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9th April, 2017


It was forecast to be a windy arrival and it certainly did not disappoint. When my team called me at 0600 for our arrival into Gibraltar I was rather pleased as the wind was only 15 knots from the north east. At that stage I was beginning to wonder why I had ordered a tug the afternoon before. Shortly after embarking the pilot at 0700 the wind started to freshen and started gusting to 30 knots directly off the berth. With some great Bridge Resource Management and team work, assisted by the pilot and with the use of a tug, we manouvered alongside on the stroke of 0800.

Gibraltar has long been known as the “key”to the Mediterranean and has been held by Britain since 1704. It’s always a spectacular arrival as the “Rock”rears out of the sea and can be seen for many miles prior to arrival. Gib has an area of 25 sq miles and lies on the eastern side of Algeciras Bay. Apart from its Military history it is also well known for its barbary apes, which are the only wild, tail-less monkeys in Europe.

The ship was cleared soon after our arrival and around 0830 the first of our Guests started to head ashore, many of whom were on tour to go to the top of the rock on the cable car. Other tours included the Dolphin Watch, Alameda Gardens & Cable Car Ride, and Europa Point & English Tea.

Shortly after everyone was onboard we let go our lines and the ship “sailed”off the berth with no help needed from our engines or thrusters. After clearing the berth we headed south in Gibraltar Bay, and turned east to exit the Mediterranean via the Gib Straits. Our next stop on this 26 night “Springtime in the Adriatic”is our return to Southampton.

This is the last Blog of this cruise and what a wonderful cruise it’s been with a terrific itinerary, marvellous weather, and of course outstanding Saga customer service.

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.