December 1, 2013 - 11:30 pm
Today saw Saga Ruby sail into the port of Agadir, Morocco at 800am in calm conditions. The berth we were allocated to was not very inviting with a large silo and conveyor system next to our vessel. However, the sights further inland were very rewarding.
Agadir is shaped by the Atlas Mountains on one side and is framed on the other by a magnificent crescent-shaped beach. While little is known of the city’s origins, the Portuguese created a fortress here at the end of the 15th Century, naming it Santa Cruz de Ghir. Freed from Portugal’s occupation by the Saadians in 1540, Agadir grew into a colourful and prosperous port and became newsworthy in 1911 when a German gunboat, the Panther, sailed into the bay as a protest against the division of North Africa between the Spanish and French. Morocco gained independence from the French in 1956, an event that was closely followed in Agadir by the tragic earthquake of 1960. The city, which has been rebuilt to represent the ‘new nation’, is blessed by fine sandy beaches overlooked by luxurious hotels and a great selection of cafes and restaurants.
With such an intriguing place to explore, many chose the option of an organised excursion so they could see as much as possible Agadir before departing. Many guests opted to attend the Foliberberes Fantasia show, this excursion took our guests to the Foliberberes Restaurant for spectacular cultural "Fantasia Show". Combining acrobatics with Moroccan songs and dances in traditional costume, a folklore troupe entertained our guests whilst they sat under the shade of tents in the Agadir palm grove. They could also enjoy mint tea and Moroccan pastries. The highlights of the show were the Arab horses and their cavaliers. Based on an ancient war ceremony to show manhood and courage, this part of the show sees the horses charging from a headlong gallop before they all stop simultaneously releasing a burst of gunfire into the air. The show received fantastic reviews with passengers awed by the views of the Atlas Mountains in the background and some skilful equestrian action in the foreground.
To begin this evening’s entertainment Dave Peterson played the piano in the South Cape. Once again this evening following dinner we invited The Belle Époque Quartet to the Britannia Lounge for “A Musical Journey of Europe & Beyond”.
Many guests continued through to the ballroom in anticipation of this evening’s show. Explosive Productions opened the show followed by international vocalist Elaine Delmar with songs of George Gershwin & Cole Porter. After the show, couples took to the floor with music for dancing with the Prime Attraction duo. Others carried on to the preview for late night cabaret with "The Boys are Back in Town!". Cruise Staff Fernando and Explosive Productions vocalists James and Gareth performed their favourite songs with The Saga Ruby Orchestra. The evening then continued from The Prime Attraction Duo until late.