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

4th December, 2018


After departure from Cartagena, we struck out eastward across the Balearic Sea, south of Ibiza, Mallorca and then Menorca. The sea day was a delight yesterday, so a change from a few days ago.

This morning we closed on the south end of Sardinia and raised the lights of Chia, a town on the southern point of the island, at 0600. Altering course to a NE’ly heading, we transited the Bay of Cagliari. The entrance to Cagliari is a challenge, hard right followed by a hard left to get around the southern and then the northern breakwaters. Where’s the Stig when you need him! The pilot always embarks late here and, indeed, true to form, we were almost passing the first breakwater as we met the pilot.

My preference was to be ‘stern-in’ today and with Matt, the Safety Officer driving, we swung nicely inside the harbour; before backing down towards the pier. The ship was alongside for 0800, as scheduled and ready for the ‘big’ tour. This is my first Mystery cruise, and what a challenge it is - particularly keeping communications limited and putting in various miss-leading bits of information and managing to keep the ‘secret’!

Here we are then in the second, non-scheduled port of call of the cruise, one after the other, fortunately it’s all a Mystery! But what a testimony to short-notice organisational skills of the ships team and what a team I have. The key drivers of delivering the services and bring together ideas; we met daily and sometimes twice a day to ensure we were getting it as right as we could.

Cagliari is a lovely old town; the port is a bit industrial, but it is clear the authorities are intent on improving services to attract more cruise business. The weather, although with a brisk wind, was reasonable all day. It does make you think, why do I live I the UK in the winter? Cartagena was 24 degrees in the shade and Cagliari 22 degrees, in December? Something to ponder further, I feel.

A good day for all, so feedback came. Sailing at 1800, my ‘new’ Safety Officer, Alen, took the ship out, his first-time ‘driving’ the Saga Sapphire. Once clear of the breakwaters, the pilot disembarked and we set course across the Tryrrhenian Sea towards, what had intended to be a magic moment.

Another cocktail party, so I must dash…

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.