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7th September, 2017


It was a great stay in St Petersburg, everyone was brimming with adulation about their stay, the Excursions and the quality of the Guides. Indeed, one could argue, why don’t we stay for two nights . . . Just a suggestion Saga planning team. The Hermitage evening visit, open only to Saga Sapphire guests, along with a fabulous concert was, so I am told, absolutely spectacular. Six cruise ships in that evening and only Saga Sapphire guests got to go into the ‘closed’ Hermitage for their own private experience . . . of a life time. What can I say!

I had heard that the road traffic was somewhat mad in St Petersburg. When I asked “is it worse than the M25 on a bad day”, the retort was, “oh-yes”. Travelling by ship is a much a nicer pace of life! So we set off last night, Staff Captain Tom drove out, nice little manoeuvre and I left him to the final bit of the Pilotage as I was hosting my table evening. It’s great to have such a skilled team around me.

This morning was a sensible arrival timewise into Tallinn. No need for me to get out of bed at some unearthly hour - 6 am is a significant lie-in! Tom drove in to the berth and I had 2nd Officer, Gwyn, lined up for the departure.

The Pilot embarked at 0700 for the straight forward Pilotage to the berth - super calm conditions this morning. We were ‘all-fast’ [term for being ‘fully moored’, don’t even ask!], in ample time.

My regular morning broadcast to my Guests is a balance of facts, important information and chit chat. This morning I pronounced Tallinn as ‘Tarrlynn’, giving it a posh edge – it created popular conversation and seemed to stick!

What a city, Tallinn seemed bigger than when I was last here… and the local people are so lovely. Highly recommend a visit if you’ve not been here.

Gwyn, the 2nd Officer, was duly briefed and he took the ship out of Tallinn. A first manoeuvre for him and a nice job too Gwyn. Debarking the Pilot an hour later we were off around to Saaremaa, Estonia - a first call for me.

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.