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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

12th May, 2018

Saturday morning dawned with a lovely sunrise glistening over the river Tejo, which prompted the necessity of locating my sunglasses as a priority over my morning cup of tea on the Bridge. Transiting under the unmistakeable April 25th Bridge (a slightly smaller but otherwise almost identical version of San Francisco’s Golden Gate) at breakfast, saw us approaching our berth near the city centre in Santa Apolina.

At 09:00 the gangway sprung into life, as our passengers headed ashore keenly to make the most of this, our final port on the cruise. Today was an exciting and historic day in Lisbon, for this evening the annual Eurovision Song Contest was to be held in town. It was clearly bursting with life accordingly, with various parks and marquees set up to accommodate music fans and revellers visiting the city. There were odd balls aplenty, armed in comical costumes, flags and banners - eager to advertise about how their country might perform later on in the finals.

Not being a huge Eurovision follower myself, I decided instead to treat myself to a famous ‘Pastei de Belem’ (custard tart originating from the region of Belem in the city) and carry out some desk work on board. However I did hear later from various passengers and crew who got caught up in the celebrations, that it was jolly fun. Other Eurovision sceptics on board (I was not alone, of course) preferred to take the option of an organised tour, either around the city or further afield – for example a pleasant visit to Mafra National Park, or a visit to the city’s impressive Maritime Museum.

As the afternoon wore on and the sun became lower over the city, departure time came upon us and we sailed back down the river out of this impressive city. Two days at sea to follow before our arrival into Dover. Derrick Evans (better known as ‘Mr Motivator’) has joined us on board this cruise to help with our health and wellness programme, conducting fitness classes each day. He is a real character, and once meeting him it became glaringly obvious how he gained his nickname.

I came across Mr Motivator in the gym in the afternoon of our final day at sea, and he seemed keen to conduct an exercise programme with me. I am unsure whether the intention was out of kindness or perhaps more for his own entertainment, but within minutes I was jumping around like a gazelle with sweat pouring from my pores. Derrick seemed to find it all great fun. I have a feeling that the aches and pains might last a while…but apparently that’s a good thing!

Well folks, that’s it for our exciting Mediterranean Adventure – next stop, Norway!

Captain Kim Tanner

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.