I've given up trying to sleep on trans-Atlantic flights; I guess I'm just too excited. So I carry plenty of reading materials and a laptop to pass the time. Occasionally I pace the plane, climbing over or around the dangling limbs that have slumped into the aisle from a fellow passenger who has somehow managed to nod off.
Right now, I'm somewhere off the southern coast of Iceland, and it's 4:00 am, local time. The cabin of our 777 is quiet and dark, but for the occasional reading lamp. From the ocean below, we are a speck of light moving 8 miles a minute, from the new world to the old.
In a few hours, we'll touch down in Paris and connect to our flight to Barcelona. It will be good to return to Spain, even for a day. Barcelona is one of the world's great cities, a blend of the modern and the historic, and it is there that we will board our ship, the Silver Whisper, for a Mediterranean cruise.
As I write this in 2004, the Silver Whisper is the newest ship of Silversea Cruises, a 6-star line celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Silversea was started by the former owners of Sitmar Cruises, a popular, 5-star cruise line that was bought and absorbed by competitor Princess Cruises in 1989.
I've never had the pleasure of sailing Silversea, but I've heard great things about the company, and the line has won numerous "World's Best" awards. The Silver Whisper was launched in 2001 and you get an idea of the kind of pampering to expect when you realize the ship has almost as many crew members (295) as passengers (382). All accommodations are oceanview suites, and many things that cost extra on other lines are included in the price of a Silversea cruise. I'll be checking in later with a live report from the Internet cafe onboard the Silver Whisper.
It's been nearly a year since I felt the sea under me, smelled the salt air, and watched the land fade from view. For me, nothing else can compare.
Now the trip is underway, at last, and I can hardly contain myself. How can anyone sleep at a time like this?
I think I'll take another stroll down the aisle.
Vacations To Go
Back to Back on Silversea & Crystal, Part 2: The Olympic Spirit Is Alive
Back to Back on Silversea & Crystal, Part 3: It's Okay to Go
Back to Back on Silversea & Crystal, Part 4: Benefits of Cruising with Crystal
Back to Back on Silversea & Crystal, Part 5: Dubrovnik, Croatia