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19th July, 2017


The overnight run from Gothenburg to Kalundborg, a passage of 126 nautical miles was over in what seemed like a jiffy. I was back on the navigation bridge a little after 0500. The approach into Kalundborg is straightforward, whilst the manoeuvre from the approach channel toward the berth required a good deal of thought.

The expanse of navigable water looked like acres of space, but in reality the available water for our draught, at 8.4 meters, was limited. Kalundborg is a non-compulsory pilotage area however having looked at the charts I opted to take the Pilot. An extra pair of eyes and the all-important local knowledge gives a Captain a level of comfort.

With sun-up just before 0500, it was a lovely scene as we approached Kalundborg. At 6 miles out the horizon hardened, the topography of the port could be seen, and I thought, why are we here? My attention then returned to the job in hand and we embarked the Pilot at 0638. I took the Conn from the Pilot as we approached the tricky turn in towards the swinging basin. Working as a team the value of the pilot was clear, "Captain - no water over there, there is less than charted here, here and here".

At about 50 meters off the dock head, I swung the ship to line-up the stern to move astern toward the berth. At 50 meters clear ahead and 75 meters aft, it was great to have such a powerful bow thruster. Lined up, I manoeuvred slowly astern, with the quay to starboard and just 15 meters of water to port, swinging a cat came to mind! We were all secure alongside shortly before 0800. A satisfying exercise.

As I cast my eye over the lovely old town of Kalundborg my original fears were gone. The cathedral was impressive as it stood proud rising from the cobbled streets. Even today, road repairs in Kalundborg are completed with cobbles.

As I previously mentioned, I’m not strolling ashore for my first few cruises so I can only comment from what I see high up on Saga Sapphire’s navigation bridge. However, feedback was brilliant – our passengers loved the place. I have some pictures to share with you just to underline what a lovely spot this is.

Of course the excursions across Zealand Island, on which Kalundborg sits, to Copenhagen were a highlight along with the tour to the ancient town of Roskilde. Roskilde, the former capital of Denmark and home to the spectacular Viking Ship Museum, is a fascinating place to visit. Whether an independent stroller or an excursion taker - a great day was had by all, what a fabulous port of call.

Staff Captain Franco had the opportunity to 'drive' out from Kalundborg. Whilst pointing the right way, the challenges remained significant as the ship could not be lifted off the berth - too little water on the seaward side, so it was a slow creep along the berth just a foot or so off until we found deeper water and we could 'thrust' the bow around. What a great job Franco did. Next stop Stockholm.

Captain Stuart Horne

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.