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Spirit of Discovery blog


10th October, 2019

After an excellent Welcome Aboard party in the Britannia Lounge it was room service and then straight to bed. The great thing about room service is that you can order from the main menu, so I had to try an appetiser and main course created by our Celebrity VIP chef Daniel Galmiche.

It certainly was an early start with the pilot boarding at the entrance to the Garonne river at 0115 – how rude is that!! Anyway after getting over the shock of waking so early it was actually a very interesting river transit with 71M to cover to reach our berth for 0700. Enroute we had to pass under a number of power cables and 2 bridges – the Aquitaine road bridge, and then the incredible vertical lift bridge - Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas (JCD), which is the longest vertical lift bridge in Europe. Jacques Chaban-Delmas was a former Prime Minister of France and Mayor of Bordeaux. Very few guests saw the bridge on the way in, but they were in for a treat after our departure.

We were in port for 2 days and berthed right in the heart of the city – that is the great thing about this ship and her shallow draft as many cruise ships can’t dock here – thank you SAGA!! Many guests chose to explore this great city on foot and we had lots of tours on offer which were snapped up very quickly.

Around 0930 I started to feel rather weary so some extra rest was in order – not feeling guilty as having been up since 0030 I felt as though I deserved it!! I had a very busy couple of days with meetings/inspections so had to settle for a walk ashore in the evening and a small beverage with some of the Officers – very relaxing and always good to have a change of scenery.

5:00pm was the all aboard time and 30 minutes later we were ready to sail. It was just perfect with warm and sunny conditions as we retraced our tracks from yesterday but more importantly the sail out was in daylight and the decks were packed as we passed under the JCD bridge with a 5m clearance.

We cleared the river at 2230 and then set a S’ly course towards Bilbao.

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.