Christmas Cruise cont:
This is the second part of my Christmas Cruise to the Canary Islands and Madeira.  The first part with pictures was included in the February issue of The Costa Cálida Chronicle

Following a direct flight from Alicante, I boarded ‘Zenith’ at Tenerife on Sunday 23rd December, with an evening departure destined for the island of La Palma.  Arrived the following morning Monday 24th, we were there until late afternoon, sailing for Funchal, Madeira.

My friend Sergio, who lives in that beautiful island of Madeira, greeted me at the foot of the gangway and being Christmas Day, I was graciously invited to spend the day with his family, which included a most wonderful turkey lunch. As per pictures included in last month’s edition, Sergio gave me an evening tour in his ‘Mini Cooper’. Almost each central street contains stupendous illuminations during the month of December every year.

Madeira is a most beautiful island, with wonderful scenery and it is highly recommended for visiting at any time of the year.  
We departed Funchal late evening and were at sea for all of Boxing Day, arriving at Agadir, Morocco, North Africa early morning on the 27th December.  There I took a coach excursion to an inland city, where if you have not visited the country previously, this has to be seen for their different way of life and it is reported to have become a popular tourist destination.  Unfortunately the pictures I took, I lost the following day when transferring to a memory stick!

Departing Agadir early evening, it was an overnight passage to Lanzarote – another island well worth visiting. We experienced excellent weather, as we did throughout the cruise.

After an evening departure and an overnight passage we arrived in Gran Canaria early the following morning.  This cruise terminal is immediately adjacent to a large shopping area, proving very popular with lady passengers on board, with husbands being dragged along! Again this is another island that should be visited with its wonderful scenery.

This was ideal for me due to the number of other cruise ships in port together with two ‘tall ship’ sailing vessels alongside on that particular day. One was the UK Sail Training vessel, ‘Lord Nelson’ that I know particularly well, having acted as Port Agent when it visited the UK previously. This ship and its sister vessel ‘Tenacious’, for which I also had the pleasure of acting as Port Agent in the UK,  is owned by Jubilee Sailing Trust – a registered charity,  both ships were purposely built to enable  physically disabled and able bodied persons to sail together. (Details of this charity are available on the internet)

On my picture ‘Lord Nelson’ can be seen aft of the slightly larger Norwegian registered ‘Christian Radich’.

Once again it was an evening departure, this time destined to return to Tenerife for the following day return flight to Alicante.

In summary it was a wonderful cruise; excellent itinerary and islands recommended for visiting at any time of the year.  The ship, as are other vessels operated by Pullmantur, of which I have cruised on many, is extremely comfortable, with good food and excellent service.