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30th August, 2014

Falmouth, England

Our visit to Falmouth was with great anticipation as many of our passengers are particularly interested in seeing the Tall Ships.

As we made our approach to Falmouth, Captain announced that he had a surprise for everyone and encouraged passengers to be out on deck at around 11:00am. Well it certainly was a surprise to see a Navy Rescue Helicopter making its way towards us. The helicopter circled us a few times and then remained stationary on our port side for a while. We then noticed that they were preparing for one of their men to be winched out of the helicopter. It took us a while to understand what they were planning, but then all became clear when the pilot carefully manoeuvred the helicopter (and the man hanging below) towards the bridge wing. It was certainly impressive to see one of the helicopter crew board the ship and something that I have never seen before. I was later told that this was actually very good practice for both the ship and the Navy rescue team should there be any requirement for this to happen in an emergency.

We anchored off Falmouth on Saturday afternoon and commenced our tender operation to get passengers ashore. Falmouth is famous for its naval heritage, having the third deepest natural harbour in the world. From 1689 – 1851 it operated as the terminal for the post office packet ships taking mail to America. Nowadays it is the start and finish of many record-breaking round the world sea voyages.

Passengers who travelled ashore to visit Falmouth, experienced the hustle and bustle and excitement in the air for the Tall Ships race. As always the Shore Excursions team had organised tours for passengers to participate in, including a visit to The Eden project, Trebah Gardens and a Tall Ship Experience. Passengers on the Tall Ship tour got to experience the thrill of sailing on board the 164 foot Dutch square rigged tall ship Mercedes. Our Hotel Director Marco also gave a few lucky passengers the opportunity to have a tour of a tall ship as a surprise.

We stayed at anchor in Falmouth overnight and in the evening we welcomed the Loveny Male Voice Choir on board to provide this evening’s entertainment. This was followed by a ‘dancing under the stars’ party out on the Verandah Deck hosted by the Cruise Team with music by the Saga Sapphire Orchestra. It was surprisingly mild outside and everyone seemed to enjoy the lively party atmosphere.

We remained at anchor until approximately 1:00pm on Sunday and once all passengers were back on board, Captain Philip made preparations to manoeuvre the ship to the start line of the tall ships race. The views out on deck were stunning and it was such a glorious afternoon. The Food & Beverage Team put on a magnificent feast on the outside deck and the food was simply delicious. The decks were packed with passengers enjoying the sunshine, delicious food and amazing views of the Tall Ships. Needless to say, the majority of the ship spent the afternoon outside watching the spectacle as the race began. The weather stayed fine and we even got another visit from the Navy Rescue Helicopter except this time they simply circled the ship, gave us a wave and continued on their way.

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.