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24th May, 2014


Today the ship arrived at the pilot station at the very civilised time of 10:30am. This allowed the passengers to have a leisurely breakfast and see us enter the port of this charming town. The ship was berthed at 11:30am.

Helsinki, Finland’s capital grew up around its harbour and despite its present size and sophistication preserves much of the charm of a small 19th century seaport.

Soon after arrival after arrival the ship was cleared by the local authorities and the passengers could proceed ashore. Today’s tours were.

Sibelius Experience. On the way to Ainola, the home of Jean Sibelius, Finland’s master composer the coach will first do a short tour showing the highlights of Helsinki. Sights that can be seen are Market Square, the Old Church, the Swedish Theatre, the Parliament Building, The National Museum, the Finlandia Hall, the Finnish Opera and the Olympic Stadium. After a tour of the composer’s house, which is near Lake Tuusula, the coach makes a short tour through the country side that inspired the composer. This is followed by a performance of some of the greatest works of Sibelius.

Old Town Porvoo. On the way to Provoo, the second oldest city in Finland, the coach drives through Helsinki, taking in the most famous sights and through beautiful Finish countyside. Old Povoo is a treasure in the history of Finnish architecture. On the tour of the city one sees the red riverside storehouses, the cathedral, and new Povoo, built according to the Empire-style Petersburgian plan. Helsinki Highlights. This fascinating city tour shows the neo-classical Senate Square, the cathedral, the Sederholm Residence, the open Market Place, the Market Hall, Uspenski Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, Kaivopuisto Park, the Swedish Theatre, the Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum, Parliament Building, Finlandia Hall, the Finnish National Opera House, the Olympic Stadium, the Temppeliaukio Kirkko ( a church hewn from solid rock with a copper ceiling) and Sibelius Park to view massive stainless steel monument of Jean Sibelius.

City Tour of Helsinki. A shorter version of the Helsinki Highlights Tour by coach.

For those passengers who wished to explore independently there was a shuttle bus to the town centre.

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

All on board was at 4:30pm. As soon as all passengers and crew were on board, the pilot on the bridge, the engines ready, the tug boat and line’s men in position, we were able to let go of the lines and back away from our berth. After swinging the ship in the right direction we retraced our steps of this morning to the pilot station. Here we disembarked the pilot and were on our way to St. Petersburg.

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 Explosive Productions presenting their version of “Let’s Swing”. 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.