5th April, 2019
Our arrival into the naval port of Cartagena, Spain was right on time, with Saga Sapphire being scheduled to pick up the pilot at 0700, we were successfully alongside, with the gangway ready and all settled in by 0800am.
The weather was promising 14-18C Celsius so our passengers were eagerly waiting to go and explore ashore on the many organised excursions. Some chose to discover this magical city by train, others were to try their walking ‘’skills’’ around the Roman Theatre, while the rest decided to enjoy its cultural cuisine.
For the Back Office Team it feels like we arrived in the beautiful Cartagena weeks before. Our pre arrival preparation for every port consists of sending ahead a lot of documentation, emailing the agents all our requests for the day we are in their waters and filling out forms, specific to their country.
Preparing a ship for entering or departing a port are two extremely important aspects of a ship’s voyage. Both procedures are very important and the ship’s crew has to plan and discuss ahead all the matters that are required for the ship to berth. It all starts a couple of weeks before, continues with the local authorities coming on board on the morning of arrival, checking that all of our documents are in order so they can clear the ship. This is how the passengers and crew can go ashore.
This time we were very fortunate to visit one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, although we can all agree that there is nothing that is not beautiful about this country. Cartagena is known as the capital of the Spanish Navy’s Maritime Department of the Mediterranean since the 18th Century, has the world’s greatest natural harbours and is very rich in mineral mines.
There is so much to discover in Cartagena, so many historically fascinating places to visit! The best things to do in Cartagena are exploring the well-preserved Roman Theatre, which was discovered in 1988, restored recently and reopened for the public, go to the Archaeological Museum to study the history of the city, wonder at Cartagena City Hall, one of the most stunning buildings in Cartagena, enjoy one of the most breath taking views of the landscape form Bateria de Castillitos or just take a stroll at Calle Mayor and get a real taste of the city.
After doing all this your mind will be persuaded never to leave Cartagena!
Alina Berbecel, Second Purser
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.