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Vitspils

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

28th May, 2014

The weather was a bit grey and windy, but luckily no rain, when the ship arrived at the pilot station at 7:00am, the pilot was an old timer, who had been sailing longer than I, which does not occur very often. We had a nice chat about the good old times, like grumpy old men, after the ship was safely moored at 8:00am.

Vetspils , the sixth largest city of Latvia, located on the Venta River, it’s a nice free port. Due to this it was an important mercantile city of the Hanseatic league. Traditionally it is a ship building centre sand the trade of metal, amber and wood-working. Today the town is famous for its big concerts, festivals and leisure events.

Vitspils

As soon as the ship was cleared passengers were able to go ashore and the shore excursions run. Today’s tours were: Uzhava Brewery and Ventspils, Secret Soviet Complex and Ventspils, Kuldiga and Ventspils and Ventspils City Tour. A bit of a mixed bag with Ventspils the main feature. Ventspils, the capital of flowers, fountains, parks and colourful cow sculptures. It is apart from being the sixth largest city, also the sixth oldest. The most relaxing way to see the sights is by a ride on a narrow gauge railway. The city calls itself proudly the capital of beer. One of the breweries visited is Uzhava, where light and dark beers are brewed following traditions of the forefathers, producing a hundred percent natural and live beer. Another site visited is the Secret Soviet Complex, which was so secret, that even Latvian soldiers and scientists were unaware of its assistance. The only give away was a 32 meter fully steerable parabolic, centimetre-wave range antenna, which is the biggest in Northern Europe and the eighth biggest in the world. Visited on this site were the accommodation of soviet forces and scientists and the control room. Apart from Veltpils, Kuldiga, an ancient town with unique architecture, was visited. St Catherine is the patron saint of the town and for this reason the church of the town has been named St. Katrina. It is built along the Aleksupite River similarly to Venice and for this reason is often called the Latvian Venice. A walk through this charming town reveals unique entrance doors, wood-carving decorations, skylight window and tiled roofs.

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.

All aboard was at 4:30pm today. It was still very breezy, so we had the assistance of two tugs as well as a pilot and linesmen to help with departure and guiding the ship to the pilot station, where we disembarked the pilot and set course for Klaipeda.

The evening started with cocktail hour in the Cooper’s Bar and early evening music for listening and dancing in the drawing Room, followed by dinner. After dinner the Britannia Lounge hosted music for dancing followed by The Explosive Singers and Dancers performing their interpretation of “Music Legends”, a tribute to Tina Turner, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Shirley Bassey and Elton John. 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.

For passengers who located on the Venta river 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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