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25th December, 2013

Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Christmas Day morning found us in calm waters rounding the south of Grand Canaria on route to a late afternoon arrival at Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The celebrations officially started with morning worship and then, an hour later, everyone changed into formal attire for what turned out to be a very busy and happy cocktail party. I did make a few amusing remarks regarding Christmas presents which went down rather well, I believe. Meanwhile  George Streeter, our Cornish Executive Chef, along with his team, had prepared a superb festive lunch which carried on until well after three.

Upstairs on the bridge Navigator Tom had us well on the way to the pilot station for Santa Cruz and we were secure alongside shortly before 5:00pm. Time enough for the folks to recharge their batteries in preparation for the evenings very special entertainment.

By 7:30am coaches were alongside to carry the passengers the short ride to the open air Christmas concert the port authority were holding in a large area just inside the port. This was the twentieth such annual event where the superb symphony orchestra of Tenerife were to play for up to 10,000 people, and all for free. The program consisted of music by Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin with a famous piano soloist born in the Dominican Republic, Michel Camilo, whose playing proved to be nothing less than stunning. At least nine cameras were recording the performance and as ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ was being performed, the large screen above the orchestra showed his fingers moving at lightning speed over the keyboard. It was a magical evening, completed by the singing of traditional Spanish Christmas songs and fireworks filling the star filled sky above the arena.

We remained alongside overnight and left the following evening, it had been a delightful Christmas.

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