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Stockholm

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

20th June, 2014

After disembarking the Kiel Canal pilot I was able to inform the passengers of the impact the delay would have on the itinerary. We were 7 hours behind schedule at that time. The brochure time in Stockholm was from 1:00pm on 20th June till 1pm on 21st June. With 7 hours delay the arrival time was now 8:00pm on 20th June. I had been in contact with Stockholm port, who informed me that we were to go at anchor. I was not best pleased. After a bit of arm twisting I managed to get a berth from arrival, 8:00pm on 20th June, till departure, now 5pm on the 21st June. This gave us a full day call in Stockholm. This however had a knock on effect on our call to Helsinki, which was now going to be from noon till 5pm on the 23rd June. After informing the passengers about this revised itinerary the ship went into sea day mode.

After breakfast the sea day routine started with lecturers, instructors, cruise staff etc. organising and hosting presentations and activities to entertain and occupy those passengers who wished to participate.

The evening started with the Welcome Cocktail Party, during which I had the opportunity to meet a lot of our passengers. My little speech also gave me the chance to introduce some of my senior staff. This was followed by a formal dinner.

After dinner the Britannia Lounge hosted music for dancing followed Celebrity West End Performer Lyn Paul with Stories of my life in Song. This was followed by a big screen FA World Cup game Uruguay vs England (sadly the result did not turn out as anticipated) followed by a Late Night Cabaret with Darren Tremble in the Drawing Room and Late Night Musical melodies with Lloyd Hulme at the piano in the Cooper’s Bar.

The next day, 20th June, was a sea day till 3:30pm, when we arrived at the pilot station. From here we enjoyed a beautiful four hour cruise through the archipelago towards the port, passing treed islands with all manner of summer and residential homes and wonderful scenery. We were berthed at 8pm for a relaxing evening and night, before the full day that awaited us.

Stockholm, only seven centuries old, is the capital of Sweden, the seat of the national parliament, the country’s financial and business centre. Stockholm began at “Gamla Stan, the old Town, and originally three islands. It has now spread outwards over 14 islands, which are connected by 40 bridges. The different islands create the illusion of a series of miniature cities, only distantly connected.

This evening started with cocktails and music in the Drawing Room and the Cooper’s Bar followed by dinner. After dinner the Britannia Lounge hosted after dinner dancing followed by a performance of The Explosive Singers and Dancers presenting “Music Legends” a tribute to the stars. This was followed by music for dancing by The Perfect Mood Duo in the Drawing Room and late night musical melodies by Lloyd Hulme at the piano in the Cooper’s Bar.

The next day after breakfast the passengers proceeded ashore under a sunny sky.

Today’s tours were.

City Hall and the Vasa Museum. This tour began with a drive through the city and across the Western Bridge to the island of Kungsholmen for a visit to the distinctive redbrick City Hall in the Old Town. Built between 1911 and 1923 in the National Romantic style to the design of architect Ragnar Ostberg, City Hall is renowned for its architecture, mosaics and for housing the Nobel Prize banquet. Notable parts include the spectacular Blue and Golden Halls. The former is an inner court which houses one of northern Europe’s largest organs and the latter boasts mosaics, which cover the high walls with symbolic pictures.

Drottningholm Palace. The palace, located on an island in Lake Malaren to the west of Stockholm, was as immaculately created as Versailles or Nymphenburg, with formal baroque gardensfilled with statues, fountains and flower beds and resplendent interiors. It is the first Swedish site placed on the World Heritage List and the permanent home of the King and Queen of Sweden.

Modern & Historic Stockholm. Stockholm, located at the point where Lake Malaren meets the Baltic Sea, was founded as a fort in the 13th Century. With expansion it spread over more than 12 islands and onto the main land. The city encompasses five unique districts, each with its own special character. This tour shows you around these. Some of the sights are Fjalgaten ( a popular hill with a splendid view over the city), Sergels Square, the national museum, Riddarholmen ( the Islands of the Knights), Riddarholmen church (Final resting place of Sweden’s kings and Stockholm’s only preserved medieval monastic church), Gamla Stan Stockholm’s oldest quarter), Coronation church ( location of numerous royal weddings and state occasions), the great square and the former Stock Exchange. Waterways of Stockholm. The best way to appreciate the splendour of Stockholm and its many outlying islands is by boat. As you glide along the many waterways, you can enjoy the city from a different perspective and sail past the national park of Djurgarden. A simple and most enjoyable way to acquaint yourself with the “city that floats on water”.

Stockholm Panoramic Tour. This is the opportunity to enjoy a moving panorama of sights, described above, from the comfort of your coach during this tour of Stockholm.

For the passengers who wished to explore independently there was a shuttle bus to the town centre. Alternatively one could walk there in about 15 minutes.

For the passengers on board the cruise staff had organised and hosted several activities.

All aboard was 4:30pm today. Soon after all passengers were accounted for we left the beautiful port and town of Stockholm retracing our courses we followed in the morning through the flat calm waters of the archipelago to the pilot station. After disembarking the pilot we set course for Helsinki. The evening started with cocktails and music in the Drawing Room and the Cooper’s Bar followed by dinner. After dinner the Britannia Lounge hosted after dinner dancing followed by a performance of The Man With Many Voices Andy Crust with Sing-along songs for everyone. This was followed by music for dancing by The Perfect Mood Duo and a performance by Explosive Productions Vocalist Gareth Evans in the Drawing Room and late night musical melodies by Lloyd Hulme at the piano in the Cooper’s Bar.

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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