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25th January, 2015

Southampton, England

At 4:30am this morning, Saga Sapphire slipped through and by the Bridge Buoy, entering the Needles channel from the North. It was quite a challenging entrance as the current was quite strong across the entrance, about 2 ½ knots. So you have to point the ship out with the channel, and allow the ship to be swept across to the middle of the channel at the right moment. It sounds tricky, but we are experienced in this and I know this ship and how she reacts. Anyway, once inside the channel we sailed up towards Cowes to board our pilot. Then we continued up to our berth where we were all fast alongside by 7:30am.

Once I had rung Finish with Engines, this marked the end of our 16 night cruise to the Canaries and Morocco. Once all our passengers had disembarked, the ships’ company set to work to prepare the ship for our next cruise. Embarkation began at 1:00pm and our new passengers started to arrive.

Once we had finished loading the supplies for the upcoming cruise and all passengers and their luggage were on board, we made our final preparations to set sail and embark on this 21 night voyage to Cape Verde and Morocco.

We carried out the obligatory Lifeboat drill and were soon heading down the Solent and out through the Needles channel once again.

Passengers settled into their cabins and were made to feel very welcome in the Dining Room for their first dinner on board. This evening the entertainment featured a selection of performances including music from our Resident Pianist Martin Orbidans and our classical musicians, The Rosamunde String Quartet who gave a flavour of what’s in store for the upcoming cruise. This was followed by music for dancing with the Sapphire Orchestra.

We will spend the next 3 days at sea, with lots of activities, performances and speakers to keep our passengers entertained as we make our way south to our first port of call, Casablanca,

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.