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4th September, 2017


I awoke this morning to the wind whistling around the structure of the mighty Saga Sapphire. Yesterday in Stockholm I had been in constant dialogue with the Helsinki Port Authority and Pilots. We exchanged schematics of how and where to swing the ship, where and how to operate with up to three tugs as the forecast was for an easterly 40-45kts blow. We even had a look at two berthing options.

So the forecast came to be, it was a howler - but, save for a few bumps in the night, the ole heavy lady worked comfortably in the rough seas. Today at 11.00 was my deadline to go/no-go. The Pilot was due at 1030, but I was already an hour late. My deadline, that’s because I would have to turn beam-on to the seas to approach the station and embark the Pilot. It was now clear this was just not safe to do. And to consider, if I did get in to Helsinki there was no certainty I would get out - for sure I would not be popular if I sacrificed two days in St Petersburg!

So at 11.00 today I broadcast to my Guests that Helsinki was off the agenda. Now I’m at reduced speed, nice and comfy, and my fabulous team is putting on that little bit ‘extra’ for our Guests this afternoon. How great are our Saga Guests, really understanding that, however disappointing not going to Helsinki is, safety and passenger comfort comes first. So refreshing….

Just need to think about squeezing in to St Pete’s early tomorrow - more on that later…..

I’m going to pop down and have steam bath now in the Spa. I find it sharpens the mind and reinvigorates the energy levels. Great little sanctuary is the Saga Sapphire Spa, down on deck two. You should come and try it ….

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.