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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

24th August, 2018

Well for one time only we are in Caen, France and what a beautiful trip into this port via the lock and canal to our downtown berth Quai de Calix. We embarked our pilots this morning at 7am and entered the lock around 7:30am. There were lots of locals ashore to welcome us. Saga Pearl II is the biggest cruise ship they have had in this port going up the canal, so it is a great privilege to be doing this and the only time for Saga in this form.

This canal was made famous in the Allied invasion of Normandy on the 6th June 1944 during World War 2. Pegasus Bridge in particular (also known as the Benouville Bridge) was a major objective of the British airborne troops during Operation Deadstick. A unit of glider infantry of the 2nd Battalion, British 6th Airborne Division was to land, take the bridges intact and hold them until relieved. The successful taking of the bridges played an important role in limiting the German counter offensive in the following days and weeks of the Normandy invasion.

We had a fantastic view of the Pegasus Bridge as we passed it this morning and I have taken some great photos of the grey bascule bridge for your viewing pleasure. The gap was 40m to sail through and we are 23m wide so no problem!!!

We also passed the Benouville Chateau which was used as a hospital in World War 2. It is now occupied and open to the public since 1980 and we had a great view from the canal. After passing through the last swing bridge gap we turned on arrival in the tight 205m turning circle and docked at the Quai de Calix starboard side alongside.

With a very warm greeting from shoreside we were ready with our gangway with lots of keen guests going on tour or exploring for themselves in this great place. We were here for an overnight stay so plenty of time!! On our second day we had a Plaque Exchange Ceremony with the local dignitaries and it was great to meet them.

6:30pm and time to leave this great place. I hope our guests enjoyed this unique ‘one off’ experience.

Well tomorrow we are in Dover and this nice cruise has come to an end, I hope our guests have had a great time. It is also time for me to go on leave. Many thanks need to go to my great team here on Saga Pearl II and they do us all very proud!! Take care and see you in October.

Captain Nick Sunderland

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