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1st August, 2015


After rather early start – the pilot was on board shortly before 4.00am – we sailed through the archipelago of tiny islands surrounding the Swedish capital. Stunning views, sadly too early for most of our guests, but fortunately they had another chance to see these on the way back this evening. We docked just before 8.00am and the sun was out to greet us; a nice change after a rather cloudy and windy Gdynia.

The first excursions set off at 8.30, one of which made for the Old Town, visiting the iconic red brick Town Hall, followed by the Vasa museum, with a restoration of the magnificent Vasa warship which sank in the harbour shortly after being launched in 1628. Several other tours focused on the city centre of Stockholm, with visits to the Coronation Church, where many of Sweden’s monarchs have married, the Riddarholmen church, where Sweden’s kings are buried, or Hallywylska Palace, built in the late 19th Century. Other excursions took guests a little further, one of which was around an hour’s drive to Sweden’s oldest town of Sigtuna which was founded in 980. Meanwhile others visited the enchanting royal residence of Drottningholm Palace, or embarked on a cruise along the ‘Waterways of Stockholm’.

Once everyone was back on board we prepared to set sail for Helsinki. Whilst we were able to appreciate the stunning views of the city and the surrounding islands, a Line Dancing Sailaway Party was held on the Veranda Deck. Our Explosive Productions Dancers led the dance, in anticipation of tonight’s Hoedown show. At 8.45pm in the Drawing Room we had a ‘Sherlock Holmes Music Murder Mystery Quiz’ hosted by our Cruise Director John Parton, who was accompanied by our cocktail pianist Martin Orbidans. Later, at 9.30pm in the Britannia Lounge, Explosive Productions took to the stage with their newest show, ‘Hoedown Showdown’: a high energy extravaganza featuring all the favourites from the Country and Western genre, with a line dance finale everyone was invited to join in with. The evening’s entertainment continued with either music for dancing from the Saga Orchestra in the Britannia Lounge or from The Two Hearts Duo in the Drawing Room.

Krzysztof Majdzinski

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