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6th April, 2017


This is my first ever call in Cagliari (pronounced Caliari), so I was rather excited to be arriving at yet another new port. It’s amazing that after 36 years at sea Saga could find 4 new ports for me in the space of one cruise.

Our 4th Officer Pete had the Con (control of the speed and direction) all the way up to embarking the harbour pilot. With myself in a coaching role and of course retaining the overall charge, he slowed the ship down to about 5 knots, ordered the full movement of the rudder and tested both engines astern. This is part of our normal arrival procedures and he did a very good job!!

Once the pilot was on board and we had our initial discussions, I then took the Con from Pete who headed to the forward mooring deck to take charge of the mooring operation. The pilot did not do a lot this morning, other than stand in the corner of the Bridge and use his phone!! There is a requirement in the vast majority of ports for ships to be under the guidance of pilots, who are considered local experts. With our Bridge Resource Management operation we typically only use the pilots for advice and keep the control ourselves. There are of course exceptions to this.

With us all fast alongside by 0740 we eventually got clearance from the Italian authorities and our Guests were free to proceed ashore. Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia and its Sardinian name Casteddu literally means castle. Our Guests had the delights of 4 tours today including a Scenic Sardinian Drive, Sardinian Culture and Regional fare which included lunch, and Cagliari and its Hidden Roman City. I spoke with a number of Guests at afternoon tea, and there were some great comments particularly in respect of Sardinian Culture and Regional Fare –they seemed to love the food and wine!!

With everyone on board by 5.30 pm we slipped our moorings and the Staff Captain “drove”us out to sea towards our next port of call, Gibraltar. With two days at sea, and continuing superb weather, our Guests are having a fabulous cruise.

Tonight I have been invited to a Diamond Dinner with 2 of our Guests who have cruised with Saga for more than 1000 nights, yes 1000 nights or 3 years at sea!! Our “Britannia Club”Loyalty scheme has some wonderful benefits and we do love to reward loyalty. Our Diamond Members, amongst many benefits, are entitled to one free cruise of 22 nights (selected cruises only) and an Exclusive private dining experience hosted by the Captain or one of his Senior Officers.

Captain Julian Burgess

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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