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Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

16th May, 2018

Yet another stunning morning awakened us as we made our approach to the pilot station at Aarhus, the 2nd largest city in Denmark. We’ve had such awesome weather this cruise our Guests are making the most of their time on board with port intensive itinerary and 3 overnight calls.

The pilot boarded at 0700 and 4/O Karl kept the con taking the ship to the swinging area around the harbour. He conducted the swing with me coaching and then guided the ship astern before I took over. We were alongside by 0745 and our guests were free to proceed ashore from 0800.

Aarhus is located on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula, in the geographical centre of Denmark, 116 miles NW of Copenhagen. The history of Aarhus began as a fortified Viking settlement founded in the 8th century.

With 3 shore excursions on offer and a short free shuttle bus ride there was something for everyone. Tours were being offered to Siikeborg – The Lake Highland of Denmark, Aarhus City Tour, and a Vintage Train Ride.

During the morning we had our weekly crew emergency drill with a simulated fire in the crew galley and the space completely “rammed” with synthetic smoke. It was a great exercise and well “drilled”. Late in the afternoon I decided to give my mountain bike an airing rather than my road bike. Tom, our Staff Captain, had been out cycling earlier and found a forest full of bike trails which he said were the best he had found outside of the USA. That was enough of a temptation to me. So off I went around 2.30 and cycled for about an hour through this fantastic woodland with a tarmacked dedicated cycle path and loads of off-road trails with jumps, banks and narrow paths.

I adjusted the departure time to 1900 so we could fit in a Newcomers' party. It was wonderful to meet most of our Guests who have never cruised with Saga. What became quickly apparent was that everyone was having a great experience and they were looking to sail with Saga again. Nearly all commented on the brilliant crew who could not do enough. I made a speech at the end and talked about all the great features the new Spirit of Discovery will have.

Matt, our Safety Officer, was “driving out” and after the departure brief we soon let go our lines and eased away from the berth. It was a well-executed manoeuvre with minimal guidance required and 30 minutes later we had disembarked our pilot and set course for Kiel.

Captain Julian Burgess

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