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2nd December, 2016

Funchal, Madeira

Greetings everyone and with my first ever Saga Blog I get to share my experience of this fine Ship whilst en-route from Southampton to Madeira.

Leaving Southampton on a chilly but clear Dec 1st afternoon we headed down the west side of the Isle of Wight and out through the narrow Needles Channel. Overnight we transited the English Channel and then early morning found us in a calm Bay Of Biscay. After a very successful crossing we picked up some “real”sea conditions and here I quickly discovered what a great Sea Ship Saga Sapphire is. Cutting through the sea and swell like a fine cruiser we maintained our schedule to arrive in Madeira on Monday morning

Now, I always enjoy arriving in Madeira as it’s such a spectacular setting and this morning was no exception. Dawn greeted us with the twinkling of orange shore lights across the entire hillside of Funchal. As we approached the pilot station the welcoming sunrise reminded me how special it is to arrive into a port from the sea –there really is nothing like it.

We were alongside by 0845 and by 0900 our Guests were heading ashore to sample all the delights of this great port. Our Shore Excursion Team headed up by Jacquie and Grazzia offered a variety of tours including the light and easy excursions Cabo Girao and Madeira Island Delight, and by contrast  the more active excursions like the ‘Levada Trail Walk’, the ‘Four-wheel Drive Safari’ and the RIB Adventure –must put my name down for one of these active tours next time!! There was a also complimentary shuttle bus service which took passengers into the heart of Funchal.

After an excellent day,  and a sumptuous Bar-B-Q and buffet on the open deck, we sailed off into the sunset and on towards Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Life is good!! 

Captain Julian Burgess

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.