The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION AFLOAT -

SeaDream Yacht Club of­fers 10 per cent off the sec­ond seven-day seg­ment for back-to-back sail­ings in the Mediter­ranean un­til Novem­ber. For ex­am­ple, SeaDream II de­parts on a round-trip from Dubrovnik, Croa­tia, on Au­gust 19 and then sets sail from Dubrovnik on Au­gust 26 for Pi­raeus, the port for Athens, in­clud­ing a tran­sit of the Corinth Canal. Each week’s allinclu­sive cruise starts at $US4926 ($6224) a per­son twin-share, with $US450 a per­son off the sec­ond sail­ing. More: you to safe anchorage in Boni­fa­cio but it is very small and I shall have to en­ter the har­bour back­wards. Then we’ll go to Cannes.” Whoops of ex­cite­ment.

Even SeaDream I’s late-ris­ers are on deck at dawn to watch Cap­tain Smorawski re­verse the mega-yacht through a tiny aper­ture in the white lime­stone cliffs and skil­fully nav­i­gate the nar­row channel into Boni­fa­cio’s pic­colo har­bour.

He ex­e­cutes the chal­leng­ing ma­noeu­vre with grace and precision and while larger ships vis­it­ing this en­dear­ing port have to take pas­sen­gers ashore in ten­der boats we are set­tled snugly in the shadow of the mighty medieval citadel that glares across to Sar­dinia.

Am­bi­tious SeaDream­ers stride up to the citadel, oth­ers climb up and down the King of Aragon’s 328 steps. I stay put in port watch­ing the ebb and flow of fish­ing boats and su­per-yachts. And so to Cannes where the film fes­ti­val is in full swing. The Croisette is bar­ri­caded for pro­ces­sions of vin­tage au­to­mo­biles and flashy li­mousines dis­gorg­ing their pre­cious cargo at the red-car­peted steps of Palais des Fes­ti­vals. All Cannes is a seething mass of wannabes tot­ter­ing around in flimsy stilet­tos and cow­boy boots wear­ing plac­ards and all man­ner of in­ap­pro­pri­ate at­tire. We don’t score any A-list in­vi­ta­tions. But all we 112 SeaDramers agree that the Palme D’Or for best bou­tique cruise ship would have to be SeaDream I.

Maggy Oehlbeck was a guest of SeaDream Yacht Club.

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