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15th January, 2015

Santa Cruz de La Palma

Saga Sapphire berthed at 12noon in La Palma, Santa Cruz.

The city of Santa Cruz de La Palma was founded by Alonso Fernández de Lugo on May 3, 1493 and is near a river which is situated by a cave named Tedote (now Cueva de Carías, located north of the city). The city, originally called Villa del Apurón, served as a port that connected routes to the Americas, exporting goods from the island such as sugar cane. The city was sacked by pirates in the early 16th century and was later reconstructed and fortified against future pirate attacks. Famous fortifications include the Castillo de Santa Catalina and Castillo de la Virgen. The coastline and the valley areas of the island are made up of mainly farmland, with the remaining area around Santa Cruz de la Palma and the east central core being made up of urban areas especially hotels, apartments, towers and colourful homes uphill to the northwest. Santa Cruz de la Palma has a port serving ferry routes to the nearest large Iberian port of Cádiz in Spain as well as some of the other Canary Islands. It is the only port on the island of La Palma.

La Palma, the island, is known as the green island, and holds two world records: La Caldera del Taburiente is the world’s largest volcanic crater, with a diameter of 9 kilometers and a depth of 770 meters. From the view-point of Mirador de la Cumbrecita this terrific natural monument can best be overlooked. On the other hand you will find at La Palma the greatest elevation compared to the diameter. The island’s highest mountain, Roque de los Muchachos, with an astronomical observatory at its peak, measures 2423 meters. La Palma appears from space like a giant stone axe. The north of the island is dominated by the giant Caldera de Taburiente, from which the Cumbre Nueva and Cumbre Vieja ridges run due south to the sea.

There was music from the wonderful duo Perfect Mood as we approached the lovely town of La Palma. As soon as we docked our guests were ready to set off to enjoy their choice of excursion, namely “Taburiente Tour” which was the most popular one; the very interesting” Volcano and Wine”; “Forest Walk” for our active guests; and “Hacienda & Silk Museum”. Once all the tours were back, and everyone accounted for, we set sail to our next port of call.

With keen anticipation Virtuoso Flautist, Suzanne Godfrey, returned to the stage to entertain our guests with a selection of beautiful music, but before that three gentlemen from the housekeeping team, Florencio, Jun-jun and Mico also known as “The 3 Heartbeats”, opened the show. In the Drawing Room Lily and Zoltan performed easy listening and danceable-to music while Martin in Coopers Bar played sing-along tunes until late.

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.