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Dominica

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

4th February, 2018

As we made our approach towards the berth at Roseau, Dominica we quickly started to see the first glimpses of the destruction from Hurricane Maria last year. We were only the 2nd ship to dock in Dominica since the hurricane damage so they were very pleased for us to be calling. The pilot boarded only a mile from the berth so there wasn’t much time to have a proper discussion before we made our final approach!!

The berth had been damaged during the hurricane however they had made great efforts to ensure we made our call by resurfacing the entire dock area and walkway. Apparently many cruise ships had cancelled their calls after the hurricane damage which is sad in many respects as the country desperately needs the cruise ships to return to help re-build their Island – it’s a catch 22. However it was wonderful to see Saga supporting the local economy by maintaining Saga Sapphire's call schedule.

Dominica is called the “Nature Island of the Caribbean” as it is normally very inspiring as it turns and twists, towers to mountain crests then tumbles to falls and valleys. The weather is often dramatic here with dazzling sunshine, torrential rain and frequent rainbows on an average day. For our call we only experienced the dazzling sunshine. They say that if Christopher Columbus were to come back today, Dominica would be the only island in the Caribbean that he would recognise.

Despite the extensive damage from the hurricane, the local population is working hard to restore their country, including the main roads. With this intent we were able to offer 7 different Shore Excursions including “River Tubing Rainforest & Falls” (which I hear was superb fun), Easy Dominica & Rainforest Drive, AM Sip and Paint and Natures Hidden Treasure to name but a few.

When guests returned from their tours and general walks ashore, they were so moved by the devastation they asked if they could donate in any way. The ship responded very quickly and arranged for the Dominican Red Cross to attend. One guest was so touched she donated $1,350 and oversaw the collection at reception along with ship's staff and the Red Cross. We also had a few Government Officials attend along with their press team as they were also moved by the generosity of our guests. Within the space of 45 minutes we collected close to $5,000 dollars, which was just amazing.

With everyone on board by 1800 we slipped our moorings and headed off into the sunset towards Martinique.

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.

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