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7th February, 2015

Porto Grande, São Vicente

Saga Sapphire berthed in Porto Grande, São Vicente  at 7.00am and stayed overnight until Saturday 7 February.

Porto Grande, the port for Mindelo, is on the windward isle of São Vicente and covers an area of 88 square miles. Over 90% of the island’s inhabitants live in the capital of Mindelo, where the historic centre is characterised by old colonial houses and commemorative monuments. The crescent of volcanic islands which form the Cape Verde archipelago lie 310 miles off  the Senegal coast. Despite the name (Green Cape), all the islands are barren, but they offer dramatic mountain scenery and pristine beaches. The Portuguese started colonising the islands during the 15th century and during the 16th century the archipelago became important for the supply of water and rations to boats sailing to America, Europe and Africa, and as a base for slave warehouses. The Cape Verde Islands obtained their independence from Portugal in 1975 and, although the isles may be African geographically speaking, they have retained a strong Latin flavour.

As early as 7.00am, 12 guests headed off to do the first excursion, ‘The Essence of Santo Antao while the rest of the excursion were at 8.15am doing the ‘4WD Safari’ which the next one follows at 8.30am with ‘Scenic Sao Vicente’, the most popular being the most relaxed excursion.

Early evening entertainment starts with a surprise number from one of the Rosamunde Quartet, Nina Kopparhead, singing Opera Songs from Schubert, Puccini, Lehar and Donzettii with the accompaniment of Musical Director, Andy Crookall and Clemence of the Rosamunde Quartet.

At 9.00pm Porto Grande local band and dancers graced the Britannia Lounge for the first show followed by Explosive Singers and Dancers with ‘Let’s Swing Show’

The next day same tour excursions were offered apart from the first tour ‘Island Discovery’ which was the earliest at 8.15am. Guest who liked to do their own thing either used the free shuttle bus or walked their way to the town as they enjoyed the lovely weather.

As we sailed away, Perfect Mood played out on the deck while the Bar Department offered cocktail Mojito as they enjoyed the scenic view with the Cruise Entertainment Team.

Music for dancing by the SAGA Orchestra warms up the venue for the return of Violin Virtuoso, ‘Tom Suha’ performing a variety of musical genre. For our late night cabaret we had the fantastic Martin Orbidans singing great classic songs and telling anecdotes of his Royal Yacht Britannia experience. 

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.