Sailing from the UK
Setting sail from Portsmouth
Perfectly located on a magnificent harbour on the south coast of England, Portsmouth boasts a rich maritime and naval heritage. In addition, it has a glorious sea front, and theatres, art galleries, cathedrals and museums. The new Spinnaker Tower gives you a fine perspective on the area with stunning views from the top, and an interactive introduction to local history, including the Mary Rose wreck and Nelson's Victory. You can visit the house where Charles Dickens was born, and learn more about D-Day and Operation Overlord.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard features a number of historic ships as well as some great interactive exhibitions introducing you to the city’s long and rich history. A magnificent day out.
Sovereignty of ‘The Rock’ has been a thorny issue ever since Gibraltar was ceded to Britain in 1713, though on the ground it’s clear where most locals’ sympathies lie. Gibraltar is often described as ‘more British than Britain’, a curious enclave of red postboxes, double decker buses and chip shops.
The down-to-earth port of Sète, sandwiched between the Mediterranean and the Etang de Thau lagoon, is a working town rather than a tourist hotspot, though the canals and colourful buildings have a certain charm. It’s also a great spot for a seafood lunch, and a visit to the nearby citadel of Carcassonne is a popular excursion.
The busy port of Tarragona, situated on the Catalan coast to the south of Barcelona, is a city full of history. This was the base from which the Romans launched their conquest of the Iberian peninsula, and there are plenty of reminders of this period, including an impressive seafront amphitheatre.
Spain’s third city is a dazzling destination that combines historic architecture, cutting edge design and an inviting stretch of beach. Don’t miss the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, designed by local architect Santiago Calatrava, or the old riverbed, now a delightful park.
Spain: Motril (Granada)
The bustling port of Motril is less than an hour’s drive from Granada, last stronghold of the Moors in Spain and home to the famous Alhambra palace. The narrow streets of the Albayzín quarter are particularly evocative of the days of Al Andalus, and you can explore Granada’s Jewish heritage in the atmospheric Realejo district.
Spread across steep hillsides that overlook the Rio Tejo, Lisbon’s colourful cityscape includes Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums. But for many the best times will be had wandering the narrow lanes of Lisbon’s lovely backstreets, with their great local food, wine and music.
Arriving in Dover
White Cliffs Country is a fascinating region, one packed with history and natural beauty. We think there is no sight like that of the stunning cliffs rising from the sea, topped by the fortifications of Dover Castle, and surrounded by lush green countryside. But the nearby area is also packed with charm, and not so further afield are captivating pretty villages, fascinating towns such as Sandwich (one of the original Cinque ports), and of course Kent's glory, Canterbury with its magnificent cathedral. A final thought must go to the many castles including Deal, Walmer and the magnificently photogenic Leeds Castle.
You will be amazed how much there is to see and do, so drive down early, pick a base such as Canterbury to explore, and join your cruise completely relaxed.
Your home from home
Saga Pearl II is the smaller of Saga's two ships, carrying just 450 guests, and offers a relaxed, informal atmosphere on board.
What we love
With a number of sailings from either Dover or Southampton, this intimate and comfortable ship might not be the most luxurious but it certainly delivers an outstanding customer experience and looks after guests as if they were family.
|Crew||252 International Staff|
|Style||A largely British feel onboard with a friendly and unpretentious atmosphere.|
|Cruising Speed||20 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Portsmouth
Fortitude Cottage, just 50 steps from the water’s edge in the Old Town, is a great B&B. Try to get the Penthouse Room.
Day trips from Portsmouth
Portsmouth is gateway to so many Hampshire gems, but the best must be Chichester, perfect for a day tour.
Extend your stay in Kent
We love historic Walletts Court, just ten minutes outside Dover but feels like another world – cosy, welcoming, and great food too.
Our recommended private tour
An extraordinary trip up the coast by RIB to the mouth of the Stour River and the orange seals basking on the mudflats.