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14th September, 2014

Lisbon, Portugal

We approached our berth in Lisbon with a few challenging conditions. The wind was rather fresh blowing us onto the quay, and we had about a 3 knot current from ahead so I had to move the ship slowly and carefully as, with these factors, they could push the ship onto the quayside with some force. However we are trained for this and through experience I berthed the ship onto the fenders with great help from my colleagues on the bridge and fore and aft.

We docked at 12noon today in the capital city of Portugal. It was a glorious morning and many passengers were out on deck watching the beautiful views as we sailed along the River Tagus towards our berth in Lisbon. The temperature is getting warmer, reaching 23⁰C.

Once the ship had been cleared by the local immigration officials, passengers were able to go ashore either independently or as part of an organised tour. There were three tours for passengers to take part in today including ‘Lisbon Panoramic’, ‘Estufa Fria and Lisbon Overview’ which took passengers to an authentic living museum which, when translated, means ‘cold greenhouse’ and gets its name from the fact that no imported heat source is used at the site. The ‘Palace of Ajuda and Lisbon Overview’ took passengers on a relaxing drive around Lisbon to see the main sights such as Jeronimos Monastery, the Monument of Discoveries and the 16th century Belem Tower. They also visited the Ajuda National Palace which is a neo-classical building dating from the first half of the 19th century and was the residence of the Portuguese royal family from the reign of King Luis I until the abolition of the Monarchy in 1910. The Palace was opened as a museum to the public in 1968.

For those passengers who were not on tour there was a complimentary shuttle bus service taking passengers from the ship to the city centre, where they could explore the city at their leisure.

All were aboard by 6pm and we set sail for our next port of call. This evening’s entertainment featured Comedy Entertainer Adrian Walsh and after this the Sapphire Orchestra performed a Late Night Jazz session in the Drawing Room allowing them to really showcase their talents.

Captain Alistair Mclundie

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