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Pole to Pole

Day 51: Limassol to Port Said

Mediterannean Sea 
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Michael Palin - Pole to PoleToday we embark on the last stage of our zig-zag progress across the Mediterranean, aboard the Princesa Marissa, a Cyprus-registered, 9500-ton vessel built in Finland in 1966, which now operates a two-day 'fun-filled' cruise from the 'Island of Aphrodite' to the 'Land of the Pharaohs'. As the fun-filled cruise costs a mere £100 all-in it's well subscribed, mainly by the British, who make up around 600 of the 750 passengers on board.

The party begins on embarkation as we are given a brochure with a programme of events: 'Enjoy the sailaway music of the Duo Zorba on Deck 7' . . . 'Relax to the sounds of Rainbow in the Ledra Lounge'.

The constant pounding of disco music above and below decks is broken only by loudspeaker announcements which all seem to feature the phrase 'Deck Sexy'. It turns out to be the Greek for Deck 6. A voluble Filipino steward shows me to my spacious cabin, complete with bath. 'Anything you want, you ask for Johnny,' he keeps repeating. I never see him again.

The journey due south to Port Said is a distance of 203 nautical miles, and will take fifteen and a half hours. Somewhere at sea we shall cross the thirty degree meridian, curling round to come in at Port Said at 31.17 East. Kill some of this time at the Gala Show, which features the impressively hard-working Melody Dancers, a group of showgirls who, backed by a Polish band, climax their act with a cancan of extraordinary athleticism and energy.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 51
  • Country/sea: Mediterranean Sea
  • Place: Mediterranean Sea
  • Book page no: 114

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