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6th July, 2017


This morning’s approach to Guernsey finds us transiting the “Big Russel”between Herm and Sark Islands, and once again it’s a beautiful morning. As we pass Sark and the off lying island off Brecqhou we get a great view of the Barclay Brothers stately home –wow, amazing.

With the pilot on board at 0730 we proceed 3 miles towards our anchorage position 4 cables off the harbour entrance of St Peter Port. We have to anchor today as the harbour is too small for cruise ships, even for a little lady like Saga Sapphire. We are anchored shortly after 0800 and by 0830 we are ready to take our Guests ashore using the ship's tenders.

With its cobbled streets, picturesque seafront marina, historic gardens and a magical mix of French & English Culture, it is easy to see why St Peter port is considered one of Europe’s prettiest harbour towns. Guernsey is the 2nd largest of the Channel Islands and its capital St Peter Port has been a busy port since Roman times. The port lies on the east side, hugging the slopes that rise back from the sea so that the houses appear to be piled on top of one another.

There are 5 tours on offer today with an Island Panoramic trip, Vintage Guernsey, Occupied Guernsey and a leisurely trip to the Island of Sark.

Around 0930 I decide to give a chance phone call to some friends I have not seen for 20 years, but always get a Christmas day card from. They answer the phone and it’s as though we talk all the time. At 1145 I am sitting in one of our tenders and heading ashore to meet them at 1200 –no time like the present!!! I don’t normally go ashore in Tender ports as I like to have lots of ropes made fast, however today the conditions were ideal for an anchorage and the sea bed was known as excellent holding ground. After some very big hugs we are off on an Island Tour with Bill & Val, and the highlight was stopping at the Little Chapel, which is embossed with thousands of pieces of china, pebbles and glass. They are such a wonderful couple and we last met in 1997 when I was safety Officer on the P&O Cruises ship m.v.Oriana. We arrive at their beautiful bungalow at 1300 and have a super lunch with local crabmeat and lobster. Bill built the house on Val’s parents land (see the attached pictures). After lots of catching up and with me talking up Saga Cruises Val says “I must see your ship”so 45 minutes later at 1515 we are on board and I give them the grand tour. With afternoon tea thrown in they leave the ship at 1630 and are completely “wowed”and a commitment to cruise with me as soon as they can. You know it’s great sometimes when you do things at a moment’s notice –spontaneity, you’ve got to love it.

With everyone back on board by 1730 and all tenders secured shortly afterwards, we “weigh”anchor at 1745 and leave St Peter Port. We then head NE towards the Alderney race and on towards our home port of Dover.

This evening saw the return of “The Mersey Beatles”and I was determined not to miss their set this time. I was not disappointed as they were a great act. I must say Saga do have some excellent entertainment

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.