A Nautical Nomad

4 April 2023

So , off on my travels again and this time a round Britain cruise where I will visit several places I frequently visited in my touring days , taking visitors arriving in Scotland around this beautiful country.

First time I have cruised out of Tilbury so was somewhat wary regarding accommodation there and transport to there.

I opted for a flight from Dundee Airport to London City Airport with an overnight at a convenient hotel near the airport with the rest of the journey to Tilbury to be completed the next morning.

Landing at London City Airport

Flight from Dundee was a very pleasant experience with a 5-minute drive from my house to the airport and a half-hour wait before check-in, followed by a 2-hour flight in a turbo-prop into London City Airport.

Day two and a transfer From London City DLR station via West Ham to Tilbury. There is a bus leaves from directly outside the rail station to the Cruise terminal but as I had plenty of time I decided to walk, which took about 20 minutes, and took me through the delightful scenery of Tilbury docks.

There is not a lot of history associated with Tilbury apart from the defences which were set up after the confrontation with the Spanish Armada in 1588. This was when Frances Drake was supposed to have delayed sailing to fight the Armada because he was playing a game of bowls. Well he didn’t, that is one of the more nonsensical stories that found their way into history books.

There was a battle that took place off the coast of France near Calais and only a couple of ships were damaged. This, is because the commander of the Spanish Armada was incompetent. However, the Spanish Armada sailed north and about 24 of the ships were lost because of the Scottish weather. Coincidently, one of them sank near one of the places we are to visit on this trip and that is Mull where a Spanish Gallion sank in the bay at Craignure, near Duart Castle.

I digress, so boarding went very well and a quick look around the ship was very encouraging as although I knew this ship had changed hands several times and was indeed, quite an old ship I had had my reservations as to what it was going to be like. The other thing I had at the back of my mind was that the company that owned the cruise line was run by the same people who ran Cruise Maritime, a company which went down a few years ago and which I had had a couple of cruising experiences with, one of which was definitely not good. However, the ship is pristine and the conversion it has had is excellent.

Day one on board was pleasant as we sailed down the Themes and into the English Channel, turning North and heading to the first stop which will be  Kirkwall on Orkney. Nice dinner last night, apart from a very strange ice cream Sundae but the peasant company made up for it, followed by a couple of beers in one of the bars that had an excellent piano player then off to the obligatory disco, unfortunately, the disco closed at one o’clock, probably due to the number of elderly patrons lying about the floor due to various medical emergency’s brought on by overexertion on the dance floor. It brought a new meaning to the Song “ Save the last dance for Me.”   

Today has been a day at sea and time taken to catch up on social media and drink coffee. Looking forward to visiting Kirkwall once again as I have many times during my touring days of Scotland.



Author: bobsblog.scot

I have been in business for well over half a century but I learn something new every day. My politics are the middle of the road. I believe that the far-right and far-left are equally harmful. Jim Murphy ( at that time, leader of the Scottish Labour party) asked me if I called myself a socialist. I said, "no Jim, I am not a socialist, I am a capitalist, but a capitalist with a social conscience.

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