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Taster Cruise Diary – Day 4

In Candie Gardens, Guernsey

Day 4 – Our day on Guernsey

Day 4 of our ‘sampler’ cruise on Crown Princess took us to our final port of call, Guernsey in the Channel Islands. By 7am the ship was moored off the island’s capital of St Peter Port, so we had an early breakfast (delicious Eggs Benedict) and took the tender, as it’s not possible to dock a ship of this size in the harbour. It was something of an organizational feat to get over 3000 passengers off the ship in small boats, but by 9am we were standing on the quayside.

A stroll through the Candie Gardens

As it was Sunday, and many things didn’t open until 10am, we picked up some information from the tourist office on the harbor front, then walked up the hill to the Candie Gardens, dominated by the statue of Victor Hugo looking out towards France. The famous French author of Les Miserables was exiled on Guernsey for many years but I was disappointed to find that his fabulously decorated home of Hauteville House, which I had visited last time I was on Guernsey, was not open on Sundays. We had a coffee in the small café in the Candie Gardens and then took a look around the Guernsey Museum, with an exhibition all about the Beatles and life in the 1960s, as well as artworks and archaeological objects telling the history of Guernsey through the ages.

A walk to Fermain Bay

Heading back down the hill, we decided to take a walk to Fermain Bay along the cliff path. The route took us past the fortress of Castle Cornet, which is now an interesting military museum and also passed some outdoor bathing pools among the seaweed covered rocks on the seashore. We climbed up past the Clarence Battery, an 18th century military garrison where some canons were on display among the fortifications. The path continued through woodland, with glimpses of the sea, until an hour later we arrived at Fermain Bay where we enjoyed a coffee at the Fermain Bay Café overlooking the pebble beach, next to a defensive Martello tower. On our last visit to Guernsey we had also visited the gardens and sculpture trail at nearby Sausmarez manor and walked further along the cliff path to the German WW2 fortifications at Jerbourg Point.

La Valette Military Museum

On retracing our steps back to St Peter Port we stopped to take a quick look around the La Valette Underground Military Museum. The museum is housed in underground tunnels built by the German Army using forced labour during the Second World War and now houses collections of military memorabilia, mainly from the period of the German Occupation of the Channel islands. If you are into military artifacts it is an interesting, museum, but I would have liked more information to help understand the history of the occupation and what the people of Guernsey lived through during this period.

At around 2.30 we made our way back past the marina to catch our tender, then watched from our balcony to see Guernsey disappear into the distance. At dinner in the Michaelangelo restaurant we shared a table with other guests, and heard about their tour of Guernsey on the public bus that circles the island. As before, we were surprised to find that our dinner companions were all seasoned cruisers who already had their next cruises booked. Our final evening ended with another show, this time a 70s Disco tribute; “Blame it on the boogie” which brought me back to my John Travolta days. Tomorrow we arrive back in Southampton for the end of our cruise, which seems to have been much longer than a long weekend.

In Candie Gardens, GuernseyA day in Guernsey – Going ashore in the tender – statue of Victor Hugo – Heather at Fermain Bay
Header Photo – Heather in Candie Gardens
Heather Cowper

Our guest author, Heather Cowper writes at about inspirational travel destinations, bringing you stories, photos, videos and podcasts from Europe and around the world. You can also connect with Heather on her Twitter page @heathercowper and on her Facebook page

Heather’s 4 night European Sampler Cruise was hosted by Princess Cruises who offer cruises to European and Worldwide cruises to allow you to explore fascinating destinations and escape completely on board their elegant and spacious ships.

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