Music can ignite emotion plus awaken memories of places and situations that stay with us forever. Likewise, with travel, humour, amazing sights and experiences, new friends and joyous occasions. Music can arouse memory; when your hair stands on end, and you experience goosebumps.
Such a delightful interlude was captured recently when sailing on the incomparable Club Med 2 when the strains of Conquest of Paradise boomed from the speakers of the five-masted yacht as it glided away from her moorings in Nice and on to the next chapter in an incredible seven-night cruising experience.
Club Med 2 provides a unique and elegant avenue to explore the many hidden treasures the destinations offer, with the appeal of old-fashioned sailing combined with the comfort and convenience of modern cruising.
There are various public areas, including two restaurants, three bars, a lounge, a spa, a fitness centre, a boutique, plus two saltwater swimming pools. A popular feature is the Nautical Hall or water sports deck deployed from the stern, where guests can enjoy kayaking, windsurfing, water skiing, snorkelling and the latest craze, foil boarding. The yacht was first launched in 1992 and was last refurbished in 2022 for AUD $15 million,
She features seven triangular Dacron self-furled sails on five masts that a computer system can control. The sails can provide up to 80% of the propulsion power, depending on the wind conditions. The ship also has four diesel generators that power two electric motors for backup and manoeuvring. She can do 14 knots without sails, 18 with a combination and, when conditions are perfect, up to 22 knots. Under sail, the ship saves 20% on fuel costs over 12 months.
The yacht has eight decks, 184 cabins, and suites with ocean views. It caters for a maximum of 380 passengers with 207 crew.
All cabins are elegantly decorated with wood panelling, marble bathrooms, fine linen and oversized portholes. Passengers on the seven-day cruise were mainly from France, with UK, Belgium, and Singapore represented together with a sprinkling of Australians sea testing the product.
The yacht sails the Mediterranean from April to September and the Caribbean from November to March. She visits ports and anchorages where larger cruise ships cannot berth, such as St Barts, Corsica, Santorini and Dubrovnik. The vessel also offers transatlantic voyages in the spring and fall.
There are mini cruises of just four days up to a maximum of 21 days. The seven-day experience starts in Nice and calls at Sete, Barcelona, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Mahon and St Tropez, then back to Nice. At each port, a guide casually walks guests through the city’s highlights. These destinations have a reputation for entertaining the rich and famous, and that is obvious when checking out some of the enormous multimillion-dollar yachts and motor vessels that decorate the harbours of all these cities. A new 21-day cruise from Nice with stops in Turkey, Israel, and Egypt and finishing in Greece is proving very popular.
A seven-night Caribbean cruise starts from AUD $3936—a 12-day Greek island cruise from AUD $6970. Cruises are all-inclusive, with an open bar, gourmet meals, activities, entertainment, entrance to the nautical hall, cooking, language, salsa classes and six yoga classes daily. For further information, visit your professional travel agent or the website www.clubmed.com.au.
WRITTEN BY: JOHN SAVAGE