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Saga Cruises

South African Farewell Adventure

Saga Pearl II departing Portsmouth

from £11,324 54 2
Including optional travel insurance or a discount of £248 if not required
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A fond farewell…

Saga Pearl II’s momentous final cruise is a 54-night journey that takes you to the exotic shores of Africa while celebrating this elegant cruise ship’s nine years of Saga cruises. Also stopping at St Helena and ports in Madeira, the Canary Islands and Spain, this convivial cruise is sure to leave you with lifelong memories.

Inspiring experiences to enjoy… observing the colourful birdlife that inhabit The Gambia’s mangroves, watching the sun set over Cape Town’s Table Mountain, going in search of the ‘big five’ in the Pumba Game Reserve, heading out on a kayak safari to see the turtles of iSimangaliso Wetland Park and enjoying a tailor-made event in Cape Town to commemorate Saga Pearl II’s final cruise.

Saga price includes...

  • All meals on board, including 24-hour room service
  • A choice of wines at lunch and dinner
  • All on-board gratuities
  • Optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a reduction if not required
  • Entertainment and activities
  • Welcome cocktail party and Captain’s dinner
  • All port taxes and visas
  • UK mainland travel service to and from the port
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View Full Itinerary

Portsmouth

Embark Saga Pearl II.

Depart 1600.

Portsmouth is one of the most densely populated cities in Southern England, and is unusual as most of its built-up area occupies Portsea Island, which is linked to the mainland by road and rail bridges. Although there is a Roman fort at nearby Portchester, which was occupied later by both the Saxons and the Normans, there was no settlement on the site of Portsmouth at the time of the Domesday survey in 1086. The town developed in medieval times and received its first charter in 1194 from King Richard the Lionheart; soon afterwards it developed into a permanent naval base. It has the world’s oldest continuously used dry dock, and is home to several famous ships, including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose, which millions of television viewers watched being raised from the Solent in 1982. Portsmouth remains an important naval base and is home to a large proportion of the British service fleet. The waterfront area is now dominated by the Spinnaker Tower, 560 feet high, which is the United Kingdom’s tallest building outside London. Other things to see in the city include the house where Charles Dickens was born, and the City Museum, which contains a permanent exhibition devoted to another famous writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who lived in the town.

FactFile

Population 205,400 (approximate)
Language English
Currency Pound sterling
Time Difference N/A
Climate Portsmouth experiences an oceanic climate, with cool winters and mild to warm summers.
Ship berths at Portsmouth International Port
Distance from Centre ½-mile
Distance from gangway to coach Coaches can pull up immediately outside the terminal building.

Useful Information

Shopping The nearest shops to the terminal are in Gunwharf Quays, near the Spinnaker Tower.
Shopping Opening Hours Most shops are open Monday to Friday 0900-2000, Saturday 0900-1900 and Sunday 1100-1700.
Post Office The main Post Office is in Slindon Street, near Portsmouth & Southsea railway station.
Tourist Office The Tourist Information Office is on Clarence Esplanade. Telephone: 023 9282 6722.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial the full STD code followed by the subscriber's number.
Emergency Services Dial 999.
Banks All main UK banks have branches in the city centre, and there are ATMs in the Cruise Terminal.

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Funchal

Arrive 0800. Depart 1300. 

Madeira is famous for its natural scenery and native flora. Perhaps take a walk along the island's levadas – narrow channels built to transport water from the north of the island to the south.

Formed by a volcanic eruption, Madeira lies in the Gulf Stream, about 500 miles due west of Casablanca. Discovered by Portuguese explorer João Gonçalves Zarco in 1419, this beautiful island became part of Portugal’s vast empire and was named for the dense forest which cloaked it - 'Madeira' means 'wood' in Portuguese. Sugar plantations first brought wealth here, and when King Charles II of England granted an exclusive franchise to sell wine to England and its colonies, many British emigrants were drawn to the capital, Funchal. Today’s travellers come to Madeira for the varied and luxuriant scenery, from mountain slopes covered with vines to picturesque villages and a profusion of wild flowers. The natural beauty of the island has earned it many pseudonyms such as ‘The Floating Garden of the Atlantic’, 'The Island of Eternal Springtime' and ‘God’s Botanical Gardens’ and our selection of excursions aim to show you why.

FactFile

Population 105,000 (approximate)
Language Portuguese
Currency Euro
Time Difference UK
Climate Mild winters and warm summers
Ship berths at Molhe da Pontinha
Distance from Centre Approximately two miles
Distance from gangway to coach Approximately 250 yards

Useful Information

Shopping The main shopping area is located in the city centre around the Sé (Cathedral).
Shopping Opening Hours Open between 0900-1300 and 1500-1900 Monday to Friday, 1000-1300 on Saturdays.
Post Office The Post Office is located on Avenida Zarco and is open from 0830-2000 Monday to Friday and 0830-1330 on Saturdays.
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is located on Avenida Arriaga and is open between 0900-2000 Monday to Friday, and 0900-1800 at weekends and on public holidays.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 112
Banks Banks are open 0830-1500 on weekdays, and 24-hour ATMs are located around the city centre.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

Enjoy a unique start to your tour by embarking on a 15-minute cable car ride to Monte, a charming hilltop town where you will be greeted by the impressive sight of its church, Our Lady of Monte. Set in a park and constructed in the 18th century on the remains of a 15th-century chapel, it is said to have been built by the first Madeirans born on the island, and every Assumption Day thousands of islanders make a pilgrimage to the church. You can enter the church if it is open. Perhaps take an optional toboggan ride to Livramento, traversing the streets in a wicker toboggan steered by straw-hatted ‘drivers’ (this is at an additional cost). Then visit the Botanical Gardens, home to a profusion of plants and flowers from all over the world which thrive in the island’s temperate climate. See the herbarium, terraces, greenhouses, knot gardens, topiary and cacti and enjoy the fine views. Finally, there will be a visit to a wine lodge for a tasting of the island’s famous wines.

This excursion requires walking approximately two miles, often up steep slopes and over cobbles. There are also around 85 steps in total. You will be driven across many narrow, winding roads with occasional steep drops – vertigo sufferers should take this into consideration. Floral displays in the gardens will vary from season to season. The additional cost of the optional toboggan ride - approximately €25 if you would like the toboggan to yourself, or €30 for two people sharing - will be added to your on-board account. Enjoy Funchal Botanical Gardens

See Madeira from the air and experience wonderful views all the way up to Monte, a place that has been a favourite destination for visitors to Madeira since the late 19th century, when a steam-operated rack-railway was built to haul cruise liner passengers up the hillside from Funchal. The railway closed in 1939, but visitors today can do the same journey by taking a modern cable-car. The first stop on this tour is in the Old Town, where your coach drops you at the lower station to board your cable-car, which takes you on a picturesque 15-minute trip to Monte. There are 40 cable-cars, each holding up to eight people. Reaching Monte, the first landmark that you will see is the façade of the 18th-century church with its twin towers. Your coach tour then resumes with a drive to Pico dos Barcelos, a viewpoint that offers a fantastic panorama over Funchal city, the harbour and the surrounding hills. Stop here for photographs before returning to the port. If you wish, you may travel down from Monte to Livramento on one of the famous basketwork sledges called ‘toboggans’, an iconic form of transport unique to Madeira!

This tour involves minimal walking. However, you may need to wait in a queue before boarding the cable-car, and please note that the cable-cars do not stop: they slow down when they reach the upper station, and passengers must step off carefully. The toboggan ride is quite fast and some participants may find it scary. Views from Pico dos Barcelos will depend on the weather. As Madeira’s climate is notoriously changeable, we recommend that you bring a light coat or jacket. Enjoy a thrilling toboggan ride down from Monte

Discover the stunning coastal scenery of Madeira from the towering Cabo Girão sea cliff on this scenic excursion. After leaving the port area, head west and begin your journey following the coast roads, passing the fishing town of Câmara de Lobos, also known as 'Sea Wolves' Lair'. You then ascend into the mountains and pass row upon row of pretty vineyards, followed by scented forests of eucalyptus and pine en route to Cabo Girão. This cliff dominates the coast and towers 1,900 feet above the ocean, making it one of the tallest in Europe. From the top you can enjoy truly spectacular views along the unspoilt coastline, out across the Atlantic and down to the vineyards which run almost to the sea's edge. After taking in the views, return to Funchal, passing Pico dos Barcelos along the way, with its views of the capital. Stop at the Old Blandy Wine Lodge for an included tasting of Madeira wine, famous the world over for centuries, before making your way back to the ship.

There is approximately 100 yards of unavoidable walking on this tour, with around 35 steps in total. There are steps to all the viewpoints: only the wine lodge is accessible to wheelchairs. You will be driven across many narrow, winding roads with occasional steep drops - vertigo sufferers should take this into consideration. The towering Cabo Girão sea cliff

This fun and exciting four-wheel drive tour takes you both on and off road through some of Madeira’s hidden valleys and mountain roads, and will show you some of the island's most inspiring sights. Discover beautiful scenery and see the many different types of wild flowers which have earned Madeira its name 'the floating garden'. Your guide will point out the unique and rare native flora and fauna along the way, as well as the island’s varied wildlife, and there will be a short break for refreshments amid the spectacular surroundings.

While this excursion requires minimal walking, you will be required to cross some rough, uneven ground and you must be agile enough to climb into the vehicle unaided. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed. The four-wheel drive ride is unsuitable for people with neck, back, hip or knee problems owing to the very bumpy terrain, and these vehicles have no handrails or space to store wheelchairs. The standard of vehicle may vary by make and model, some having steep access steps and no seat belts. Prior to our port call, the Shore Excursion Manager will request a meeting of all participants booked on this tour. Discover the countryside on your 4WD safari

Following a 'levada' trail is one of the most enjoyable ways of seeing Madeira. These irrigation channels were created in the 19th century by the Portuguese settlers, who painstakingly carved them out of the rock by hand. Designed to carry fresh water from the north to the drier southern regions of the island, they helped to create many of the lush landscapes that can be seen today. This guided walk will follow the course of 'levadas' for over three miles, allowing you to admire the verdant plants, mountain views and green farmland that cover Madeira. You will first be driven to Vale Paraiso, where you set off for your two-hour walk. The first half will be a gentle stroll over fairly level ground, rising to the Camacha area with its great views. Then take a break for refreshments of either coffee or a soft drink, before resuming your trek - the second stretch will take you all the way to Rochão, where you rejoin the coach for your return journey to the port.

This tour requires walking up to 3½ miles, over uneven terrain with many steps. This tour may be cancelled in the event of bad weather, or if the levadas are undergoing maintenance. Walk by Madeira's famous Levadas

Leaving the quayside, pass through the centre of Funchal before climbing steeply out of town along a winding road that offers spectacular views over the harbour. You pass through the village of Monte, 1,677 feet above sea level, and then continue upwards through eucalyptus and mimosa trees to Terreiro da Luta, which has an elevation of 2,670 feet. As you climb even higher, the views will open out considerably as you cross Poiso Pass and reach the end of the road at the summit of Pico do Aveiro, 5,937 feet above sea level. From this vantage point there are magnificent vistas on a clear day. Leaving the peak behind, you head inland to Ribeiro Frio, where a short stop will be made to view the lovingly maintained grounds of the trout hatchery. Descending through Faial to the village of Santana, famous for its traditional thatched houses, you stop here to visit a vineyard and enjoy a wine-tasting at the Quinta do Furão, where lunch will be served. After lunch you drive to Portela Pass, with its magnificent panoramic views over the mountains and down to the sea. Your coach continues down through the fertile Machico Valley, where crops are planted on terraces along the steep mountainside. Once a small fishing village, Machico is now a holiday resort. It is said that the first two settlers landed here: Ana D’Arafet and Robert Machim, after whom the town is named. From Machico you drive back to the pier at Funchal.

This tour involves walking approximately half-a-mile, and ground at photo-stops may be uneven or slippery. Comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended. The visibility from scenic outlooks will depend on the weather. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. The Church at Monte

This tour aims to show you whales and dolphins in the sea around Madeira, and is accompanied by a marine biologist and skipper. Before leaving, there will be a short introduction, and then your adventure starts! There will be lookouts on land who will guide your boat towards the marine mammals. The RIBs are fully equipped for observing wild dolphins and whales. On most trips you will have the opportunity to see Short-finned Pilot Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Atlantic spotted Dolphins and Common Dolphins that will amaze you with their acrobatic moves as they swim alongside the boats. If you are lucky, you may see a Risso’s Dolphin, a Beaked Whale or an Orca, all of which are occasional visitors to Madeira.

Warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy non-slip shoes are required. You may get wet from sea spray. You must be able to climb in and out of the RIB boat unaided. Access to the boat is along a wooden boardwalk that may be wet and slippery, and you will need to walk about 300 yards to and from the pier. The sea can be rough, making the ride very bumpy, so we do not recommend this trip for those with back problems. Each RIB boat has a capacity for 14 passengers. In the event of poor weather, trips may be postponed or cancelled at short notice. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed. Prior to our port call, the Shore Excursion Manager will request a meeting of all participants booked on this tour. Look out for dolphins!

Madeira is a beautiful island famous for its floral splendour. This excursion takes you on a relaxing drive through some of its most picturesque areas. Your tour begins with a scenic drive via Poiso Pass to Pico do Arieiro, the third-highest peak in Madeira, for a glimpse of the region's natural scenery and fabulous views. Continue to Santo da Serra, a pretty village that stands at an altitude of 2,200 feet and is known for its pine, eucalyptus and wild flowers. Pause briefly here for refreshments at the Santo da Serra Golf Course, before continuing to the viewpoint of Camões Pequeno, overlooking the former fishing village of Machico and its harbour. After stopping here for photographs, your tour continues to Funchal, where you visit Blandy's Wine Lodge for a taste of some of Madeira’s most famous export. During the Age of the Discoveries it became usual for ships sailing to the New World to pick up casks of wine from Madeira, and it was found that fortifying the wine by adding distilled alcohol would preserve it for the long sea voyage. Madeira's fortified wines soon gained a reputation that survives to this day.

This excursion involves walking approximately 300 yards, partly over cobblestones, with around 40 steps in total. You can avoid some of the steps by remaining on the coach during photo-stops. There are many narrow, winding roads in Madeira with occasional steep drops: vertigo sufferers should take this into consideration. A warm jacket is recommended as it will be much cooler at the top of Pico do Arieiro. Unexpected weather conditions could impact on the views seen, and regrettably no alternative routes are possible. The view from Camões Pequeno

Join one of the oldest Madeiran traditions - tea at Reid’s overlooking the Bay of Funchal. Opened in 1891, the hotel has always had a special place in the history of Madeira. Located on the outskirts of Funchal, perched on a clifftop headland above the bay, Reid’s is set in ten acres of lush semi-tropical gardens, and famous guests over the years have included Sir Winston Churchill, David Lloyd-George, Roger Moore, Gregory Peck and George Bernard Shaw. You will be picked up at the port in a 'Tukxi' - a delightful vehicle adapted from an Italian Piaggio Ape - and driven to Reid's Hotel, where you have time to relax and take in the unique atmosphere before enjoying tea, scones, sandwiches and cakes on the terrace or in the cocktail bar. Savour the elegance and opulence of days gone by before returning to the port on board your 'dolce vita' style Tukxi.

This tour involves minimal walking, but you must be able to get in and out of the Tukxi unaided. Owing to the type of vehicle used, we do not recommend this tour for those with back or neck problems. In keeping with the elegant atmosphere of the hotel, no jeans, T-shirts, shorts, sports shoes or sandals should be worn. Admission to the hotel gardens is not included, and there is no tour of the hotel or guide. The venue for the tea - terrace or cocktail bar - will be decided on the day by the hotel management. Please be aware that this tour requires a minimum and maximum of two passengers per Tukxi to operate. Travel around Madeira by Tukxi

Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Arrive 0900. Depart 1600.

Tenerife's varied landscape is crowned by the Mount Teide volcano. The crater has a circumference of over 29 miles and you can venture right into the centre on an exciting excursion. Alternatively, you might choose to visit some of the island’s enchanting<0x00A0>gardens.

The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is a beautiful and scenic island which enjoys year-round sunshine and is dominated by Mount Teide. The mountain range runs through the centre of the island, with fertile valleys on the northern side. In the central part of the range is the gigantic natural crater of the Cañadas del Teide, about 14 miles in diameter. Santa Cruz, the island’s pretty capital, was originally a small fishing village but has now grown into a modern city, and also contains 16th-century civic buildings and ornate private mansions. Near the pier is the Santa Cruz Palmetum, a Botanical Garden covering an area of 29 acres, specialising in palms.

FactFile

Population 900,000 (approximate) in Tenerife
Language Spanish
Currency Euro
Time Difference UK
Climate Mild winters and hot summers
Ship berths at Muelle Sur
Distance from Centre ¾ mile
Distance from gangway to coach There may be a 20-yard walk from the gangway to the coaches.

Useful Information

Shopping There are shops along Calle Castillo and Calle del Pilar.
Shopping Opening Hours Shops are usually open between 0900-1300 and 1600-2000.
Post Office The Post Office on Plaza España is open 0900-1400 weekdays and 0900-1300 on Saturdays.
Tourist Office There is a Tourist Office on Plaza España which is open from 0900-1400 Monday to Friday.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 112
Banks A bank is situated on Plaza Candelaria and is open 0830-1400 Monday to Friday.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

The abundant colour and sheer variety of plants, flowers and vegetation that thrive in the Canary Islands is the focus of this delightful excursion. First take a drive along the island’s main highway to Puerto de la Cruz, an old colonial town on the north coast. The first garden you visit is the Jardin Botanico, which was founded by a royal decree of King Charles III of Spain in 1788. He wanted to create a nursery where plants, shrubs and flowers brought by the Conquistadors from the New World could acclimatise to Spanish soil. Many of the plants here are the original specimens, delivered shortly after the opening of the garden. The centrepiece is a huge South American fig tree whose enormous branches and roots have created an outlandish treehouse. From the Jardin Botanico it is a short drive to the Risco Bello Garden. A delightful contrast, this is a water garden with lakes, a grotto, waterfall and Japanese bridge. Your final visit is to the Orchid Gardens of Sitio Litre, which have had many distinguished visitors including the famous crime writer Agatha Christie. These tranquil gardens are bursting with colour and have the largest collection of orchids in the Canary Islands. You will have time here to enjoy tea and coffee with pastries and to browse in the shop before the return drive to Santa Cruz.

This tour involves walking a distance of approximately one mile, some of which is over uneven ground. There are also around 30 steep steps. The journey to Puerto de la Cruz should take around 45 minutes each way. Beautiful Risco Bello Garden

Heading north from the port, you will reach La Laguna, Tenerife's former capital, which is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Here you start your walk, passing the Sanctuario del Cristo, a 17th-century Franciscan convent. Head next to the Calle Obispo Rey, a beautiful street lined with noble 18th-century buildings with impressive façades. Returning to your coach, leave La Laguna for Tacoronte, a fertile agricultural area and the island's wine capital. Here you stop at a local bodega, an old wine cellar, where, surrounded by barrels, with hams and cheeses hanging from the ceiling, you taste the delicious local wine, accompanied by tasty Canarian delicacies.

You should expect to walk up to ¾-mile in La Laguna, most of which will be along cobbled streets, with the occasional step or kerb to negotiate. There is minimal walking at the bodega, although you may need to remain standing for around ten minutes. Casual clothes, comfortable shoes and sunscreen are recommended. Old houses in Calle Obispo Rey

After departing the busy harbour of Santa Cruz, enjoy a drive along Maritime Avenue to the charming fishing village of San Andrés, one of the island's oldest settlements dating from 1497. The village is renowned for its stunning golden beach, Las Teresitas, which was partially man-made using 216,000 tons of sand imported from the former Spanish Sahara. Pause for photographs here, before driving on to El Bailadero, the highest point of this area, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of a wild landscape. After passing through a tunnel, you then reach the other side of the Anaga Mountains and the hidden village of Taganana, where you stop to sample some local wine and cheese. Suitably refreshed, continue through the living museum of Mercedes Forest to Pico del Ingles, Mirador del Carmen and Cantera: all offer outstanding views of the wild countryside and the northern coast. You return to Santa Cruz via La Laguna, perhaps pausing to visit the 18th-century 'Iglesia del Cristo' (Christ Church) along the way.

There is relatively little walking on this excursion: around 500 yards, with a steep slope between the refreshment venue and the coach. The journey through the Anaga Mountains involves travelling along steep, winding roads - vertigo sufferers should take this into consideration. Access to the church interior may be restricted in the unlikely event of our visit clashing with a religious service. Church in La Laguna

Discover Tenerife's most striking natural feature, Mount Teide volcano. Rising to a height of 12,000 feet, it is the highest peak in Spanish territory and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Your excursion begins with a drive towards the old colonial capital of La Laguna, the cultural and religious capital of Tenerife, situated in the Aguere Valley amidst beautiful surroundings. From La Laguna, journey south along the base of the mountain range, through pine forests and foothills to Teide National Park. Declared a national park in 1954, the park includes an enormous volcanic crater which is over 29 miles in circumference. The park is situated at an altitude of over one mile above sea level: in winter, snow and gale force winds often close roads through it. During the summer months this arid landscape, which gives visitors the impression of having walked onto the set of a western movie, can reach temperatures of over 100°F. At the heart of the crater you enter the National Parador Visitors' Centre, and stand in the shadows of the majestic Roques de García. During the course of the tour, a stop will also be made for refreshments. On your return journey to Santa Cruz there will be several photo stops where you can savour the breath-taking scenery.

This excursion involves approximately 550 yards of walking, over some uneven surfaces, and a considerable amount of standing; any additional walking will be at your own discretion, and may well be partly over uneven ground and cobblestones. A warm jacket and/or layered clothing is highly recommended, as it can be cold and windy in Mount Teide National Park. Mount Teide

Tenerife is much more than just sun and beaches: the island is also famous for science and its volcanoes. Along with Chile and Hawaii, the Canary Islands are one of the three best spots in the world to observe the sky, which is why the world’s largest solar observatory is located here. The Teide Observatory at Izaña was inaugurated in 1964 and focuses on solar observations and robotic astronomy. It houses various solar and lunar telescopes, owned by different European countries. The researchers who work at the Teide Observatory have made great contributions to the field of astronomy, with an average of one publication per day. Your tour takes you from the port of Santa Cruz to the Observatory, where you enjoy a guided tour of this spectacular scientific centre and a visit to one of the famous telescopes, getting to know something about the life of the researchers who work here. After your tour, head to the Restaurante La Bambi for a tapas lunch, enjoying the superb views of Mount Teide for which this restaurant is famous. You will have free time to purchase some gifts or souvenirs afterwards, before travelling by coach to the lower station of the cable-car. Here you embark on an exhilarating ride to the peak of Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain. There will be time to take photos at the summit station, 11,663 feet above sea level, before returning to the lower station, re-joining your coach and heading back to the ship.

We recommend that you wear layered clothing and bring a warm jacket, as it can be cold and windy on Mount Teide. The cable-cars each take a maximum of 44 passengers and travel to the top in under eight minutes: you may need to stand in a queue while waiting to board. Views will depend on the weather. The ascent involves a sudden change in pressure and level of oxygen. The cable-car may be taken out of service at short notice in the event of adverse weather conditions. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursions Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. The buildings of Teide Observatory

In 1954, Las Cañadas del Teide was declared a National Park of Spain. It is the largest of all the Canary Islands National Parks and covers an area of about 47,000 acres. It is one of Spain’s most visited National Parks and also one of its most spectacular. Journey to around 7,500 feet above sea level through the Esperanza Forest, one of the most attractive places on the island. The cool forests of eucalyptus vegetation make way for occasional glimpses of Mount Teide. Your scenic drive will next take you to the National Park of Las Cañadas, an enormous crater from which emerges the majestic cone of Mount Teide. Begin your hike at the Mirador de Los Tajinastes in the the beautiful and rugged Ucanca Valley. Enjoy the flora and fauna of this picturesque part of the island as your guide leads you along the park trails. Your hike will end near the Hotel Parador National, where you stop to relax and enjoy refreshments before joining the coach back to the port.

This tour is only suitable for those in good physical condition. The hike is anticipated to last approximately 2½ hours and involves some gentle inclines. Wear a warm jacket or warm layered clothing, and footwear suitable for hiking. Mount Teide from Ucanca Valley

After leaving the busy harbour of Santa Cruz, enjoy a drive along Maritime Avenue to the charming fishing village of San Andrés, one of the island's oldest settlements, dating from 1497. The village is renowned for its stunning golden beach, Las Teresitas, which was made partly from 238,000 tons of sand imported from the former Spanish Sahara. Pause for photographs here before driving on to El Bailadero, the highest point in this area, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of a wild landscape. Through a tunnel you then reach the other side of the Anaga Mountains and the hidden village of Taganana, where you stop to sample some local wine and cheese. Once refreshed, continue through the living museum of Mercedes Forest to Pico del Ingles, the Mirador del Carmen and Cantera: all offer outstanding views of the wild countryside and northern coast. You return to Santa Cruz via La Laguna, perhaps pausing to visit the 18th-century 'Iglesia del Cristo' (Christ Church) if a service is not taking place.

There is limited walking on this excursion, amounting to about 500 yards, with a steep slope from the refreshment venue to the coach. A few steps may need to be negotiated at the photo-stops. The journey through the Anaga Mountains involves travelling on steep, winding roads - vertigo sufferers should take this into consideration. Visit Las Teresitas

This tour will take you to the north of the island, Puerto de la Cruz, a popular resort with a charming atmosphere. However you choose to spend your time in Puerto de la Cruz, you will not be disappointed. Why not start off by exploring the old colonial part of town, where many of the houses still retain their beautiful architecture and distinctive Canarian balconies. Stop for a coffee in the shaded square before exploring the narrow winding streets. Puerto de la Cruz has a wonderful promenade, great for strolling and browsing in the many souvenir shops. If shopping is not for you, there are the Botanical Gardens, situated on the edge of the town, where you can discover plants and trees from all five continents. You are sure to love the Lido Martiánez, which boasts numerous salt water pools, waterfalls and fountains.

This tour is a transfer only and takes approximately 45 minutes each way. All participants will be given a map of the town and all walking is at your own discretion throughout the time given in Puerto de la Cruz. Should you wish to swim, please remember to bring your swimming costume, towel and sunscreen. Any activities on the beach or in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. Please check the time of the return transfer with your Saga ship's escort, as there may be a choice of departures. Tour participants will need to have an early lunch on board ship. Explore pretty Puerto de la Cruz

Enjoy the wonderful spectacle of sunset from one of Teide National Park’s lookouts. If the weather is clear, you will be able to see the islands of La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. You will also be able to enjoy a glass of sparkling wine as you admire the sunset from this privileged spot. After the sunset, you will be treated to a cocktail dinner made with typical ingredients from the islands, which will make even the most demanding gourmet’s mouth water: potatoes served with various mojos; Canarian chickpeas; banana fritters; skewers of meat and white, red and rosé wines from the Canaries. Beer, soft drinks and mineral water are also available. After dinner, you will be able to admire the stars with the help of a guide, who will take you on a journey through the fascinating world of the night sky. Professional telescopes will be available, so you can seek out distant constellations and impressive planets such as Saturn. Teide National Park, with its high altitude and clear night skies, has ideal conditions for stargazing, and several important astronomical observatories are based here.

Minimal walking is involved, but comfortable shoes are recommended as the ground may be uneven. We recommend that warm clothes are worn, as temperatures may be low. Taking stones or any other specimens from the National Park is prohibited. This tour may be cancelled or modified at short notice should the roads become impassable or snow-covered. As you will be travelling to a height of over 7,500 feet above sea level, we do not recommend this excursion to those with anaemia, respiratory problems or suffering from heart disease. The clear skies of Tenerife are perfect for stargazing

Leave the pier in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and drive towards the yacht harbour at Puerto Colon in Playa de Las Americas. Once there, board a catamaran for an exciting trip to visit the pilot and sperm whales that live all year in the waters around the island of Tenerife. These large mammals live in groups of between eight and fifteen individuals: each group is dominated by a big male about 26 feet long, weighing about 5,500 pounds. You may also see dolphins or other species of whale if you are lucky! During the boat trip, rolls and drinks will be served, and you will have some free time to swim if you wish. After this great experience, return to Playa de Las Americas and travel back by road to the pier.

This excursion involves minimal walking, but there are about eight steps to negotiate when getting on and off the catamaran, and you should be a confident swimmer if you wish to go in the water. Casual, comfortable clothing and sunscreen is recommended: please wear a swimsuit under your clothes and bring a towel if you wish to go swimming. The catamaran is not exclusive to Saga, and you may be sharing it with passengers of various nationalities and ages travelling with other operators. Sightings of whales cannot be guaranteed. All activities in the water are undertaken at your own risk. Look out for Pilot Whales

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Porto Grande

Arrive 0800. Depart 1800.

Set on the island of São Vicente, Mindelo has a dramatic backdrop of jagged mountains. A scenic tour is the perfect opportunity to see more of this island's breathtaking landscapes.

The crescent of volcanic islands which form the Cape Verde archipelago lie 310 miles off the Senegal coast. Despite the name (Green Cape), all the islands are barren, but they offer dramatic mountain scenery and pristine beaches. The Portuguese started colonising the islands during the 15th century and during the 16th century the archipelago became important for the supply of water and rations to boats sailing to America, Europe and Africa, and as a base for slave warehouses. The Cape Verde Islands obtained their independence from Portugal in 1975 and, although the isles may be African geographically speaking, they have retained a strong Latin flavour. Porto Grande, the port for Mindelo, is on the windward isle of São Vicente and covers an area of 88 square miles. Over 90% of the island’s inhabitants live in the capital of Mindelo, where the historic centre is characterised by old colonial houses and commemorative monuments. Please note that excursions from this port will be operated by basic minibuses: these vehicles are the best available, but lack air-conditioning, reclining seats and seat belts, and have no space for the storage of walkers or wheelchairs.

FactFile

Population 434,000 (approximate)
Language Portuguese
Currency Cape Verde Escudo
Time Difference UK-1
Climate Tropical - the rainy season is from August to October.
Ship berths at Pier No.2
Distance from Centre Approximately 1,100 yards
Distance from gangway to coach Approximately 170 yards

Useful Information

Shopping The main shopping area is located in Mindelo.
Shopping Opening Hours Typical opening hours are 0900-1300 and 1500-2000 on weekdays.
Post Office The Post Office is located next to Praça Goncalves Gones, just off Avenida Marginal. Opening hours are 0800-1500 on weekdays.
Tourist Office There is no Tourist Office available
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Medi Centre: +238-231 85 15
Banks There are banks located in Mindelo. Opening hours are 0800-1500 on weekdays.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

This excursion gives you the opportunity to get off the beaten track and enjoy the unspoilt scenery that is found on the island of Porto Grande. After departing the quayside in your 4WD vehicle your first stop is to Palha Carga, a one mile stretch of undiscovered beach where you can stop for a short while to take some photographs. After passing through the agricultural area of the island you arrive at the valley of Ribeira de Calhau, where to your left you have views of the uninhabited islands of St Luzia, Raso and Banco and to your right the crater of the island's volcano. Continuing on to the white sandy beaches of Saragaca and Gatchod where you can discover the natural caves which were formed from the lava of the volcano. On your return to your ship enjoy a brief stop at the fishing village of Calhau.

This excursion uses closed-topped 4-wheel drive vehicles: window seats are not guaranteed and there may be limited legroom. If the group is split between two or more vehicles, your guide may change vehicles during the course of the tour so as to give a commentary to all passengers. Vehicles in Porto Grande are not normally equipped with seat belts. You will be travelling along steep, winding mountain roads and the terrain may be bumpy: those suffering from vertigo, motion sickness or back and neck problems should take this into consideration. The weather can be cool in the higher parts of São Vicente, so we recommend that you bring a light jacket. There are no opportunities to use public conveniences. Off the beaten track in São Vicente

Sit back and discover the beautiful scenery of São Vicente. Your coach leaves the quayside and passes through the island’s volcanic landscape to reach your first stop, the top of Monte Verde, the highest point on the island. Stop here for the chance to take some photographs of the spectacular views over the island, and, if the weather allows, of the neighbouring islands. Continue along the coast to Praia Grande Beach, where you can admire the contrast of the white sand and black lava flow whilst tasting some of the national liqueur. Re-joining your coach, your guide tell you about the Ribeira de Calhua valley and its agriculture, before you reach a local hotel, where you stop for refreshments and enjoy a display of traditional dancing.

We recommend comfortable walking shoes and an umbrella for shade. There is approximately 100 yards' walking, over mixed terrain that includes sandy beaches. The only wc facilities available are at the very end of the tour. If the group is split between two or more vehicles, your guide may change vehicles during the course of the tour so as to give a commentary to all passengers. Vehicles in Porto Grande are not normally equipped with seat belts. You will be travelling along steep, winding mountain roads and the terrain may be bumpy: those suffering from vertigo, motion sickness or back and neck problems should take this into consideration. The weather can be cool in the higher parts of São Vicente, so we recommend that you bring a light jacket. Enjoy scenic views of the island

Known as the cultural capital of the country, São Vicente is also its most cosmopolitan island. Not only is it home to one of the country’s deepest and most scenic bays, but Mindelo has also had a long history as a stopping place for ships making their way to Africa, Asia and South America. This port city has therefore been influenced by the different cultures of those passing through. During your tour today, discover the colonial style of this city, which is proud for being the birthplace of the famous singer, Cesaria Evora. Setting off towards the main square named Praça Nova, begin a guided walk to get a glimpse of life during the colonial era before visiting the local museum with its exhibition of handicrafts. Continuing to the city centre, pass numerous colourful colonial buildings before arriving at the replica of Lisbon`s Torre de Belem and the lively fish market. You will have the chance to enjoy some local music during your refreshment break. Proceed afterwards along Rua Lisboa, formerly the main street of the colonial city, where the Governor’s Palace is situated. Along the way, stop at the local market , and view the church and Town Hall on the square before returning to your ship.

We recommend comfortable walking shoes and sunscreen. This excursion involves walking approximately 550 yards over uneven, cobbled surfaces with up to 20 steps altogether. Public conveniences are limited and very basic. If the group is split between two or more vehicles, your guide may change vehicles during the course of the tour so as to give a commentary to all passengers. You will be travelling along steep, winding mountain roads and the terrain may be bumpy: those suffering from vertigo, motion sickness or back and neck problems should take this into consideration. The weather can be cool in the higher parts of São Vicente, so we recommend that you bring a light jacket. A traditional guitar workshop

Spend the day at sea.

Banjul

Arrive 0800. Depart 1800.

Enjoy the West African sunshine of The Gambia, where only small ships can berth. Set off on an adventure into the mangroves of Oyster Creek and look out for colourful birdlife such as the violet turaco and red-throated bee-eaters.

The tiny city of Banjul is the capital of The Gambia, a country that itself is little more than the banks of the mighty river that shares its name. Situated on St Mary’s Island, where the River Gambia joins the Atlantic, Bathurst, as Banjul was previously called, was established by the British in the early nineteenth century as a naval outpost dedicated to putting a halt to the trade in human beings. In 1943, Franklin Roosevelt visited Banjul on his way to the Casablanca conference with Churchill, becoming the first serving American president to visit Africa. Today, Banjul plays host to a thriving tourist trade, thanks to its pleasant climate, and is the political centre for the oldest democracy in Africa.

FactFile

Population 35,000 (approximate)
Language English
Currency Gambian Dalasi
Time Difference Same as the UK
Climate The Gambia enjoys virtually uninterrupted sunshine and high daytime temperatures with almost no rainfall from November to June.
Ship berths at Banjul
Distance from Centre 1 mile
Distance from gangway to coach 20 yards

Useful Information

Shopping Shopping is available at St Albert's Market.
Shopping Opening Hours Opening hours are between 0900-1700.
Post Office The Post Office is located at St. Albert's Market and is open on weekdays between 0800-1600.
Tourist Office The nearest Tourist Office is situated in Kotu, which is approximately 15 miles from Banjul.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 001 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Police - 17, Fire Service - 18, Medical Services - 16
Banks There are banks on Ecowas Avenue, which are open between 0830-1600 on weekdays.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

Leaving the harbour, your first stop is at Katchikally Crocodile Pool. Here you have the chance to visit the museum and get a really close look at these unique reptiles. This crocodile pool in Bakau has been in existence for over 100 years and is currently home to over 100 crocodiles. The locals who believe in the powers of these tame crocodiles consider this place sacred. You have the opportunity to stroke these animals and feel their rough texture. Leaving Katchikally you continue to Serrekunda, which is the largest town in the country. Here you visit a tie and dye batik factory once owned by a Gambian lady called Musu Kebba Drammeh, who had worked in the business for over 30 years. Watch a display of batik production and have free time for shopping. Leaving Serrekunda you head towards the Gambian capital, Banjul. Your guide will give an overview of the city and the surrounding area. On a short visit to the National Museum, you will learn about Banjul’s culture, traditions, customs and history. Continuing into the capital, you stop at St Albert’s Market, a daily market where clothes, crafts, foodstuffs and African souvenirs can be purchased for very reasonable prices. Rejoining your coach, you make a final stop at Arch 22 before returning to the ship. This dramatic triumphal arch, 120 feet high, was erected to commemorate the Revolution of July 22, 1994. From the archway there are spectacular views of the whole city.

There is approximately 500 yards of walking at the Crocodile Pool, partly over sand and uneven ground and 500 yards at the National museum as well a a few steps to negotiate. Loose clothing suitable for hot weather, caps, sunscreen, insect repellent and sturdy walking shoes are recommended. Credit cards are not widely accepted so it is advisable to carry local currency, US$ or Euros if you wish to purchase any souvenirs. Presidential guard in Banjul

You transfer by coach to a pier where you board your modern, 60-foot Gambian pirogue. Leaving from Oyster Creek, you head up the main estuary to the River Gambia, taking in the tributaries as you sail. Leaving the control of the boat to your experienced captain, enjoy a morning cup of coffee while you cruise along the calm waters. During this very scenic journey you should look out for birds and other river life whilst soaking up the calm and relaxing atmosphere that this cruise offers. A buffet lunch will be served on board, and afterwards you will have the opportunity to go swimming, sunbathing or fishing. Tea and biscuits will be served on board this afternoon, as your pirogue sails back along the river to Oyster Creek.

This excursion involves minimal walking. Passengers must be able to embark and disembark the boat with ease. Loose clothing suitable for hot weather, caps, sunscreen, insect repellent and swim wear and a towel are recommended. It is advisable to carry local currency, US$ or Euros if you wish to purchase any drinks on the boat. Perhaps spot Little Bee-eaters

A one-hour 4x4 ride takes you to the Makasutu Cultural Forest, which is situated on the banks of a beautiful meandering tributary of the River Gambia and has many different eco-systems. This environment is home to hundreds of varieties of birds, three species of monkey, monitor lizards, pygmy deer and mongoose. If you are lucky, you may even see migrating baboons, which make the forest their home for a number of months each year. On arrival at Makasutu, walk to the Wildlife Museum, where a short talk will be given on the work that is being done for the country’s wildlife. Afterwards, take a relaxing trip down the river in dugout canoes, giving wonderful views of the local scenery. As you drift along, look out for wildlife, as well as local fisherfolk collecting oysters from the mangroves. After the boat trip, you have the opportunity to go for a ‘bush walk’, where you may see more local flora and fauna. Lunch at the Base Camp then follows, including traditional African specialities. While eating your meal, watch traditional dancers and drum troupes perform on a natural stage under the shade of a majestic Baobab tree. Afterwards you have the opportunity to observe demonstrations of cooking, drumming, dancing and local crafts. Your African experience finishes with a drive back to your ship in Banjul.

There is about one mile’s walking in the forest, over uneven terrain. Loose clothing suitable for hot weather, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and sturdy walking shoes are recommended. Credit cards are not widely accepted so please bring local currency, US$ or Euros if you wish to buy souvenirs or drinks at the camp. Please note this tour uses 4x4 safari trucks over rough terrain, so is not suitable for those suffering from serious back or joint problems. Participants must be able to climb the steps in and out of the trucks and also be able to get in and out of the canoes. You may see migrating baboons

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Carrying on a tradition borne of the Navy some 400 years ago, today’s Crossing the Line ceremony will inaugurate cruisegoers who have never sailed across the equator before – look out for the japes of King Neptune, Davy Jones and their sidekicks in this riotous event!

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Luanda

Arrive 0800. Depart 1800.

Luanda is the capital of oil-rich Angola and one of the world’s most expensive cities. It has expanded rapidly in the last decade and this is a unique opportunity to witness its changing cityscape. Perhaps visit the 16th-century San Miguel Fort and the Agostinho Neto Mausoleum.

To visit Luanda is to witness the inhabitants of Angola rebuild a great city with their newly-acquired wealth. The sense of pride and confidence is overwhelming, and is demonstrated by the city’s new highways and skyscrapers, and by the wildlife and habitat rehabilitation programmes being carried out by the conservation authorities. The modern city of Luanda was founded in 1575 by Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais, and soon became a centre for trade between Portugal’s African colonies and Brazil. Apart from a short period of Dutch occupation, Luanda was under Portuguese rule until 1974. In the four decades since independence, Angola has become a peaceful and increasingly prosperous country, rich in diamonds and Africa’s second largest oil producer: many international companies now have head offices in Luanda. Please note: Owing to the destruction caused to the country’s infrastructure during the civil war that ended in 2002, Angola lost much of its ability to produce and distribute food: the resulting heavy import duties and high taxes have driven up the cost of goods and services, making Luanda one of the world’s most expensive cities. The price of excursions in this port reflects the prevailing local conditions.

FactFile

Population 3,275,000 (approximate)
Language Portuguese and a number of African languages
Currency Angolan Kwanza
Time Difference UK+1
Climate The north of the country is hot and wet during the summer months - November to April.
Ship berths at Port of Luanda
Distance from Centre Approximately 1½ Miles
Distance from gangway to coach Approximately 50 yards

Useful Information

Shopping There are no shopping areas in Luanda
Shopping Opening Hours N/A
Post Office The Post Office is located on Avenida 4 de Fevereiro
Tourist Office There is no Tourist Office in Luanda
How to Phone Home To phone the UK, dial 0044 then the standard number, omitting the first zero
Emergency Services Dial: Police: 110, Ambulance: 118, Fire: 114
Banks Located on Belas Business Park, Edificio

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

With an Atlantic coastline stretching for over 1025 miles, mighty rivers flow into wide estuaries depositing sediments they have brought with them from the high plateaus to form numerous small islands, bays and sandbanks and where excellent beaches can be found. The average mean temperature is normally around 23º, and so while the climate is such that the beaches can be visited all year round, it is in fact during the hot season that they are most frequented. Depart the quayside, and drive to Ilha da Luanda where you will spend free time enjoying the beach and a chance to sample the local cuisine. After a sun soaked day, return to your ship

Walking on this excursion is at your own discretion. No refreshments or lunch are included but they can be purchased independently at local restaurants. Credit cards are not widely accepted, so it is advisable to carry local currency or US dollars if you wish to purchase any souvenirs or refreshments. The only toilet facilities are in the restaurants. Coastline of Ilha da Luanda

This drive through Luanda shows how rapidly the city is changing, with major reconstruction and slum clearance giving a new face to the ‘Paris of Africa'. Set off by coach along Marginal Bay, with the commercial district on one side and views across the Bay on the other, stopping to view the Iron Palace, an unusual yellow-painted building, believed to have been designed by Gustave Eiffel’s school and used as an Arts Centre before the Civil War. Afterwards, view the first Catholic Church built in Luanda before making your way to the National Anthropology Museum. Exhibits here include traditional masks, art, sculptures, tools, weaponry and jewellery. Experience another side of Angola’s history with a look around the San Miguel Fort, originally built in 1576. An equally iconic but much more modern structure is the Agostinho Neto Mausoleum, a huge stylised obelisk dedicated to Angola's first president. After pausing here, head for Cidade Alta, or ‘Uptown’ - a pleasant, airy and quiet suburb that is home to several pink colonial buildings: the Presidential Palace, Prime Minister's office and the British Embassy. A contrast is Baixa, the ‘Downtown’ district, with its old and new Parliament Buildings and the Angolan National Bank.

There is approximately 300 yards of walking on this excursion some over uneven ground and cobblestones with up to 25 steps throughout. Photographs may not be taken of military personnel, government officials or government buildings. There may be delays due to the heavy volume of traffic in the city. Please be aware that the sights visited may have to be changed at short notice due to security restrictions. We reserve the right to allocate you a morning or afternoon departure on this tour, subject to availability. The Dos Remedios Catholic Church

See some of Angola’s fascinating colonial heritage on a tour of South Luanda, starting with a look around the historic San Miguel Fort, originally built in 1576. Its purpose was to defend the port and the city from attacks by the marauding French, Spanish and Dutch armies and it was successful until 1641 when the Dutch seized Luanda. A more modern period of Luanda’s history is commemorated by the Agostinho Neto Mausoleum, a huge stylised obelisk erected in memory of Angola's first president, who died in 1979. View ‘Mama’s House’ - the residence of the President’s Mother - before making a short stop at the Benfica Market and then heading out of town to the Slave Museum, situated in the village of Morro da Cruz. Housed in a whitewashed 17th-century building, it was founded in 1997 as a poignant reminder of Angola’s tragic past, and it stands majestically on top of a cliff, overlooking the tourist paradise of Mussulo Island. Nearby is the Miradoura de Lua or ‘Viewpoint of the Moon’, which offers such stunning views over dramatic red cliffs that it has long been a major tourist attraction. Heading back towards the port, pause for a refreshment before making a final stop at the 17th-century Church of Our Lady of Nazareth, which was officially declared a National Monument in 1922. Its delightful interior features the blue tiles found in so many Portuguese churches.

There is approximately 350 yards of walking, some over uneven ground and cobblestones, with around 25 steps throughout. It is advisable to wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a sun-hat. We recommend that you take a bottle of water from the ship: a lunch box will be provided. There may be delays due to the heavy volume of traffic in the city. Please be aware that the sights visited may have to be changed at short notice due to security restrictions. San Miguel fort

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Cape Town

Arrive 0700 on March 10. Depart 0030 on March 12.

An overnight mooring will give you time to explore Cape Town's highlights – perhaps take a stroll along the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, enjoy a cable-car ride up Table Mountain to watch the sun set, or take a boat trip to Robben Island for a tour of the prison where Nelson Mandela was detained. There’ll also be a special event in Cape Town as part of our farewell celebrations.

Sometimes referred to as the Mother City, Cape Town is the most famous port in South Africa and is influenced by many different cultures, including Dutch, British and Malay. The port was founded in 1652 by Dutch explorer Jan Van Riebeeck, and evidence of Dutch colonial rule remains throughout the region. The port is located on one of the world's most important trade routes, and is mainly a container port and handler of fresh fruit. Fishing is another vital industry, with large Asian fishing fleets using Cape Town as a logistical repair base for much of the year. The region is famous for its natural beauty, with the imposing Table Mountain and Lions Head, as well as the many nature reserves and botanical gardens such as Kirstenbosch which boasts an extensive range of indigenous plant life, including proteas and ferns. Cape Town's weather is mercurial, and can change from beautiful sunshine to dramatic thunderstorms within a short period. A local adage is that in Cape Town you can experience four seasons in one day.

FactFile

Population 3.5 million (approximate)
Language English, Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans and many others
Currency Rand
Time Difference UK+2
Climate Warm temperatures with moderate rainfall
Ship berths at Eastern Mile in the Duncan Dock
Distance from Centre Approximately 3 miles
Distance from gangway to coach Approximately 220 yards

Useful Information

Shopping