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30th August, 2015


We tied up this morning at 8 o’clock in the Finnish capital of Helsinki with another beautiful sunny day in prospect. Guests met Assistant Cruise Director Kayleigh Lucas in the Britannia Lounge at 8.45am, ready for their shore excursions.

The first group set off on a ‘Sibelius Experience’, combining the highlights of Finland’s beautiful capital city with a visit to the home of the country’s most famous composer. They first visited the city itself, then left for Ainola, home of Jean Sibelius, where guests could enjoy a tour of the house with its original furnishings followed by a 30 minute performance of some of the composer’s greatest works, before returning back to Helsinki, passing the Sibelius Monument. The second group departed the ship bound for Finland’s second oldest city after Turku, the city of Porvoo a 45-minute drive from Helsinki where the town plan remains the same as it was back in the Middle Ages. On this excursion passengers had a walking tour of the Old Town followed by a cup of tea or coffee at a local café, and then free time to do some shopping. The next group left at 9.30am for a ‘Scenic Helsinki & Harbour Cruise’ on which guests started with a panoramic tour of the city centre viewing Senate Square with Helsinki Cathedral and the Government Palace, Mannerheim Street with the Theatre, the House of Parliament and the Opera House and the Olympic Stadium, before embarking on a private boat tour to discover some of the islands outside Helsinki which constitute one of the world’s largest archipelagos with approximately 330 islands. Other excursions were predominately to the delightful city centre and all its main highlights, be it the Market Place, the Sibelius Park with the famous Sibelius Monument, or the iconic Senate Square.

All aboard time today was 4.30pm, as we set sail for St Petersburg, approximately 150 nautical miles away. In the Britannia Lounge our Shore Excursions Manager Andy Barr gave a presentation covering important information about our forthcoming visit to St Petersburg. Later on I hosted a cocktail party for our Britannia Club members with my Officers, with musical accompaniment from the Saga Trio. After another sumptuous formal dinner, in the Britannia Lounge Perry Grant played music for dancing before Main Showtime. The highlight of this evening was the winner of the 10th series of The X Factor, Sam Bailey. She took to the stage with the Saga Sapphire Big Band, for an evening of spellbinding singing. Later on in the Drawing Room we had a Disco Night, with songs selected by Social Hostess Carol Curling, and performed by the Two Hearts Duo.

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.