Getting to Venice proved quite challenging on this occasion! Those of us starting from Heathrow Airport were ready to board our British Airways flight when we head an announcement explaining a front tyre on the aircraft needed to be changed. A mechanic arrived, a wheel jack put in place, and in fact two wheels were changed, This didn't take long, and we were soon invited to board. Then came an announcement from the pilot. One passenger hadn't appeared, and we needed to offload his luggage! The hold was opened and the ground team started to look through the luggage. One of the luggage bins then got stuck on a track. Various engineers turned up. The pilot went to look close up. More attempts were made to move the bin. Eventually the ground crew decided to cut the bin open. Luckily the track cleared itself and the offending bag was found and off-loaded. We took off two hours late, but at least we took off!

The pilot put his foot down, and we made up a bit of time on route to Venice. On arrival, we cleared formalities promptly, and our local team were ready and waiting with our private transport. In less than half an hour we arrived at our ship embarkation point at San Basilio, Venice. The River Countess crew and staff greeted us warmly, and we settled in quickly. An excellent dinner was served, and we headed to our cabins for a well-earned sleep.

On Monday morning, our ship sailed from San Basilio to our central Venice docking at Matiri. What a wonderful place to stay! After a sumptous breakfast, we joined our local guides on the quayside for a "Discover Venice" tour to visit the magnificent Doge's Palace. During our visit, we pass across the Bridge of Sighs, and also pass by the prison dungeons too. Richard considers leaving the mother-in-law in one of the cells, but unfortunately can't find the key. Next time, perhaps!

Richard and Dawn host a welcome reception on the sun deck before lunch. Wine, beer, prosecco and juices, the sun shining, and a stunning view. 

After lunch, a choice of activities. Some of us head off with local expert, Susan Steer, on a Art History Tour, and some of us sail in a private boat to Giudecca Island to visit a Murano Glass Factory. The glass factory visit includes a short glass blowing demonstration, a discussion about the different types and colours of Murano Glass, and some time for purchases. The showroom is vast, with huge displays of glass items, some small and some large. There are small drinking glasses, large vases, collector pieces, candelabra, and more. You'll need your American Express card if you have one. Yes, if you have a spare 4000 euros, you can even buy a glass chicken!