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3rd November, 2017


After a relaxing day at sea cruising through the Mediterranean we made our approach to Palma, Majorca. It was yet another fabulous start to the day and we were expecting 23’C - not bad for December.

There was a very minor delay with embarking our pilot as we had to wait for a ferry to go in ahead of us. Once the pilot was on board we went through the Master-Pilot exchange, a detailed process to ensure the pilot is fully aware of the manoeuvring characteristics of the ship, and we discussed the passage plan for arrival. After this discussion it soon becomes clear that the pier we were docking at had changed!! Fortunately it was a new pier where the tour and shuttle buses could stop right by the ship.

This conversation with the pilot reminded me of our call at Palma in January when we again had a change of berth at short notice, only to discover that the berth allocated was not deep enough for a ship with a 8.6m draft!!! After much discussion over the Spanish “airwaves” we very quickly had another berth.

Anyway back to today, and by 0745 we were all fast with Staff Captain Franko “putting” the ship alongside.

Palma, the cosmopolitan capital of Majorca, is the most popular and largest of the Balearic Islands with its host of bars, restaurants and stylish shops, a palm-shaded seafront promenade and attractive Old Town. Past settlers have left their mark on this vibrant city, and it retains a wealth of attractions including the Beliver Castle which has dominated the skyline since the 14th century.

There were some fabulous tours here including “ Scenic Palma & Valldemossa”, “Caves of the Dragon & Porto Cristo”, “Narrow-Gauge Train to Soller” and “Simply the Best of Valldemossa and Deia”. I have visited Valldemossa, high up in the hills, and it is a delightful town.

Today I headed ashore with our Shore-Ex Manager Jacqui and new Hotel Director, Jan. We had an excellent 25km ride out to the east of Palma following a dedicated cycle path that went on for miles beyond where we stopped. We found a lovely little taverna and sampled some deep fried squid, garlic prawns and some wonderful black paella. The black colour comes from the “ink" squeezed from the cuttlefish. One of my favourite dishes. After the leisurely lunch we headed back to the ship and I took the opportunity for a few snaps. One is of Palma Cathedral, a Gothic Masterpiece which took over 400 years to complete.

With everyone on board we slipped our lines shortly afterwards, with Gwyn our 2nd Officer taking the ship to sea. He carried out an excellent manoeuver by moving astern to clear the berth and then swinging off the harbour entrance. Our overnight passage, in very calm seas, sees us heading for Barcelona.

Captain Julian Burgess

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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.