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Liverpool

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

30th June, 2017

After a short overnight passage we made our approach to the Mersey Estuary and embarked the pilot at 0515. There was a strong NW’ly wind blowing around force 5 (20-25 kts) however this eased considerably as we got closer to our berth. The tide was ebbing and up to 4 knots at times, so with this outflow we obviously docked head to tide.

As we got closer to the Liverpool Cruise Terminal the current was flowing at approx. 3 knots so we approached slightly wide and angled the bow towards the dock so the current was on the stb’d side and gently pushing us towards the pier. With a successful alongside manoeuver we were all fast and gangways ready by 0800.

This was my first time arriving in Liverpool as Master and only my 2nd visit ever. It’s a beautiful approach to Pier Head with its trio of buildings – the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building. The ship’s location was perfect for exploring the city, its magnificent buildings and museums, and of course getting to know more about the Beatles, and Gerry & The Pacemakers.

Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880. Historically a part of Lancashire, the urbanisation and expansion of Liverpool were both largely brought about by the city’s status as a major port. By the early 19th century 40% of the world’s trade passed through Liverpool’s docks. The city is home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe.

There were 4 tours available today including: Iconic Liverpool Panorama, Llangollen Steam Railway and Tour, Port Sunlight & The Beatles Experience.

After a busy morning, and an improved afternoon forecast, Stuart Anderson our resident pianist booked a tee off time of 1345 at the West Derby Golf Club. Well what a great afternoon as I shot an 81 which is 10 over par and a very good score for me as I am a 13 handicap. The golfing followers amongst you will fully understand this! The course was in excellent condition and had lots of trees lining the fairway. The only mistake I made was not to have a large “wager” on the game – next time!!

Departure was set for 2100 which gave everyone a very full day and the potential to go ashore for an early dinner. As Liverpool is a tidal port our arrival and departure times are dictated by the state of the tide. With everyone on board we slipped our moorings and used the ebb tide to best effect to clear the berth. By 2230 we had cleared the Mersey, disembarked our pilot and set a Southerly course for a day at sea.

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.

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