The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION AFLOAT -

Up­com­ing At­lantis char­ters in­clude Am­s­ter­dam to Barcelona, Septem­ber 4-14 on Celebrity Sil­hou­ette, and San Diego to Mex­ico, Oc­to­ber 14-21 on Hol­land Amer­ica Line’s Oos­ter­dam. More: at­lanti­sev­ join a guided shore tour, make our own way around a port or just stay aboard and scope out a prom­i­nent po­si­tion on the pool deck. Then dress up for din­ner in the vast Sil­hou­ette din­ing room, with a floor-to-ceil­ing mir­rored cen­tre­piece that wouldn’t look out of place in a Las Ve­gas casino. Ro­tat­ing menus across the voy­age of­fered se­lec­tions such as cedar plank-grilled black salmon, Di­jon and herb-crusted rack of lamb, beef tourne­dos and buf­falostyle frogs legs in rus­tic garlic parsley but­ter and blue cheese dressing. Ev­ery dish of the Amer­i­can-in­spired cui­sine was ex­cel­lent, even though cooked for about 2600 pas­sen­gers, and far su­pe­rior to a sad pasta I had in the pretty main square of the Ital­ian coastal town of Sor­rento. After din­ner, a stage show in the theatre or a party on the pool deck.

High­lights ashore in­cluded an im­promptu stroll down the sweep­ing cres­cent-like prom­e­nade of Nice, tinged by art­work, can­dles and toys com­mem­o­rat­ing the 2016 Bastille Day ter­ror at­tack; a dawn-to-dusk guided day tour that took in Capri, Sor­rento and Pom­peii; and tramp­ing over the mas­sive bat­tle­ments of 15th-cen­tury Bo­drum Cas­tle in south­west Turkey while look­ing out over the har­bour where our 21st-cen­tury float­ing cas­tle dom­i­nated the view.

A mo­ment that seemed the essence of hol­i­day magic was watch­ing the sun sink over the Aegean from an old sail­ing boat we char­tered at San­torini.

It was this and many other mo­ments that turned At­lantis into a hol­i­day tri­umph for me. I am mer­rily re­cruit­ing a band of broth­ers for an­other voy­age in a year or two. This is de­spite oc­ca­sional char­ac­ter-build­ing mo­ments, such when I dis­cov­ered many young­sters en­thu­si­as­ti­cally at­tend­ing the 80s re­vival party. They seemed too young to ap­pre­ci­ate the best decade in the his­tory of pop mu­sic. “Oh no,” they cor­rected me, “80s nights are re­ally big on cam­pus.”

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