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Tallin

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

27th May, 2014

The ship arrived this morning at Tallinn pilot station at 6:30am. What a difference in temperature. The sky was cloudy and a fresh breeze was blowing from the north causing the temperatures to drop to about 48 F. I had advised the passenger upon departure yesterday, so those persons on deck were wearing their jumpers and coats. Just a bracing day in the Baltic. The ship was safely moored and cleared by the local authorities at 8:00am.

Tallin

Tallinn is really a tale of three cities: the ancient citadel, the old town and the modern city. The citadel, known as Toompea Castle, sits on a craggy hill peering down on a fascinating amalgam of medieval rooftops and winding cobbled streets, punctuated here and there by graceful spires and turreted towers. After a turbulent history, during which it served many masters and was a member of the Hanseatic League, an Estonian state, with Tallinn as the capital, was established after World War I. As soon as the passengers were allowed to go ashore the shore excursions were dispatched. The four tours today had all a Tallinn theme. Tallinn and Saue Manor, Tallinn Old Town Tour, Tallinn Highlights, Panoramic Tallinn. The difference was the duration of the tour and that some were more strenuous than others. There is enough in and around Tallinn to fill more than a one day call. Sight covered by the tours were: Nun’s Gate, Transfiguration Church, 15th century Blackheads Traternity House, Town Hall Square, St. Catherines Craft Centre, Central Park of Kadriorg ( the setting for the baroque palace of Catherina), the Song Festival Grounds (where some 30000 singers participate in national song festivals), Pirita Marina (the venue for international regattas and Olympic yachting, 15th century St. Birgit’s Convent, the Estonian Russalka momnument9dedicated to an 1893 shipwreck), the summer residence of Count Orlov, the three remaining towers of the knights of the Sword Castle, the Russian orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky, the13th century Gothic Dome Church and the Toompea Palace (which is now the Estonian Parliament).

For the passengers who wanted to discover Tallinn independently, there was a shuttle bus. For those passengers on board the cruise staff had organised and hosted different activities.

Too soon it was 4:30pm and all on board. After all passengers and crew were accounted for, the pilot was on board, the gangway was raised, the linesmen and tug boats were in position we left the berth and were soon on our way to the pilot station. Here we disembarked the pilot and set course for Venspils. The evening started with the Britannia Club Cocktail party followed by dinner. After dinner the Britannia Lounge hosted music for dancing followed the fabulous Stars on Strings by master marionette artists John and Joseph. This was followed by music for listening and dancing with the Perfect Mood Duo in the Drawing Room and Late Night Musical melodies with 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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