After our busy two days in New York, Newport in Rhode Island was a change of pace. Sapphire Princess had to anchor away from the port and we were ferried ashore ashore on a ship’s tender.
At Newport we had booked a morning boat tour of the harbour and a visit to Rose Island before having some free time ashore for a restful afternoon.
Our cruise to Canada and New England took us across the Atlantic to St John’s, Newfoundland; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; two days in New York City; Newport, Rhode Island, Boston, Massachusetts; Rockland, Maine; St John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and back across the Atlantic to Southampton.
Day 14 Friday 27th September: Newport, Rhode Island, USA
The anchor being deployed and the thrusters humming signalled that Sapphire had arrived at Newport. The day look promising as the sun was streaming through our window.
There was time to go for breakfast in the International dining room. For a change, I tried the Eggs Benedict special. The eggs were perfect but the sauce was powdery and had a distinct taste that I do not remember from any other Eggs Benedict that I had had.
We went to the Wheelhouse Bar earlier then suggested, collected our excursion badges and were directed through to the Princess Theatre. As we sat there our row of seats slowly filled until there was just 13 of us for the excursion plus a member of the ship’s company from the photography team.
Ship’s tender ashore to Newport
After a short wait we left the theatre to go down and join the end of the queue for a tender. The tender already looked full as we boarded. The crew had to ask repeatedly the other passengers to move over on the benches to make room for the rest of us.
The tender ride was a bit bumpy and uncomfortable primarily because I was squashed at the end of a bench with no room to properly sit. I always reflect at this point if fellow passengers would be so selfish with space if it were an emergency and we were all crammed into a survival craft.
We were directed by a local volunteer to wait on a patch of grass away from the quayside. While we waited I went to the information desk in the nearby building and picked up a map.
We followed the volunteer around the quay until we came to a small boat and greeted by our guide for the morning. After a short safety talk by the captain we set off.
The initial harbour tour
The plan for the trip was to have a harbour tour, visit Rose Island and then finish with a tour of the remainder of the harbour.
One of the houses we passed was where George Washington and French generals planned their final campaign in the American War of Independence. We learnt about the arrival of thousands of French troops to fight in the war. The harbour at Newport had been blocked by sunken ships by the Royal Navy but the troops had landed further around the coast.
We passed the largest private yacht in the harbour that was up for sale by reportedly a Russian billionaire. Another luxury yacht’s supply boat was anchored in the bay. It had both a submarine and speedboats on its decks! It carried these and supplies to the private yacht offshore when needed.
On our way out to Rose Island we passed Sapphire Princess.
Closer to Rose Island we could see the road bridge.