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28th May, 2017


Last night we said a big “Thank you” to all our Crew for all their hard work this year and to celebrate our 20th anniversary.

The evening started with The Explosive Theatre Company performing a medley of songs and dances, with some great interaction with the audience!! I managed a front row seat with some of our Filipino Hotel crew as shown on the attached photo. After the show the crew soon demonstrated their dancing skills as the DJ swung into action. There was also a rumour that the Captain and Staff captain were “dragged” onto the dance floor – I’ll be watching Facebook closely!!

It was a great night and the crew loved the opportunity to use one of the Guest lounges (late at night when the Guest entertainment had finished of course!!) There was also a free raffle with lots of prizes – all electronic items and gadgets of course.

Sunrise this morning was again spectacular – there is nothing like sunrise at sea. Our approach to Livorno was originally slow as we seemed to “hit” the rush hour ferry traffic departures. With the pilot on board and a few Italian conversations we got the clearance to head in to port. The pilot guided us in and I then took the con to complete our manoeuvre with yet another pirouette before backing down to the pier. I generally like to swing the ship on arrival so that we are pointed out ready for departure.

Livorno was defined as an “ideal town” during the Italian Renaissance. Today it reveals its history through the structure of its neighbourhoods, crossed by canals, and surrounded by fortified town walls. Livorno is the main port in Tuscany and the gateway to explore this beautiful area renowned for its art and architecture, history and evocative landscape. It is of course the port where many Guests take a shore excursion to Florence and Pisa. Another of our tours goes to the beautiful medieval town of Lucca, considered one of the most picturesque towns in Tuscany.

After our crew drills this morning we assembled all the crew on one of our after decks and arranged for the ship’s photographer to take a shot of us from up above near the funnel. I think you’ll agree it’s a great shot.

At 1230 seven of the Saga Sapphire Crew and myself decided we should cycle to Pisa. What a fantastic adventure this was and we covered the 24 km in 1hr 20 mins. After lots of photos trying to “straighten” the Tower of Pisa, I then treated the Saga Sapphire Cycling club to a real Italian ice cream (see photos attached). After a well-deserved break it was time to jump back on our bikes and retrace our tracks for the 24km return to the ship. We were back on board by 1545 and it felt great to have completed this in 2½ hours.

With everyone on board by 1900 hrs we set sail shortly thereafter. It was Dan the Safety Officer’s turn to drive out, under my watchful eye of course!!. He did a really good job and once clear of the harbour we set sail to follow the Italian Coast en-route to Civitavecchia.

Later that evening our Guests were treated to a stunning stage show by Elektra, a Violin Duo who have performed as part of the 2012 Olympics and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing.

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.