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23rd October, 2017


After an excellent evening “dancing on deck” – yes even the Captain made a guest appearance on the dance floor!! – our next port of arrival was Arrecife in Lanzarote. A volcanic Island designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Lanzarote’s dramatic landscapes were shaped by an explosive past . Today, it’s pretty beaches and virtual absence of rain, together with duty-free shopping make the Island an extremely desirable destination. The main port and capital, Arrecife, is a pleasant town with a modern seafront and colourful gardens. Outside the capital there is plenty explore, from the dazzling white salt flats of Janubio and the rugged terrain of Fire Mountain to the eerie caves of Los Verdes and an array of unspoilt fishing villages scattered around the coast.

Our Staff Captain Franko took the con this morning and shortly after embarking our harbour pilot we swung the ship through 180’ and once again “backed” up to the berth. It was a well-executed docking and we were all fast alongside with our gangway rigged by 0800.

I headed down to the gangway shortly after arrival to wave off the first tour group who were on the Northern Highlights excursion. Breakfast was taken shortly afterwards and with a beautiful morning it was definitely going to be “Al Fresco”. I like to join a different table of Guests each morning and find out how much they are enjoying their cruise. I have the same thing every morning and the Galley team kindly prepare my Bircher Muesli with walnuts, fruit and Chia seeds along with a smoothie and a Yakult ready for my arrival – what service!!

At 0900 I headed back to the gangway to wave the guests off on their Fire Mountain, and Cesar Manrique Foundation tours. There are some excellent tours in Lanzarote and the final tour of the morning gave our guests the chance to discover the genius of Cesar Manrique, Lanzarote’s most celebrated artist. Born in Arrecife in 1919 it's thanks largely to his vision and influence that Lanzarote has remained a unique island, unspoilt by billboards, high-rise buildings or pylons. Designed and constructed around five volcanic caves, his equally unique home was converted in 1992 to a Foundation dedicated to the study and conservation of Lanzarote’s artistic heritage.

I let my Staff Captain go ashore for lunch today as he has had a couple of very busy days with our Auditor. Once of us always has to be on board in port of course, so it was my turn. Even though we have such great food on board a lot of staff head ashore to eat for a change of scenery and to try the local cuisine. A benefit of remaining on board was that I managed to clear a lot of “administrative” tasks and have a good walk round what we call the “back of house” areas.

The weather was beautiful the whole day with a high of 25’C, so plenty of sunshine for everyone. With everyone on board by 1630 our Chief Officer Igor had the opportunity to “drive” out with me coaching of course. He did a great job and successfully cleared the dock and the breakwater. With a big sweeping turn we headed NNE’ly towards Cape Finnistere on the NW corner of Spain. With 4 ports in a row guests are looking forward to a relaxing few days at sea.

This evening we held our Britannia Club (frequent cruisers) cocktail party for all those guests who have completed more than 35 nights on board our ships. This is an opportunity for us to say thank you to all our loyal guests.

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.