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Traveler reaches far ends of the globe on 115-day cruise

Loftin Elvey following the journeys of great adventurers

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June 25th, 2013
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As a young boy, Loftin Elvey pored over the work of adventurer Richard Halliburton, dreaming big about travels of his own. I wanted to see what he had seen, Loftin says. But it wasn t until Loftin embarked on a seven-day cruise to Bermuda in 1973 a getaway from the stresses of work as an engineer that travel became a constant in his life. Once or twice a year, Loftin and his late wife would set out for trips within the U.S. to visit Civil War battle sites and throughout Europe and Australia, often by cruise ship. I was always a history buff and enjoyed seeing things that had historical significance, says Loftin, who hails from Everett, Mass., but now lives at Linden Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Hingham, Mass.

The journey begins

This year, Loftin set out on a 115-day journey of the world aboard the msNieuw Amsterdam, a cruise ship within the Holland America Line, touring far reaches of the globe from Peru to the Polynesian islands through 26 time zone changes. I d been around as far as Australia in one direction and South America and Northern Africa [in the other direction], and I wanted to see the area in-between, he says, a desire that has been on his bucket list since age 13. Among Loftin s favorite sites were the islands of Ascension, a United Kingdom territory that sits just south of the equator in the South Atlantic Ocean; Bora Bora, one of the French Polynesian islands; and most impressive, Easter Island, also in the South Pacific Ocean. A remote Chilean territory known for its 887 stone-carved moai statues, Easter Island was spectacular, Loftin says. He says he appreciated the difficulty of navigating to Easter Island, a process that left parts of the cruise ship damaged. Magellan took 32 days to get around it, Loftin says. A potential adventure was the ship s passage along the coast of Africa where pirates have terrorized ships in recent years. As a precaution, Loftin and his shipmates were asked to go to their quarters while guards manned the decks with high-pressure hoses, and razor wire was strung up. Fortunately, Loftin says, we didn t see any pirates.

Routine entertainment

Loftin had no trouble passing four months on a 1,100-passenger ship. You fall into a routine, he says. There is so much to do. Loftin attended performances by dancers, comedians, singers, and lecturers, as well as movies and classical concerts. He took advantage of educational talks about the trip s destinations and got to know his fellow travelers. When his fellow diners found out about Loftin s birthday in April, they celebrated with wine, and the wait staff sang him Happy Birthday in Dutch. As the journey came to an end in May, the cruise line gave awards to those who had logged the most travel days with the company. With 700 days logged, Loftin shared the high honor with about 100 other passengers.

Summer beauty

Loftin was pleased to miss winter in New England and return to Linden Ponds, where he has lived for five years, just in time for summer. This place is especially beautiful in summer, he says, admiring the landscape and budding trees. Back home, Loftin planned to renew his activities with the Linden Ponds in-house TV station, TV6, and share video footage of his trip with the community. But first on his agenda: rest and unpacking!

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