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El Ferrol, Spain

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

8th January, 2015

We had a better than expected run up to El Ferrol. I enjoy this port for a number of reasons. It is a natural harbour and affords great shelter from the Atlantic swell. Also the approaches through the channel into the main port are very picturesque, with the fortress guarding these approaches. It took a little time to berth the ship as the water was shallow, with not much underkeel clearance, so patience was the word of the day. Slowly but surely I managed to get the ship alongside. And we were all fast for 0800.

Ferrol is a city in the province of A Coruña in Galicia, located on the Atlantic coast in north-western Spain. The city has been a major naval shipbuilding centre for most of its history, being the capital of the Spanish Navy’s Maritime Department of the North since the time of the early Bourbons. Before that, in the 17th century, Ferrol was the most important arsenal in Europe. Today, the city is also known as the home of the shipbuilding yards of Navantia. The city was the birthplace of the Spanish General Francisco Franco in 1892, and was officially known as El Ferrol del Caudillo from 1938 to 1982.

Being the last port for this cruise, only three excursions were arranged and these were “Santiago La Compostela” which was a visit to the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela to admire the old quarter and magnificent cathedral; then “Santiago On Your Own” which was a free spirited visit to the town. The last and most popular excursion was “Galicia’s Scenic Coastline” where apart from enjoying the beautiful surroundings, there was a stop for refreshments and the tasting of local pastries.

As we sailed out, we said our farewell to the local Galician Bagpipers, who actually played “Scotland the Brave” as we left. As we passed the Fortress we were given a gun salute by cannon and Muskets, with the men dressed in period clothing

Once clear there was a bit of a swell, but we continued with the Captain’s Farewell Party as it was safe to do so as long as nobody was standing for any length of time, so I asked for the doors to be opened early and that staff were available to help everyone in, which was a great success.

Tonight’s entertainment, Master Magician Bret Sherwood, amazed all our guests with his baffling and brilliant magic tricks. This was followed by the SAGA Orchestra for both listening and dancing pleasure as the gentlemen host led the dance floor, while at Coopers Bar Martin Orbidans played requests.

So we silently speed our way across the Bay of Biscay, due in Southampton on Saturday morning. Sadly we are leaving all the good weather we have enjoyed over the last few weeks and are going to experience the cold, wet and windy weather of the UK.

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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