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29th December, 2018


After 5 days at sea including a wonderful Christmas day we made landfall off the east coast of Bermuda.

There is a local ruling for Bermuda that due to the very narrow channels with off-lying reefs, arrival and departure has to be conducted during daylight hours. We were therefore advised that pilot would be 0700 at the earliest which was 20 minutes before sunrise. It was a fairly breezy approach to the pilot station and at 0700 sharp the pilot “shimmied” up the pilot ladder and stepped aboard. We then had a 16M run into the Heritage Wharf at the Royal Naval Dockyard (photo attached). We were all fast alongside at 0845 and 30 minutes later the ship was cleared.

This was my first ever call into Bermuda despite being at sea for 38 years. I have been on ships with other companies who were scheduled to call at Bermuda but due to bad weather we never made it. You could say Saga has taken me to places the other lines couldn’t!! As this was my first call I decided to have a swift walk around the Naval Dockyard and then take the 20min ferry ride to Hamilton. The Royal Naval Dockyard is a must see with the west end attraction combining centuries old history with modern facilities such as shops, restaurants, dolphins, jet skis and para-sailing etc. Locally the area is simply called “Dockyard,” with the name referring to hundreds of years of history dating all the way back to the American War of Independence.

The ferry trip into Hamilton was brilliant and once we approached the off lying homes the ferry slowed right down so we did not create too much wash. There were some amazing properties and it’s no wonder that celebrities like Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones call Bermuda home. There was even a “Famous Homes and Hideaway” cruise which a number of our Guests booked and this took them to “Millionaires Row” amongst other delightful spots. The feedback from this shore excursion was excellent.

Once the ferry arrived at Hamilton I had a swift walk round to admire the multi pastel coloured buildings as you can see in the photo. The whole town was so clean, tidy and had a very civilised feel to it. I was back on board by 1330 and then it was time to start thinking about departure which was set for 1600.

With everyone back on board by 1600 we left shortly thereafter and re-traced our tracks back out through the turquoise coloured waters. We cleared at 1800 just as the sun was close to setting. With the pilot away we followed the east then Southern shores of Bermuda before setting course for Nassau, Bahamas.

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.