's route in 1872

Fogg & PassepartoutMichael Palin on his global tripNellie Bly in her travel coat carrying her luggageNellie Bly's route

      Last but not least (at least to us), Rick’s grandparents – Arthur & Freda Bleich – sailed around the world in 1954.  Listening to their stories about visiting Japan, Egypt, Israel & the Taj Mahal in India is what first made me (Rick) aware that such a voyage could be done & what wonders could be seen.  Of course, world cruises were a lot less common 60 years ago so this was quite exotic.  They sailed on a ship called the President Monroe from the American Presidents Line, a combined cargo & passenger ship with fewer than 100 passengers (interestingly, Monroe was also their son’s name).  The Amsterdam, which is fairly small by modern cruise ship standards with a capacity of 1380 passengers, is almost twice as long and about 9 times as heavy as the President Monroe, so times have really changed.  Here are some pictures of them on their world cruise:

Arthur & Freda Bleich waving from the President MonroeArthur & Freda Bleich in Kyoto, JapanArthur & Fred Bleich on camels at the Pyramids in Egypt

The President Monroe

     They told us they were taking this ultimate trip at that time because they were in their 60’s so their travelling days were probably over.  Yet Arthur lived 20 more years & Freda lived another 50 years!  It just goes to show that you can never tell when your ability to travel will be gone; it could be over sooner or later than you anticipate.  So you have to see what you can while you can.  At least that’s our philosophy.

     Anyway, that’s enough historical background (anyone familiar with this blog knows that history is one of our primary interests).  The next posting down from this is entitled “About This Blog,” which details how to go about using this website, get the most out of reading the postings & navigate its contents.  There probably won’t be a lot of content here before late January because the Internet is particularly slow & often inaccessible when crossing the Pacific.  And be prepared for the blog posts to fall further & further behind our real-time position as the trip goes on, but be assured that it will eventually be completed!

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11 responses

  1. John Oakes

    We were on the Amsterdam from Seattle to Alaska several years ago. It’s a a beautiful ship.

    John

    >

    December 27, 2015 at 11:14 am

  2. I will be transiting the Panama Canal on Jan.3 and spending some time in both Panama and Costa Rica. We disembark the ship (Wind Star Pride) on Jan. 9 and fly home on Jan. 10. Bon Voyage!

    December 27, 2015 at 11:46 am

    • Bon Voyage to you, too!

      December 29, 2015 at 1:28 pm

  3. Patricia

    YAY for you!!!!! Bon Voyage!

    Looking forward to another one of your super blogs. This post was most interesting – much appreciated.

    Have a wonderful voyage on a lovely ship with some great crew members.

    December 27, 2015 at 1:07 pm

  4. Sam Shutts

    We look forward to reading about your adventures, we did the 2012 Grand World voyage and another on Oceania in 2014. Both wonderful experiences and we will do another in the next couple of years, depending on itinerary. The world is getting a bit smaller for us, so it is hard not to repeat ports of call, while many are worth repeating, over and over, some are more of a “once and done”. I am sure you will have a wonderful time

    December 27, 2015 at 1:08 pm

  5. Sail away, bro.

    December 27, 2015 at 2:48 pm

  6. Sharon Johnson

    Rick, will look forward to reading your journal/blog of your around the world cruise. I had wondered why I had not seen a cruising blog from you recently. You will certainly enjoy visiting all the ports of call on your 4 month voyage. Make sure to read Typee before visiting Nuka Hiva. Since Melville wrote about his adventures on Nuka Hiva and his encounter with the Typee cannibals. For your first visit. It isn’t necessary to take a shore excursion. There is plenty to see just walking around the port. Also, they do have very unique jewelry made of seeds if you do any shopping for inexpensive gifts for friends and relatives. As for the rest of French Polynesia, you can take Le Truck around Tahiti and do lots of walking in the other ports. Do visit Bloody Mary’s and have a Hinao beer and fish burger. It’s an institution and a lovely walk. Or rent a bike and ride around Bora Bora. We walked to the top of a hill in Raiatea. In the Bay of Islands, take the first tender and walk to Pahia and then take the ferry to Russell. Auckland is very easy to get around–definitely easy for walkers such as yourself. Take the train or bus into Melbourne (shuttle). It is definitely easy to get around Melbourne. Be sure to see Cook’s cottage in the park. Sydney is another city that is easy to walk around. Darwin is walkable plus they have some kind of HOHO bus that could be used. As for Asia, we will be cruising in Asia from February through April while you ar finishing your trip around the world. Dubai has a HOHO as does Muscat. You might want to take a shore excursion in Salalah to see the Frankincense trail. Also definitely take a tour in Aqaba so that you can see Petra. Read as much as you can on Petra before you leave so that once you see the Treasury, you and your wife can take off to walk almost to the end of the main part of the city. The rest you are familiar with as you have already done the Grand Mediterrean cruise. Have a great trip. Will be looking forward to your blog, most of which I will read when we get home from our travels.

    December 27, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    • So glad to hear from you Sharon! It’s been a long time. And thanks for the advice. We have already read Typee (as you know, Mary is also a librarian, so we put a lot of effort into preparing with books & videos). We have plans plotted out for most of those sites, many of which include what you suggest here. Unfortunately we will not be visiting Raiatea or Bora Bora; maybe next time. Have a great trip in Asia & let us hear all about it when you return.

      December 27, 2015 at 6:37 pm

  7. Mary Ann

    I still think it is quite an exotic trip -looking forward to all the details

    December 28, 2015 at 1:32 pm

  8. Judy K.

    Did the Bleich’s live in Cleveland and own a dress shop in the eastern suburbs? I believe my high school girlfriend was Monroe’s wife. Safe travels!

    December 30, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    • Yes they did! His wife’s name was Lois. Small world!

      On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 4:59 PM, BADER JOURNAL wrote:

      >

      December 30, 2015 at 5:06 pm

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