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Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

15th June, 2014

We were still enjoying glorious weather when we arrived at the pilot station at 6.30am. Before berthing, we swung the ship in front of the berth in order to be moored bow out and were berthed at 8:00am.

The port of Cobh, pronounced cove, is the historic port from which thousands embarked on voyages across the Atlantic during the turbulent years of the 18th century. The town was renamed Queenstown in 1849, but the name was changed back to Cobh in 1922. Cobh became a naval and military centre and the chief Irish port of call for transatlantic liners.

Soon the ship was cleared and the passengers could go ashore.

The tours today were:


Cork City and Blarney Castle - This tour starts with a panoramic drive that shows Ireland’s second city. The Lee flows through the city in two main channels, so that you find yourself constantly crossing bridges. This feature gives the city a distinctive continental air, although Cork also has a great reputation as the shopping and commercial capital of the south of Ireland. As well as offering the amenities of a large city, it still manages to retain the pleasant charm and friendliness of a country town. You will see the spires of the Cathedral, the Old Courthouse and the City Hall. From here drive on to Blarney Castle. Visit the castle and if you wish kiss the stone.

Leisurely West Cork and Clonakilty - West Cork is blessed with some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery: the coast is rugged, with creeks, bays and coves, just inland are gentle green hills and tranquil pastures where fat milking cows graze.  Clonakilty, is a lively market town at the top of a winding inlet, and has been designated as West Cork’s Heritage Town by the Irish Tourist Board. Kinsale by Sea Safari. This tour offers a Rigid Inflatablre Boat trip along the river to Kinssale passing the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Camdon Fort, Carlisle Fort and Roaches Point Light House. And of course look out for wild life. In Kinsale, site of the siege of Kinsale in 1601, visit Charles fort and go for a nice stroll, before sailing back to the ship.

Panoramic Cork and Jameson distillery - As the title states a chance to see the town of Cork in depth and enjoy a visit to the Jameson distillery with the opportunity to have a taste of their products.

The Titanic Trail - This tour reveals the history of the Titanic’s last port of call, Cobh. Start with a stroll around the harbour, visit the actual building where the White Star Line Office was located, and the very pier from where the Titanic’s passengers departed. You can also see the beautiful neo-Gothic St Colman’s Cathedral with its 47 bells and enjoy a glass of Guinness while resting your legs and enjoying the view before you. For the passengers who wanted to discover the town independently, the ship was berthed down town.

For those passengers on board the cruise staff had organised and hosted different activities.

All on board was 4:30pm. After all passengers were on board we left the berth. This being a sunny Sunday with lots of people enjoying the weather and coming to see the ship in, it was a festive sail away with lots of people waving the ship off and a marching band playing on the pier.  We left the port, disembarked the pilot and set course for Guernsey.

The evening started with the Farewell Party, during which many passengers remarked on the successful cruise and the fabulous weather we have been experiencing, followed by dinner. For dinner the Britannia Lounge hosted a music for dancing with the Sapphire Orchestra and The Celtic Rhythm Irish Dancers.  Many of the dancers have performed with River Dance, Lord of the Dance, Celtic Dance, Rhythm of the Dance, Geal Force and Dance Masters. A great performance by very accomplished dancers. This was followed by a music for listening and dancing with the “You and Me Duo”  and “Big Band, Swing & Ballads” with Darren Tremble and Gareth Evans in the Drawing Room and Late Night Musical Melodies with Lloyd Hulme at the piano in the Cooper’s Bar.

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.