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23rd December, 2012



On a hazy sunny Sunday morning we slowly approached the entrance to the commercially busy port of Casablanca. It’s a familiar port of call for many cruise ships at this time of the year, yet there’s no bespoke passenger terminal. If I come back in ten years time they might have built one! Instead I had to dock the Sapphire amongst container ships and bulk carriers discharging their cargoes. It was a slow docking manoeuvre due to the space restriction but nevertheless the ship was secured alongside with the gangway on board by 8.00am.

Everyone knows Casablanca as the famous city featured in the Humphrey Bogart film of the same name - “Play it again Sam” and all that!

Although not the main seat of power in Morocco, Casablanca is likened to New York and overshadows its more distinguished capital, Rabat.

It was a lovely day with warm temperatures and clear skies and no rain on the horizon.

The first tour to head off into the hustle and bustle of Morocco’s largest city, was the ‘Casablanca and the Hassan II Mosque’ tour.

The next tour to head out was ‘A Night in Marrakech’. This trip was an overnight excursion to discover this compelling and colourful ancient city. Taking in the Majorelle Gardens, a wonderful evening meal, plus a night in a 5 star hotel, this two day tour was for those who really wanted to get a feel for the country. To top it all off, guests were entertained in the evening, with a local stage show.

Finally the last shore excursion to depart the ship this morning was the ‘Casablanca City Tour’. This panoramic tour was just the ticket for those wishing to see such sites as the Royal Palaces and French cathedral of Notre Dame from the comfort of an air conditioned coach.

With the sun setting and everyone back on board it was time to set sail for Agadir.

For the evening entertainment, we were dazzled by the dexterous digits of Maria Garzon, our classical pianist, performing a wonderful program of classical favourites, the highlight being a version of the Enigma Variation.

Later in Drawing Room a Christmas carol sing-along was organised by Tanya our Cruise Director, and joined by the majority of the Cruise Department, which was a lovely way to finish the evening off.

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.