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22nd January, 2018


After our overnight call in Vigo on 18th January, we headed back across the Bay of Biscay en-route for Southampton. Despite the gentle rolling movement we had full attendance at the farewell cocktail party which was a very upbeat affair. At the beginning of my speech I introduce a 5 minute Snapshot of the Cruise that Vikki our Videographer has produced. It is taken from the Cruise Memories DVD and reminds every one of their wonderful cruise. The video of the ship entering and leaving port is speeded up which makes for great viewing. This “snapshot” seemed to be well received by our Guests so I may well continue to do this.

We arrived on time at 0800 in Southampton on 21st January and were scheduled for an overnight stop with 58 guests remaining on board. It was a fairly brisk day but this did not deter many of our “back to back” cruise guests from heading into town on the free transfer bus we had arranged. With an overnight in port, and most Guests cabins unoccupied, gave us a great opportunity to carry out some essential maintenance and general housekeeping. It was a very busy 2 days, however a lot was achieved.

At 1630 on 22nd we departed Southampton for Ponta Delgada and exited Southampton water down the west side of the Isle of Wight and out through the Needles channel. Overnight and early the following morning all weather reports were giving 7-8 metre seas and swell on the beam (90 degrees to ship's course) for our planned route to Ponta Delgada. After a full review of the weather forecasts, contact with a weather service, and consultation with our head office we decided to keep well away from the worst of the weather and proceeded direct towards Funchal. Madeira.

En route we had a Burns Night Cocktail party and a “Burn’s Night Bash”. During the cocktail party there was a traditional address to the Haggis by Piper Fred Budge whom we had brought on especially for the event. The evening bash saw 25 Officers, Dance Hosts and Explosive singers/dancers take to the floor for a traditional Scottish dance routine which was excellent fun – of course the Captain led this with Jo Boase, our Cruise Director. After the dance routine we all asked a guest to be our partner on the dance floor. I must say Saga do these events so well.

I slipped away as it is Funchal tomorrow. See you again there.

Captain Julian Burgess

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