Day 1 |
May 03, 2011

Lisbon, Portugal

By Claudia Holgate, Climatologist

Co-ordinates: 38º 42’ N, 09º 07’ W
Weather: Sunny to partly cloudy
Air Temperature: 21C

Today we arrived in Lisbon in the late morning after leaving dry dock in Setubal last night. The crew had been working through the night to get the suites ready and by 3pm we were as ready as ever. Guests started embarking at 1pm and were treated to a lovely lunch in The Restaurant and had a chance to relax on board.

We had our mandatory lifeboat drill and safety briefing at 5:30pm, which was followed by sail away at 6:30pm. It was a gorgeous day outside, with the sun shining and gulls and gannets flying past. Most of the guests were out on deck enjoying the view as we sailed down the Targus river, where we saw, the Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square), the monument to Christ the King (Cristo Rei), the Praça do Império with the Jerónimos Monastery, Monument to the Discoveries and Torre de Belém. Most impressive to me was going under the Ponte 25 de Abril (25 April Bridge), which makes an incredible sound from the cars and trains crossing the grid iron supports of the bridge.

Shortly after leaving, Hans-Peter, our Expedition Leader, introduced all the heads of departments and gave the Expedition Team members a chance to introduce themselves, as well as to give a short briefing on our activities in Oporto tomorrow.

Everyone was buoyed with anticipation of the next two weeks. This voyage promises to be an extraordinary experience, visiting many amazing places. By the end of the briefing, everyone was ready to go up to The Restaurant to enjoy their first experience of the fantastic gourmet fare on offer every dinner time. I am sure this is the start of a magical trip.