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6th September, 2021

Postcards from the Baltic - Part 1

Wow, we are actually underway on our first international cruise. Still feels surreal…

You could see excitement in both our guests and crew. Well, I couldn’t see many as I was in isolation having only recently embarked. But I was told….. Nevertheless, we have cast off our mooring lines and set sail eastward on the Thames. Weather wasn’t great, but that didn’t affect the mood on board. Next day was an easy going, relaxing day during our passage on the North Sea.

Regardless of the forecast, my expectations for Skagen hadn’t been high. I was wrong. And I didn’t mind. Beautiful sunny day with a light wind. Captain Tanner turned the ship on arrival and backed her into the harbour, so that allowed me to enjoy most of the day on the balcony sunbathing and reading The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry on my Kindle.

Next day, in Copenhagen, I was released from isolation and my handover started. Another beautiful sunny day with the best parking spot in the harbour, right next to the mermaid statue. I had the pleasure of driving the ship out of Copenhagen and we set sail for Gothenburg.

The sail in to Gothenburg is lovely. I have fond memories of it, as my seagoing career started there back in 1997. At 09:00 I took command of Spirit of Adventure from Captain Kim Tanner. Shortly after, I got a call that the port officials would like to talk to me. That was not something I was expecting. However, our Agent and the Harbour Master just came to say Hi and exchange Plaques because it was the ship’s first call to Gothenburg. After departure into the sunset, we took the same route south, passing Copenhagen again on our way to Stockholm. It was a night passage thru the Drogden channel, but we could still see Hamlet’s castle Kronborg at midnight as it was well lit.

Arrival at Stockholm was just stunning. The itinerary had been designed for us to arrive at the pilot station at 06:30, so that everybody could enjoy the picturesque sail in during daylight. I was lucky as both pilots we had on board during the 55 nm passage were very professional and highly capable. Made my job easier. We docked at noon and the Harbour Master was on the pier waiting for me with another Plaque. During this cruise that will be standard practice as all of our port calls will be inaugural ones. During the evening, we had a surprise event on the pier. Muscle car gathering with lots of noise and tyre burning. No, not actually burning tyres, but still something unexpected for this part of the world.

Kind Regards

Captain Franko Papić

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.