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16th September, 2014

Almeria, Spain

Today we spent the morning docked in Almeria in Spain. Almeria is an old Moorish town founded in 955AD. Perhaps the most striking view from the ship was the Alcazaba Castle which is the second largest Muslim Fortress in Spain after the Alhambra.

We made our arrival slightly earlier at 0630 as I had been told that there were a few Cruise Ships and ferries arriving so wanted to make sure we were not delayed. It was a beautiful calm morning as we embarked our pilot and as we manoeuvred into the berth the sun started to rise. I always like this part of the job, you arrive at this blackened port and as the sun rises it highlights the stunning scenery and backdrop of the port with the mountains and fortress.

It is very shallow on the berth and I was expecting a slow arrival. With shallow water comes a sluggish response from the ship. We had only about 50 cm of water underneath the keel and you have to go slow otherwise it creates a suction and the ship doesn’t want to do as you tell it. Anyway patience was the name of the game this morning as we slowly moved into place. We were all fast alongside at 0730.

The tours on offer today were ‘Scenic Andalucia’ which took passengers on a trip through some of Andalusia’s most rural countryside. Passengers were taken on a tour of the town to begin with and then they crossed the Tabernas desert to the village of Calahorra where they entered the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The alternative tour was ‘Flamenco – The Sound of Andalusia’. Passengers on this tour experienced a one hour Andalusian Flamenco Show in a historical and atmospheric cave in Almeria.

There was a complimentary shuttle bus service for those passengers who were not on tour, taking them to the town centre. And for those who did not fancy going ashore today, they were able to spend a leisurely morning out on deck admiring the views of the town and the ancient fortress.

The weather this morning was cloudy with the odd shower however it was still very warm with temperatures reaching 28 degrees and by the afternoon the cloud had burnt away and the skies were blue. The Food & Beverage Department prepared a delicious Spanish themed lunch outside on the Verandah Deck which was thoroughly enjoyed by all as we sailed away from Spain. This afternoon there were plenty of activities to keep passengers entertained including a lecture by Captain David Bray and an anecdotal presentation from former Saga Cruises employee Tony Dent. This evening’s Cabaret Showtime featured the second performance by Comedy Entertainer Adrian Walsh.

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.