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18th August, 2021

Westward to the Isles of Scilly Summary

Tilbury 10th August

After a brief turnaround in Tilbury, guests were once again boarding the Spirit of Adventure for our second cruise – ‘Westward to the Isles of Scilly’. After a pilotage along the river Thames passing the towns of Gravesend and Southend on Sea (home to the longest, and seemingly most fire-prone pier in the world), we were once again at sea and making way to Portsmouth – the location of the ship’s naming ceremony just a couple of weeks prior. That evening, our on-board Production Cast treated guests to the greatest hits of Queen in their show ‘We are the Champions’, which included a line dance to the song ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ but during which my observation noted no such characters type-cast as such…

Portsmouth 11th August

The early morning arrival into Portsmouth took the ship through the narrow harbour entrance, and past the famous maritime history in the form of HMS Victory and Warrior. There were also more modern Royal Navy vessels present including the shiny new aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales, of which the Royal Navy appear fiercely protective in that they don’t enjoy us passing at a distance of less than around 100m from her. This presents challenges in an otherwise commercial harbour where the channel is only a little wider than that in places… Once we were tied up alongside the newly extended quay at Portsmouth Ferry Terminal, guests began filing down the gangway and onto coaches on the first tours of the cruise, visiting locations such as the D-Day museum, the New Forest and Exbury Gardens. There was also a harbour tour by boat which was enjoyed by many guests. We also put on a special event for our hard-working crews today by inviting an old school friend come sausage merchant to set up his sausage stall next to the ship and treat our teams to some tasty goodies.

Falmouth 12th August

After a fast run along the South coast of England, the ship was once again alongside in the Cornish town of Falmouth. Tours for the day included visits to Land’s End and the Lizard Coast. Those in the Britannia Lounge in the afternoon were treated to the music of Kreisler, Bellini and Tchaikovsky courtesy of the Victory Piano Quartet’s performance of ‘European Classics’. In the evening, Paul Emmanuel presented the music of the legendary Nat King Cole in the Playhouse Theatre.

Isles of Scilly 13th August

The journey from Falmouth to the Isle of Scilly was short and sweet, and an early arrival gave the crew time to prepare the tender platform for the ships second tender operation. This time however, local tenders were provided for what was a 30 minute trip through the Isles to the towns of St Mary’s and Tresco. Explore Ashore treated guests to visits to the Exotic Tresco Gardens, a walk around St Mary’s Garrison, and St Mary’s Archaeological Walk. Once all guests were safely back on board, I announced that in the evening a short stop would be made in Falmouth again so that guests could enjoy the fireworks display to mark the end of Falmouth Sailing Week. I am terribly fond of a jolly good fireworks display…

Portland 14th - 15th August

At around 8am, the Spirit of Adventure arrived in Portland for its maiden call to the port, and we were not alone. Berthed next to us was the gigantic MSC Virtuosa, also on a UK cruise. The first tours began departing just after 9am, taking guests to Durdle Door and the picturesque Lulworth Cove, and on coach tours of the West Dorset Coast. There were also visits to Athelhampton House and Abbotsbury Swannery. The Playhouse Theatre was once again the location of a musical performance from the Spirit of Adventure Show Company, this time presenting ‘Swing Swing Swing’. Unsurprisingly, this performance included a considerable amount of swinging. But in dance form, I must clarify. Numbers from genius composers including George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Guests were transported back through the decades of the most loved big band songs of the 20s, 30s and 40s. At noon on the 15th the ship once again set sail for Tilbury, signalling the end of the Spirit of Adventure’s second cruise.

Captain Kim Tanner

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.