Viewing the Giant's Causeway from a Saga cruise

Ben Gibson

Saga Pearll II goes off piste to view the Giant's Causeway on a cruise to Iceland - one of the benefits of small ship cruising.

Going ‘off piste’ to deliver special cruising experiences is just one of the advantages a Captain has on a small Saga ship

One of Saga’s much-loved Captains, Wesley Dunlop makes sure he’s always on the lookout for unscheduled stops and added interest on his cruises. 

One example was last year, as the 449-passenger ship Saga Pearl II was headed southwards from Iceland to the coast of Northern Ireland. 

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Experiencing the Causeway

On the planned itinerary, it should have been a straight course down to the Irish coast, but after making good time, Captain Dunlop decided to give Saga’s guests a little surprise, and told them to be out on deck to see where they were. 

“I managed to alter the route, diverting the ship to sail past the Giant’s Causeway” he says with a smile. The iconic columns of volcanic rock are famous the world over for their unique hexagonal shape, and still something of a mystery to geologists. 

Captain Dunlop continues, “This was a real treat, as not many people get to see the Causeway from the sea! As we approached and it came into view, there was a rapturous round of applause on the open decks.” 

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Small ships

Special moments like this are only possible because of the intrepid small-ship nature of Saga’s cruises – larger ships wouldn’t be able to make such adjustments to their itineraries at the last minute. 

Captain Dunlop says “I’m grateful for Saga for giving us the flexibility to be creative and create special moments like this while we’re out here sailing – I know our guests loved it!" 

Saga's much-loved Captain Captain Wesley Dunlop became a Chief Officer at the age of just 24 before joining Saga Cruises in 2004, continuing to rise through the ranks until he reached Staff Captain three years later. 

He met his wife Kelly on board, a former lead dancer on Saga Rose, and they were married in 2009. Following a short break from the cruise industry, 

Wesley returned to Saga and considers it a great honour and privilege to now be sailing as Master of both Saga Sapphire and Saga Pearl II.”

Explore a land of myth and romance on Saga's 'Legends of the Emerald Isle' tour Find out more here.

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