The December 2014 issue of Travel Agent Magazine showcases some of the filming locations used in the James Bond films and explains which cruise liners can get you there.
CRUISING with 007
FILMING FOR THE LATEST james Bond movie starts this month, but fans can get their “007 fix” simply by cruising to destinations connected with past movies. Plus, we identify a few Bond sea-going connections.
Goldeneye: Ian Fleming, a British intelligence officer, arrived in Jamaica during World War II to investigate German U-Boat activities. He bought a villa in Oracabessa, named it Goldeneye and penned his James Bond novels there. Today, the villa is rented out as the Goldeneye Resort. Cruisers might visit the resort and nearby “James Bond Beach.” Also filmed in Jamaica, one of the most iconic Bond scenes ever was Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean at Crab Key Beach in “Dr. No”; it was actually shot at Laughing Waters Beach near Dunn’s River Falls, also in that movie.
Bond fans with kids in tow might book the “Bobsled Jamaica and Dunn’s River Falls” tour from Disney Cruise Line (www.disneytravelagents.com) at Falmouth. Royal Caribbean International (www.cruisingpower.com) also has a “Dunn’s River Falls Express” tour from Falmouth.
LAP OF LUXURY: In “The Man With The Golden Gun,” Roger Moore’s Bond is upset because while in Hong Kong he’s “lost” the tail on a green Rolls-Royce; he’s soon relieved to learn that all green Rolls-Royces belong to the Peninsula Hotel and he heads there. During 2016 sailings from Hong Kong, Cunard Line (www.cunard.com) offers a pre-cruise stay including a Peninsula harbor-view room and discounts on spa treatments and most food/drinks; one-night cost is $580, $470 for extra nights.
BOND’S BOSS: Dame judi Dench, who played “M,” Bond’s MI-6 boss, in multiple flicks, christened Carnival Cruise Lines’ (www.goccl.com) Carnival Legend. Onboard, cruisers can see a framed photograph of Dench and Captain Claudio Cupisti.
INTO THE AIR: Meteora, Greece, a monastery complex atop a tall sandstone rock formation, starred in “For Your Eyes Only.” Costa Cruises (www.costacruise.com) has a “Meteora Monasteries Between Heaven and Earth” day tour from Volos, Greece. In fall, Ocean ia Cruises’ (www.oceaniacruises.com) Riviera offers a pre- or post-cruise program, “Sacred Treasures of Greece,” including coach transportation, meals, guided tours at Meteora, Delphi and Athens’ new Acropolis Museum and two nights hotel stay from $1,099 per guest, double occupancy.
Thailand's Khao Phing Kan Island is also known as James Bond Island.
SHAKEN NOT STIRRED: Cruisers can sip a James Bond drink at the cool Martini Bar on Celebrity Cruises’ (www.cruisingpower.com) Solstice class ships. On Norwegian Cruise Lines (www.ncl.com) Norwegian Pearl, Bondfans will discover a 1960s-70s vibe and Bond-inspired silhouettes on a screen behind the Shakers Martini & Cocktails Bar. Royal Princess of the Princess Cruises (www.princess.com) has a Crooners Bar that offers “The Bond Collection’’ martini menu with such concoctions as “Quantum of Solace.”
JAMES BOND ISLAND: In “Man with the Golden Gun,” Bond lands his float plane on a beautiful Chinese island. However, it’s actually a small island in Phang-Nga Bay, Thailand, now widely known as James Bond Island and famed for its fractured cliff and a tall limestone formation rising from the water. Holland America Line (www.hollandamericaline.com) offers an excursion with James Bond Island views, the Koh Panyi water village and lunch at Phang Nga Bay Resort (adults, $125; children, $70). WindstarCruises’ (www.windstarcruises.com) “Phang Nga Ba Exploration” lets guests explore ashore, while Princess has “Phang-Nga, James Bond Island Cruise & Panyi Island.”
TURKISH DELIGHTS: “From Russia With Love” showcased exotic Istanbul from Hagia Sophia to the eerie underground Basilica Cistern. While Bond rowed his way through the cistern, cruisers easily walk on boardwalks. Also, who could forget the thrilling motorcycle chase scene atop the GrandBazaar in “Skyfall”?
Guests can ask the onboard concierge to design a private customized Istanbul “James Bond” tour. City overviews also cover many Bond sites. SeaDream Yacht Club’s (www.seadreamyachtclub.com) guests can stay pre- or post-cruise in style at the Ciragan Caddesi. On Oceania’s Istanbulto-Dubai cruise on October 4, 2015, one excursion visits Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, plus guests cruise the Bosphorus and visit a museum or the Grand Bazaar.
DIVE LIKE A SPY: Divers can head for several underwater sites frequented by Connery’s Bond near Nassau, the Bahamas. Carnival offers a two-tank dive excursion for certified divers who want to visit the “Tears of Allah” wreck featured in “Never Say Never Again.” Cost is $140 per person.
CROCODILE ENCOUNTERS: In 1973’s “Live And Let Die,” Moore’s Bond is surrounded by crocodiles on a small island supposedly in Louisiana’s bayou country. During Falmouth, Jamaica, portcalls, M SC Cruises (www.msccruisesusa.com) offers a two-hour “Walking with Wildlife at the Swamp Safari Village” excursion to the actual “shooting location.” Guests learn how the scene was shot.
SMOKING VOLCANOS: Guests whose ship calls at Kyushu, Japan, will likely see Ring of Fire volcanoes, among them Shinmoedake, a secret rocket base in “You Only Live Twice.” Regent Seven Seas Cruises (www.rssc.com) and Ponant Cruises (www.ponant.com/en) are among the lines calling at Kagoshima on Kyushu. Cruisers might arrange a private car/driver to visit the Kirishima group of strato volcanoes, including Shinmoedake.
COOL CASINOS: Bond is always comfortable at a gaming table. This winter, cruisers on multiple lines can head for Atlantis Paradise Island during calls at Nassau. In “Casino Royale,” Bond headed for Paradise Island in the Bahamas and cruisers can do the same on Norwegian’s “Discover Atlantis” shore excursion, which includes a guided resort tour with views of the world’s largest marine habitat with 50,000 sea creatures, plus free time for casino play.
Cost: adults, $79; kids, $49.In Monaco, the Casino de MonteCarlo starred in “Never Say Never Again” and “Goldeneye.” On Nice/Villefranche port calls, Celebrity Cruises’ "Best of Monaco and MonteCarlo Tour" includes a guided walking tour, casino visit and more.
POWERBOAT ON THE THAMES: Big Ben and other London landmarks starred in such Bond flicks as “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and “The World Is Not Enough.” In the latter, Brosnan’s Bond chases a villain up the Thames by powerboat. Cruisers might book the “Ultimate James Bond Experience,” combining Thames sightseeing with 245-horsepower speed thrills as the 007 theme plays. Tickets can be purchased from www.visitbritainshop.com/usa at $60 per person. The historic Orient Express train was featured in a “From Russia With Love” scene. Those getting off a Silversea Cruises’ (www.silversea.com) voyage in London can book the line’s post-cruise land excursion to Venice with an overnight on the Venice Simplon-Orient Express.
CABLE CAR FRIGHTS: In “Moonraker,” Bond fought atop Rio de Janeiro’s Sugarloaf Mountain cablecar. Seabourn Cruise Line’s (www.seabourn.com) half-day “Sugar Loaf & Rio Highlights” excursion includes stunning views but leaves the danger behind on the cable-car ride.The 24th Bond movie is now in production. Meanwhile, Bond fans might head to sea to encounter global elements of “Bond... James Bond.”
-SUSAN J. YOUNG
[Source: Travel Agent. 12/15/2014, Vol. 345 Issue 3, p26-27. Copyright © 2014 Questex Media Group]