WELCOME TO WALVIS BAY, NAMIBIA
Happy St. Patrick’s Day From Crystal Serenity.
We began last evening with a pre-dinner drink at Palm Court with fellow guest Robin. We enjoyed a lovely conversation.
These are the menus from Waterside.
We dined at the Italian Specialty Restaurant Prego. The menu has been revised for this segment of the World Cruise lithe some new items.
We dined at the Italian Specialty Restaurant Prego. The menu has been revised for this segment of the World Cruise lithe some new items. Our waiter was Petar who took wonderful care of us along with Specialty Restaurant Maitre d’ Paolo and Head Waiter Mario. Dining at Prego is similar to dining at a small town restaurant in a town or village.
We tried some of the new items. I had the Assorted Antipasti Plate and Anne Marie had the Warm Sage – Butter Poached Lobster. Both were perfect and are new items. For our next course we had the Caesar Salad. Our entrée was a new item which was a Pistachio Crusted Grilled Kingklip. The fish came out hot and moist and was very flavorful with the minestrone which accompanied it.
The featured entertainment was two showings of My Life: The Music of Billy Joel performed by James Fox. This is a very exciting and upbeat show and a wonderful tribute to Billy Joel.
We slept well as we sailed to Walvis Bay. The sea was relatively calm and the gentle rocking of the ship made it easy to fall asleep.
We began the day like we always do with an early morning workout for Keith followed by Coffee and Breakfast in our room.
Today marked our third visit to Walvis Bay. On our first visit in 2007 we did a Crystal Cruises tour.
Walvis Bay is a combination of desert and ocean and was settled in 187 by Commander Richard Dryer who took possession and settlement of the area under Queen Victoria’s name. In 1994 the area was incorporated into the Republic of Namibia. It is home to 67,000 residents.
Major attractions include:
Civic Center which is home to the Walvis Bay Museum that documents the town’s history.
Rheinish Mission Church which was assembled from prefabricated wood which came from Hamburg, Germany in 1880. It is the oldest building still standing in Walvis Bay.
Dune 7 which is the highest of several dunes in Namibia. It was measured at a height of 1,256 feet. Why its name? This is because it is the seventh dune that one encounters after crossing the river Tsauchab.
The Laggoon which is located southwest of Walvis Bay provides a wonderful opportunity for Flamingo Viewing.
Sandwich Harbour which is located 50 miles from Walvis Bay and is known for its birdlife.
Swakopmund which is a seaside town with many cafes and restaurants located 22 miles from Walvis Bay.
A couple of photos from our arrival. It was overcast and had rained earlier.
Walvis Bay is a place where if you want to visit sites it is best to take a tour.
There was a shuttle which took you to a shopping mall. On one of our visits we were docked in a location where we walked along the coast and we saw several flamingos. Unfortunately, we were docked in an area not easily accessible to where we visited before.
Surprisingly it was brisk and overcast given where we are visiting.
Anne Marie stayed on the ship and walked for an hour and worked on knitting while Keith went off briefly. This is a container port and the area near the ship was filled with tour vehicles. Keith carefully made his way out of the port and walked for a little while. Some of the streets were desolate other than for some taxis and one or two people and Keith made the executive decision to turn back. He did stop and spoke with a few locals who were selling various items. He made some donations before heading back to the ship.
Back on the ship Keith visited with some friends who we know from prior cruises who are on-board. This included Ernie and Val and the Schofields. Before going ashore Keith spoke with friends Jim and Rob. One of the nice aspects of cruising is making friends and also seeing them on other cruises. We first met Ernie and Val our very first time on Crystal Serenity in 2005 through mutual friends Alan and Helen. We were looking to do something special in 2007 to celebrate a milestone anniversary and thinking of a 30 day voyage on another cruise line. After two meals with Ernie and Val who a few months earlier had completed World Cruise 2005 they had us sold on taking our first World Cruise and before the ship we put in a waitlist deposit for the 2007 World Cruise before knowing the itinerary. As they say the rest is history.
We enjoyed lunch at the Marketplace.
These are desserts from yesterday's lunch at Waterside. The one that got Anne Marie's attention was the Chocolate Mousse Cup.
We are enjoying the rest of the afternoon on-board the ship including walking (Anne Marie), paddle tennis (Keith) and enjoying the company of fellow guests and the wonderful members of the crew. While Keith was playing Paddle Tennis the sun came out and it turned out to be a gorgeous afternoon. Fun to be outside. Fun to be on the ship. It's all great.
Following is the daily Reflections Program from today.
Anne Marie & Keith
WECLOME TO LUDERITZ, NAMIBIA
Thank you Wili for your nice comments.
We wanted to begin by mentioned that after we posted yesterday we watched the lectur given yesterday by Daniel Silke about Africa. In terms of sheer size he noted you can fit the USA, UK, Japan, China and India inside Africa. In fact, the UK would fit inside Madagascar. He mentioned that Sengal represents the change to the modern Africa and that in many countries the infrastructure is improving. Some of the economic investment comes from China who is making major investments. At the same time he noted there are stability challenges in some of the countries with political unrest.
Many foreign countries are investing because of the high growth across Africa. At the same time tourism continues to increase with many foreigners visiting the continent in record numbers.
Foreign countries are building Embassies with China having Embassies in 52 of the 54 jurisdictions.
Trade with China is up 226% in the last ten years and trade with India has grown even greater. Other countries investing include Turkey. At the same time USA trade is down marginally. China is looking to have power in the continent. He also explained that many of the countries have large amounts of debt with country relative to all other countries. This is something to think about as China continues to have influence on the continent in the coming years.
Economic growth in Africa is second to Asia although it starts with a much smaller overall GDP.
About ten countries are experiencing high growth but some countries such as South Africa are doing poorly economically and have other issues such as power outages.
In terms of population Africa will overtake Asia by the end of the century. In fact, 37% of the projected growth in population will occur in Africa.
At the same time there are major challenge. For example, Africa as a whole will need to create 18 million jobs per year to keep up with the growing population. They will have to add significantly greater infrastructure. The question is can they do what other countries have done such as creating an environment for foreign investors to come in far greater numbers to increase their manufacturing capabilities similar to what China has done.
Our takeaway is three-fold. One is that in our own country we are not covering much of what is taking place around the world with Africa as an example. Secondly, while other countries are making investments in the continent and focused on trade our country appears to be sitting back. Third,while Africa has many challenges we are reminded that China faced some of the same issues before countries like our own began trading with them which helped to spurn major growth in their country. Will they achieve similar successes economically? Time will tell.
Switching gears, last evening was Black Tie Optional (BTO) night. We began the evening by attending the Captain's Reception. On most voyages there are now one reception which is the Crystal Society Reception. This voyage is unique in terms of its overall length and it being the last segment of the World Cruise so it was very nice that the reception was held. In addition, Captain Birger has returned to Serenity as Captain Giske went on a well-deserved Holiday.
One can enter the reception from one of two entrances. If they come through the main entrance they will be greeted by Crystal Society Hostess Alissa and they can say hello and have a photo taken with the Captain and see some of the other senior officers such as the Hotel Director and Cruise Director.
The other option is to use the other entrance to expedite getting inside.
We enjoy these receptions. There is a live band on-hand and the opportunity for guests to dance.
Captain Birger spoke with everyone which is always nice. He also introduced the Senior Officers; Vice Captain Juan Fernandez, Chief Engineer Robert Bayfield, Hotel Director Scott Peterson and Cruise Director Rick Spath. The doctor was introduced but we didn't get his name. This is his first time with Crystal Cruises.
Anne Marie with Crystal Society Hostess Alissa.
We dined at Waterside for the third consecutive night.
We enjoyed a wonderful meal. Caviar for Keith and an Eggplant Appetizer for Anne Marie followed by a salad and lobster as our entree.
Photo of the two of us with Sommelier Donovan.
We tried a Cabernet that Crystal just brought on board from South Africa which we enjoyed.
The headline entertainer was Steffan Mullan, a Classical Crossover Artist, who performed two shows at 7:45 and 9:30 PM.
We slept very well as we continued sailing to Luderitz, Namibia.
We kept to the regular routine of an early morning workout for Keith followed by Coffee and Breakfast in our room.
We arrived to Luderitz, Namibia in the morning.
We have been to Namibia on two prior occasions but this is our fist visit to this town. The town is small with a population of less than 15,000 people
Major attractions include:
Luderitz Museum founded in 1966 which provides an extensive collection of artifacts relating to local history.
Felsen Church constructed in 1912 and was proclaimed a national monument in 1978.
Grober Haus which was originally the home of Lieutenant Hans George.
Bismack Street which is the town's Main Street with many historical buildings and shops.
Kolmanskop which is a ghost town located six miles from Luderitz.
We took the tender ashore. Within tour planned for today we walked around for awhile. We went into a couple of places including a local food store and went by the church.
Anne Marie with the local Penguin (LOL). We also turned the table or is that the camera onto Photography Manager Neil Roberts.
Enjoyed the rest of the day on-board Serenity.
This included walking together, paddle tennis, lunch at Waterside and having conversations with fellow guests and the wonder members of Team Crystal Serenity.
While walking we ran into Journalist and 2009 Pulitzer Prize Winner Eugene Robinson and his wife Avis. We spoke with them for quite awhile. This is their first time on-board Crystal Cruises and he is on-board as part of the enrichment program.
We wanted to close by saying that the last two weeks Anne Marie began her first knitting project of this cruise and made a shawl. She is now working on her second shawl of the cruise.
This is the daily Reflections Program for today.
Anne Marie & Keith