I've started uploading pictures to my Picasa account; this will cover up until this morning. Not enough time right now to put in the full narrative but that will come later. https://picasaweb.google.com/1017265...eat=directlink will link to the pictures I've posted so far.
We arrived in Istanbul Saturday afternoon and had a pleasant evening. Sunday morning we wandered for a few hours before returning to the airport to fly to Cappadocia. We stayed 2 nights in a cave suite in Uchisar, driving around to numerous incredible sights. One more night in Kayseri to end it before flying back to Istanbul Wednesday (yesterday) morning.
We stayed on the ship Wednesday afternoon and rested up, enjoying the beautiful views rather than heading into the city for a short time. It's a bit of a pain to get back and forth from ship to city in Istanbul, and we were tired after running around in Cappadocia for 3 days. Sailaway at 6PM was gorgeous with the sunset and evening colors over the Old City.
Two major surprises: First, when we boarded yesterday, we found out that today's stop in Lesvos was canceled due to a bad weather forecast; the captain didn't think that tendering would be safe so he proactively changed the itinerary. We will instead have a sea day today. Instead of the scheduled sea day on Saturday, we'll have an extra stop in Marmaris (Turkey) on the way between Kusadasi and Alanya. So is it an even trade? We will see...
Second surprise - the ship is probably half full, at most. Wonder why? The dining room last night was a ghost town. The safety drill was quick and painless, without the usual crowding in the Panorama Lounge. The staff to guest ratio is probably 2:1. This will be a very interesting experience!
Off to the Welcome party now - more to follow as time allows!
Last: Silver Explorer - Along the Humboldt Current, Guayaquil to Valparaíso - Oct 2017 (review)
Future bookings - come join us!
Silver Wind - #2828, Copenhagen to Tower Bridge - Sept 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition - #1918, Reykjavik to Reykjavik - August 2019
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016 (photo review)
SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)
Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (pics)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - Dec 09 (pics)