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Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

6th May, 2014

We have just returned from a rather hectic three day cruise, well hectic for the passengers that is, I think most of them probably need a holiday now. Sailing from Southampton on the 2nd with every cabin occupied, the overnight run to Guernsey was completed at slow speed in calm seas, but I suspect the anchor thundering down came as a shock for several in the very forward cabins. Another cruise vessel had sneaked in during the early hours and laid claim to the best spot, just outside the harbour entrance of St. Peter Port, which meant our chaps had to motor almost an extra half mile in the ship's tenders thus lengthening the transit time. It was a fine morning, but our operation was marred by wind against tide, creating an increasing swell at the pontoon.

We left after lunch for the 240 mile run up the channel to Zeebrugge. For the first few hours there was a very strong current against us as the ship ploughed through what is known as the Alderney Race, six knots for a while, but as the Dover Straits approached the tide became favourable and lost distance was regained. The passengers of course were unaware and that evening a Beatles tribute band had a great number of our revellers up on the floor, far too late for me. With clocks going forward an hour we suspected many would want to rest so tours to Bruges were organised for the following afternoon.

The final destination was Ijmuiden (apparently pronounced A mouden), the port for Amsterdam and a pleasant little town built right on the coast. Needless to say just about all our guests took the tours going up to Amsterdam and, after a very chilly start, they had a warm day in pleasant spring sunshine. Sailing just before six, there was another cocktail party and, as though in a glimpse of the eye, it was just about all over. A 'taster' cruise that we hope all will have enjoyed and will consider coming again on a longer journey. It was also a different way of repositioning the ship from Southampton to Dover in readiness for our summer cruising season to more northern climes.

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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