Sailing Through the Mediterranean

Posted on November 23, 2011

We just returned from a wonderful Mediterranean cruise aboard the Regent Seven Seas Mariner.

While onboard I enjoyed being with other PBS and NPR journalists as part of a special PTV at Sea cruise experience.  My illustrative fellow hosts, writers, directors and producers included Gwen Ifill (PBS’ Washington Week), award-winning reporter, author and host Scott Simon (NPR’s Weekend Edition) and Mark Samels, executive producer of American Experience.  It was fun being informed and inspired by my colleagues, but the real joy of the cruise was meeting, greeting and speaking with my Public Television viewers.  They came from all over the country to share this journey with us and Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line’s other 700 passengers.  They often told me that while the motivation for joining the cruise was the chance to rub elbows and exchange ideas with their favorite public television and radio personalities, the real inspiration for the trip came from the destinations that were offered as part of this particular itinerary.  image

That was the main reason why I was aboard as well.  We were on a Mediterranean cruise adventure to capture the last of the thirteen shows that will, after much selecting, cutting, tweaking and editing, become our sixth season.  There are presently sixty-six shows airing on your public television stations which include our special Christmas in Switzerland show, which although officially a part of Season 6, has been airing since November 15th as a special holiday gift from us to you, our viewers.  Watch for it!  Season 6 begins airing in June of 2012 bringing the total episodes to seventy-eight shows that will be available to amuse and enlighten you.

I am sure that our Mediterranean adventure will be another great Travelscope show.  The challenge was formidable and the task sometimes daunting – present three countries and six cities in one show – but I think everyone will be pleased with the outcome.  We attempted to capture the enduring beauty that is Venice, the history of Croatia, the multi-culturalism of Malta and the heart and soul of Sicily and Tuscany.  Along the way I visited medieval towns, bustling markets, regional restaurants and local wineries, and as always, found a barrel of surprises.  Of course, the many cultural colors that we were able to draw from to paint our story were bright, distinct and endless.

The Mediterranean has been the life blood of civilization for thousands upon thousands of years.  Along its shores empires from the Phoenician and the Greek to the Roman and the Ottoman arose.  Like the sea itself, their fortunes, and the fortunes of many nations since, have ebbed and flowed.  While some flourished; others vanished.  Yet, the glory and the grandeur of the Mediterranean region is not lost in its past, it lives on in its people who, along with the sea, have weathered countless storms and continue to thrive.

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