A masterclass in cosmic cruising?

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Reach for the stars on Saga’s Canary Island Constellations sailing

A Saga Sapphire masterclass presented by the ship’s officers on how to use the stars to navigate is one of a galaxy of astronomy sessions on board the Canary Island Constellations cruise in January 2018

The themed cruise is dedicated to stargazing and guest speakers include top astronomer and space flight historian Howard Parkin.

A telescope is set up on deck for nightly sessions and guests also have the chance to use the ship’s sextant - an instrument which measures the angle between a celestial body and the horizon.

Shore excursions include the Sunset and Stars tour to Teide National Park, in Tenerife.  Important astronomical observatories are based on Mount Teide to take advantage of the limited light pollution and clear night skies. Guests can enjoy watching the spectacular sunset, tuck into a cocktail dinner and join a stargazing session. Telescopes are set up for viewing constellations and planets such as Saturn.

The island of La Palma is home to the largest telescope in the world and a Saga tour to the Pilar viewpoint, about 3,300 feet above sea level, gives guests another chance to admire the stars and planets.

Before advanced technology, sailors’ navigation tools were telescopes, compasses and sextants but ‘the stars still matter’, according to Saga Captain Julian Burgess.

Captain Burgess, who will be at the helm of Saga Sapphire’s cruise dedicated to celestial wonders, said: “Ships use advanced technology to navigate but on long sea passages I always encourage my officers to dust off the sextant and ‘shoot’ the stars at dawn and dusk. When you train to work at sea, ‘astro-navigation’ is still a big part of the syllabus, so it’s good to keep that knowledge in use.”

The Canary Island Constellations cruise is all-inclusive and features selected wines at lunch and dinner, house-branded spirits, cocktails, draught beer and lager, all mixers and soft drinks. Excursions are optional, at an additional cost, and subject to availability and change.

Further ports of call on the 14-night sailing include Funchal, Madeira; Puerto de la Estaca, El Hierro, Arrecife, Lanzarote and La Coruna, Spain.

For details visit saga.co.uk/ocean-cruises or call 0800 50 50 30

14 nights all-inclusive from £2,192 departing Southampton on January 7, 2018. Price includes UK travel package to and from Southampton, all meals, selected wines at lunch and dinner, house-branded spirits, cocktails, draught beer and lager, all mixers and soft drinks, entertainment, afternoon tea, 24-hour room service, welcome cocktail party, unlimited tea and coffee in selected venues, free wifi, on-board gratuities, porterage, free shuttle bus to nearest town centre (whenever possible and when the ship is berthed more than 500 yards away), optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a discount if passenger has own insurance.

Price based on two people sharing the lowest available inside cabin and includes any relevant booking discount. Fare was correct at the time of sending and is subject to availability and change. Further terms and conditions apply. Please call for details.

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