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18th September, 2016


It is good to be home. And to bring some friends with you to show them around. That is how I felt this morning. On top of that, I could see my family. What else could I ask for?

Getting into Gdansk harbour is not an easy task, especially with a vessel of Sapphire’s size. The local regulations stated that we would require six tugboats. Six! I thought that it may be a little too much, so I managed to convince the harbour master that perhaps we could reduce it to two. And he agreed. So with one tug at each end of the vessel, they practically dragged Sapphire into her docking spot at the Westerplatte pier.

Our spot was only a short walk away from the Monument of the Coast Defenders. We could actually see it from our vessel. This is very important historic and symbolic place for Polish people. It was there where the first WWII shots were fired, thus the first battle of the European theatre of World War II. Some of our guests walked there today and learned quite a few things about this historical battle.

Our guests had a selection of tours to choose from. The one that attracted a lot of interest was Gdansk City & Surroundings –a mixture of landmarks from across a couple of centuries.

This tour started with a scenic drive to Nowy Port Lighthouse, which ranks among the most beautiful structures of its kind around the Baltic Sea. It then continued to Oliwa Cathedral, for a view of this impressive structure. Situated in the grounds of an old Cistercian monastery, Oliwa Cathedral dates back to the 13th century and is a mixture of the Romanesque, Gothic and Rococo styles.

The next stop was at the Solidarity Square Monument at the main entrance to Gdansk Shipyard, which commemorates the deaths of shipyard workers shot in December 1970 by the Communist regime. Back in the city centre, our guests could see the Prison Tower and the Torture House, built of baked brick and dating back to medieval times. The final stop was for photographs along the Royal Way, where many fine examples of Gdansk’s architectural heritage could be seen.

We stayed alongside until the late evening and at 21.30 with the assistance of just one tug this time (I guess, the harbour master started to trust in my skills) we let go the lines and left the harbour, setting sail to Wismar in Germany.

Krzysztof Majdzinski

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