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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

9th June, 2018

Friday night was spent transiting the ‘Belts, ’a series of narrow channels in between Denmark and Sweden.  We passed Saga Sapphire heading the other way at around sunset time.  At the time I was enjoying a jolly good curry in the Veranda restaurant which had been cooked by our speciality Indian chef, Tushar, but of course had left orders on the Bridge to give Sapphire a decent wave & salute on our whistle.

In the early hours of Saturday, we approached the coast of Germany and in particular the region of Rugen.  This particular coastline is blessed with beautiful Stubnitz beech forests, white chalky cliffs (did we actually leave Dover??) actually beating Dover’s in height by some 8m, and Europe’s longest harbour wall.  The harbour in which we berthed itself is nothing impressive, but fortunately our complimentary shuttle & tour buses would leave directly from the gangway and drop everyone to their desired destinations throughout the day.

Safely alongside by 08:00, organised trips today included an off-road adventure in ‘Hanomag’ jeeps from the 1930’s through various national parks in the area, a walk along the chalk cliffs to Kap Arkona, a steam train ride to the seaside resort of Binz or a trip in a tall ship.  So, plenty for everyone!  Except for the Captain, who had some important desk work to see to and therefore couldn’t enjoy time ashore today (cue tiny violins, please).

I did though pay tribute to Germany at lunch time by enjoying some great British sausages fresh from our grill, followed by an ice cream on the sunny open deck in the afternoon.  The weather continued to behave itself impeccably today and with temperatures in the early 20’s and a gentle cooling breeze, there were plenty of contented, rosy faces returning to the ship this afternoon.

Our time to depart came during afternoon tea, which today was a special version in celebration of Her Majesty’s official birthday (happy birthday Your Majesty). We backed out of the harbour and swung the ship around, heading north this time towards our ultimate destination this cruise, the Gulf of Bothnia.  I just hope the winter ice has had enough time to thaw to allow us in…

Captain Kim Tanner

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