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19th May, 2012


For our last port of call Saga Sapphire sailed into Oslo, Norway. Oslo’s centre is compact, with few high-rise buildings, and like the rest of Norway, it is clean and prosperous. With the ship all made fast for around 7.00am an early start awaited those wanting to explore our final destination on this Baltics Cruise

With a great selection of tours for our passengers to take up including ‘Walking in the Heart of Oslo’ and also ‘Oslo Maritime Highlights’ the first one to leave this morning was the 'Oslo and the Hadeland Glassworks' travelling first to the Hadeland Glassverk an hour’s drive north of Oslo. Our guests could see the skilled glassblowers shape the molten glass and follow the entire process through to the finishing stages on a guided tour of the oldest industrial company in Norway. They then returned to the city via the residential area of Holmenkollen and the location of the first ever ski jump which was built in 1892 and reconstructed in 2010.

Alternatively many guests choose a more popular tour of Oslo Panoramic & Vigeland Park discovering the highlights of this exciting capital, beginning with a drive along the walls of medieval Akershus Castle, before continuing through the city centre. They passed the Parliament building, Royal Palace and Nobel institute before stopping at the Vigeland Sculpture Park, where there was an option to join a guided walk through the park. They then continued through the residential areas of Oslo to Holmenkollen Ski jump which offers magnificent views of the city and the fjord. To conclude the tour travelled back to the city centre past Kragstotten view point before returning to the ship.

On-board Saga Sapphire cruise staff Resty, Duncan and Claire entertained our guests with games such as Connect Four, shuffleboard and darts throughout the day.

As we sailed away this afternoon guests could join all of the cruise staff out on the back deck for a cocktail with musical accompaniment from cocktail pianist Andy Law. Those who were in a sporting mood could visit the beach club by the pool as the cruise staff organised golf chipping with many trying their hand to this fun golfing game.

This evening I and my officers cordially invited all of our guests onboard to our Farewell Cocktail Party accompanied by The Sapphire Trio in the Britannia Lounge.

Team Trivia tonight was hosted by social hostess Michelle in the Drawing Room putting our guest’s knowledge to the test followed by cabaret and pre-dinner cocktails with pianist Andy Law.

Tonight’s Showtime saw Explosive Productions proudly present ‘Let’s Swing’ following with music for dancing from the Sapphire Orchestra and our Gentlemen Hosts.

Following Showtime guests could listen to late night cabaret with Assistant Cruise Director Kayleigh McMahon and she shared her favourite music until late when more toe-tapping tunes with Andy Law followed.

Those who wanted a night cap could join duo Perfect Mood our resident duo for cocktails and a possible sing-song until late in Cooper’s bar.

Well this is my last blog of the tour. I hand over command of Saga Sapphire to Captain Phillip Rentell and I am looking forward to going home to see my family. It seems an age since I flew out to Palermo in February in drydock and we have certainly had a few challenges along the way. But I feel very satisfied that I am handing over the ship in a good condition and am extremely proud to have been part of such a wonderful hard working and dedicated team who have all assisted in their own right in bringing this ship to her success.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.