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Gdynia

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

8th June, 2013

Dancers

We arrived into Gdynia in Poland to fabulous warm and sunny weather!! We had such a welcome from the local brass band and pom-pom dancing girls as the Sapphire docked alongside!! It was quite amusing to watch the male members of the ship's company who were extremely joyous at seeing such short skirts and white leather boots, marching along the quayside to the rhythm of the band!! This was also a pleasant surprise for the passengers who lined the decks at the sound of the approaching music and beats of the numerous drums.

 

Fountain

All the tours were dispatched by 9 o’clock and the passengers we off to the city of Gdansk. This stunning walled city holds the secrets that led to the first cracks within the Communist regime. The passengers learnt about the Solidarity Movement and the lives of the Gdansk shipyard workers. They also had the chance to see the Solidarity Museum displaying the events of the tumultuous history of the 1980’s movement led by Lech Walsea. Within this walled city you can see the traces of its Hanseatic past with the tall and colourful architecture and Neptune’s Fountain. Passengers also enjoyed the city’s Oliwa Cathedral which dates back to the 13th century and is a mixture of Romanesque, Gothic and Rococo architectural styles. The tours were a great success with a mixture of fascinating history, friendly locals and the warmth of the day’s sunshine.

Tall ship

I was quite taken by this captivating and charming port so I caught the shuttle bus into Gdynia itself and walked along the pretty harbour. There were three ships alongside the harbour all of great interest to the attentive tourists and those interested in war and maritime history.

The ORP Błyskawica - (Warship museum), started service in 1937 and operated during World War II. You can see the deck with artillery, engine rooms and a historic exhibition display of the Polish Navy. Today, the destroyer is an important part of the Polish Naval Museum in Gdynia and the only World War II ship still in commission.

Dar Pomorza - (Tall ship museum), is the most famous Polish training tall ship built in 1909. This three-masted Polish training ship has visited 383 ports and travelled more than 800,000km in her time at sea. Since 1972 she has taken part in numerous sailing competitions, winning the Cutty Sark Trophy in 1980. A year later she was bestowed the highest Polish state decoration: the order of Polonia Restituta.

The Dragon

And finally 'the Dragon', one of a pair of mock pirate ships which take turns to offer cruises of the bay with on-board bar and grill restaurant during high season. Also available for private charter, the ships anchor at the end of the breakwater and become floating restaurants at other times of the year. As I walked past the Dragon and its eerie exterior I stood poised for a moment, almost expecting Jack Sparrow to appear upon its decks!

This harbour is also lined with small al fresco cafes and bars, all so welcoming from the friendly local owners just happy to see tourist passing by. There are numerous shopping opportunities for the tourist along the main street and the prices are very good and appealing for those that wish to ‘bag’ a bargain. All in all, this was a very successful call for both independent passengers and those taking part in the shore excursions.

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.

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