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11th September, 2016


Following our Kiel Canal transit the night before, we arrived at the Stockholm pilot station at 9am.

Last night, during the Welcome Party, I had “warmed up”our passengers and invited them to be on the open decks for arrival. I wish I had not done that, as a fog came during the night and did not want to let go until we were almost half way through the Stockholm archipelago.

It not only kept me up for most of the night, but also stripped our guests of the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic views along the way. It was not until we reached the main harbour that we saw blue skies and the beautiful landscape. In a way, it was magical as we emerged from the fog into the real world. I guess it must have looked even better for the spectators ashore.

I still had to earn my money here, as the arrival was rather tricky. We could not dock the vessel today, but instead were in the heart of the city –where we could enjoy views of the old town. We secured Sapphire in position by dropping first one then the second of our bow anchors, followed by tying the stern to a mooring buoy. My crew did a splendid job and shortly we were ready for our guests to proceed ashore.

The most popular tour today was called ‘Sigtuna’. Sigtuna is the oldest town in Sweden, founded in 980 by Erik Segersäll, the country’s first Christian King. The town was a royal stronghold for some 250 years and the first Swedish coins were minted here. St Mary's Church, built in the 13th century as a monastic church by the Dominican community, remains largely intact. This Dominican monastery played an important role in Sweden during the Middle Ages, and provided the country with several archbishops and other important Church officials.

Rather than rush to the next port we decided to stay in Stockholm overnight and in the morning a new set of tours allowed our guests to explore this unique region of Sweden. For those remaining on board, the opportunity to breakfast on the open deck while enjoying the sights and sounds was hard to resist, especially as the weather was glorious.

The weather continued to be on our side as we finally cleared our anchors and set sail back to the Baltic Sea. This time, nothing could spoil the enjoyment of the magnificent views of the archipelago on the way out.

We must have hit the rush hour, gracefully sailing at the tail of a convoy of vessels and ferries leaving Stockholm at nearly the same time. This was also our last call to Stockholm this year. We will be back! I am sure…

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.