To see Capri, passengers must go ashore or keep a safe distance

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At the weekend, I took an all-too-brief trip to Capri. Minerva was at anchor in calm waters off Sorrento, and passengers were taken ashore by the ship’s brand new tenders to board a catamaran for the 35-minute journey to the island.
After taking a ride up the funicular railway we arrived in the crowded Piazetta, packed not just with visitors, but with locals emerging from a Palm Sunday service, dressed in their finest and clutching wreaths of leaves.
There was barely time for a quick stroll past the designer boutiques to take in the view of the island’s spectacular cliffs, and to catch a glimpse of the white-roofed villa which was once home to Gracie Fields – of particular interest to me because the singer was born on exactly the same day as my grandmother. January 9, 1898 if you’re interested.
Back on the ship in time for lunch, and a two o’clock departure for Palermo. Some of the passengers who had remained in Sorrento, or stayed on board the ship, may have been hoping to view Capri at close quarters as we cruised past. They were to be disappointed.
Captain Giovanni Biasutti announced than new Italian regulations introduced since Costa Concordia ran aground on the island of Giglio in January prohibited him from sailing within two nautical miles of any maritime reserve, and he had to keep his distance or lose his job. He chose the sensible option.
Meanwhile, plans are emerging for the Costa Concordia to be refloated and towed from its rocky resting place to port in Genoa. The work, estimated to cost about £187 million, would involving sealing the gash in the ship’s side caused when it hit the rocks, and pumping air in to bring the vessel upright with the aid of giant cranes and pontoons.
Some reports are still speculating that the ship might be repaired and returned to service.

By | 2012-04-03T15:01:53+00:00 3 April 2012|Cruise destinations|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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