Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage, MS Amsterdam

On September 20th, I boarded the MS Amsterdam in Vancouver for the start of a 75 day voyage through islands in the Pacific and major cities in Asia.  The itinerary is shown in this map.

Grand Asia Map

Our sail away took us past Stanley Park with the Vancouver skyline in the background.


Only half the passengers boarded in Vancouver and we headed to San Pedro California to pick up the remainder.  We total some 900 passengers. San Pedro is the location of the major port for Los Angeles.  It is a quiet town appearing to have been built up primarily in the 1950s and 1960s.  One of my dinner companions and I decided to take a walk along the harbour which has some development for tourists.  We arrived at what seemed to be the end of the harbour where we found a commercial fish market. A local woman asked us if she could help us, and hearing we were tourists, offered to drive us around for an hour or so.  Her name is Setsuko Matsumoto (photo) and she owns a B&B. She is also a professional chef  and does private dinner parties and teaches cooking.  We couldn’t believe our luck, when she took us first to her house so that she could drop off some fresh fish before taking us out for a tour. Her house is an older house built by an old sea captain and one of the guest rooms is still furnished as he originally built it.  It looks out to the ocean.  Our tour took in some of the major tourist sights of the area including Cabrillo Beach (photo), the old Fort MacArthur area and fortifications and the Point Fermin Lighthouse (photo).  We then headed down the peninsula and stopped at the Wayfarers Chapel (photo) designed by the son of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is very popular for weddings, and as one was about to start, we could not go inside.  Continuing down the peninsula, we stopped at a sushi restaurant where my friend and I treated Setsuko to lunch.  Our return journey brought a couple of stops at scenic locations (photo) and she got us back to the ship mid afternoon.  We would not have seen any of the beauty of the area if we had not met Setsuko. She is a very friendly person and she made it a very memorable day. 

Our next stop on September 28th is Hilo, Hawaii.


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