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17th June, 2018


After flourishing during the Cold War as East Germany’s largest seaport, Rostock has grown to become a major centre of industry, banking and insurance, not to mention a large cruise ship hub and touristic centre for excursions in to the surrounding area. Today as we arrived into the estuary shortly after 07:00, approaching the large berths on either side of us, a sea of containers could be seen ready to be received or shipped off in one direction or another. Several cruise ships were in port already and another couple behind us waiting to take their turn to dock, sure signs of a busy day.

No sooner had the gangway touched the pier and the ship’s clearance been granted, the first guests were heading ashore, firstly off to the cosmopolitan city of Berlin and then to the fairytale wonderland that is Schwerin and the UNESCO site of Lubeck. With many guests heading ashore early the quayside was busy with transportation for the first few hours of our call.

Back onboard, some guests remained on the ship and chose to have a leisurely Sunday morning, reading in the Drawing Room with a morning coffee or taking breakfast in the Veranda Restaurant and on the open deck. There were even a few joggers on the top deck braving the elements and heading off on multiple laps, knowing that Chef George’s hearty buffet awaits them after their workout.

In the afternoon the excursions took on a lighter note, with tours of the local brewery and trips on the ‘Molli’ steam train, both of which went down a teat being two of our longest running excursions within this area. As well as the excursions, we operated a busy shuttle service into Warnemunde, a beautiful town only 8km away and a must see destination for many guests, as well as the town of Rostock itself. With a sailing time of 22:00, guests had the chance to head out for dinner, or an evening stroll, and make the most of the local highlights.

Now as the evening draws in guests get together to discuss the magical destinations and days gone by that they have experienced together during the course of the voyage. A wonderful evening lies ahead, as guests start to head off to their dining venue of choice, this will be followed by the option of experiencing the Broadway style show in the Britannia Lounge and the late night Cabaret spot in the Drawing Room. Of course if an early night beckons, then there is always room service to deliver a cocoa to your cabin…

Tomorrow we transit the Kiel Canal, an early start for many onboard, as both the deck and engine departments will be up and ready early for the day ahead. The bar and restaurant teams will also be out and about early as breakfast will be served on deck for guests, as they watch the start of the transit and the charity cycle that will take place along the tow-path.

Several of the officers and crew onboard will be cycling the 66 mile length of the canal in aid of the charity, ‘Tackle’, supporting the fight against prostate cancer. So another great day ahead tomorrow, made even better by knowing that all of us onboard Saga Sapphire will be playing our part in aid of not only our guests enjoyment, but also for a great charity too.

Nat Green, Explore Ashore Manager

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.