Cruise Diva Goes
to see & things to do
Collect Passport Stamps in... Beirut
other frequent travelers, Cruise Diva enjoys visiting far-flung
spots worldwide and gathering distinctive passport stamps. But... Beirut?!?
Lebanon, like most of the Middle
East, has an unsavory reputation and I admit to being skeptical
about going there. However, Silversea Cruises' first-ever visit to
Beirut in June 2004 went a long way to dispel that impression. With
a full day to explore Beirut, passengers deemed the port a huge
success. Bound for Istanbul, the voyage sailed at almost 80%
occupancy with a passenger complement of North and Latin Americans,
Britons, French, and Germans. Nearly half were United States
Rating Beirut 'extremely high' as a port, many passengers described
it as the highlight of the cruise, providing an exotic glimpse of
Lebanon's diverse geography, history, culture, and welcoming people.
It was an ideal itinerary addition for well-traveled Silversea
guests looking for "bragging rights" to a unique port of
call—exotic enough to appeal to travelers looking for a new,
seldom-visited port option, yet safe and secure enough to attract
During the full day in Beirut, passengers took advantage of
excursions to rarely visited archaeological sites and made use of
the cruise line's complimentary shuttle bus to the city's
newly-built pedestrian mall. Day trips offered ranged from tours of
the capital's newly restored Ottoman-era architecture to the Roman
temples at Baalbeck in the Bekaa Valley.
The call to Beirut was deemed "the Med's best kept secret"
by many guests, who believe the country has gotten a bad rep and
deserves the opportunity to shed its storied past. Lebanon has
developed into an interesting place to visit and tourism to the
country is bound to grow in years to come.
Now's the perfect time to plan a
visit before it becomes mainstream.
Ports of Call