- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

13 April 2019: Salalah, Oman.

Today we had a later arrival as the ship is staying until late in the evening to facilitate a dancing under the Stars program. There is not much reason to arrive any earlier as Salalah is an industrial port so it takes quite a bit of effort to get away from that port and into civilization, either old or new. And for that we have the various tours. In this area there are only two options. Either tours to the city which include looking at the Sultan’s palace, visiting the Sook and driving through the more greener area of the place; Or go and visits Job’s Tomb. This is the Job from the Old Testament and who is important to both the Christian and the Muslim faith, hence his tomb has been preserved very well.  But today we had a lot of guests who happily stayed on board and lounged about on the balconies or around the pool. I cannot disagree with them; there is only so much sand you can handle during a cruise. No doubt after having been well rested today, they will be out in force this evening for this party under the stars.

The cargo port and we were docked at the Bulk Terminal with piles of aggregates all around us. Here the bulkcarrier Global Falcon is busy loading by using its own cargo gear.

There is no cruise terminal in Salalah as the port is really geared up for cargo ships. That means that you can view the cargo operations which you otherwise seldom see. In front of us we had the Global Falcon (https://www.vesselfinder.com/vessels/GLOBAL-FALCON-IMO-9401843-MMSI-371087000) a bulk carrier which was busy with loading stones and gravel. Luckily it was not windy today and thus the ship did not get covered in a fine layer of dust. Especially nowadays with so many balconies on board the cruise ships, it is very very difficult to get it all off the ship again.  Still for the ship the place has its advantages.  Loading fuel and lubrication oil for a very good price is not something the company will let slip through its hands.

Godmother Elaine Page with to the left Captain Stig Betten and to the right the ships Staff Captain.

I mentioned yesterday that I had never heard the name of this West End singer before who performed last night. But there is another one, who  I do know and that is Elaine Page. I saw her myself on stage in 1983 when she performed in Evita in the West End and from then onwards she became a World Star on the musical scene. She is now more into Acting, Touring and Broadcasting than Stage work and she has a Sunday program on the BBC with musical tunes. Why do I mention her? Because she is the Godmother of the Seabourn Ovation.  When the ship came into service, on April 27, 2018 it was without a christening as is normal nowadays. Instead she was dedicated on 11 May 2018 in Valetta which is a great setting to do something like that as the Grand Harbor really towers over the ship and provides a really majestic background.  With so many cruise ships arriving on the scene (until 2027 we still have more than a 100 to come) it is getting quite hard to find a special Godmother. Holland America selected Oprah Winfrey for the Nieuw Statendam as she is well-known among the among American guests and thus did Seabourn choose Elaine Paige as the crowd on the Seabourn Ships is very international and Elaine Page is very well-known in the British Commonwealth and parts of Europe.  For Holland America the name of the 3rd ship has just been announced, the ms Ryndam, and it will be very interesting to find out who will get the honor to dedicate her. Little hint for the company, our Crown Princess Amalia of the Netherlands will be 18 in 2021 so why not continue a tradition that began in 1936 with Queen Wilhelmina………………

The route for the coming days. Sailing into the Red Sea, heading in the general direction of the Suez Canal. (Diagram courtesy Google Maps)

We will leave from here around 22.00 hrs. and then we will spend five days at sea while sailing up the Red Sea heading for Aqaba or with the official spelling  Al’Aqabah. Tomorrow will also be the last day in the Piracy High Risk area but our extra security team did not see anything exciting until now. Once we are in the Gulf of Aden we will be back to the normal security standards and look-out routines. Still it is better to be safe than sorry as an outside security team on board does help. It is widely known in the maritime world which ships have them on board and which ships don’t.

The weather is getting monotonous; Dry, hot and sunny. I hope for a little breeze, although it will not be a cool breeze during the day.

The Seabourn Ovation arriving in Valletta’s Grand Harbour for the dedication. It is very hard to get a better setting for the ship than this. (Photo Courtesy, Seabourn Cruise Lines)

1 Comment

  1. Especially enjoying your posts for this cruise. Thank you so much for doing them. Enjoy!

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