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22nd October, 2013

Lisbon Portugal

With a grey start to the day it wasn’t particularly inviting this morning, none the less everyone seemed rather eager to go into Lisbon to explore this enchanting capitol. Famous for its majestic architecture with its wooden trams, Moorish features and fantastic shopping there’s was no wonder why so many were keen to explore this Old Town.

We started our approach to the City at 0600, by entering the southern limits of the River Tagus. The entrance to Lisbon is via a narrow channel with a sandbank to the west so the port has very visible and bright leading lights. So we lined up on these lights and we know we are in the centre of the channel and in safe water. We proceeded upriver and picked the pilot up at 0700 and proceeded to our berth. The river was running quickly on berthing and had about 2 knots of current against us. So it makes berthing easier as you can stem the current with some power on the engines and using the rudder, can manoeuvre the stern towards the quay. So we were soon in position and sat alongside.

Most of our guests this morning went on the ever popular ‘Lisbon Panoramic’ excursion. Those participating saw all the most recognisable landmarks, like the ‘Belem Tower’ and the Statue of ‘Christ the Redeemer’. The great thing about this tour is that all of these delightful sights can be viewed from the comfort of a coach.

A different tour not usually run was the Obidos, Nazare and Alcobaca excursion which really gave the guests a good opportunity to discover a trio of traditional Portuguese towns. With fantastic reviews those who chose this tour appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

Set on seven hills on the banks of the River Tagus, Lisbon has been the capital of Portugal since the 13th Century. With a late sail away today everyone really had a great opportunity to see this amazing city with its distinct modern and ancient sections. Taking advantage of being in port so late we were able to bring on a local group for main show time to entertain our guests this evening. The choral university group serenading our passengers were made up of young men and women dressed in typical university cloaks. Accompanied by the Portuguese guitar, acoustic guitar and tambourines this really was a delight to see. It was the first occasion Arquitectuna had performed here on the Saga Sapphire and I’m almost certain it won’t be the last. 

With all aboard this evening being 10.30pm, we then prepared to set sail towards our next port of call being Cadiz Spain with an approximate distance of 282 nautical miles to travel.

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.