Quatorze Juillet (Bastille Day)

I am heading to France in a month.  Well, not the motherland, but one of the last vestiges of her colonial past, the isles de la Collectivité territoriale de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.  These small islands are the only remnants of the empire of New France that extended from Newfoundland to the Rocky Mountains.  Along the way I’ll circle Newfoundland and touch parts of Nova Scotia slowly heading for New York City on the maiden voyage of Silversea’s PRINCE ALBERT II, their new expedition ship.  My last such adventure was onboard Quark Expedition’ PROFESSOR MULTANOVSKIY in February of 2007.  Here are the two ships oceans apart and at somewhat similar scale:

pm_paii.jpgThe PROFESSOR MULTANOVSKIY is 256 ft. and the PRINCE ALBERT II is 354 ft.  Tonnage wise the PAII is just shy of four times the PM.  The crew to passenger ratio of the PM is 1:2.4 has been cut in half at 1:1.2 on the PRINCE ALBERT II.  The latter carrying a maximum of 132 passengers.

I had an absolutely grand time on the PROFESSOR MULTANOVSKIY, and I expect a lot more from this new ship, PRINCE ALBERT II.  For those that followed along with me on the last trip, I’ll be doing the same routine this time as well.  Daily dispatches from the ship and perhaps even a few photos along the way.

The first stop after boarding in St. Johns, Newfoundland will be at L’Anse aux Meadows (“Jelly Fish Cove”) where Leif Ericsson landed a thousand years ago.  Inasmuch as I visited the town (Eyrarbakki) in southern Iceland last year, where Bjarni Herjólfsson lived, who had sold his boat to Leif and given him some directions to the land west of Greenland that he accidentally  discovered (but did not land on) when he was trying to find Greenland in the year 985.  Columbus knew all of this, now you do too.  More to come….

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