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9th April, 2012


For our next port of call Saga Sapphire sailed into Cartagena, Spain. Cartagena is a major naval station located in the region of Murcia, by the Mediterranean coast, south-eastern Spain. We arrived at 8am which gave our guests plenty of time to go ashore and exploring.

For those not travelling independently they could take one of the three tours on offer today. The first was the 'Highlights on Foot' tour. This walking tour let our guests discover the highlights of Cartagena, originally settled in 223 BC. They then walked along the sea wall to reach the Town Hall Square and the main avenue. Continuing onto the most important Roman archaeological site in the region, our passengers viewed the theatre in the heart of Cartagena which was lost for more than one and a half thousand years. They then had the choice of returning to the ship or staying in Cartagena and exploring independently.

In the afternoon two tours departed with the first being 'Navidad Fortress' exploring how this important military base defended the city for centuries. To start they joined a motor launch for a guided mini-cruise along the coast, passing the Alfonso XII Pier, the submarine base and Galeras Castle, before arriving at the fortress. Built on a strategically-located natural rocky outcrop, the fort was built in 1740 to protect the Spanish fleet that was based at Cartagena. After this historic visit our passengers returned by boat to the harbour and took a short walking tour of the city centre before returning to the ship.

Our final tour the 'Cartagena Harbour Cruise' was enjoyed by many as our guests boarded the boat to discover every corner of Cartagena’s natural harbour and learn more about the cities defence fortifications, monuments, forts and coastal batteries. As the guide entertained with stories of legends of the role Cartagena has played over the last 3000 years.

On-board Saga Sapphire cruise staff Michelle entertained our guests with games such as beanbag boules, shuffleboard and Uno throughout the day. As we sailed away this afternoon guests could join all of the cruise staff out on the back deck for a complimentary glass of rum punch with musical accompaniment from duo Perfect Mood.

We invited guests to join cruise staff Rebecca at 6pm for this fun general knowledge quiz in the Drawing Room followed by cabaret and cocktails and the sounds of duo Perfect Mood.

Once again in the Britannia Lounge to begin this evening’s entertainment the Cairn String Trio take to the stage as they presented ‘The American Song Book’ including works by Gershwin, Sinatra and The Beach Boys.

Tonight’s showtime took us on a musical journey from London’s West End to New York’s Broadway with the Explosive Production Cast and ‘West End to Broadway’ following with music for dancing from the Sapphire Orchestra and our gentlemen hosts.

For those who wanted a night cap could join Andy Law our cocktail pianist for cocktails and a possible sing-song until late.

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.