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9th May, 2012


On our first real port of call on this 'Best of Baltics' cruise Saga Sapphire sailed into Kalunborg, Denmark. We arrived at 8.00am which gave our guests plenty of time to go ashore and explore.

For those not travelling independently,they could take one of the four tours on offer today. 'Roskilde Viking Ships' being the first to leave which took our guests across the island of Zealand on the way to the ancient town of Roskilde, former capital of Denmark and home of the spectacular Viking Ship Museum. The museum was built to house and reconstruct the five viking ships that were rescued from the harbour, which had originally sunk intentionally in 1962 to protect from attack. Outside the museum they could find the Musuem Island with an archaeology workshop and working viking boatyard where master craftsmen make replicas of viking-age wooden boats and longboats, using the same materials and techniques the Vikings did. To conclude the tour our guests visited the Roskilde Cathedral, which has been the traditional burial place of Danish Kings and Queens for more than 500 years and now houses 37 Royal Tombs.

The second tour to leave was the 'Copenhagen Canal Cruise' combining a city tour with a relaxing canal cruise. Boarding the coach in Kalundborg our guests set out on a guided tour of the city centre, driving past the Royal Palaces and famous places of interest. After lunch, a leisurely canal cruise transported them along many narrow canals of the inner city and across the harbour before returning back to the ship.

Other guests took the Lerchenborg Manor House and Birkegaarden Garden tour and travelled through the charming countryside from Kalundborg to Lerchenborg Manor House. One of Denmark’s finest baroque houses built between 1745-53 by General Christian Lerche, overlooks a symmetrical baroque garden with lime walk and arching hedges. From here our guests were taken to the Saeby Church, stopping briefly to photograph this beautiful building. Finally travelling to Birkegaarden Gardens, created by the owners from what was originally a small holding purchased in 1970 to conclude the tour.

The final tour for those adventurous passengers was the Kalundborg Walking Tour, beginning in the upper part of Kalunborg where the tour commenced. Dating back to the 12th century this part of the town is home to old streets, alleyways and early buildings. Our guests viewed the 800-year old Church of Our Lady, Musuem of Kalunborg pausing by the Old Bishops Yard ending their tour with a walk back to the town square and main shopping street where they could return back to the ship or maybe carry on with some souvenir shopping.

On-board the Saga Sapphire cruise staff Michelle entertained our guests with games such as Beanbag Boules, Jenga and deck quoits 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 pianist Andy Law.

Once clear of the port, we disembarked the pilot and I then assumed the con of the ship to pilot her down south, through the Great belt and under the Korsor Bridge. It is quite a challenge as you get near the bridge with narrow traffic lanes but I have the assistance of a very good deck officer, Matthew Knabb , the 8-12 Second officer, and also Scott Hunter, the 12-4 Officer who assisted me greatly with the navigation. We also have very up-to-date, state of the art equipment on the bridge to assist.

Tonight, a Newcomer’s Cocktail Party was held in the Britannia Lounge for all those guests joining us for the first time not just on Saga Sapphire but to Saga cruising. Sadly I was busy on the Bridge, but my newly appointed Staff Captain Steve James, hosted the party along with Jo Boase, Cruise Director and the other officers. The party was quite busy with lots of new faces and conversation flowing along with the sounds of The Sapphire Trio.

Following dinner this evening those keen quizzers could join cruise staff Rebecca in the drawing room at 9.00 pm as she put them through their paces with a fun general knowledge quiz.
Tonight’s showtime saw Explosive Productions proudly present ‘Music Legends’ a scintillating tribute to a selection of those chart topping artists from days gone by, following with music for dancing from the Sapphire Orchestra and our gentlemen hosts.

For those who wanted a night cap, they could join Andy Law our cocktail pianist for cocktails in the Drawing Room and a possible sing-song until late.

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.