Your Letters

Closer Magazine Winter 2013-14

YOUR LETTERS Your Letters Our thanks to everyone who submitted letters and in particular to the authors of those published on the right. We greatly appreciate the positive feedback! WD ebIeNnh aAms £Vo5u0ch er Email foclcloser@fredolsen.co.uk with your favourite experiences of Fred. Olsen and any reviews on the destinations you’ve visited that you’d like to share. There’s the chance to win the Star Letter prize and appear in the spring issue of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Closer Magazine. For the latest news and special offers, follow Fred. Olsen on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, or visit www.fredolsencruises.com 64 www.fredolsencruises.com Return to Balmoral Soon after our enjoyable Canaries and Madeira cruise in December 2011 we chose to be adventurous and voyage in more distant seas. Barely two months’ had gone by as we flew out to Santiago to rejoin MS Balmoral for the third leg of her New World Voyage from Valparaiso in Chile to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The itinerary was exciting – the prospect of sailing round the ‘end of the world’ at Cape Horn and visiting the Falkland Islands made this trip extra special. As keen birdwatchers, we were soon on deck getting to grips with the identification of several species of unfamiliar seabirds that frequented the vast commercial harbour at Valparaiso. Three types of cormorants associated with gulls, huge Peruvian Pelicans and Peruvian Boobies were active off the fish quay. Tomorrow we would be in the Pacific, heading south along the plankton-rich Humboldt Current and sailing amongst flocks of petrels and shearwaters, interspersed with several species of albatross. Despite weeks of studying relevant field guides we found it initially difficult to differentiate between the Masatierra Petrels and the Juan Fernando Petrels. Many more species were to appear on the cruise and overall we observed 45 kinds of seabird and 117 species of birds in general. Whales and dolphins provided additional attractions as they passed alongside the ship against a back-drop of stunning Patagonian snow-capped mountains. We were fascinated by Cape Horn as its scenery reminded us of Fair Isle, the UK island situated between Shetland and Orkney. Incredibly, Sooty Shearwaters, which breed on islands in the southern oceans, can be seen passing both iconic outposts as they travel around the seas. The ports of call were all of great interest but we rated our visit to Port Stanley as the highlight. Apart from appreciating the history and attractions of the place we were enthralled by the Gentoo Penguins as we watched them emerge from the surf and waddle their way up the track to their colony at Bluff Cove. A visit to the vibrant city of Montevideo with its tall imposing buildings was well contrasted with the gentle pace of Punte del Este, a modern laid-back holiday resort on the Uruguayan coast. Sandwiched between the non-stop buzz of Santos and Rio was a relaxing day on the unspoilt island paradise of Ilhabela. This was indeed a cruise for everyone. On both cruises we felt most welcome and made many new friends. We have since watched television reports with pride as ‘our ship’ became more widelyknown through its Titanic centenary voyage. Malcolm & Audrey Calvert S TA R LETTER


Closer Magazine Winter 2013-14
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