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Klaipeda

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

29th May, 2014

At last the wind started to ease a bit when the ship arrived at the pilot station. Still fresh, so when we arrived at the berth two tug boats were waiting to assist in berthing which was completed at 8:00am. Klaipeda, the third largest city in Lithuania, is situated at the mouth of the Dane River. Its port is usually ice free. Due to the importance of its port it has a complex recorded history as it has been controlled by the Teutonic Knights, the Duchy of Prussia, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Entente States, the Third Reich and the Soviet Socialist Republic.

Klaipeda

As soon as the ship was cleared for passengers they were able to go ashore and the shore excursions run. Today’s tours were: Cold War Secrets, The best of Neringa, Village Life in Lithuania and A taste of Klaipeda. On the Klaipeda tour sight were the lock and watches museum, the Park of sculptures, WWII memorial for Soviet Soldiers, amber factory, and the old town featuring Theatre square, Amber Antiques, taste Amber tea and a walk through the narrow streets to visit stalls selling amber.

The Cold War Secrets tour goes to the Plokstine forest in Zemaitija National Park, which hides the site of the Soviet Nuclear Weapons Program. The four silos were housing surface to surface missiles, which were aimed at different high profile western targets and were able to wipe out civilization as we know. Missiles stationed in Cuba in 1962 were from this site. A walk around shows you the chilling site where deployment were just a heartbeat from reality.

The tour Village life in Lithuania gives one an opportunity to experience village life and speak to the residents of Lithuania, both farmers and a former British Defence Attaché. The village cultural centre displays various aspects of village life and children’s art. Hear about experiences during the Soviet times and the period since independence in 1990. The Best of Neringaq tour starts with a ferry journey to the Curonian peninsula, known as Neringa. According to legend home of the giantess of the same name, who is said to have divided the sea from the lagoon to protect fishermen. After a drive along a series of sand dune ridges, which is on the Unesco World Heritage list, visit the oldest fishing village of Juodkrante. Here one sees Amber Bay, the Lutheran Church, and visits the gallery of weather fanes. Next stop is Nida, where one can learn more about the fascination of amber, visit the Mizgiris Amber Gallery, and walk through the town and admire the fisherman’s cottages.

For the passengers who wanted to discover Klaipeda independently, there was a shuttle bus.

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

All aboard was at 4:30 pm today. The wind had eased a bit so we ordered only one tug boat to assist us during departure. When all were accounted for, the pilot on the bridge and the linesmen in place we left the berth and were soon on our way to the pilot station, where we disembarked the pilot and set course for Gothenburg.

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 a performance of Virtuoso Violinist Michael Bacala. 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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