Sapphire gets the blues again

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sapphire.jpgCaptain Philip Rentell has been telling readers of his blog about the latest misfortunes to affect cruise ship Saga Sapphire.
A generator problem led to an extended stay in the port of Tromsø – two days instead of half a day -while an expert was flown in to diagnose the fault and make repairs. Once fixed, departure was further delayed by the Norwegian celebrations for the summer solstice – all taking place in permanent daylight as the city is well inside the Arctic Circle.
I’ll let Captain Rentell take up the story:
“We’ve had a few problems that have meant us remaining in port for a little longer than we would have cared for, minor technical issues that we needed to rectify to ensure they didn’t become larger ones.
“Our Chief Engineer decided outside expert assistance was required to back up our own experienced teams’ fault-finding efforts, so the telephone calls were made and the experts traced. Needless to say, they don’t all reside north of the Arctic Circle.
“In an amazing stroke of good fortune another of our vessels, Quest for Adventure was scheduled to pass the area during the afternoon and my good friend Captain Kees Speckman diverted to deliver us a spare part we did not have. Not without some humour of course, as he told me he was going to play on his deck speakers the tune from that 80’s TV program, the ‘A Team’, as he manoeuvred nearby while the exchange took place.”
The technician finally arrived after a lengthy succession of flights and “over the next seven hours he rooted through the system and eventually, in the middle of the night, came up trumps. We gave the agent the required two hours’ notice for departure, but the tugs couldn’t come until 10:30 the following morning. Something to do with the summer solstice and some strange liquid concoction that Norwegians are expected to consume at this time of year and which apparently affects their ability to wake up (let alone drive a tug I suppose).
“So after an eventful two days we left the berth, unfortunately leaving a huge trail of black smoke over my old colleague on the Discovery, which had just docked behind us. It looked suitably disgusting but was soon sorted out when the main engine scavenge air dampers, which had closed on their fail safe mode, had been reset.”
Saga spokesman Paul Green tells me the delay meant the cruise had to omit Geiranger and Eidfjord from the scheduled itinerary. A visit to Bergen was delayed by a day before the ship left for Dover, where she should arrive tomorrow.
“Our passengers have shown great understanding and we will, of course, do the right thing by our customers and properly recognise that we have not been able to complete our planned itinerary.”

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:46+00:00 27 June 2012|Cruise news|2 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.

2 Comments

  1. Ray 27 June 2012 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Captain Rentell, the best Captain I have sailed with 🙂 such a gent

  2. joan harlow 24 August 2012 at 10:31 am - Reply

    24 hours notice of cancellation of Sapphire cruise 24/8 due to cabin tecnicalities

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