It’s all go for Ruby’s Captain Alistair

//It’s all go for Ruby’s Captain Alistair

A busy week on Saga Ruby’s mystery cruise drew to a close with two maiden calls – difficult to find for the well-travelled ship.
First came Sète, which claims to be known as the Venice of the Languedoc-Roussillon region in south-west France. Sunrise painted the horizon in a vivid palette of reds, pinks and oranges as the ship slid into port, but passengers emerging on the deck were more concerned with something else in the air – the pungent aroma from a livestock carrier being loaded with cattle just ahead of Ruby at the quay.
Respite came with a quick departure on a mystery tour which took passengers by coach through the Petite Camargue and past lagoons populated by flamingos to the medieval city of Aigues Mortes. Developed by Louis IX in the 13th Century as France’s only Mediterranean port, and the departure point for the Crusades, it is protected by a mile of impregnable walls which are still intact – though the sea has long since retreated, leaving acres of salt pans.
After an all-too-short 40 minutes to explore its narrow streets and tree-lined squares, passengers were herded back on the buses to be taken to the Listel vinery for a tasting of its Pink Flamingo table wines. They might be light and relatively low on alcohol, but glasses of rosé, white and red in quick succession soon had their effect on the Saga passengers, turning them frisky at first, but inducing relaxing sleep on the journey back to the ship.
Saturday saw Ruby back in Spain, this time at Palamós, on Spain’s Costa Brava. While I made my excuses and left for Barcelona airport and a flight home, passengers were embarking on another excursion, this time to Figueres, birthplace of Salvador Dali, and home to a museum designed by the artist himself.
I said it had been a busy week, and no-one on board can have been kept on the go quite as much as Captain Alistair McLundie.
Before hosting maiden call receptions for the local dignitaries and port officials at Sète and Palamós, he had taken part in a chaotic production of Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook hosted by TV chef Kevin Woodford, and then been a panellist for a game of Call My Bluff. The following night he took part in a murder mystery performance – and all the time was determined to fend off questions from curious passengers and crew attempting to prise from him details of the mystery itinerary.
He has relished all the fun and games, but after bringing Ruby back to Southampton next Sunday he will be heading home for a family Christmas in Scotland with his wife Jennifer and two-year-old son, Scott.
He’ll have to make the most of his time ashore, because he will soon be setting off to spend several weeks in Palermo, Sicily, and teaming up with hotel director Horst Pint to supervise work on Saga Sapphire, which will be joining the fleet in March.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:57+00:00 11 December 2011|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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