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Gran Canaria

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

14th January, 2018

With sunrise at 0806 we had a more leisurely arrival into Gran Canaria after our late night sail from Santa Cruz, La Palma. Shortly after 0900 hrs we embarked our pilot.  Staff Captain Tom conducted the manoeuver onto the berth, the main passenger pier at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. We were all fast by 1000 and guests were proceeding ashore soon afterwards.

I always enjoy Gran Canaria as everything is so convenient.  There's a very short walk to the Tour buses, and those going ashore independently can easily stroll to the town centre or to the beach. The tours on offer today included “Essence of Gran Canaria”, “Puerto Mogan on Your Own Transfer”, and “ Island Discovery”.

With temperatures around 20’C it was a very pleasant day, even for those who are sun worshippers. There are of course a few passengers who just prefer to stay on board and be looked after by our attentive staff. In fact during a port day morning they usually have the ship to themselves.

Las Palmas, the capital of Island of Grand Canaria, was founded in 1478 and named for its abundant palms. The city was the headquarters for the Spanish conquest of Tenerife and La Palma, and was later a major supply port for ships bound for Spanish America. The oldest houses dating back to the 15th century can be found in the colonial quarter, along with the cathedral of Santa Ana and the house of Christopher Columbus. The Island is often considered the prettiest of the Canary Islands. It is almost a circular isle with the peak of Pozo de Las Nieves, its highest point, right at the centre.

With a busy morning over I headed to the Verandah for a sumptuous BBQ lunch. These are a regular feature on Saga Sapphire, and in fact when the weather is good they are just about every day!!

After a “big lunch” it was time to work off all those calories so I hopped on my bike and headed for the road!! There is a superb cycle route down the east coast of Gran Canaria which goes on for miles and miles. I have cycled 15 miles along it before and the path just disappeared into the distance. Today I managed 20 miles in total, the outward 10 were easy but it took twice as long to cycle back as I was straight into the wind!!

Departure was scheduled for 1930 and Tom our Staff Captain was once again given the opportunity to “drive”. This time we needed a tug to help us out. By 2030 we were clear of the harbour and heading south to stay in the Lee of Gran Canaria en-route to Tenerife.

Captain Julian Burgess

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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