The fast boat we were originally booked on to cross from Greece to Italy got held up at Barcelona in Spain, owing to bad weather. So we were pleased to be able to switch to another boat, but it was much slower, taking 22 hours to reach Ancona!

Checking in with all the pets was a painless process, with all our paperwork approved, which was very reassuring. And on board, the weather was pleasant, warm and sunny. As we promenaded up and down the decks with our canine passengers, onlookers must have thought we were a very eccentric pair of dog owners!

Nana (soon Lotte) sitting on courier M's lap. She was a little seasick at first…

Nana (soon Lotte) sitting on courier M’s lap. She was a little seasick at first…

…but after some dry biscuits and a long drink, she soon had a spring back in her step and strolled very happily on deck

…but after some dry biscuits and a long drink, she soon had a spring back in her step and strolled very happily on deck

Cleo is a very cool cat who loves to scritch up the newspaper

Cleo is a very cool cat who loves to scritch up the newspaper

Fred beside himself and practically drooling as we get the cats' tea ready! Sorry Fred, cats go first…

Fred beside himself and practically drooling as we get the cats’ tea ready! Sorry Fred, cats go first…

Lara enjoying a drink of fresh water

Lara enjoying a drink of fresh water

Nela is a sweetie who very quickly took to walking on deck

Nela is a sweetie who very quickly took to walking on deck

Nela greets Haiko on her way back. Is it my turn now? asks Haiko

Nela greets Haiko on her way back. Is it my turn now? asks Haiko

Haiko waits patiently

Haiko waits patiently

Nela stops to chat with Alvin

Nela stops to chat with Alvin

Alvin found it a bit slippery on deck at first, but there were plenty of sniffing opportunities to get him going

Alvin found it a bit slippery on deck at first, but there were plenty of sniffing opportunities to get him going

Alvin laughing at one of courier M's better knock-knock jokes

Alvin laughing at one of courier M’s better knock-knock jokes

Haiko out on his walk and having his ear cream put in, which he's very good about

Haiko out on his walk and having his ear cream put in, which he’s very good about

Being a city dweller, Victor was very adept at climbing the metal stairway, so we made it all the way to the top deck with him and got the best views…

Being a city dweller, Victor was very adept at climbing the metal stairway, so we made it all the way to the top deck with him and got the best views…

…and a spot of sunshine, too

…and a spot of sunshine, too

Fred waiting patiently for his turn on deck

Fred waiting patiently for his turn on deck

Fred's turn at last!

Fred’s turn at last!

Ollie sits and watches all the comings and goings

Ollie sits and watches all the comings and goings

He's very alert to everything around him

He’s very alert to everything around him

Pearl and Ruby are a very bonded pair

Pearl and Ruby are a very bonded pair

They don't miss a trick, either!

They don’t miss a trick, either!

Carly loves a stroke — she's on her way to Philip in Surrey

Carly loves a stroke — she’s on her way to Philip in Surrey

Lovely fluffy Paris, one of four cats who belongs to Mandy

Lovely fluffy Paris, one of four cats who belongs to Mandy

Here's number two, Elvie…

Here’s number two, Elvie…

…and Pricilla and Alexander make up the quartet

…and Pricilla and Alexander make up the quartet