Aside from experiencing ports of call both old and new, I love cruising because it affords some excellent ship-spotting opportunities. This is particularly true of the Caribbean and Mediterranean, where ships that have international brand recognition mingle with smaller, older vessels that have changed operators several times but still ply the same waters.

Costa Favolosa, which entered service in 2011, is seen here at dusk in Valletta, Malta. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Costa Favolosa, which entered service in 2011, is seen here at dusk in Valletta, Malta. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Last week, I had the chance to spot several ships I’d never seen in person before while sailing from Rome to Malaga. And even at this late time of year, the Med still offered up plenty of surprises.

Here’s a few of cruise ships that joined Silversea’s Silver Wind in our various ports of call last week:

Easily the most dramatic arrival, Cunard's Queen Elizabeth arrives in the port of Naples on November 20, 2013. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Easily the most dramatic arrival, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth arrives in the port of Naples on November 20, 2013. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Another impressive sight: P&O's Aurora docked in Malaga, Spain at sunset on the 25th of November. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Another impressive sight: P&O’s Aurora docked in Malaga, Spain at sunset on the 25th of November. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Entering service in 2000, Aurora is a "one-off" ship; that is, she has no direct sister-ships. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Entering service in 2000, Aurora is a “one-off” ship; that is, she has no direct sister-ships. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Aurora may not have any direct siblings, but she clearly borrows some of the same design elements as Princess Cruises' Sun Class, such as the bowed windows above her promenade deck and the structural 'cut-in' arrangement of her balcony staterooms. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Aurora may not have any direct siblings, but she clearly borrows some of the same design elements as Princess Cruises’ Sun Class, such as the bowed windows above her promenade deck and the structural ‘cut-in’ arrangement of her balcony staterooms. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Another unique ship is Saga Cruises' Saga Sapphire, which entered service for the UK-based line in late 2011. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Another unique ship is Saga Cruises’ Saga Sapphire, which entered service for the UK-based line in late 2011. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Originally constructed for Hapag-Lloyd in the early 1980's, Saga Sapphire was most recently the 'Blue Dream' for Croisières de France. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Originally constructed for Hapag-Lloyd in the early 1980’s, Saga Sapphire was most recently the ‘Bleu de France’ for Croisières de France. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silversea's Silver Wind and Costa's Costa Favolosa in Valletta, Malta. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silversea’s Silver Wind and Costa’s Costa Favolosa in Valletta, Malta. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

This shot taken from the pier in Valletta reveals the massive dimensions of Costa Favolosa. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

This shot taken from the pier in Valletta reveals the massive dimensions of Costa Favolosa. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Finally, the sleek lines of Silversea's Silver Wind, as seen in Trapani, Sicily. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Finally, the sleek lines of Silversea’s Silver Wind, as seen in Trapani, Sicily. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

From the Deck Chair will return tomorrow.

 

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