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1st June, 2018


Just prior to departing Dublin TT legend Phillip McCallen joined the ship with one of his superbikes which whilst he wasn’t watching I climbed onto!! What a machine!! Philip had 11 race victories at the Isle of Man TT, with 4 wins in 1 week in 1996. In 1998 he became the first rider to win a Newcomers Race & a Manx Race in the same year. Whilst on board he gave a fantastic interview with our Cruise Director Simon – the Britannia Lounge was packed.

After a short overnight passage we made our approach to the Mersey Estuary and embarked the pilot at 0415. It was yet another perfect morning with light zephyrs. The tide was ebbing and up to 3 knots at times, so with this outflow we obviously docked head to tide.

As we got closer to the Liverpool Cruise Terminal the current was flowing at approx. 2 knots so we approached slightly wide and angled the bow towards the dock so the current was on the stb’d side and gently pushing us towards the pier. With a successful alongside manoeuver we were all fast and gangways ready by 0700.

This was my 2nd time arriving in Liverpool as Master and only my 3rd visit ever. It’s a beautiful approach to Pier Head with its trio of buildings – the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building. The ship’s location was perfect for exploring the city, its magnificent buildings and museums, and of course getting to know more about the Beatles, and Gerry & the Pacemakers.

Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880. Historically a part of Lancashire, the urbanisation and expansion of Liverpool were both largely brought about by the city’s status as a major port. By the early 19th century 40% of the world’s trade passed through Liverpool’s docks. The city is home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe.

There were 5 tours available today including: Iconic Liverpool Panorama, Llangollen Steam Railway and Tour, Port Sunligh,The Beatles Experience, and The Terracotta Warriors

At 0900 we had 4 chaps from the Maritime Coastguard board to conduct an annual Port State Control and UK expanded safety inspection, which after 7 hours we were awarded a pass with excellence. Around 1400 I headed ashore with my new bike for an hours rapid pedal along the north shore of the Mersey.

Departure was set for 2100 which gave everyone a very full day and the potential to go ashore for an early dinner. As Liverpool is a tidal port our arrival and departure times are dictated by the state of the tide. With everyone on board we slipped our moorings and used the flood tide to best effect to clear the berth. By 2300 we had cleared the Mersey, disembarked our pilot and set a westerly course towards the Isle of Man

Captain Julian Burgess

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

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