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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

4th September, 2018

Well, just as we were departing Tarbert yesterday, an interesting email popped into my inbox from the agents of our next port of call, Barrow-in-Furness. The message read something like this: “Sincere apologies, however we have no pilot available tomorrow, therefore we have had to close the port.”

Now, there is little argument that one could have with this sort of message, so thinking caps were all thrown on, and within minutes an alternative ‘Celtic Homeland’ port situated nearby was suggested – and it is of course Liverpool. Luckily the cruise terminal was free and so we pointed the ship’s nose towards the River Mersey.

A slightly grey but dry Tuesday morning saw us entering the Mersey at around 06:00, just before sunrise. It takes just under 2hrs to head the 18 miles or so past the river basin and into the channel towards Liverpool, passing the commercial container docks before reaching the city centre and the perfectly placed cruise berth. It literally is a step off into the city centre, with the famous Royal Liver Building & Cunard House marking the waterfront nearby.

Passengers were given the full day to roam at their pleasure throughout the city. Just next door to our berth was the ferry across the Mersey – themselves even older than old Gerry and his Pacemakers’ famous song. One can take a cruise on either of these lovely little ships, to see the sights on the waterfront the easy way. Alternatively, it was a mere 10-15 minute stroll upriver to the famous Royal Albert Docks, where the maritime museum lies along with some fascinating maritime relics (although my father was at home in Jersey today).

For those who were more interested in retail therapy, Liverpool’s city centre was a 15 minute stroll eastwards where there are all sorts of shops small & large; the contents of which befuzzle someone like myself. Normally I shop only for food or the occasional hardware or DIY necessity, but, very occasionally, when my socks develop holes which you are not supposed to put your feet through when donning them, my shopping skills are put to the test and I must locate one which instead sells clothes. This sort of trip I find relatively tedious - ever since my mother, some 20 years ago, left me to my own devices, and no longer guides me to the appropriate section within these stores - which seem to be ever-growing in size! However, many others I come across seem to enjoy the experience and for them, I am most pleased: someone has to!

Well, it was supper time on board once everybody had returned from their wanders ashore, and after an exceptionally good curry cooked on board by Tushar, it was time to take our lovely little ship out of Liverpool and back down the Mersey into the Irish Sea. Tonight, there was a special Ceilidh (pronounced “Kayley”) on the aft deck throughout the evening, which entails all sorts of traditional Scottish Country Dancing to a highland band playing appropriately jolly music. What better way to enjoy this than whilst cruising along the Liverpool waterfront, kilts flapping away in the breeze…

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.