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Sober Life
by Sinclair Newton

CRUISE



 
Sober Life

Move over Majorca. The cruise liners are coming to Ibiza.

José has already reported in his Eco column how a new jetty is being created in Ibiza port, protesting that it was too far out, which is the first time I've heard that in relation to anything to do with this crazy diamond in the Med.

Well now the first brochure is out from Orient Lines, the destination cruise specialists, featuring an afternoon in Ibiza on their Grand Mediterranean 11 cruise to "glamorous playgrounds, scenic hideaways and great cities from Venice to Barcelona".

It marks the acceptance of Ibiza as a glorious day out for the more discerning thrill-seeker. Orient Lines include many Americans among their world travellers and are hoping a gentle cruise around the Med will be just what they are looking for after all the troubles they've had to put up with at home.

Here's what Orient Lines have to say about the Balearic day out when they stop off in Ibiza after visiting Nice in France, Livorno (Italy), Civitavecchia (Italy) and Ajaccio (Corsica): "A popular holiday resort, Ibiza is the third largest of Spain's Balearic Islands and the closest to the mainland.

"Its nickname "Isla Blanca" refers to the numerous whitewashed houses which have served as seasonal homes to artists, film stars and other celebrities.

"Ibiza town is well-worth exploring, with its maze of narrow streets, inviting cafes and craft shops.

"Or take a scenic drive around the island with its beautiful beaches and craggy promontories, featuring beautiful views of the blue Mediterranean."

And there's a picture of a peaceful, azure bay surrounded by pine trees.

It is, the brochure says, all about "destinational discovery." I've never heard of "destinational" before, but I'm sure I'll use it again.

I've been on their other splendid ship, the Marco Polo (the one coming to Ibiza in August and September is called the Crown Odyssey) and oh what fun that was.

I had always believed people went cruising for the food, but I've come to realise it's the destinations, stupid!

It's the best way in the world to visit exotic ports of call and leave your luggage behind. In fact, it's better than that because while you are out exploring inviting cafes your cabin boy will be preparing your evening dress for when you return in time for dinner.

Well, all right then, it is about the food as well and all I can say is that it is stunning and somewhat plentiful.

My only niggle was that I got aggravation from some of those Americans when I walked around the deck smoking, but they've thought of the answer for that: some penthouse suites aboard the Crown Odyssey have their own verandas which give you your own private panorama... and an ashtray as big as an ocean.

One thing I learned is that big boats are called ships, but - apart from attending the occasional safety drill - I found I didn't need to know anything about sailing. I also discovered where all the bars were, though these days I might be more interested in the discreet meetings held aboard with Bill and Dr. Bob in mind.

* You can get your own free, glossy brochure from Orient Lines by telephoning London 020 7591 8200

Sinclair Newton

sinclairnewton@liveibiza.com