Cruise sailing to a close

Shortly after leaving Nagasaki, we enjoyed some scenic cruising around the island of Gunkanjima or Hashima Island. It is also known as Battleship Island due to the shape of some of the ruins.

The island was previously a Coal mine after coal was discovered there in 1810. In 1890 Mitsubishi became involved until its closure in 1974.

In 2009 the island was re-opened to tourists, and in 2015 it became an UNESCO World Heritage site.

Many passengers assembled on deck with big expectations of the scenic cruising. From our point of view on the Diamond Princess about 6 nautical miles to the west of the island and late in the afternoon/early evening, visibility was poor and it was extremely difficult to even focus a long lens.

This is what we might have been able to glimpse (courtesy of Princess TV).

At sea at noon on Tuesday, the Captain warned us of following SW winds and a 5m swell which might make life on board rocky.

And so our cruise is coming to an end. We have thoroughly enjoyed most ports along the way and the sailing has been great. We were surprised by some of the ports, the cleanliness and neatness of Taipei, and the decline in public smoking over the last five years by the Japanese in Tokyo, Osaka and elsewhere.

The cruise obviously catered for the Japanese market where Princess has been operating for five years. The main difficulty has been engaging our fellow Japanese passengers in conversation and the small helpings in the dining room. Some translations took a long time but the dual language crew staff made it easy to overlook that English was secondary.


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