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20th February, 2015

Praia Da Vitoria, Azores

Our three day crossing from Southampton to the Azores was actually better than I had expected, the Atlantic, in the main, behaving itself. Even so, I believe the great majority of passengers were glad not only to see land, but also to put feet on terra firma. As I watched them disembark for their tours there seemed to be some that still had that sailors ‘gait’ developed over a 1300 mile sea passage.

There was a keen breeze coming across the waters of the bay, but those who took the shuttle bus into town remarked how mild and calm it felt. Vitoria is pleasant enough, but I would always recommend to anyone visiting the island of Terceira that they should embark on the tour that takes in the capital, Angra do Heroismo, founded in 1476. Here there is the charming Dukes Garden and the Gothic inspired church of Se´, which dates from the late 16th century and is known as the ‘Mother Church of the Azores’. The town is a very pleasant place to take a ramble for an hour or so. The islands are not only of volcanic origin, but are also very agricultural, no doubt due the amount of rainfall. Often in the winter months cloud covers the mountain tops, fortunately our passengers had a fair helping of both sun and cloud, but no rain, so they could enjoy the scenery at its most verdant.

This was to be the first of three ports we were to call at in the Azores and because the distance to the next one was relatively short, we did not depart until after dinner and when the evening show was complete.

Captain Philip Rentell

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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