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20th September, 2012


I had been asked to bring the pilot time forward in order to get to the port in good time and within a slot where the ferries had not started running yet. As Tallin is a very busy port, once the ferries start, it is difficult to get a look in.

So we arrived at the Harbour entrance at 0700, and I took the ship from the pilot for the manoeuvre alongside. The wind was strong, blowing onto the quayside, so I took a wide and distant approach in order to test to see if the engines and bowthruster could hold up to the wind which they could so I continued my approach. At 0720, we were all safely alongside, just in time to watch the Viking Line ferry cast off and sail to Stockholm..It is a very colourful affair coming into Tallin, as the new Tallink Cruise Ferries really do have some very fancy and colourful artwork on their sides. A nightmare for the Chief Officer I expect!!

Tallin is a UNESCO world heritage site, and it is one of my favourite cities. It always reminds me of a fairytale book as the old city and spires rise above the new city, with the walls and cobbled streets. A delightful place. The city, one of the best preserved medieval centres in Europe, is an eclectic mish-mash of new and old buildings, cultures and ideas.

There were tours galore heading off the ship today, the first was ‘Tallinn and Saue Manor’. Taking in a wonderful 18th century building, stopping for a cup of coffee and a local delicacy, and finishing the tour with a classical concert, it was something different to interest those who may have already perused the sights of the city centre.

The next took passengers to the traditional heart of life here in the city, in the ‘Tallinn Old Town Tour’. Taking in the famous Russian Orthodox Church, the Town Hall Square, a number of medieval guildhouses and ending the tour at St Catherine’s Arts and Craft Centre, it was a great way to really get to known this amazing place.

Back on board the ship there was plenty to do for those who didn’t feel the urge to head off in an organised shore excursion. We had a great game of ‘Shuffleboard’ in the soft morning sun, with your Assistant Cruise Director Ed and not forgetting the ‘Virtual Ten Pin Bowling’ on the Drawing Room big screen television with the lovely Louise.

The afternoon was spent trying to be the champion at table tennis, amongst a number of other activities. Or for something a bit more relaxing there was the Sailaway Party with Sandie and the rest of the Cruise Team on the back deck, with musical accompaniment from our duo Perfect Mood.

As we sailed out, we headed west alongtowards the NW tip of Estonia before turning to the SW into the central and southern Baltic.

This evening in the main lounge we had pleasure of listening to some fine classical music with You-Chiung Lin, our phenomenal concert pianist. It was a fantastic forty five minute program that left the audience spellbound.

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.