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14th July, 2013


The weather was forecast to be good again for our stay in Tallinn, with temperatures reaching highs of 25 degrees Celsius expected on what should be a fine sunny day.

It was the 3rd day of Tallinn’s Sea Festival too, so as a result the old harbour would be closed to cruise ships, forcing us to use the new pier outside the harbour.

My very first visit to Tallinn was on the Hebridean Spirit in 2004 and at the time it was not quite as popular as a tourist destination as it is now. For instance the old harbour quay area was littered with scrap metal and old cranes from a time when the quay was used for break bulk goods in its days as part of the Soviet Union. Now of course new facilities have been built to accommodate the large numbers of tourists that visit by cruise ship or by ferry from Stockholm and Helsinki. There is the new pier where we docked, as well as another planned to cope with the increase in demand from cruise ships.

Tallinn is one of my favourite ports of call in the Baltic, and evidently by the increase in the amount of visitors I am not alone in favouring the city. Its charming old town is filled with craft shops, restaurants and the ancient citadel, where for a few euros you can practice with a bow and arrow against the old city wall whilst the more modern district has all the usual trappings of a city provding an interesting destination to accommodate everyone’s tastes.

I took a couple of hours to wander ashore myself with the Hotel Director who’d not been ashore here before. We stopped for lunch at the “Old Hansa” (as usual for me), a medieval themed eatery where you could get elk, boar and bear as well as more common meats from domesticated animals. Whilst still as charming as ever, one change I have noticed that is not particularly good is the almost tripling of prices as a result of the introduction of the euro. I guess progress has its price!

Having turned the ship around and backed up to the berth in the morning, when it came for time to depart it was a straight forward affair of lifting the stern away from the quay and coming ahead on the engines. Of course there were various pleasure craft in the way to ensure that it wasn’t as straight forward as it could have been, but once clear of the port limits we were un-hampered as we made course for the Baltic Sea once more.

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.