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8th June, 2018


Before I “rabble on” about our arrival into Copenhagen, I wanted to share with you a charity I have recently become involved with.

A couple of cruises ago one of our Guests shook my hand as he entered the Britannia Lounge for a party and I noticed his lapel badges and particulary a little grey/black mottled man. Having asked what is was he told me it was called “Men United” and was associated with the charity Prostate Cancer UK. During that “warm” discussion he told me about a National Federation called “Tackle Prostate Cancer” which only exists due to the work of the 80+ Volunteer support groups which represent about 15,000. The Federation achieved charity status in 2008 and in 2013 the Tackle Prostate Cancer campaign was launched. What has impressed me is that this small charity relies completely on volunteers and this has really “resonated” such that I am very keen to support “Tackle”. I have since been given permission by the Saga Charitable Trust to include Tackle as one of their recognized charities.

Later this cruise 4 crew members will try to “beat” the ship through the Kiel Canal and this will be a sponsored cycle ride. I will be communicating this to our guests in case they wish to donate to this wonderful cause. I’d love to cycle it myself but not sure how that would look if the ship “hit” one of the lock gates and an investigation found that the Master was riding a bike ahead of the ship!! I am hoping to get a load of t-shirts and a briefing pack so we can really promote this on board.  COME ON FELLOW MEN AND BROTHERS – LET’S MAKE THIS A SUCCESS.

After a very smooth overnight transit through the Kattegat we approached the channel between Sweden and Denmark where there is the “fairy tale” castle at Helsingor – Shakespeare used this in Hamlet.

Pilot boarding was at 0645 this morning and it was a beautiful arrival into Copenhagen with clear blue skies and a light breeze - a Cruise Ship Captain’s dream. Denmark is so unusual with pilotage not being compulsory, however whilst we did not take one for Skagen, and won’t take one tomorrow in Fredericia, Copenhagen can be a challenging arrival so it’s always prudent to take one here. Staff Captain Tom carried out the docking, and a fine job too.

We arrived alongside at 0745 and guests were ready to proceed ashore by 0800– we had the prime position in the harbour near the famous Mermaid - thank you Saga!!

Tours were going all round the city, including City Tour and Carlsberg (apparently Captain Horne’s favourite lager along with Carling when on vacation), Copenhagen & Christiansborg Palace, Two Kingdoms in a Morning, and the City Tour & Harbour Cruise. For me it was a perfect afternoon to head out on my special bike and “push it” for an hour. I took the coastal path this time and although a little breezy it was a terrific ride. The Danes are so geared up for cycling.

Copenhagen is home to nearly a 1/3rd of Denmark’s five million people, as well as the oldest established royal dynasty in Europe, headed by the popular Queen Margrethe II whose yacht was moored close to our berth. This lively capital spreads over 2 Islands and its narrow winding streets, gardens, boulevards, little shops and stuccoed houses give the city a fairyland quality.

At 1900 we departed our berth and moved astern with Andy, our Safety Officer, taking the reins. A swift pirouette in the harbour and by 1945 we were clear of the harbour and sailing towards Fredericia and a majestic sunset. I headed down to the Verandah and joined a Guest for an alfresco dinner. It was a superb evening.

Captain Julian Burgess

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.