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11th January, 2013

Santa Cruz, La Palma

The overnight cruise down to the first of our Canary Island ports of call was uneventful with calm seas and good weather, just the way Captains like it.

La Palma is, according to many people, the most beautiful Canary Island and is often called La Isla Bonita (beautiful island) by the locals. It is relatively unspoilt by tourism compared to the likes of its larger neighbouring islands and has a quainter and more genuine feel to the place as a result.

The island is dominated by the Caldera in the north with its steeply sloping sides, both on the inside and outside of this massive erosion crater. The Caldera is made of volcanic rock but is not, as is often thought, a volcano itself.

The same cannot be said for the small crater that encompasses a large part of the southern end of Santa Cruz port. This is readily apparent when a few miles out to sea, but has long been dormant. In fact the last activity on the island was just a very minor volcanic eruption in 1971.

But if you want to frighten yourself you can find articles online from about 10 years ago that you may find of interest (just type in “La Palma tidal wave” into a popular search engine) and would make the island the perfect setting for a spectacular Hollywood disaster movie. “A beautiful volcanic island in the Atlantic that is on the brink of catastrophic collapse, threatening to unleash giant waves that will wreak havoc around the globe within hours.” But I’ll let you read that for yourself.

We stayed late that night alongside in Santa Cruz, departing for Tenerife during the hours of darkness, silently gliding out of the port for the short passage to La Palma’s larger sibling.

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.