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Southampton - Christmas in the Canaries

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

18th December, 2012

Southampton to Lisbon

With the Sapphire fully stocked with Christmas goodies and a full complement of excited passengers everything was set for the memorable 21 day ‘Christmas in the Canaries’ cruise.

As we cast off the mooring lines and pulled away from the quayside there was a wonderful ‘Sail-away Party’ on the back deck. It is a great way to meet some new friends, or catch up with old acquaintances, as we gently sailed down the Solent on a perfectly calm moon lit evening.

For those new to the ship, of which there are many, the guided ship tours are popular. These tours, led this time by Resty & Fernando, is a good way to see all the well-appointed facilities and help to familiarise themselves with the ships layout.

Another highlight was the ‘Welcome Aboard Buffet’, held in the Britannia Lounge. This was the first chance for our newly boarded passengers to sample some of the culinary delights prepared by Chef Thierry and his talented team.

In the evening, for the first main show of the cruise, our production team performed a tribute to the greats of yesteryear with ‘Let’s Swing’. Or for those who wanted something a little more relaxed, upstairs in the Drawing Room there was our cocktail pianist Martin Orbiddans tinkling the ivories to well past the witching hour.

All in all a wonderful introduction to the delights of Saga Sapphire as we set off for our first Christmas cruise.

Into Southampton

It was such a relief for everyone to be in the relative calm of the English Channel, away from the heavy swell and with the ship no longer rolling!

The morning was bright and clear as we approached the Nab Tower where our Southampton pilot joined us for the passage through the Solent to 101 berth.

Not too many of our passengers were up and about as we docked at 6.45am and who would blame them as there was more important things to do, like the last minute packing and breakfast before disembarkation.

Alas it was the end of the memorable Caribbean Celebration Cruise, for some it couldn’t come soon enough but for others it was tinged with sadness. No matter what, the time had come for fond farewells to old and also to many new found friends. All good things come to an end or so they say, even the stormy weather which marred the last week of the cruise finally did and will soon be a distant memory.

I certainly hope the memory of this cruise won’t fade too quickly though. We had many wonderful times and experiences on the way to and in the Caribbean. The magnificent sunsets with “green flashes” on a number of occasions; balmy moonlit nights and mirrored seas. Dolphins, flying fish, swimming with stingrays in Antigua and turtles in Barbados, not to mention rum punches served up on many of the island tours!

In closing, I leave you with a Celtic blessing:

May to road rise up to meet you

May wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your cheeks

And the rain fall softly on your land

And until we meet again

May the Lord hold in the palm of His hand.


And here’s to my next 50 years at sea!

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.

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