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Tunis Tunisia

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

3rd October, 2013

Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate and is Tunisia’s largest city. Situated on a large Mediterranean Sea Gulf behind the lake of Tunis and the port of La Goulette, the city extends along the coastal plain and the hills that surround it.

We approached the pilot station at 0700 and were asked to continue up the channel ourselves and the pilot would come to meet us. He boarded just before the breakwater so when he arrived on the bridge I carried out the usual pleasantries and the formalities with him. Explaining how I wanted to manoeuvre the ship and that I wanted to do the manoeuvring myself as I know the ship. This was all agreed and we proceeded in. I asked if he wanted a cup of coffee or tea but he just said a bottle of “Vodka”. This took me momentarily by surprise then I realised he was joking in his dry Tunisian Humour.

Anyway I swung the ship around and berthed astern of one of these rather high looking Cruise ships and we were soon all fast for our passengers to go ashore.

Tunis

Being graced with fabulous weather once again come 9am this morning it wasn’t surprising many of the guests had departed the vessel either away on tour or going ashore independently. The Scenic Tunis tour proved to be very popular today with more than 200 guests choosing this tour discovering both the old and new parts of the city. After stopping for a refreshment, our guests on this tour briefly stopped for photos before returning back to the ship. Some guests on the Bardo Museum and Carthage tour visited the nearby remains of the ancient city of Carthage revealing the incredible history that incorporates the rule of the Phoenicians and its status as the third largest city within the Roman Empire.

Hosting the activities on board today, and doing a fabulous job from the cruise department were Rob McVeigh, Beth Walker and Nicole Harris. All aboard today was 4:30, with many guests heading straight upstairs to the open decks to watch the scenic sail out. With the weather being so glorious at this point in the cruise I’m feeling rather envious of all the golden tans.

The Chief engineer had been carrying out some routine maintenance today and sods law, things don’t always go according to plan so we were slightly later leaving the berth. The wind had picked up to about 25 knots so using full power on the bowthruster, we managed to get the ship away from the quay and started heading out. The pilot asked to then get off just after leaving the berth as it was windy outside so I agreed as we have all the information we need to execute a safe passage. So off he went and we carried out the harbour, ran up to full speed and set course for Valetta.

This evening in the main show lounge is a double billed affair, with the dovetail quartet presenting Songs of Love and Life, including the works of Cole Porter and Duke Ellington, shortly followed by the Sapphire Orchestra with Strike up the Band. The evening finishes with another wonderful cabaret from Maxine Barton.

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.

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