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29th August, 2015


Following a nearly 5-hourly scenic sail through the Finnish Archipelago Sea, Saga Sapphire arrived for the first time at the Finnish port of Turku - the oldest city in Finland and its former capital city.

The first tour set out on an excursion entitled ‘Turku & Sheep Farm’. It started with a drive through Turku city and off to a small sheep farm in a little village by the sea called Stentorp, where guests could learn about wool production and sheep-keeping with a sheepdog performance and a handicraft exhibition followed by a cup of coffee and sweet pastry amidst this beautiful scenery, before returning to the city of Turku for a panoramic tour of all the main sights. The second group started with a short panoramic tour of Turku before continuing towards Naantali and the Gardens of Golden Beach (Kultaranta), Golden Beach being the summer residence of the President of Finland and the gardens are known as ‘mini-Versailles’. The third group went on a ‘Highlights of Turku’ excursion, viewing the city centre with its Orthodox Church, its Swedish Theatre and its Observatory before stopping to visit Turku Cathedral, followed by a visit to Turku castle, which dates back to the 13th century. Our guests enjoyed a guided tour during which they learned about the history of what is regarded as the most notable historic building in Finland, and they then travelled to the handicraft museum in Luostarinmäki comprising around 30 workshops in little wooden houses. Meanwhile, others set off on a panoramic tour of the city visiting the Castle, the Handicraft Museum, Turku Cathedral and also the town of Naantali, a popular family resort and spa town.

Once everyone was back on board we set sail towards the now Finnish capital of Helsinki. In the Britannia Lounge Destinations Speaker Keith Pritchard did a presentation on our future port of call of Tallinn. In the Drawing Room we had an early evening show, as Resident Piano Entertainer Perry Grant performed a selection of classic British sing-a-long favourites. After dinner in the Britannia Lounge, Master Marionette Artistes John Chrisholm and Josef Probst took to the stage with ‘Stars on Strings’. Later, in the Drawing Room, Explosive vocalists Beth Adams and Charlotte McGrory sang an eclectic selection of songs with ‘Something for Everyone’.

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.