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Palma,

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

6th October, 2014

Majorca is the largest and the most popular Balearic Island, Palma has many bars, restaurants and stylish shops. The city of Palma lies on the south-western coast of the island in the centre of the 10 mile wide Palma Bay. Bellver Castle and the Gothic Cathedral are some of the attractions; one of Palma’s main features is its main promenade which is lined with palm trees and beautiful flowers.

Although we approached in the darkness, with our arrival route right underneath the flight path of the Airport we could see numerous planes coming into land, bringing many passengers and tourists of different nationalities to this lovely island. We picked our pilot up, and his trainee, and we proceeded into the “Chicane” of the berth. The sun was just starting to rise as we berthed alongside the main passenger terminal; with light winds and cool temperatures it was a very enjoyable way to start the day.

The first tour, Rugged North Coast and La Granja, departed shortly after we had arrived; passengers enjoyed the scenic drive along the North coast taking in the wonderful sights. They headed to La Granja de Exporles, the 17th-century Majorcan manor house, and before heading back to the ship passengers had some free time to explore the house and grounds and enjoy a glass of local wine.

The second tour, Narrow-gauge Train to Soller, departed at 9:00am, passengers embarked on a short panoramic tour to the Son Reus railway station to board the historic Soller Railway. The daily service has operated since 1912 and is a 17 mile route between Palma and Soller.  This 50 minute journey shows it’s breath-taking views of the Majorcan mountains, orange groves and small, fairytale villages.

The final excursion  was Panoramic Palma and Valldermossa taking our guests on a coach throughout the morning driving along the seafront lined with hundreds of yachts, passing the magnificent Gothic Cathedral and Almudaina Palace. The coach then continued through the city’s old quarters, past the Gothic and modernist – style buildings and the lively ramblas. Afterwards returning to Palma and viewing the exterior of the famous Bellver Castle and Bay of Palma before returning to the ship.

For those who wanted to enjoy the sunshine and activities on board they could join our Cruise Staff Rubie and our Explosive Production Vocalists Maxine and Darren in playing games such as shuffleboard, ring toss, crazy golf and also a general knowledge quiz.

We had everything ready for departure at 1:30pm but as is common, a fresh breeze had blown up pinning us onto the quayside. Using the engines and rudder to manoeuvre the stern off the quay, and also move the ship slowly aft, and using the Bowthruster to lift the bow, I drove the ship astern (or reversed) out of the port, steering the ship with the bowthruster as we went.  The pilot disembarked and we set sail clockwise around the island and towards Sete in France, our next port of call.

At 2:30pm in the Britannia lounge our Cruise Director Kayleigh got to know a little more about celebrity chef Kevin Woodford in a question and answer session.

The entertainment started a little earlier tonight at 8:45pm the Divertimento preformed their classical concert in the Britannia Lounge followed shortly after by vocalist Mark O,Malley. The evening then continued with music for dancing from The Saga Orchestra or if passengers preferred, to listen to our Perfect Mood Duo upstairs in the Drawing whilst enjoying a night cap.

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.

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