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19th September, 2016


Following the relaxing day at sea, we picked up the Wismar pilot at 5.30 this morning and then sailed 16 miles or so towards our berth. The approach fairway to the harbour is not only narrow, but also quite shallow. For most of the time, we had no more than a meter of water between the keel and the seabed. In such conditions, we could have not sailed too fast as the hydrodynamics were against us. The shallow water effect known to all Captains as squat, causes the bodily sinking of the ship’s hull. The effect increases with the speed thus preventing us from moving at a faster pace. With only a marching speed we arrived at the harbour and docked, as planned, shortly before 8 o’clock.

The local authorities are trying very hard to encourage more cruise ships to visit this lovely place. Today was Saga Sapphire’s debut here in Wismar and I had the pleasure to meet with Mayor and the harbour master. They looked slightly surprised when they saw me. It was just over a year ago that I brought Saga Pearl II here for the first time as well. It seems I am becoming some sort of “local hero” in Wismar. Or, at least, the most popular cruise ship captain in town.

Wismar has a spectacular beauty that makes you want to go out and explore this city. This, together with overwhelming friendliness of the local people, took our guests by surprise. Yes, we offered a number of tours (both locally, but also as far as Berlin), but quite a few passengers decided to also wander around this old Hanseatic city. I think they were not disappointed. The old town contains traces of history going back to the Middle Ages, including several outstanding brick Gothic churches and old houses. A trivia fact –the 1922 movie Nosferatu was filmed here.

We were only a short distance away from the Kiel Canal –our next destination –so we sailed out at 22.30 while our guests enjoyed the evening entertainment, including the outstanding performance of Annette Wardell.

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.