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19th December, 2016


Another early start with the pilot at 0600 for the run into Zeebrugge in Belgium. All was going swimmingly until we entered the harbour and the fog came down for a real “pea souper” as we Nautical types call it. With about 100m visibility, which is half the length of the ship, we closed slowly on the berth and then swung through 180 degrees without being able to see a thing!!! 20 years ago before we had electronic charts and precision navigation we would not have been able to make the call. With some fantastic teamwork we manouvered this fine lady alongside and kept our “no claims bonus” intact.

With the majority of our guests heading into Brugges a little later, most took the opportunity to sample the delights of the ship this morning. The massage therapists were fully booked –I definitely recommend the full body massage and the hot stones. Our team on board was busy entertaining with deck quoits, quizzes and we even arranged a visit to the Bridge. For many they just enjoyed the opportunity to relax, read a book or just chat to friends or other Saganauts.

Soon it was a hive of activity as over 500 guests headed off to Brugges to soak up the atmosphere of this historic and beautiful city. I’m sure there was a few kilos of chocolates bought as well. I really like Brugges and in fact I was here in August with my wife Sally, my 2 daughters Amelia (13) and Madeleine (10) and LOLA –the latest edition to our family (she’s a 25 foot motorhome). I’ve attached a few photos from our time here so I definitely recommend visiting Brugges.  If you do go to Belgium don’t forget Gent, as well as Brussels of course.

With a departure of 1900 we headed back to Southampton for the final night of this 5 day “taster” cruise –perfect for the Christmas Markets.  We hope the “Newcomers” will sail with us again very soon for a longer cruise.

Captain Julian Burgess

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