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Gibraltar

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

26th September, 2014

Today we docked alongside in Gibraltar, the intriguing British outpost which is dominated by the 1,400 feet high limestone rock, and passengers were up early and ready to make the most of their time ashore.

There were several tours on offer today including a trip up the famous rock, to see the spectacular panoramic views and visit St Michael’s cave on the way up to wander amongst the stalagmites and stalactites. The ‘Fortress Gibraltar’ tour was an opportunity to learn about Gibraltar’s fascinating and unique wartime history. Passengers on this tour visited Europa Point, site of the only Trinity Lighthouse outside Britain. They continued on to visit Hays Level to see an exhibition which displays a collection of photographs illustrating the history of the World War II tunnels. For those passengers who appreciate gardening there was a trip to the Alameda Gardens which is an important conservation project that houses a collection of plants from all over the world. Following this passengers on this tour ventured up to the top of the rock in the cable car. The final tour on offer today was the ‘Dolphin Watch’; passengers boarded a pleasure cruiser and went in search of the three different species of dolphin and luckily were not disappointed as they got several sightings of these beautiful creatures.

For those passengers who had not booked to go on an organised shore excursion they were able to spend the morning wandering around the town of Gibraltar independently. The centre of town was just about a mile walk away or there were plenty of taxis available.

On sailing I was delighted when a good friend and previous colleague, whom I know many of you will know, Captain Martin Breen, arrived on the bridge as my pilot! Martin and I started out with Saga way back in 1997 as young Officers and we both worked our way through the ranks quickly to reach command. Once Martin had his young family he decided to work ashore as a Pilot, so it was great to catch up with him.

We cast off at lunchtime and made our way out of the busy Gibraltar bay and headed westwards towards the Atlantic, with our passengers enjoying a relaxing afternoon at sea. Most passengers spent the afternoon out on deck enjoying the sunshine, before the temperatures drop as we head towards Britain. However there was plenty to keep them entertained on board including a presentation on the Dambuster Raid of 1943 by historian Jeff Chandler.

This evening’s after-dinner showtime featured the Explosive Singers & Dancers with their performance of Hollywood Nights. We will now spend another day at sea before our arrival in El Ferrol in Spain on Sunday.

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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