Monday, 20 May 2013

Fred Olsen Thinking 'Espionage'!


Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering a winter sunshine cruise with a difference this December, perfect for those who have always wanted to find out what the ‘real’ James Bond is like!  

Black Watch’s 10-night ‘Africa & Algarve’ cruise, departing from Southampton on December 10, will offer an intriguing theme of ‘Espionage’, through the line’s award-winning onboard enrichment programme, Vistas. This fascinating topic will be hosted on board by Cold War specialist, Major General Peter Williams, as the cruise visits the attractive coasts of Portugal, Spain and Morocco, where it visits Tangier, with its legendary reputation for international spying.

After studying History at Cambridge University, Major General Williams spent more than 30 years in the British Army (Coldstream Guards) and enjoyed an unusually varied career. As an Infantryman, he carried out ceremonial duties in London, spent two years in the mountains of Oman, served twice in Northern Ireland and commanded an armoured infantry battalion based in Münster, Germany. In the early 1990s, he wrote speeches for the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, an American General. During the Cold War, he specialised in intelligence. After studying Russian and German, he spent more than four years in the 1980s in Berlin and East Germany, in effect working as a military spy.
This spy-themed cruise visits some very attractive ports in Portugal, Spain and Morocco. First is Portugal’s elegant capital, Lisbon. Its many palaces, gardens, churches and cafés offer a mix of attractive architectural styles; the Ponte 25 Abril is very similar in design to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The next port, Portimăo in the Algarve, is a relaxed seaside town at the centre of the local sardine industry, so there is no shortage of fine seafood restaurants and cafés to enjoy, alongside the pretty harbour.

Next stop is Gibraltar, ever-popular with visitors from the UK, who enjoy its British ambiance, but with much better weather than we enjoy at home! The next port, Ceuta, is an autonomous Spanish enclave in North Africa; here, Monte Hacho offers panoramic views of the city and its coast, with views across to Gibraltar. It is a unique blend of African and European influences.

Tangier, in Morocco, is the next port, and is ideally-suited to a cruise with an ‘Espionage’ theme. It is said to have a legendary spying history, and has often been used as the location for spy fiction and films – including two James Bond films, and, most recently, ‘Inception’ in 2010, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio.
The last call on this sunny winter cruise is the Spanish port of La Coruna, with its array of architectural styles, from the medieval to the modernist. The Torre de Hercules, believed to be the world’s oldest lighthouse, towers over the shoreline. There is also a scenic old quarter that is well worth a visit, with fine galleries and museums. Black Watch then returns to Southampton.

Prices for this most unusual cruise start from £899 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside, twin cabin Grade ‘I. This price includes all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes, as well as all Major General Williams' Vistas talks and lectures.
For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's cruise-agent specialists.