Skip to navigation Skip to content
< Back to Saga Sapphire blog

11th April, 2018


What a wild night. Not a lot of sleep. Late last night we had a local storm warning from the Port Authority. Calling out the deck crew we put out extra moorings and adjusted their positions on the bollards to ensure we were a snug as bug in a rug! At 0530 this morning it was gusting in excess of 65kts and, with-it, a significant storm swell had developed. Looking down the line of the quay all the ships, huge lumps of steel, were bobbing around like cork floats. To boot, we had torrents of rain. Oh what a shame for our passengers, and this was not going to be a good welcome for HRH!

A great opportunity I had in Barcelona was a drive in a Ferrari 458. The theme of this cruise is ‘automobile’ oriented. We had various Motorcar events in the ports and for our Guests to experience.

Perry McCarthy, the original ‘Stig’, of Top Gear fame, was a guest on-board, and he gave lectures on his ‘racing’ life. All very interesting. Anyway, back to my driving a Ferrari. A number of Super Cars, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porches, were parked outside the terminal and Guests were invited to have a photo-opportunity with the cars and the Stig. The photo of me is with the Stig and the car I took for a spin around Barcelona. What an experience!

The sun broke through early afternoon in good time for the arrival of Her Royal Highness. She arrived by car to the foot of the gangway, and I welcomed my honoured guest on board Saga Sapphire. Being introduced to my Senior Officers, I then escorted HRH to her cabin, along with her Lady in Waiting.

The formalities observed, it was time to focus on sailing. Having given some ‘driving’ lessons to my young 3rd Officer, he was given the opportunity to drive out. With a fresh sea-breeze, the plan was to let go all the moorings and use the wind to position the ship mid-channel and then simply drive out. Guest what, all went perfectly to plan. Nice job Carl.

With the pilot off the ship at 1900, I was back into Her Royal Highness mode - hosting for dinner in my quarters along with my senior officers. Best behaviour then!

Captain Stuart Horne

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.