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17th August, 2014

Leith, Scotland

MV Saga Sapphire docked in Leith at 9:00pm on Sunday where we stayed alongside for two days at the gateway to Scotland’s magnificent capital. Although I have visited Edinburgh many times, this city never fails to fascinate me with its rich history. The oldest building dates back to the 12th century and is St Margaret’s Chapel which is situated in the castle grounds. The newest ‘historic’ building is the Scottish Parliament building which was opened by the Queen in 2004. At this time of year the entire city is abuzz with visitors to Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival which is the largest arts festival in the World. So there was plenty for our passengers to see during our stay in this wonderful city.

On Monday morning, passengers were up bright and early ready for a busy day in the city. Many of them had booked onto one of our organised shore excursions ranging from ‘Edinburgh Panoramic’ a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia, ‘Holyrood Palace and Scottish Parliament’ and ‘Falkirk Wheel and Forth Bridge’.

For those who had not booked onto one of our organised tours, a complimentary shuttle bus service ran continuously throughout the day from the ship to the centre of Edinburgh. From here passengers could explore as they wished. There was plenty of shopping opportunities, or they could visit one of the many museums in the city, or they could fill their day (and night) with performances as part of the Fringe Festival. Not only the theatres but, bars, hotels, churches and any indoor venue with a decent amount of space has been converted into a performance area and a short stroll along the Royal Mile will give you a good idea of the type of performances that are on offer.

For many passengers, the highlight of the cruise came on Monday night when they experienced the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The majority of our passengers had booked their place to witness this spectacle and the coaches left the ship just before 7:00pm to take them as close to the castle as possible. Needless to say the Tattoo did not disappoint and the weather stayed dry for the majority of the evening. For many, it was certainly an experience that will never be forgotten. They returned to the ship very late and a little chilly, however the Food & Beverage Team had prepared a delicious late night Scottish buffet accompanied by Hot Chocolate (with a wee dram).

We sailed from Leith early on Tuesday morning and will spend the day at sea before our arrival in Ijmuiden, Netherlands tomorrow. This will give passengers a chance to relax and recover from their busy stay in Edinburgh.

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.