Today's port is Valletta, Malta. Last time we were here we did an open top red bus tour of the island, and that is what we intend to do again today. This is the best value way to see the place, with the option of hopping off and on at places of interest.
On Sunday the Captain announced that due to renewed political unrest in Egypt, our full day in Port Said would be replaced. The new itinerary includes a full daylight transit of the Suez Canal, Aqaba as planned, and then Salalah, Oman as a new port, before the next planned Oman call at Muscat. Not an issue for us, as Port Said has deteriorated severely over recent years due to the troubles. We last visited in 2012, and felt uneasy then. It will however be a disappointment to those who had tours booked to Cairo and the pyramids, although, in my opinion, that trip is also currently unsafe.
The weather has improved no end, and we have had warm sunny days recently, with hotter weather to come in the coming weeks.
After our Suez Canal transit, when we dock at Aqabar we have a full day tour to the lost city of Petra booked.
Our days at sea are spent at quizzes, talks, cooking demonstrations by the chefs of the speciality restaurants Sorento and Marco Pierre White's Ocean Grill, and line dancing for the ladies, amongst the lounging on deck in the sunshine followed by pre-dinner cocktails in our (new to us), balcony cabin or Anderson's, a plush lounge cocktail bar. There are then various show options for the evening.
There are around 150 people on board who will complete the whole grand voyage through Asia, covering over 30,000 nautical miles, visiting 45 ports in 27 countries.