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25th April, 2013


Venice in the morning mist

After the calmest of nights our arrival into Venice was something close to magical. The sea was flat calm, the visibility difficult to assess with the sky just merging into the water as it met the horizon. It was still twilight as the small vague shape of the pilot boat became a firm object, not only on the radar, but also with the mark one eyeball. He boarded shortly after, in true casual, but confidant, Italian style.

As we approached the first major turn, passing the still unfinished works for the Venice flood defence scheme, the sun gradually rose, an orange ball that slowly turned a golden yellow, casting a wonderful light over Renaissance buildings becoming discernible through the early morning mist.


Passengers had been invited to a ‘Classical Champagne Breakfast’ on the afterdeck. A large ice sculpture dominated the display and eggs benedict, smoked salmon, mini croissants and cream cheese bagels, all prepared by Executive Chef John and his team, were accompanied with the most suitable music provided by the Greco Quartet.

The Lido passed down our port side as we proceeded into ‘Canale Di San Marco’, slowing down to just six knots to ensure our wake had no effect on these precious buildings. Over the public address I pointed out the Bridge of Sighs as we crept passed the ‘Palacio Ducale’, the Doge’s Palace. Presumably because of the early hour, St Mark’s square was almost deserted and there were very few vaporettos or gondolas to be seen in the ‘Canale Grande’. Here the port swing around the church of San Giorgio, where Vivaldi taught and composed, was a tight one, and the attention required for navigation left little time to take in the stunning architecture. Finally we proceeded up ‘Canale Della Giudecca’ and turned off the entrance to ‘Stazione Marittima’, backing down to our berth for the day.

Passengers I met as they departed for their tours were almost overwhelmed by their good fortune in seeing Venice at its very best. Perhaps the champagne may have just added a little something to their feelings of well-being.

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.