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Mystery Cruise. Port No.3

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

8th December, 2013

We eventually sailed at 5:00pm the next day, effectively losing a day of the original schedule, but as the passengers are not aware of the itinerary perhaps it may be considered to hardly matter. I do know they were more than happy to have a comfortable night alongside rather than face the rigours of a turbulent North Sea. The Elbe is a long river so it took some time before we were passing the pilot station; fortunately the majority of passengers were in bed and were quite unaware that the rough seas remaining were sufficient to prohibit the departure of our two pilots.

By the following morning the wind and swell were starting to abate and the waking passengers were greeted by a bright day interspersed with dark snow showers that quickly past. By the evening the sea was just about flat calm, which could have perhaps given an indication as to where we were.

The following morning, as a sleety rain made inroads into any exposed flesh, as we stood on the bridge wing and the ship was backed onto the berth of that wonderful, wonderful (if you can remember the Danny Kaye song) Danish capital, Copenhagen. A thin layer of snow covered nearby buildings and lay as a damp carpet on the cobbles. Passengers were prepared however, and the buses were all lined up ready to go on a panoramic tour in comfort. They have been split into two groups, with one group touring in the morning, the other in the afternoon. In addition to this complementary tour a free shuttle but was running back and forward to a drop off point close to the entrance of Tivoli Gardens where a Christmas Market has become the focal point.

Despite the snow changing to rain during the day, spirits did not appear daunted and I met well over 450 Britannia Club members at the cocktail party after we had sailed. All of whom seemed still enthused by the whole thing. I guess there must have been a few who were missing sunshine, and I did get one who commented, "Please Captain, tell me there won’t be any more Christmas Markets?" Needless to say I could not confirm either way.

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

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