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18th November, 2014

Basseterre, St. Kitts

After ten Caribbean ports, we came to our last call before returning across the Atlantic, Basseterre, capital of St. Kitts. The docking was the most challenging of them all, a strong trade wind blowing across the jetty, an unfavourable current and no tugs to assist. It was a competition against the elements, but teamwork prevailed and we were secure alongside in good time. Rather fortunate really because the new Chief Executive of Saga was due to disembark later in the day.

It developed into a hot and sunny day for the folks, but I did suggest they hang on to their hats upon leaving the ship. Those who went on the ‘sugar railway’ really had a great time. It is an old narrow gauge line which circumnavigated the island and was used to carry the harvested cane to the various mills near Basseterre. Just when it was about to be made redundant an entrepreneur had the idea to re-equip it with new passenger carriages and diesel engines so that it could be used as a new tourist experience for the ever increasing number of cruise vessels visiting the newly constructed pier. It is a great little train journey and passes around the coast, through the remaining cane fields, small villages and farms, much to the delight of watching school children and tourists on board. Needless to say rum punch is served and the Scenic Railway Choir gives renditions of local Caribbean songs.

When it came time for us to depart it was as though Saga Sapphire was eager to return across the Atlantic. The strong wind pushing against the side of the ship stretched the last lines until, once they were finally let go, drifted us quickly off the berth. The last Caribbean sunset came and went, and within an hour the lights were slowly fading off our starboard quarter.

Captain Philip Rentell

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.