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Gran Canaria

Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

7th February, 2018

Early on Wednesday morning we approached the largest city in the Canary Islands – Las Palmas – on the island of Gran Canaria. The port itself is a large commercial one, far busier than the other quiet little Canary ports we had visited. But fortunately the cruise terminal and our berth were situated right on the city doorstep and only a few hundred metres from bars, shops, restaurants, etc. Las Palmas is a popular tourist destination year-round and two Ryanair aircraft crossing overhead reminded us of this as we tied the ship up…

There is plenty to see and do on this island and as we ended up staying 2 days.  Unseasonably poor weather from the north preventing us from sailing as scheduled to Madeira, but the upside was our passengers had the opportunity to explore further. The local pilot had boarded dressed as if he were about to embark on a ski trip. Nevertheless, our tour programme was able to run on the first day, and then on the second day we offered a shuttle bus running on a loop to a brand new aquarium, the Christopher Columbus Museum, and the Technical Museum. So – still plenty for all to do despite rather blustery conditions. But we are British, and embrace such weather…

Organised trips on the first day offered camel riding over sand dunes, hiking up the Bandama volcano crater, or for those feeling less active there were of course bus trips around offering scenic island and city tours. It is “Carnaval” season at the moment, and the city had various events on to celebrate this festival period. I popped ashore in the evening with Mark, the Chief Engineer, for a wander around and found a large market stall offering local delights, which we happily sampled. Although it is very difficult to find food up to the same exceptional standard of Saga Cruises, Spain does offer some great gastronomical options – perhaps one of the reasons I bought a house there…

Late in the afternoon of the second day alongside, as weather conditions abated, we slipped our lines and headed out to sea – and north to Madeira – later than planned. However we would still enjoy a full evening and day in this marvellous port. Speak to you from there!

Captain Kim Tanner

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