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Brodick, Greenock, and 1245 Nautical Miles of Adventure
This morning, I find myself aboard Silversea’s Silver Explorer for a few more hours here in the port of Greenock, Scotland, where Voyage 7212: Blooming Gardens & Medieval Castles draws to a close. It’s the first cloudy, overcast day we have encountered since our call to Waterford, Ireland exactly one week ago, and a reminder of how fortunate we were these past 11 days.
Yesterday, we let our starboard anchor go and held position off the small town of Brodick, in Scotland’s Isle of Arran. And I had every intention yesterday of posting a full description of what was done and experienced during our time here, but our glorious last evening aboard the Silver Explorer got in the way.
At 5pm, passengers journeyed to the Theatre to watch Expedition photographer/videographer Ray’s DVD compilation of our voyage. In a past life, I was a professional film & television editor, so I know the kind of herculean effort that goes into shooting – and more importantly editing – something of this magnitude.
Available for $150, the DVD is an invaluable keepsake for those who prefer not to be tied to their cameras. And watching it, I was struck by just how much we all had done in the past 11 days. From embarkation in Portsmouth right through to our magical day on Staffa and Iona, it was all there for us to remember the voyage by, and in some cases, to see what we’d missed along the way.
If $150 sounds like a lot of money, you’d be right – it is. But, on the other hand, the vast majority of us will never edit or compile our vacation photos and videos in this way, and to have a packaged DVD that you can just pop in a player and show family and friends your adventure – now that’s cool.
Following that was the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail party, also held in the Theatre. I think I managed to find time to run down to my suite and change into my suit before coming back to a glass of scotch whisky waiting for me, served by Silver Explorer’s always-smiling bar team.
After that, it was off to an elegant dinner in The Restaurant on Deck 4, which had some of the most elaborate items of the entire cruise. It was tasty, filling and surrounded by memorable company – just as any good meal should be.
With dinner finished, I made my way to the Panorama Lounge for one last drink (or two) with some new friends. The lounge was busy at first, then gradually died out as other guests retired for the evening. But there’s something decidedly wonderful about just sitting off to a corner in that cozy room, gazing out at the ocean, and sipping the last drops of a martini over some good conversation. Intimate spaces like that just aren’t found on larger ships, and it’s one of the best features of any Silversea ship but perhaps moreso here onboard the Silver Explorer.
Before I knew it, it was midnight. I’d taken roughly 200 photographs of my day in Brodick, but I hadn’t written a word down. Simply put, I was having a wonderful day soaking in as much of the Silver Explorer experience as possible.
So let’s talk about Brodick for a minute!
Brodick, Scotland was a wonderful little town full of Scottish charm and friendliness. We made the trek over to Brodick Castle, which offers over 600 years of history coupled with acres of beautifully-maintained gardens. Best of all, we were able to wander the grounds at our leisure, and I like that there’s a nice mix of guided and non-guided shore offerings on Silversea’s expedition product.
And while I enjoyed rambling around the grounds of the Castle and within Brodick itself, I had the burning desire to rush back to the Silver Explorer the way someone might run back to a long-lost friend.
I’ve written before of how tough I find it to leave a Silversea vessel, and that “problem” is only magnified here aboard the Silver Explorer, as I struggle to run around to say goodbye to the guests who I have met and the crew who have done so much for me over the past 11 days. The more you sail with the line, the more you get to know these people – and they, you – and suddenly you go from being passengers and crew to friends and family. Because that’s what the Silver Explorer is: a small family gone to sea.
Today was difficult. I know that, someday, I will be back, but it was difficult nonetheless.
I came here with a lot of knowledge about the Expedition product Silversea offers here onboard the Silver Explorer, but I had no idea – not even the faintest – of how impactful it would be. It changed my life, and that’s not empty praise. I do not see how anyone could come onboard one of these expeditions and not just be moved to tears by the experience, and I will stick behind that one hundred percent.
There are experiences in life that are priceless. This has been one of them.
Our Live Voyage Report from aboard Silversea’s adventurous Silver Explorer has sadly come to a close, as we travel home to Canada. But check back on Friday, June 1 for a full recap of this exciting voyage!
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