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9th September, 2018


After the later sail from Tallinn we had a day at sea which was perfect for our guests as although they had enjoyed 4 ports on the “trot” they were in need on a rest. Well a rest of sorts because there is always so many events available to our guests. The key event for me was a charity raffle and auction of promises at 16:30 right after afternoon tea. This was for the charity “tackle prostate cancer” which I have become very involved with. Wow! The Britannia lounge was absolutely packed, with John Parton our Cruise Director as MC and auctioneer. There were some great prizes for the raffle and then we had the auction which is when I got involved. John handed me the microphone and I had to play auctioneer for a private dining experience in the Captains quarters, the sounding of the ships whistle, ringing the ships bell and making the noon announcement over the PA. What an amazing event and we raised the incredible amount of £3,000 including Gift Aid.

Sunrise this morning saw us approaching the pilot station at Gdynia, Poland. The pilot boarded at 0645 and Chris our 3rd Officer kept the con, guided the ship into the port, swung it through 180’ and then with my continued guidance gently manoeuvred the ship alongside – in fact he “kissed” the fenders as we  moored alongside. With another fine day in port our guests were already heading down the gangway by 0815 with all 4 shore excursions heading to the fabulous town of Gdansk. The city is full of cobbled streets and graceful architecture reminiscent of Amsterdam.

For those guests heading ashore independently we offered them a complimentary shuttle bus to the centre of Gdynia – as you know Saga does not charge for this service. Gdynia is a relatively young city born out of the treaty of Versailles in 1919. The League of Nations decision to create the Free City of Gdansk (Danzig) left neighbouring Gdynia in the newly reformed Polish State and at the end of the infamous Polish corridor – the narrow strip of land granted to Poland to give it access to the sea. It had been a quiet and very small fishing village but then became the focus of huge development as Poland created a massive port to rival the German controlled Gdansk.

Once again, I took to the roads with my bike and took another of our Quartermasters with me – Joey hadn’t cycled for 3 weeks and it was his first time on a road bike – in fact it was my previous road bike that I donated to the crew when I bought my newer one. He did very well despite trying to cuddle a lamp post!! The few scratches didn’t put him off and we had a very enjoyable couple of hours.

With everyone on board by 1630 we departed soon after, with Dennis our recently embarked Staff Captain taking the ship to sea.

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.