2009 World Cruise – The early afternoon of our second day at sea out of Île Des Pins the Captain announced that we would be going at full speed (22 knots) to Sydney due to a medical emergency. This meant that we would arrive about midnight instead of the planned 7 am the next day. John and I went to the movie that night and then went out onto the bow deck for the sail-in. We entered Sydney Harbour about 11:30 PM against a fierce, cold wind. We were freezing and could hardly stand upright but it was lovely to sail into the famous harbour at night. We were docked in Sydney for two days. I was so excited to be in Australia. It had been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and watched “Flying Doctor” on TV. (Of course, the part of Australia I was most interested in seeing was the Outback with the massive sheep stations, Flying Doctor service, and miles and miles of red dirt – but I’ll take Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth/Freemantle, which were our Australian ports-of-call). Do you think I looked happy to be there?
My Number One thing to do in Australia was pet a koala and our morning tour provided that opportunity. We went to a Koala Park where we met Berry the koala, Matilda the wombat, saw the small, friendly grey kangaroos, wallabees and a beautiful dingo. How could an animal-lovers day be any better than that? I was a bit ticked with the lady that reached in to pet Berry just as I was having this photo taken. There were so many people wanting a turn I didn’t feel I should take the time for another shot. But, petting the koala for a little bit was the main objective; getting a photo of the event was secondary.
After our visit to the Park we boarded a rivercat and returned to the ship via the Paramatta River. Rivercats are regular public transport in Sydney and it was interesting to see areas of the city from the water.
In the afternoon we went for a walk around The Rocks, an urban district and historic district of Sydney where the penal colony era is still visible in the cobblestone streets and brick buildings. We walked under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, around Dawes Point and down Argyle Street.
In the evening we were treated to an exclusive tour and dinner at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. This, too was one of the perks of staying in a balcony suite. Unfortunately it began to rain heavily and our Zoo tour was cut short. We ended up in the dining room with appies and drinks for over a hour before dinner was served. I would have rather gotten wet and seen the animals, but, it wasn’t my call; sadly. Cayman Young Python
We returned to the ship at 10:30 PM to see an ambulance at the gangway. The medical emergency patient that prompted our early arrival in Sydney was removed immediately we docked, but there was someone else being taken off and loaded into an ambulance when we returned from our afternoon walk; then a third person in the evening. This, apparently, is not unusual on such a long cruise with many elderly passengers – two or three deaths often happen. As a matter of fact, some terminally ill, but still mobile people will get their affairs in order and take the world cruise as a bit of a last hurrah.
It was a long, full day where I got to see lots of critters, and I loved every minute of it.