"FUNCHAL" left the port of Goteborg on the 9.9.2013 on her way back to Lisbon, where she was expected to arrive on the 20.9.2013, this cruise was known as the "WINE CRUISE", the ship would visit well known Southern European Ports with easy access to wine regions, well known places for me so I decided to follow the ship by car throughout France, Spain and finally Portugal. After the failed attempts of reuniting with FUNCHAL in the UK, she cancelled calls at Leith and Tilbury, the first Continental European Port for me would be Le-Verdon-sur-Mer, since La Rochelle the day before was not part of my schedule. The best way to get to Le Verdon is if you travel from the north on the A10 is to take the ferry at Royan, there are departures every 45 minutes at this time of the year and the crossing takes 20 minutes. Le Verdon is a small village and the cruise terminal is about 4 kms away situated literally on the middle of nowhere, there are no public transports going there and even to find a taxi would be extremely difficult, Le Verdon is just over 100 kms from the city of Bordeaux, where passengers on cruise ships normally head to on organized excursions. To get to the Port was easy enough by car, the problem and big disappointment was to come, I could see the ship about 100 meters from me but access inside the Port was restricted, as it can be expected, my best persuading skills, if any, didn't result on this occasion, even the fact that I was a Portuguese Ships Enthusiast following a Portuguese ship for hundreds of miles didn't work with the Port's security, at the end I was kindly told where I could get near the ship and photograph through the fences, above is the result, not the reunion I was expecting but I was still happy nevertheless, later decided to wait for her departure, scheduled for 8pm, she was on time but already too dark for better photos. Images 16.9.2013


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