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26th October, 2014

Lisbon, Portugal

Saga Sapphire sailed into Lisbon, Portugal our last port of call, at around 07:30am this morning, which meant the ship was then cleared by the local authorities at 8:00am. Once we were cleared, our eager independent travellers soon departed, ready to explore this exciting city. In the city today they had rather a large marathon that was taking place, so everywhere you looked there was a sea of orange bodies running around. With this we expected delays with the traffic, however all the tours seemed to run smoothly much to our delight. Weather from the outset looked bright and sunny and continued to remain like this for the remainder of the day, with highs of up to 22 degrees.

Tours that were available to our guests today were ‘The Arrabida Mountains’. This being an excursion which took them through a lesser explored area of south Lisbon crossing the 25th April bridge, then on a scenic drive to Sesimbra, an old fashioned fishing village. Of course our guests had an opportunity to take photos, especially at the Moorish castle. To finish the tour everyone went to Azeitao to visit their famous wine cellars and to sample local wines.

Always a popular tour is the ‘Lisbon Overview’. This is a scenic drive visiting some of Lisbon’s hidden gems. Something very important to our guests is having enough photo opportunities as well, so sure enough there were ample on this excursion, stopping at not only the monuments but also the Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery and the parliament buildings.

Some chose an eye opening trip to the Estufa Fria today, which is an authentic living museum. This was an unusual and extremely peaceful place with areas enhanced by pools, waterfalls and statues.

Obidos, Nazare and Alcobaca, an all day excursion which saw quite a bit of interest, was an 8 hour tour to discover a trio of traditional towns. Our guests journeyed from the cobbled streets and white washed houses of Obidos to the Nazare, the most colourful of Portugal’s fishing villages, then on to Sitio set on the cliff-tops of Nazare before finally travelling to Alcobaca which was Portugal’s spiritual centre until the 18th century

Our passengers who chose to stay on board enjoyed the comfort of Saga Sapphire’s many lounges, joining in with games and quizzes or just enjoying the sunshine on deck with maybe a dip in the pool to cool off.

We set sail at 5:30pm this afternoon. Most decided to head out onto the open deck and enjoy a cocktail or two whilst taking in the beautiful views. Meanwhile in the Britannia Lounge guests were invited to enjoy a presentation by Coroner Dr. Peter Dean, entitled ‘The Real Story of the Elephant Man’. Here he looked medically at the condition from which Joseph Merrick, otherwise known as the elephant man, suffered.

At 8:45pm this evening up in the Drawing Room, many guests joined our fitness instructor Joe for a general knowledge quiz. Meanwhile through in the Britannia Lounge, the Sapphire Orchestra played music for dancing for our keen dancers on board. Main show time this evening was with the Explosive Production Cast in "Twist and Shout". The entertainment went on late into the evening with the boys from the Sapphire Orchestra, who then performed a late night jazz set starring our Cruise Director, Kayleigh McMahon.

Well this is my last Blog for a while as I hand over to Captain Rentell on Wednesday and am off back to Scotland to be with my wife and son. So I hope you have enjoyed reading the Blogs and look forward to returning on the 21st December.

Until then

Yours Aye

Captain Alistair Mclundie

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.