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4th September, 2012


There must be something about Dover at the moment, because each time we dock there it is under glorious skies and tranquil seas. The last few turnarounds we have experienced sublime weather, and long may this continue. As it was the end of our cruise, there was some disappointment as we said farewell to a lovely bunch of passengers.

With every goodbye on turnaround day, there is the chance to say hello to a new group of friends who are off to savour the splendours of Norway. Like every beginning on board, there was the embarkation buffet; the first opportunity to sample some of the delicious food to be served over the coming week. This was obviously very popular as most passengers had quite a journey to reach us all the way down the bottom of the country in Dover.

Once all were re-fuelled and re-invigorated, our obligatory safety drill carried out,our cruise department threw a splendid sail-away party on the back deck. As we sailed away, we turned the ship off the berth and sailed through the eastern entrance. We have to get up to about 8 or 9 knots quite quickly as there is quite a bit of tide running across the entrance so need to make sure we don’t drift onto the breakwater. So we were given the all clear by the harbour but as we were making progress, I noticed a couple of very large catamaran sailing vessels mooching around the entrance. The harbour sent their pilot boat to chase them away as they were right in our track and they didn’t really take any interest, so the police rib, Delta 99 sped off to give them a few choice words to get out the way. Once clear, we then turned and passed a few inbound ferries, and once again this catamaran sailed right between ourselves and the incoming ferry in what I can only describe as an idiotic manoeuvre. As always we had been watching this so were aware we may have to take action which we did and slowed down. But what a display of poor seamanship we felt. Anyway Delta 99, sped off and had a chat and the police came back to me on VHF and said he would be taking action. So that satisfied me, as joking aside when all these ships are milling around, you really do need to have a grasp of what is going on. So that was our excitement for the day and we sailed north towards Bergen. For those more interested in getting ones bearings, there was the ships tour led by our Cruise Hosts. Guests had the chance to view and get to known all of the public rooms they would come to enjoy over the next few days.

Come 6.45pm it was time for the Food and Beverage Department to throw open their doors and welcome guests to the first main meal of the cruise. Passengers had the chance to eat in one of three different restaurants, for a more relaxed affair there was the Verandah, or for those who wanted to make a bit more of a fuss there was the Pole to Pole.

The evening’s entertainment featured the sassy sounds of the ‘Hot Rhythm Orchestra’, a world renowned Jazz group. They wowed the audience with a selection of Jazz classics and entertained all for a solid hour. For a more relaxing evening, upstairs in the Drawing Room there was our wonderful duo Perfect Mood, or in Coopers our Cocktail Pianist Martin entertained with a selection modern popular tunes.

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.