Skip to navigation Skip to content
< Back to Saga Sapphire blog

19th May, 2015


Yesterday, Monday, was a sea day. As we had visited Riga on a Sunday, but stayed till 8 pm, we decided to have our Church Service on the Monday. So, after breakfast, the service began with singing from our Filipino choir and ended with Holy Communion, led by Canon Michael Weaver.

The culinary highlight of the day was a magnificent Gala Lunch Buffet in the Pole to Pole Restaurant. The evening started in the Britannia Lounge with The Early Evening Show by Explosive Productions presenting their Twist and Shout - a tribute to the Fab Four. At the same time it was cocktail hour in Cooper’s Bar with Martin Orbidans at the piano and in the Drawing Room The Perfect Mood Duo played music for dancing. After dinner the Britannia Lounge featured a performance by Master Magician Brett Sherwood famous for his sleight of hand and showmanship. This was followed in the Drawing Room by a 60s and 70s Dance Party till the wee small hours and in Cooper’s Bar by The Late Show with Martin Orbidans at the piano.

This morning we arrived at the pilot station at the early hour of 5.30 am. The reason for this early arrival was that the distance to the berth was 6 miles and those on our first shore excursion were due to meet at 7.30.

Warnemünde is simply unique. A suburb of Rostock, situated on the west bank at the mouth of Die Warnow, Warnemünde has lost little of its original character with its maze of fishing boats, yachts at anchor, wooden verandas and Teepott, its most attractive street. Warnemünde’s excellent train service provides easy access to the old town of nearby Rostock, the old Hanseatic League City at the head of the Warnow River. In World War II 40% of the town was heavily bombed and countless jewel-like gabled houses and Gothic churches have since been renovated or reconstructed. In 1260 the construction began of the impressive Gothic Marienkirche. The church’s many treasures include a bronze baptismal font, a 15th Century astronomical clock with calendar up to the year 2017 and a baroque high altar. From the tower you can enjoy views of the town.

As soon as the ship was cleared by the local officials the passengers could proceed ashore and the tours could be dispatched. Today’s tours were:

“Best of Berlin”: Berlin is an extraordinary city and its fascinating sights are well worth the scenic drive from Warnemünde through the lakelands of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The tour started in former East Berlin whee our guests were able to see Alexanderplatz, Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate and Gendarmenmarkt Square. From here the coach then drove through historic Nikolaiviertel, after which everyone boarded a pleasure cruiser for a sedate cruise along the Spree past sights such as the Bellevue Palace, Museum Island, the Chancellery and the Reichstag. After lunch, on board, they disembarked at Charlottenburg Palace. From here our passengers viewed the Kurfürstendamm, the Europa Centre, KaDeWe, said to be Europe’s largest department store, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Victory Column, Tiergarten Park, the Reichstag, with its cupola and breath-taking views of the city, Potsdamerplatz and the notorious former Checkpoint Charlie border crossing, before returning to Warnemünde.

“Rostock and Germany’s Stasi” started with a cruise along the River Warnow to Rostock, where our passengers joined a guided walking tour which took in the town’s distinctive red-brick architecture and Hanseatic ambience. They saw the Uuniversity, Neumarkt, the beautiful City Hall, the remains of the old city walls at Kropliner Gate and Stone Gate, the Fischerbastion , the Convent of the Holy Cross, home to the Cultural History Museum, St Mary’s Church at the Goat Market, Rostock’s well-known landmark, home to a unique astronomical clock, and the Stasi Museum, the interrogation centre of East Germany's KGB.

“The Molli and the Minster” tour started with a drive through the beautiful countryside of former East Germany passing rural countryside and wind farms to Bad Doberan, where the coach stopped to look at the 700-year-old Minster. This red-brick church is surrounded by beautiful parkland and houses relics dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. Here our passengers boarded the Molli, a narrow-gauge steam train, for a short ride to the beach resort of Kühlungsborn, hauled by a vintage locomotive, past fields of corn and along Europe’s oldest avenue of lime trees.

Once everyone was back on board this evening we let go of the lines, left the berth, swung the ship 180 degrees and took the ship down river to the pilot station, where we disembarked the pilot and set course for our next destination of Ijmuiden via the Kiel Canal.

Captain Kees Spekman

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.