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30th September, 2012

Gibraltar, The Britannia Club Cruise


We headed south from Ferrol, with a strong northerly pushing us on our way until passing Cape St.Vincent just before midnight on the second night. By the following morning, as we approached the Straights, the seas had calmed, the clouds had receded and blue skies ahead beckoned.

There was the usual ‘dash’ across the west bound traffic lane to get into Gibraltar Bay, before entering what appeared to be, from several miles away, a far too active anchorage. Another cargo vessel was approaching at the same time, a ferry to Algeciras overtook close by to starboard, and the bridge radios were all chattering away with ‘vessel traffic service’ information from three different nearby countries. It was busy. In fact the docking turned out to be fairly straight forward, the pilot boarded, we threaded our way through the anchored ships to the inner berth, and docked whilst being overlooked by passengers from the upper decks of another large cruiser. Some of our ‘Saganauts’ took the easy option of guided tours while others who had been to Gib before just travelled the short distance into town.


Being a Sunday many of the shops were closed, but the camera, jewellery and bargain tourist shops remained open until later in the afternoon. Personally I prefer the town when it is a little quieter, as there is time to amble and peruse the odd examples of ‘Britishness’ that the locals want to preserve in order to ensure their political status. I particularly liked a couple of highly polished canons that I thought may perhaps look even better positioned on our foredeck.

Our pilot on departure had, some years ago, been a Master with Saga, so we chatted for the short while it took to clear the berth and then he was away, off to bring in yet another ship to the anchorage. The business of the port never stops and hopefully it will always remain as one of the great nautical crossroads.

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.