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Le Havre

Spirit of Discovery blog - Captains' blogs

4th October, 2019

After departing Dover last night we were on a 4 night “Dance to France” cruise and with a very full ship of 953 guests. These short “taster” cruisers are a perfect way for new guests to sample the delights of our new ship before committing to a longer voyage. After sailing from a very pleasant day in Dover we headed across the channel to Le Havre.

With pilot on board at 0630 we entered the harbour 45 mins later at a good speed of 8 knots as it was a very windy morning and there was a cross current at the harbour entrance. We made a tug fast just before the breakwater as we needed to swing through 180 before backing down to the berth. It certainly was a challenging arrival with the wind gusting 35 knots. With the whole team working together we managed to dock safely alongside by 0745 and then have the shore gangway rigged and ready some 20 minutes.

The morning was actually quite pleasant with sunny spells although rather breezy still which didn’t deter our guests from heading ashore. Meanwhile for me it was our weekly crew emergency drills and then at 1130 a plaque exchange as this was another maiden call. We had a good contingent today with the Harbour Master, Ships Agency Director, Port Facilities Manager, 2 photographers and a local journalist. (Photos attached)

By the time of sailing it was very windy with 30-35 knots but fortunately it was down the line of the berth, so with some great support from the pilot we eased the ship out and once clear of the berth I then handed over the “Con” to the pilot who took us out to sea. Once clear of the buoyed channel I handed the “charge” to the Staff Captain who then oversaw the disembarkation of the pilot. I had to dash as it was the welcome cocktail party and it was going to be a busy one as we have 940 guests on board. The cocktail parties in the Britannia Lounge are always well attended and with everyone in formal wear with high spirits. I introduced all the Senior Officers as part of my welcome speech.

After the party it was another busy night hosting a table in the Grand Dining Room. Tomorrow is St Malo.

Captain Julian Burgess

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