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SeaDream I - SeaDream Yacht Club - cruise ship review and photos.

If it's Sunday, this must be Corsica. WRONG!! Due to strong winds, Captain Valter Berg has decided to change SeaDream I's itinerary and first head for the Italian island of Elba. 

Arriving at Portoferraio, Elba SeaDream I arrives at Portoferraio

Portoferraio, Elba

   Arrival at Portoferraio

By 9AM SeaDream I approaches the picture-perfect harbor of Portoferraio, the island's main town. Although the sun shines brilliantly, the wind is cold and with predicted highs of 55F / 12C sweaters and jackets are essential today.

Elba has many beaches
Elba

Elba's claim to fame is undoubtedly the stay of Napoleon on the island in 1814. After having been exiled from France he was officially named sovereign of this island but after 300 days he managed to escape and return to France.

Chair with a view SeaDream I at Elba
Prime viewing location     SeaDream I at Elba

Nowadays, Napoleon's house has been turned into a museum which attracts many visitors, just like Elba's clear waters, pristine beaches and Italian 'dolce far niente' atmosphere. 

 

If the weather had been better, our yacht's water sports platform might have been used at Elba. But with the prevailing cold front  the temperature is way too low to take to the water. 

Bike-to-go on SeaDream's open deck Getting ready to discover Elba by bike
Pick a bike...    ...and peddle off!

So instead we peddle away on another SeaDream exclusive. Each yacht carries a number of mountain bikes that can be borrowed by the guests in all ports of call. We just walk to the gangway, tell the watchman that we like to use the bikes and voila ... off we go. What a great way to discover a port of call!

Portoferraio, Elba
Biker's view of Portoferraio
 

Just a short walk from our yacht is the old town of Portoferraio, located on a peninsula jutting out in the bay. Guarded by a fortress and a distinct pink lighthouse, the maze of alleys and stairways exude that typical Italian atmosphere that I like so much. However, on this chilly Sunday in October the tourist season is all but over and most shops remain closed for the day.  

Portoferraio, Elba
Portoferraio

Still, locals can be seen parading along the marina, dressed in winter clothes, sipping their espresso's and discussing the latest news.

Portoferraio Marina Portoferraio Panorama

Portoferraio

  Portoferraio panorama

This is island life at its best and once TW and I have seen all there is to see in the old town we sit down in a trendy waterfront café and order some strong Italian coffees ourselves. 

Ships galore at Elba Portoferraio, Elba
Parade of ships   Portoferraio old port

This is the good life! Sitting here in Portoferraio on a Sunday, watching the Italians go about their usual routines. But hold on, is it that time  already?

The pre-dinner scenario on board SeaDream I is very straightforward. After a full day exploring yet another picturesque port of call, all yachters congregate in the Main Salon before dinner. The mood is relaxed yet upbeat, the champagne flows freely and the stylish hors d'oevres are tasteful, imaginative and plentiful. 

Oysters as a pre-dinner snack Main Salon - Deck 3
Oysters before dinner   Main Salon

With a glass in one hand and a bite in the other, it is all too easy to get to know your fellow yachters and compare notes on the ports of call.

Lively cocktail hour in the Main Salon
Lively cocktail hour in the Main Salon

At 7pm sharp, Club & Activities Director Linda Mueller enters the stage for a short talk about coming events, the weather and what not. Informal and typical of SeaDream, this talk is attended by most and invariably followed by dinner in the Dining Room one deck down. 

 

 

Photos and text: © 2007-2008 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on January 6, 2008

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