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25th January, 2016


Greetings Ladies and Gentlemen! It’s wonderful to be back onboard again after a fabulous festive season at home with my family - although I must admit doesn’t it all seem like such a long time ago now?! Nevertheless a very Happy New Year to all our avid blog readers!

My handover with Captain Rentell was completed in double quick time and I’d like to wish Philip a most enjoyable vacation with his family in Cornwall. I set about re-familiarising myself with the charming Saga Sapphire before preparations were put in place for our departure on what is sure to be a spectacular 32 night voyage to the Caribbean on our ‘Caribbean Calypso’ cruise.

We departed our berth in Southampton just after 5pm, ensuring all our vast quantity of stores were loaded, and by 7pm we had dropped our pilot off and were proceeding at absolute full speed towards our first port of call, Vitoria in the Azores. Sadly Mother Nature had other plans, as we made our way towards the Azores we encountered the southern end of Storm ‘Gertrude’ which was rapidly making it’s (or her) way towards the UK. So strong winds and some fairly lumpy seas had an effect on the speed we were able to make on our passage. Nevertheless in true Saga Style we were able to re-jig our plans and an early evening arrival was set into Vitoria for the 29th January and we would remain overnight thereby allowing our passengers time on Terra Firma before the next leg of our journey across the pond.

On our journey south our passengers were kept well entertained with lectures from our destinations speaker Alistair Guthrie, Military Historian Brigadier Michael Shaw, Ornithologist David Parkin and news broadcaster Peter Sissons, to name but a few.

Evening entertainment was provided by our own ever popular Explosive Productions Cast together with shows from the UK’s rising opera star, soprano Kate Dowman, and West End musical duo ‘Bells and Baxter’.

Captain Wesley Dunlop

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.