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16th November, 2013


We sailed into Southampton and embarked our pilot at 0500 on a crisp calm morning. I enjoy these sort of mornings so my early start is never a chore. We started to make our way up the Solent and as always it was pleasant to watch the sun come up.

We arrived off the berth at 0700, so I turned the ship using the ships own power to put the ship alongside. We had ordered a tug as the wind was due to be stronger but as it didn’t materialise, I dismissed the tug and berthed the ship myself.

We were all on the gangway ready to say goodbye to our passengers that had joined us for our Africa and Solar Eclipse cruise. The final guests disembarked the ship at 11am to make their journeys home.

We did sadly have to see a few of our crew go this morning due to the typhoon. They were of course supported by everyone here on board and will continue to be supported by Saga.

Fortunately not too many have been affected by the typhoon, but for those who have been it is deeply saddening. Even in their time of distress, the crew members affected still found the time to leave us a thank you card for all our help. It was a lovely gesture but not necessary as they are part of the family and it is our duty to help them as we would anyone else.

Of course the show must still go on, so once again my crew, staff and officers prepared to welcome the new passengers on board from around 1pm, all excited about the Western Mediterranean Explorer cruise to come.

As we welcomed so many familiar faces on board there were also quite a few new guests travelling with us for the first time. Many explored the new surroundings whilst others joined us in the Britannia Lounge for an embarkation buffet and afternoon tea.

Most of the guests had arrived by 1500 today which was when we held the passenger drill out on the open deck. Unfortunately however a few were stuck in traffic so sail away was therefore delayed slightly. While we waited we gathered out on the Veranda deck to enjoy a glass or two of bucks fizz before preparing for the evening.

Leaving today, I brought the ship away without the help of anyone other than the northerly breeze. We then sailed south to the Pilot disembarkation area which we reached by 1900. We then set course along the channel – let’s see what the bay holds for us!

As always I’m very proud to have such an excellent team here on board Saga Sapphire. So after an enjoyable meal prepared by the much loved George Streeter, everyone soon filed into the Britannia Lounge ready for the production show ‘Lets Swing’.

Thoroughly enjoyed by all, many soon retired to their cabins after a long day of travelling. The ‘Perfect Mood’ duo did of course serenade the select few who went up to the Drawing Room this evening, whilst our newly embarked cocktail pianist Malcolm Eldridge performed for those wanting a late night beverage in Cooper's Bar.

After a busy day the ship was very quiet come midnight with just the night staff wondering around preparing for our first day at sea tomorrow.

Today was definitely another successful day here on board Saga Sapphire.

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.