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27th August, 2015


It seems that having a sunny and hot weather for a prolonged time is not always welcome. We have just became victim of that, when on arrival to Stockholm we were told that we could not dock at our assigned berth. The reason given by the harbour master – not enough water alongside for our rather deep drafted vessel. So as we sailed among hundred islands of the Stockholm archipelago, together with Swedish pilot we were exploring different options. In the end we decided that we will berth alongside for the night and on the following day we will position Saga Sapphire in the heart of the harbour using ship’s anchors and the mooring buoy for our sternlines.

As we approached our berth, out on deck there was a “Saga First” – A Special Arrival with Big Band Music, courtesy of Kenny Martin and the Jazz Bandl; the atmosphere was positively tropical, with complimentary cocktails “Ella Fitzgerald” “Charlie Parker Punch” and “A very Dizzy Gillespie”! Some of our guests ventured ashore on the shuttle buses laid on to take them into the city, whilst on board after dinner, the Explosive Singers and Dancers performed their spectacular show “Hollywood Nights” – a tribute to the golden age of Tinseltown. In the Drawing Room our late show featured the fun, laughter and magical music of Perry Grant, whose jacket was as dazzling as ever!

After a restful night, we relocated Saga Sapphire in the harbour surrounded by the wonderful buildings of the old town. Rather a tricky manoeuvre I must say, utilizing both our anchors and then tying up to the buoy using four sternlines. My officers and crew, together with the Swedish pilot, did a sterling job and we were soon ready for both our morning shore excursion and for our independent travellers to take the short shuttle boat to the pier. I managed to secure a large tender boat from the port which, along with our own tender boats, made the transfer of guests speedy and efficient.

The excursions included the iconic red brick City 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; 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 took them around an hour’s drive away to Sweden’s oldest town of Sigtuna which was founded in 980. This old town featured the first street to be built in Sweden and was extremely picturesque. Meanwhile, others visited the enchanting royal residence of Drottningholm Palace, or embarked on a cruise along the ‘Waterways of Stockholm’. As we had a full day in Stockholm there was time for all guests to also enjoy the delights of the old town independently, including the Royal Palace, Parliament building, Opera House and many other sights, whilst some guests spent most of their time (and maybe their money!) in the longest shopping street in Sweden!

The last shuttle from the old town was at 4.30pm, and we prepared to sail for Turku, Finland. The weather which today had been so glorious continued with a wonderful sunset as we sailed out through the beautiful archipelago, and on Verandah Deck our Sailaway was accompanied by romantic classical music from the Pier Quartet as guests took in the spectacular views.

Kayleigh hosted tonight’s Team Trivia, and Showtime featured Colin Bryant’s Hot Rhythm Orchestra, followed by Swing and Jazz Club with The British Jazz Legends, featuring vocalist Jason Isaacs – continuing with excellent music on the Jazz Theme.

Captain Krzysztof Majdzinski

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.