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31st March, 2017


Our pilot boarded at 0615 as we made our approach into the Porto Da Lido and passed through the construction area of the Tidal Barrier that is being built with EU money. I asked the pilot when it was expected to be finished. He just laughed, eh he said, about 2021 but this will be 15 years behind schedule!!!

As we passed into the Canal di San Nicolo we got our first real glimpse of Venice just as the sun was rising over this spectacular city. Venice was built on 118 Islands in a Lagoon, with 177 canals that criss-cross the city with over 400 bridges. It is such a unique city which is completely based on the water and no wonder it is referred to as “The Floating City”. Venice once had 10,000 gondoliers, however this has now been restricted to approx. 400.

From the Canal di San Nicolo we passed into the Canal di San Marco which took us past St Mark’s Square. With the majority of our Guests on deck it was a spectacular arrival. You just do not get this experience arriving into Venice by any other form of transport. With our ship you also experience that wonderful panoramic view.

We arrived at our berth by 0745 and were given the all clear to allow our Guests ashore by 0830. With 4 different excursions and the Saga free Shuttle Boat Service there was every opportunity to explore this special place.

Today we completed our 6 monthly Owners Inspection with a great report from our Shore Management, which I shared with our Crew (and Guests) over the PA system. I heard later that there was a round of applause in the dining rooms. Our guests love the crew and the way they look after them with that Saga special attention.

At 8.45 we slipped our moorings and moved gently astern to clear our berth. Sailing out of Venice at night is such a wonderful experience. The majority of our guests were again out on deck - but this time with a glass of Prosecco in hand. With a string quartet playing on the after deck, the city lit up, and the ship gliding by the historical buildings it had such a special feel –you could say romantic!! What could be better than sailing into Venice in daylight, and sailing out at night –a Saga moment!!

Our Chief Operating Officer Stuart McQuaker took a great picture of our departure from St Marks.

With us all clear of the Port Di Lido at 2200 we then headed South before altering course east towards Rijeka

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.