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Ocean Cruises
Saga Cruises

Tall Ships in the Baltic

Saga Sapphire departing Dover

2
  • Full Board Full board
  • Chauffeur service Chauffeur service
  • No fly No fly

See the elegant Tall Ships…

On this unique Baltic voyage you can experience the excitement of the Tall Ships Race as the famed schooners make their incredible journey across Europe. Spend two days in the port of Turku with these magnificent vessels before they continue their race to Lithuania. You'll go on to explore some of the best ports in Latvia and Poland before cruising through Germany's Kiel Canal to soak up Amsterdam's lively atmosphere.

Saga price includes...



View Full Itinerary

Dover

Embark Saga Sapphire. Depart 1600.

Known as the gateway of England, Dover welcomes millions of visitors from all over the globe each year in its role as the ferry capital of the world and the second busiest cruise port in the UK. The White Cliffs Country has a rich heritage. Within the walls of the town’s iconic castle, over 2,000 years of history waits to be explored, whilst the town’s museum is home to the Dover Bronze Age Boat, the world’s oldest known seagoing vessel. The town’s cliffs that are a welcome sight for today's cross-channel travellers also served as the control centre for the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940.

FactFile

Population 40,000
Language English
Currency British Pounds Sterling
Time Difference N/A
Climate Temperate with mild summers and cool winters, with a prevailing south-westerly wind throughout the year.
Ship berths at Dover Cruise Terminal.
Distance from Centre 1 mile
Distance from gangway to coach 400 yards, through the cruise terminal.

Useful Information

Shopping The main shops are found on Cannon Street and Biggin Street.
Shopping Opening Hours 0900 to 1730 Monday to Saturday. A few shops are open on Sundays.
Post Office The main Post Office is located inside the Costcutter store on Pencester Road.
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is located inside the Town Museum on Market Square.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial the full STD code followed by the subscriber's number.
Emergency Services Dial 999.
Banks Banks and ATMs are located on Cannon Street.

At sea.

At sea.

Gothenburg

Arrive 0800. Depart 1800.

Gothenburg was founded in 1621 after King Gustav II, tired of Danish raids, ordered a strong fortress built to secure Sweden's only western port. It grew rapidly into the trading and maritime city envisioned by the King, and the East India Company became Sweden's first international trading company during the 18th century. Silk, tea, spices and porcelain, the luxury items of the era, were imported to Sweden from countries such as China, despite journeys often lasting more than a year. Now a busy modern city, Gothenburg is noted for its canals and numerous open green spaces: the cobbled streets of historical Haga contrast with skyscrapers such as the Skanskaskrapan or 'Lipstick Building'. Immerse yourself in the local lifestyle, soaking up the buzzing café culture with ‘fika’ (a drink, usually coffee, and a bite) or visit one of the city's food markets or fine restaurants - five of which have Michelin stars.

FactFile

Population approximately 550.000
Language Swedish
Currency Swedish Krona
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Cool and temperate with frequent rain.
Ship berths at Arendal 751
Distance from Centre Approximately 8 miles
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping Nordstan shopping centre located on Hamngatan Street. Nordstan is Scandinavias largest shopping centre.
Shopping Opening Hours Generally open from 1000 to 1800.
Post Office Located at Nordstan Shopping Centre on Norra Hamngatan 26
Tourist Office Tourist info is available at the pier as well as in the city centre in Nordstan Shopping Centre.
How to Phone Home To dial the UK dial 00 44 followed by the STD number, omitting the first zero
Emergency Services Dial 112
Banks Banks are located in Nordstan Shopping Centre. Generally open 1000 to 1700.

Excursions

Sweden's west coast is one of the country's most popular holiday destinations and is frequently referred to as The Sunshine Coast. The whole area is full of picturesque fishing villages, inlets and idyllic seaside resorts, making it a real paradise in the summer. This tour takes you north from Gothenburg along the coast to the city of Kungläv, site of a famous meeting between the three Kings of Scandinavia in 1100. Drive along the charming Västra Gatan, the town's main street, as your guide tells you dramatic tales about its history. Your tour continues with a short drive west to the Tjörn Bridges and out towards the North Sea. Your first stop is at the fishing village of Klädesholmen, well-known in Sweden for its herring industry. In the late 19th century local villagers started preserving spiced herring in tins and small barrels, and today nearly half the pickled herring in Sweden comes from Klädesholmen. The village is located on two little islands, with its traditional houses built on bare rocks, and a small harbour for its numerous fishing boats. From Klädesholmen your tour continues to the village of Skärhamn, which has a population of about 3,000. This small port with its active fishing harbour is also famous for its watercolour museum. Stop for coffee or tea and a cinnamon bun in Skärhamn before returning by coach to Gothenburg.

Expect to walk about half-a-mile in Klädesholmen and around 250 yards in Skärhamn, with some uneven surfaces and cobbled streets. You should be prepared for changeable weather. Visit the scenic West Coast

Start with a one-hour panoramic coach tour around Gothenburg, stopping for photos at Klippan, a historic former industrial district, where the Scottish Carnegie family once owned sugar refineries and breweries. Today this has become the city’s cultural quarter. Your tour will also pass Gustaf Adolf Square, the Opera House, Götaplatsen with its statue of Poseidon, Aveneyn Street, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and the ice hockey and football stadiums. At Kungsportsplatsen you leave your coach to embark one of the characteristic flat-bottomed boats known as ‘Paddan’ for a 50-minute cruise around the city’s network of canals. These canals are reminiscent of moats and were constructed by Dutch engineers in the 17th century. The boat has room for about 80 passengers and the trip passes Lejontrappan, Lilla Bommen and Feskekyrkan. You will see the old shipyards and fishing port, and pass under the notorious low bridge known as the ‘cheese slicer’ when you leave the canal system for a short cruise on the Göta Älv river. A local guide will give a full commentary during the journey. Leaving your canal boat, re-join your coach and head to Haga, a district renowned for its picturesque wooden houses and 19th-century atmosphere. Originally a working-class suburb with something of a seedy reputation, this district has been gradually transformed into a popular tourist destination. After a short guided walk, spend some free time exploring on your own before returning to your ship.

There are approximately three steps up and three steps down when embarking and disembarking the canal boat; regrettably these vessels are not wheelchair accessible. Visiting Haga involves walking approximately 450 yards, partly over cobbled streets with slight inclines. Additional walking at photo-stops is at your discretion. One of the Paddan canal boats

Many who take a guided tour around Tjolöholm Manor are heard to exclaim “It’s just like Downton Abbey!” Certainly this grand house in Halland has many similarities to the stately home depicted in the popular TV series: visitors will admire the beautiful lounges where no effort was spared to create a comfortable environment to host the extravagant social life of the aristocracy, with their banquets, hunts and afternoon tea. You can also learn all about the fascinating relationship between the owners and their servants. The glory days of the Dickson and Bonde families in their British-inspired Tjolöholm Manor coincides with the era portrayed by the Downton Abbey television series. Even here in Sweden social etiquette was observed - such as the post-dinner custom of the ladies retiring to the drawing-room whilst the men took a cigar in the smoking-room and the servants carried on with their duties. In 2017 Tjolöholm is hosting a major exhibition, ‘Costumes from Downton’. This illustrates the fashion and lifestyle for the gentry and servants on a large estate in the early 1900s. The costumes on display were all worn by all the leading characters in the television series, from Mrs Hughes, the housekeeper through to the Dowager Duchess of Grantham. Your guided tour will take you through the Downton Abbey exhibition, with interesting facts about the TV series and life at Tjolöholm around 1910.

This tour involves approximately 600 yards’ walking including grass and gravel paths, with approximately 70 steps inside the four-storey manor house. Any further walking in the grounds after the main tour is at your discretion. The wc facilities are located in the basement and are only accessible by walking down a steep flight of about 20 steps. Comfortable shoes are recommended. Tjolöholm Manor

Gothenburg is Sweden’s second-largest city, after Stockholm, and was founded in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus. It is situated by the sea at the mouth of Göta Älv and is the largest seaport in any of the Nordic countries. Your tour begins at Gustav Adolf Square, where your guide will give you an overview of the city’s history, especially the significance of the canals that played a large role in Gothenburg’s development as a trade centre. Continue towards the waterfront to admire the stunning modern Opera House, built in 1994 and designed by Jan Izikowitz. Passing through the city centre, view some of Gothenburg’s main highlights, including the famous statue of Poseidon which rises above Götaplatsen Square, the city’s cultural centre. Your drive also takes you past the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and the Nya Ullevi Stadium - Scandinavia’s biggest event arena. On your way back to the ship you will pass the entrance to Liseberg, one of the largest amusement parks in Sweden.

All sightseeing is from the coach. Any walking at photo-stops is at your discretion. The only wc facilities available will be those on the coach. Stop for photos at Gustav Adolf Square

Kalundborg

Arrive 0800. Depart 1700.

The industrial town of Kalundborg is renowned for being the summer residence of a large broadcasting facility, yet it is the elegant five-spired Church of Our Lady and enchanting Rococo architecture that will captivate the visitor. Capital of the Kalundborg municipality on the West Zealand coast of Denmark, the town is also the perfect base for exploring further afield. Travel to the Danish capital of Copenhagen or perhaps visit the spectacular Viking Ship Museum.

FactFile

Population 17,000
Language Danish
Currency Danish Kroner (DKr)
Time Difference UK + 1
Climate Temperate coastal climate and cool summers averaging 20°C
Ship berths at The Cruise Pier
Distance from Centre 1,000 yards
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping Shops are located at the Town Square.
Shopping Opening Hours Generally open from 1000 to 1800.
Post Office The Post Office is located at Elmegade 11. Open from 1000 to 1700.
Tourist Office Located at the Town Square.
How to Phone Home To call the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero
Emergency Services Dial 112
Banks Located at Pedestrian Street. Generally open from 1000 to 1600.

Excursions

This tour takes you across the island of Zealand, on your way to the ancient town of Roskilde, former capital of Denmark and home of the spectacular Viking Ship Museum. This museum is located at the foot of Roskilde Fjord by the harbour, about 18 miles from Copenhagen. In 1962, five Viking ships were salvaged and raised from the fjord. They had been sunk intentionally to protect the harbour from attack. The Museum was built to house and reconstruct these vessels. The ships vary considerably in design. They were built for different purposes, by different shipwrights to suit a variety of sea conditions - but they all highlight the scope of Viking shipbuilding. The museum has expanded beyond its core collection, and now houses other Nordic boats. Outside the museum you will find the Museum Island, with an archaeology workshop and a working Viking boatyard where master craftsmen make replicas of historic wooden boats and longboats, using the same materials and techniques as the Vikings. Your tour concludes with a visit to Roskilde Cathedral, which has been the traditional burial place of Danish Kings and Queens for more than 500 years and now has 37 royal tombs. It stands on a ridge in the city centre and is an extremely prominent feature in the local landscape. In 1995 it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is one of the earliest examples of French-inspired, Gothic brick architecture, and has a beautiful harmony of style.

You will need to walk approximately 500 yards, with one flight of 15 steps. Access to the interior of the Cathedral may be restricted if a religious service is taking place. Visit The Viking Ship Museum

If you would prefer to tour Copenhagen independently and visit places that interest you most, then this unguided coach transfer is for you. By the 11th century, Copenhagen was already an important trading and fishing centre, and today you will find an attractive city which, although the largest in Scandinavia, has managed to retain its low-level skyline. Discover some of the famous attractions including the Gefion Fountain and Amalienborg Palace. Perhaps take a cruise along the city’s waterways, visit Rosenborg Castle or walk along the waterfront, where you will see Edvard Eriksen's enchanting statue of the Little Mermaid, which has been the symbol of Copenhagen since it was unveiled for the first time in 1913.

The coach will drop you off and pick you up at a central location in Copenhagen. The meeting point for your return to the ship will be advised on the day by your Saga escort. All walking is at your discretion. No entrances to museums, tourist attractions or other places of interest are included. No refreshments are included: you may purchase your own food and drink ashore, or request a packed lunch from the ship. Amalienborg Palace

The elegant, relaxed city of Copenhagen can be fully appreciated on this enjoyable excursion combining a city tour with a relaxing canal cruise. Boarding your coach in Kalundborg, you will set out on a guided tour of the city centre, driving past the royal palaces of Amalienborg and Kongens Nytorv, the new Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum, the City Hall, Rosenborg Castle and Christiansborg Palace - the seat of the Danish Parliament. Continue next along the lively Nyhavn waterfront and stop for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, a leisurely canal cruise will transport you along the narrow canals of the inner city and across the harbour. Following your canal cruise, return by coach to Kalundborg and your ship.

Journey time to Copenhagen from Kalundborg is approximately 1½ hours, depending on traffic conditions. There is approximately 300 yards' walking on this tour, with eight steps. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Perhaps cruise along Copenhagen's canals

At sea.

Stockholm

Arrive 0900. Depart 1700.

Gracefully set on 14 islands and connected by 40 bridges, Stockholm is the Baltic’s largest seaport. Surrounded by clear waters and unspoilt countryside, it is one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. The city’s rich and fascinating history is reflected in the ornate architecture of its churches, castles, bridges and elegant open squares. The Old Town (Gamla Stan) is located on the island of Stadsholmen, and is characterised by narrow medieval streets. Here you can see the majestic exterior of the 18th-century Royal Palace and Stockholm Cathedral.

FactFile

Population 807,000 (city), 1,300.000 (urban area)
Language Swedish
Currency Swedish Krona
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Cool and temperate with frequent rain, with an average of 9 hours' daily sunshine from May to July.
Ship berths at Frihamnen 634
Distance from Centre Approximately 2 miles
Distance from gangway to coach Up to 120 yards

Useful Information

Shopping The main shopping area is in the city centre.
Shopping Opening Hours Shops are open from Monday to Friday between 1000-1800, Saturday between 1000-1700 and Sunday between 1100-1600.
Post Office The Post Office is at 57 Master Samuelsgatan and is open from Monday to Friday between 0900-1900, Saturday between 1000-1600 and Sunday between 1000-1600
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is located at Stadsgarden or in the city centre Sverigehuset, 27 Hamngatan and is open from Monday to Friday between 0900-1900, Saturday between 1000-1700 and Sunday between 1000-1600.
How to Phone Home To call the UK, dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 112.
Banks Swedbank at 3 Stureplan is open from Monday to Friday between 1000-1500.

Excursions

Join your coach for the drive to Sigtuna, the oldest town in Sweden, founded in 980 by Erik Segersäll, the country’s first Christian King. The town was a royal and stronghold for some 250 years and the first Swedish coins were minted here. St Mary's Church, built in the 13th century as a monastic church by the Dominican community, still remains largely intact. This Dominican monastery played an important role in Sweden during the Middle Ages, and provided the country with several archbishops and other important Church officials. Sigtuna was still only a small town with a population of about 600 at the end of the 19th century, but since then its population has grown to about 8,500, mainly as a result of the development of Arlanda Airport, only ten miles away. Despite this increase in size, Sigtuna remains largely a picturesque medieval town with restaurants, cafés and small shops. On your tour you will see the red-brick Gothic St Mary’s Church, the ruins of St Olaf’s Church and Sorga Gatan, the old main street. Stroll along the delightful little streets with their wooden houses and shops, and see the Town Hall, the smallest in Scandinavia. A stop for refreshments is included at the Café Tant Brun, located in one of the town’s oldest buildings. You also have free time to explore on your own before heading back to the ship.

You should expect to walk approximately 900 yards, partly on cobblestones. There are three steps at the Café Tant Brun. Additional walking during your free time is at your discretion. The coach journeys between the port and Sigtuna take approximately one hour each way and both journeys are via the same road. Take a stroll along Sigtuna's main street

Enjoy a panoramic drive through Stockhom to reach the city’s oldest and quaintest quarter: the Old Town or Gamla Stan. Leave your coach here and join your guide for a stroll along the narrow streets, which have changed little since the 15th and 16th centuries, with their Baroque doorways and coats-of-arms. See Stortorget, the large square at the heart of the Old Town, on which the former Stock Exchange, now the home of the Swedish Academy, stands. Look out also for the city’s narrowest street, Mårten Trotzigs Gränd. Afterwards, re-join your coach for a short drive to Hallwylska Palace. Built between 1893 and 1898 to the design of Isak Gustaf Clason for Count Walther von Hallwyl and his wife Wilhelmina, the palace was designed to accommodate the count’s workplace and the countess’s large art collection. While the exterior of the building and its courtyard are built in a neo-Classical style reminiscent of Renaissance buildings in Venice, the interior was fully up-to-date for its time: it was lit by electricity and was equipped with central heating, telephones and bathrooms. The palace was donated to the Swedish Government in 1920 together with the works of art that the countess had collected during a lifetime of travelling all over the world. You visit the main floor and its principal rooms, which include the Dining Room, Portrait Gallery, Arms Room and the large Living Room. After visiting the palace, return by coach to your ship.

Expect to walk up to 900 yards along relatively level ground with some cobblestones. Inside Hallwylska Palace there are approximately 20 steps to the main floor, 20 steps to the upper floor and an additional 20 steps to the lower floor. A narrow street in Old Stockholm

Drive to Drottningholm, located in a charming setting on an island in Lake Mälaren to the west of Stockholm. Drottningholm Palace was the first place in Sweden to be listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and is one of Europe’s most enchanting royal residences. It has been the permanent home of the present King and Queen of Sweden since 1981, and is just as impressive as Versailles or Nymphenburg, with its magnificent interiors and its formal Baroque gardens, mainly laid to lawn, with their statues and fountains. Built in the 17th century, the palace was perhaps the greatest achievement of the father-and-son architects, Tessin, and originally served as the summer residence for the Swedish court. On this tour you visit the resplendent State Apartments and stroll through the French and English-style landscaped gardens.

There is an unavoidable 250-yard walk from the coach to the palace, and approximately 60 steps inside, with no handrails. Further walking in the gardens, along gravel pathways, is at your discretion. Please note that the palace may be closed by the authorities at any time without prior notice. Drottningholm Palace

Dramatically located at the point where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea, Stockholm was founded as a fortress in the mid-13th century. Over time, the fortress attracted inhabitants who set up home outside its walls, and the town eventually spread over more than a dozen islands and onto the mainland. Today, the capital of Sweden encompasses five unique city districts, each with its own special character. You enjoy a splendid panoramic view of the city from Fjällgatan, a popular site for taking pictures. Continue your tour past Sergels Square, the National Museum and the Royal Opera House, to reach Riddarholmen - the Island of Knights. Here you visit one of the oldest buildings in Stockholm, Riddarholmen Church. This is the final resting-place of Sweden’s kings and is the only surviving medieval monastic church in Stockholm. Your tour continues around the city, passing interesting sights and buildings as you continue to the verdant island of Djurgården, once a royal hunting reserve. Your next stop is in the Old Town. Wandering along the narrow cobbled streets of the Gamla Stan, Stockholm's oldest quarter, the medieval atmosphere is unmistakable. Many of the houses date from the 16th and 17th centuries, complete with Baroque doorways and ancient coats-of-arms. Visit the Coronation Church, which has witnessed numerous royal weddings and other state occasions. See the Great Square and the former Stock Exchange, now the home of the Swedish Academy, before returning to the ship.

There are approximately 1¼ miles of walking involved during this tour, partly over sloping ground and cobblestones. The Swedish Academy in Stockholm

Turku

Arrive 1300 on July 22. Depart 1600 on July 23.

The name Turku derives from the word for marketplace and this historic city in southwest Finland was the country’s first capital city and the oldest. Site of the first university in Finland, Turku is home to a fine medieval cathedral, 13th-century castle and fascinating museums, together with one of the country’s oldest music festivals. The only Finnish member of the modern Hanseatic League, you can discover this fascinating and historic city on the following exciting excursions.

FactFile

Population 175,000 (approximate)
Language Finnish
Currency Euro
Time Difference UK+2
Climate Cold and temperate
Ship berths at Castle Harbour or Cargo Harbour
Distance from Centre 880 yards (approximate)
Distance from gangway to coach 90 yards (approximate)

Useful Information

Shopping The shopping area is located downtown in Yliopistonkatu
Shopping Opening Hours Department stores are open from Monday to Friday between 0900-2000 and on Sunday between 1200-1800
Post Office The post office is situated at 1 Humalistonkatu and is open from Monday to Friday between 0800-2000 and on Saturday between 1000-1400. Closed on Sunday
Tourist Office The tourist office is located at 4 Aurakatu. Open from Monday to Friday between 0830-1800, and at weekends between 0900-1600
How to Phone Home To call the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero
Emergency Services Dial 112
Banks The nearest 24-hour ATM is located in Patterihaka

Excursions

This tour starts with a drive through the city of Turku before taking a closer look at the Finnish countryside with a visit to the small sheep farm of Stentorp. Located not far from Turku and situated directly by the sea, the farm is typical of those in Finland, consisting of a large farmhouse with smaller buildings aound a yard. The owners breed sheep with fleeces of various shades of brown, black and white. The fine Finnish wool yarn is carefully prepared on the premises, without chemicals or colouring. During your visit you will learn more about wool production and the welfare of the sheep. While here, see the exhibition of handicrafts, and a sheepdog demonstration. In addition, you have the opportunity to purchase handmade Stentorps products such as sweaters, hats and shawls during your visit. Enjoy a cup of coffee with a sweet pastry in these beautiful surroundings, a place that you are sure to remember for a very long time, before returning to your coach for the drive back to Turku. Once you are back in the city, a panoramic tour will take you past the most interesting sights in Finland's first capital. See Turku Cathedral, the Rettig Palace, the market place in the central square and the University. Finally, stop for photographs at Turku Castle, the largest surviving medieval building in Finland, before heading back to the port.

There are three steps and up to 250 yards of walking over grass and sandy paths at the sheep farm, although much of this is optional. Those wishing to leave the coach to take photographs of Turku Castle will need to walk a short distance over cobblestones. Enjoy the traditional charm of Stentop farm

Start your tour of this historic city with a drive past the Orthodox Church, Swedish Theatre and Observatory before stopping to visit Turku Cathedral. Built in the 13th century, the Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Finland. Although the interior was heavily restored after the Great Fire of 1827, medieval wall paintings can be seen, together with an early font decorated with 12 consecration crosses. Leaving the cathedral, head to Turku Castle, which stands at the mouth of the River Aura. Dating back to the 13th century and considered the most notable historic building in Finland, the castle flourished during the 16th century when occupied by Duke Johan and Katarina Jagellonica. With its own museum displaying artifacts from the 17th to the 19th centuries, and an exhibition on the history of Turku, you can learn about this fascinating building before travelling to the handicraft museum in Luostarinmäki. Outside the city centre, the settlement of Luostarinmäki escaped the conflagration of 1827 and is now an open-air museum with about 30 workshops representing different trades. Walk along the narrow lanes with their wooden houses as you step back in time before leaving this fascinating place and travelling back to your ship.

There is around half-a-mile of walking on this tour, some of which is over uneven ground or cobblestones. There are five steps at the cathedral, 183 steps at Turku Castle and ten steps at Loustarinmäen Handicraft Museum, where some of the buildings have high thresholds. A guide in the castle courtyard can provide a 'virtual tour' of the building for anyone not wishing to go inside. The order of visits may vary. Turku Castle

This largely panoramic tour is an excellent way to see the highlights of Turku, with a minimal amount of walking. Leaving the pier by coach, your first will be at Turku Castle, which was originally built in 1280. It is one of the most outstanding examples of historic Finnish architecture. The castle’s heyday was in the mid-16th century, during the rule of Duke Johan and Katarina Jagellonica. After an opportunity to take photographs, your drive continues through the centre of the city, passing the Handicraft Museum. Your next photo-stop is at Turku Cathedral, the Mother Church of Finland. The oldest cathedral in Finland, this magnificent church was consecrated in 1300 and is the final resting-place for many important people in Finnish history. Leaving the Cathedral, drive towards Naantali, a popular family resort and a traditional spa town. Here you stop for coffee or tea and a pastry at a restaurant in the old part of town. Afterwards, you have some free time to explore on your own, before returning by coach to the port.

There is approximately 450 yards' walking on this tour, mostly over tarmac and cobblestone, with around five steps if you wish to leave the coach and take photographs at the castle and cathedral. There are about eight steps at the restaurant. Scenic Turku

Start your tour with a short panoramic tour of Turku, passing many of the city's the main sights such as Turku Castle, the Cathedral, the lively Market Place and the River Aura. Leaving the city centre, continue towards Naantali and the Gardens of Golden Beach or 'Kultaranta'. Golden Beach is the summer residence of the President of Finland and the gardens are known as a smaller version of those at Versailles. Enjoy a detailed explanation by your guide as you stroll through the gardens, admiring the views. In the middle of the garden you will find the 'Medallion', surrounded by a carefully trimmed fir hedge. Inside of the Medallion is Kultaranta's famous rose garden where you can admire numerous varieties of rose bushes. You can also see the greenhouses that supply the President's household with both flowers and vegetables all the year round. After your garden visit, re-join your coach for a drive to Naantali, where you will have free time to explore the Old Town before returning to the ship.

Participants should expect to walk up to a mile while exploring the gardens: the ground is mostly level. Any additional walking during your free time in Naantali is at your discretion. Kultaranta, The Gardens of the Golden Beach

Your tour begins with a short drive past some of the main landmarks of Turku city, including Turku Castle and the Cathedral, before you reach the Sibelius Museum, where you stop for an included visit. Although devoted principally to Finland's best-known composer, Jean Sibelius (1865-1957),the main exhibitions also serve to place Finnish music in a wider historical and cultural perspective. Furthermore, the museum showcases a collection of traditional musical instruments from all over the world. An audio-visual presentation will introduce you to Sibelius’ work through portraits and other works of art inspired by his compositions: some are by well-known painters such as Santeri Salokivi, and others were created for the first time especially for this exhibition. After your time at the museum, you have the choice of returning directly to the ship or remaining in the city centre for further sightseeing and exploration on your own.

You will need to walk approximately 500 yards, with 20 steps at the Sibelius Museum. Inside the Sibelius Museum

Sailing on an old-time tall ship is an experience you will never forget! After boarding the Astrid, your skipper will give an introduction to the ship and explain a little about its history. After setting sail, you have the chance to participate in all activities on board, from hoisting and trimming sails to navigating and steering. A wooden galleass, the Astrid was built in 1947 in Porvoo in Finland, for coastal freight traffic. She was bought by her current owners in 1969 for training purposes. The cargo hold was converted into a cosy saloon, to create space for cabins and a lounge. Apart from training, the Astrid is also popular for charters. She is on the Finnish National Board of Antiquities’ registry of traditional tall ships, and, though retaining her original appearance, she is now equipped with the latest technology and safety equipment. Her timeless design with its teak and polished brass will take you back in time to the classic ships of long ago.

To avoid disappointment we recommend that you pre-book this tour, as places are limited. This is an exclusive charter for Saga passengers only. Although little walking is required, all participants must be able to board and disembark without assistance, and we have therefore classified this tour as ‘Moderate’. There is a seating area below the deck, but it is accessed by a flight of steep steps: the on-board wc is also reached by these steps. Several ships may be moored side-by-side on the pier, and participants might need to walk across other vessels to reach the Astrid. There may be winches, capstans, anchor chains or other obstacles on deck, so please take care. We reserve the right to change the departure time should conditions make this necessary. Set sail on board the Astrid

Ventspils

Arrive 0900. Depart 1600.

Ventspils is the sixth-largest city of Latvia and is located in the north-west of the country at the estuary where the river Venta flows into the Baltic Sea. It is 120 miles from the capital, Riga. It grew up in the Middle Ages around a castle built by the order of Knights known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. It became an important trading centre for the Hanseatic League, and was one of the major cargo ports in the former USSR. Today Ventspils is considered a city with a promising future, and is one of the fastest growing towns in Latvia. Over the last decade, it has become one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Much of the revenue from the port has been invested in the city's tourist infrastructure. In 2002 Ventspils was the host of the annual Cow Parade, and many of the cow sculptures exhibited that year have been retained as permanent outdoor works of art: it is great fun seeing how many you can spot on a walk through the town!

FactFile

Population 42.000 (approximate)
Language Latvian
Currency Euro
Time Difference UK+2
Climate Ventspils enjoys warm summers and mild spring and autumn weather, with a risk of rain at any time of the year.
Ship berths at Pier 37
Distance from Centre Approximately 1 mile
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping The best shops are on Ostas Street, in the town centre.
Shopping Opening Hours Most shopping centres are open daily from 1000-2000.
Post Office The Post Office is located on Plata Street in the town centre.
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is on Tirgus Street, and is normally open daily from 1000-1500.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services For all emergencies dial 112.
Banks There are banks on Tirgus Street, open from Monday to Friday from 0900-1700. They are closed at weekends.

Excursions

Kuldiga is an ancient town with a great architectural heritage. Saint Catherine is the patron saint of Kuldiga, and therefore the town’s main parish church is dedicated to her. The Town Hall, another historic building, dates back to the 17th century. The main square, which dates from the very origins of the settlement, has always been a place for the townspeople to gather, and here you can best feel the pulse of the town. It is a venue for weavers' exhibitions, traditional festivities and other events. Look out for the unusual entrance doorways, wood carvings, dormer windows and tiled roofs. Kuldiga is also frequently called the ‘Latvian Venice’ because part of the old town is built along the Alekšupite River, which resembles the Grand Canal in Venice. The greatest tourist attraction of Kuldiga, however, is a natural phenomenon: the Venta Falls, which are 660 feet wide and are the widest waterfalls in Europe. Not far from the falls stands the old brick arched bridge built in 1874: it is one of the longest bridges of this type in Europe, and was built wide enough for two horse-drawn carriages to pass. After stopping for lunch in local restaurant, return to Ventspils and enjoy a panoramic drive around the city, stopping for photos at some of the main sights - flowerbeds, decorative fountains and of course the famous cows!

This tour involves walking just under 1½ miles over uneven cobblestones and paths, with approximately 15 steps to negotiate. Comfortable flat-soled shoes, a jacket and an umbrella are also recommended. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Admire the famous cows of Ventspils

Board your coach at the port and travel to Irbene, a large former Soviet military complex. The entire complex was so secret that even Latvian soldiers and scientists were unaware of its existence. When entering the complex, you will see abandoned housing and units where the Soviet troops and scientists used to live, before being taken to have a closer look at the radio-telescopes, including the fully steerable parabolic RT-32, 105 feet in diameter, which is the largest in Northern Europe and the eighth-biggest in the world. Another large telescope, the RT-16, is also in use. Both were taken over by Latvian Academy of Sciences after the Russian army withdrew from Latvia in 1994. During your guided tour you view both these telescopes from outside. Afterwards, a walk through an underground tunnel takes you to a third telescope, the RT-8, which you may climb up if you wish. Returning to Ventspils, your coach will stop for you to take photos of some of the city's iconic cows, as well as the lovely parks and the Sun Boats Fountain, dating from 2001, before taking you back to the port.

This tour involves just under one mile of walking over cobblestones and uneven ground, including 700 yards through an underground tunnel, with approximately 35 steps to negotiate. Comfortable flat-soled shoes are recommended, and you should bring a waterproof jacket or a small umbrella. Mobile phones are not permitted in the complex: they should be left on the coach or in the Latvian Academy of Sciences office at the start of the tour. The huge RT-32 radio telescope

Ventspils is the sixth-oldest and the sixth-largest city in Latvia. Your tour of the town begins with a visit to the Seaside Open-Air Museum. Opened in 1962, this museum reflects all aspects of the lives of Latvian and Lithuanian fishermen and farmers. It includes an authentic corn windmill, which originally stood in the village of Pinki, and a large collection of anchors, the oldest of which dates back to the 18th century. Enjoy a performance of folk music in the museum before joining a steam train for a 30-minute ride on the narrow-gauge railway that is one of the museum's main attractions. This two-foot gauge railway was built by the German Army during the First World War and formerly connected Ventspils with fishing villages along the coast: it is still operated by vintage German-built steam locomotives. The train journey finishes at Lemberga Kalns station , where you stop for photos of the floral displays before joining a coach for a panoramic drive around the city, passing fountains and flowerbeds. Before returning to the ship, stop for a short walking tour of the Old Town, with a visit to the 'House of Crafts' where you may view and purchase local hand-made souvenirs.

This tour involves walking approximately one mile, over cobblestones and uneven ground, with approximately 15 steps to negotiate. Comfortable shoes, a jacket and a raincoat or umbrella are recommended. The railway offers an authentic vintage transport experience: the carriages are old-fashioned and are accessed by two or three steps. Station platforms are low and there may be a wide gap between the platform edge and the carriage door. You may need to stand for about half-an-hour during the folk show, although limited seating may be available. Ride the narrow-gauge train in Ventspils

Ventspils is not only the capital of flowers and fountains, parks and colourful cow sculptures. Ventspils might be proudly called the capital of beer! Enjoy a visit to the Uzhava brewery during this tour. Connoisseurs of natural beer can enjoy both Uzava light and Uzhava dark beer. The high value of the product lies in the fact that this beer is not pasteurised, but is a 100% natural and live beer, and its brewers use the same traditional methods as their forefathers. Uzhava beer is made from classical natural ingredients – malt, hops, yeast and water. Your visit to the brewery concludes with a beer tasting, and afterwards of course you have the chance to purchase some Uzhava beer to take home. Leaving the brewery, return to the city centre for a panoramic tour on your coach: look out for the distinctive cow sculptures before returning to your ship.

This tour involves walking just under half-a-mile over uneven ground and cobblestones, with approximately 15 steps to negotiate. Comfortable flat-soled shoes are recommended. Take a tour of Latvia Uzhava Brewery

Riga

Arrive 0800. Depart 1800.

Riga, the capital of Latvia, was founded more than 800 years ago and has now grown into the biggest and most exciting city in the Baltic states. Located on the Daugava River, Riga’s history dates back to the 13th century, and by the 18th and 19th centuries it had become one of the leading European trading ports. The last 22 years of independence and nine years as a member of the European Union have brought about great changes and today you will encounter a cosmopolitan city divided into two distinct parts by a charming canal. The Old Town is easily navigable on foot and offers a wonderful array of historic buildings, among them the 13th-century churches of St Peter, St George and St John and the magnificent Dome Cathedral. The historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city is well known for its Art Nouveau architecture. The New Town provides a wonderful contrast, with its modern shops, office blocks and sophisticated eateries. The city is also a recognised cultural centre and the Latvian National Opera has a comprehensive programme of opera, ballets and recitals throughout the year. Riga was European Capital of Culture in 2014.

FactFile

Population 800,000 (approximate)
Language Latvian
Currency Euro
Time Difference UK+2
Climate Cold winters, warm summers, mild weather in spring and autumn
Ship berths at Riga Passenger Terminal, pier near MK4 or MK3
Distance from Centre 1 mile (approximate)
Distance from gangway to coach 50 yards (approximate)

Useful Information

Shopping The best shopping malls are: Stokmann at Central Station, Origo at Central Station and Gallery 'Centra' in Old Riga.
Shopping Opening Hours Shopping malls are open every day, usually between 0800-2200.
Post Office The main Post Office is situated in Elizabettes 41/43, and is open 0700-2100 from Monday to Friday, 0800-2200 on Saturdays and 1000-1800 on Sundays.
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is situated in the Town Hall Square in Old Riga, and is open daily from 0900-1700 except Sundays.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 112.
Banks Open Monday to Friday from 0900-1700. 24-hour ATMs are widely available.

Excursions

This panoramic coach tour reveals some of the fascinating sights of this ancient capital city, starting with a drive through the streets of Riga, taking in the city’s medieval, Art Nouveau and modern architecture, together with landmarks such as the National Theatre, St Jacob’s Church and Riga Castle Park. As you pass the Old Town with its distinctive church spires, admire the 14th-century Powder Tower, the only remaining tower from the former city walls. Cross the River Daugava for a spectacular panoramic view of the Old Town before returning to the centre, where you stop for photographs at the Freedom Monument, erected in 1935. This monument is an important symbol of Latvian independence. Your tour ends at the Town Hall Square, where you stop for photographs of the 13th-century St Peter’s Church with its graceful steeple, and the Blackheads' House. Built in 1334 as the headquarters of the Blackheads' brotherhood, an association of merchants and ships' captains, this historic building was badly damaged during World War II and restored in 1999.

All sightseeing is from the coach: any walking at photo-stops is optional and entirely at your discretion. Riga's Freedom Monument

This excursion gives you a flavour of this fascinating city, starting with a coach tour along the central boulevards. Passing Art Nouveau architecture, you will see the symbolic Freedom Monument, crowned by a woman holding three stars representing the three regions of Latvia. You then leave your coach for a walking tour of the Old Town, starting from the Freedom Monument. At Theatre Square, view Riga’s Russian Theatre and the Great and Small Guildhalls that date back to Riga’s period as a Hanseatic City. Continue to the Swedish Gates, constructed during Riga’s period under Swedish rule in the 17th century, and walk past other interesting buildings such as the Parliament and the three old houses on Maza Pils Street that are known as the Three Brothers. Pass Riga Castle, recently restored after fire damage in 2013, and continue to Dome Square to view the exterior of the Dome Cathedral. See the Town Hall Square and the 13th-century churches of St Peter and St John, the latter of which was a former Dominican friary, before reaching the Blackheads’ House, formerly headquarters of an association of ships’ captains and merchants. Badly damaged in World War II, the house was reconstructed in 1999. Visit the Salve Restaurant in the historic Blue Guard House, part of the Blackheads’ House complex, where you will discover the secrets of making Riga Black Balsam, a unique alcoholic drink created in the 18th century by a chemist who combined 24 different ingredients including plants, flowers and berries to produce this distinctive beverage. Your walking tour concludes with a chance to sample Riga Black Balsam, Cranberry, Mokka and Allasch Kummel Liqueurs, finishing with a cup of tea or coffee, before you return to your ship.

You will need to walk a total distance of about two miles, partly over uneven ground and cobbled streets. There are two steps at the Blackheads' House. The restored Blackheads' House in Riga

In Latvian, Jurmala means 'seaside' and this 20-mile stretch of seashore has been a popular Baltic spa resort since the late 19th century. Typical of Jurmala are the charming wooden summer cottages dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which sit alongside later summerhouses and spa health centres. After a drive through the streets of the resort, walk to the beach where your walking tour of Jurmala begins. Discover the main promenade of Jomas Street, lined with shops, cafes and restaurants and pause for some shopping or sightseeing. Admire the wooden architecture before rejoining your coach for a drive to the Open-Air Museum. Established in 1970 as a folk museum devoted primarily to the history of the fishing industry, exhibits include authentic buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries, which have been brought here from different parts of the city and comprise dwelling houses, barns, net storage huts and a fish smoking house. A collection of boats and anchors can be found here, along with the biggest collection of ropes in Latvia. Your tour of the museum includes fish and beer tasting, and a local Folk performance. Following your visit, re-join your coach for the return journey to the port, passing many of Riga's major landmarks before reaching your ship.

This tour involves walking two miles over sloping, uneven ground, cobblestones, sand and forest pathways, with a few steps to negotiate. Comfortable, flat-soled walking shoes are recommended. Relax in scenic Jurmala

Discover why Sigulda is sometimes called ‘The Latvian Switzerland’, as you travel from Riga through forested scenery with views of the River Gauja Valley. Stop to visit Turaida Castle, with its fortified tower that offers fine views over this attractive landscape. View also the nearby 18th-century church in the castle grounds, together with the grave of the Rose of Turaida, heroine of a 17th-century love story. After concluding your visit with a walk through a sculpture park, dedicated to Latvian folklore, continue to Gutmanis Cave, a sandstone cave named after a good man (Gut Mann in German) who lived in the cave and used the spring water to heal people. Leaving the cave, you reach Sigulda, where a tour of the city shows you the ruined 13th-century Sigulda Castle and the 19th-century Kropotkin Manor House, before you stop for lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, your coach takes you back to Riga, where you enjoy a panoramic tour of the city’s main highlights, including the Town Hall Square, the 13th-century St Peter’s Church and the Blackheads’ House, which was originally built in the 14th century. Following this brief look at Lativia’s capital, return to your ship.

You will need to walk about two-and-a-half miles on this tour, with 20 steps at Gutmanis Cave and ten at the restaurant. Those wishing to walk to the top of Turaida Castle tower will need to negotiate a spiral staircase with 139 steps. Please advise the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship of any dietary requests 48 hours prior to arrival. Visit Gutmanis Cave

A leisurely boat tour of the Riga Canal is a must. A short walk from your ship takes you to the small wooden boat on which you glide past historic buildings, wonderful parks and elegant boulevards, as you tour Latvia's capital city. Leaving the boat, join a coach for a drive through the modern part of the city, passing the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music. This is Latvia's premier music institution and was founded in 1919 by the composer Jazeps Vitols. You also pass the Central Railway Station, the Council of Ministers and Brivibas Street, the main business street. Other highlights include Esplanada Park, the Academy of Art and the State Museum of Fine Arts. Continuing to the Old Town, stop for photos at the National Opera House. Built in 1863, it has recently been refurbished, incorporating a modern annexe with the 300-seat New Hall. Your tour continues with a short walk through the park to see the Freedom Monument: built in 1935, it is the symbol of Latvian independence. Afterwards, stop at the Town Hall Square to view the Blackheads’ House, the Town Hall and St Peter’s Church. Your coach tour resumes with a drive through the Pardaugava district, an often forgotten suburb that is cut off from Riga’s centre by the Daugava River, but retains an old-world charm with its traditional wooden houses. The pace of life seems slower here, and you could imagine yourself in a rural Latvian town, rather than five minutes from the heart of Riga. After your drive through peaceful Pardaugava, return to the ship.

You should expect to walk about half-a-mile altogether, mostly over level ground, but with some cobblestones in the Town Hall Square. There is a flight of 15 steps down to the boat, and three steps to enter the boat. A beautiful way to enjoy Riga

At sea.

Gdynia

Arrive 0800. Depart 1800.

Gdynia is a major Polish port and ship building centre, lying along Gdansk Bay on the Baltic. A naval port was constructed here in the 1920s and in 1970 Gdynia, along with Gdansk, was the scene of tragic rioting. Made a city in 1926 and therefore one of Poland’s youngest cities, Gdynia lies in close proximity to sandy beaches and the forested hills surrounding the city. Winner of the 2002 Europe Prize for promoting the idea of European unity, you can discover Gdansk and the surrounding area from this convenient port.

FactFile

Population 255,000 (approximate)
Language Polish
Currency Polish Zloty (PLN)
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Temperate with warm summers and rain throughout the year
Ship berths at Either Pomorskie, Francuskie or Polskie
Distance from Centre 1 mile (approximate)
Distance from gangway to coach 15 yards (approximate)

Useful Information

Shopping Shops can be found on Lutego Street and Swietojanska Street
Shopping Opening Hours Open from Monday to Friday between 1000-1800 and on Saturday between 1000-1400
Post Office Located at 10 Lutego Street and is open from Monday to Friday between 0800-1900 and Saturday between 0800-1400
Tourist Office Located at Al. Jana Pawla II and is open from Monday to Sunday between 1000-1600
How to Phone Home Dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero
Emergency Services Ambulance: 0048 999; police: 0048 997
Banks 34/36 Waszyngtona Street open from Monday to Friday between 0800-1900. 23/25 Slaska Street open Saturday between 1000-1400

Excursions

Gdansk is perhaps most famous to Westerners for being the birthplace of Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement, with its shipyards the main emblem of the city. Yet it is so much more than a working port: Gdansk is a beautiful town of cobbled streets and graceful architecture reminiscent of Amsterdam, and walking through its old town is like stepping back into the 16th century. This tour starts in the Old Town, where the majority of Gdansk’s attractions lie and where history has left its mark. Pass through the Golden Gate, a large ornamental arch that leads to the Royal Way, which is lined with impressive buildings with elaborate façades. Admire the towering Gothic Town Hall, the beautiful Neptune Fountain and the merchant’s palace of Artus Court. Wander along picturesque St Mary’s Street pastwith 17th-century houses and quaint shops to reach St Mary’s Church, the world’s largest brick church, which took 159 years to build. See the 30 beautifully decorated chapels, the 46 foot-high astronomical clock and the ornate Baroque organ. Afterwards, see a testament to the city’s shipbuilding industry: the 15th-century Gdansk Crane, the largest crane in medieval Europe. It was used for installing masts on ships and for handling heavy goods. Your final stop is Oliwa Cathedral. A mixture of Gothic and Baroque styles, the cathedral is famous for its 18th-century Rococo organ. You can enjoy a musical performance on the organ during your guided tour, before returning to your ship.

You will need to walk about two miles, with a total of 13 steps. Comfortable shoes and a windcheater or waterproof jacket are recommended. Admission to the church interior may be restricted in the unlikely event of our visit coinciding with a religious service. Oliwa Cathedral

Drive from Gdynia to the site of Stutthof concentration camp, established by the Nazi authorities in August 1939 for persons whom they considered ‘undesirable Polish elements’. The first inmates were mainly Poles who were activists or members of political organisations. From 1942 Stutthof became an international camp, and by June 1944 it was a mass extermination centre for Jews from all over Europe, covering an area of 300 acres with accommodation for 57,000 prisoners. Men, women and children from 25 different countries are known to have perished here. Inmates were forced to work like slaves and suffered malnutrition, terrible sanitation, diseases and both mental and physical torture. 65,000 people died here, either deliberately murdered in the gas chambers or simply as a result of the appalling conditions in the camp. Following your unforgettable visit here, return to the city of Gdansk for lunch in a local restaurant, before a guided visit of the Old Town. You start near the Golden Gate, an ornamental arch that allows access through the defensive walls into the medieval city. Go past the Town Hall, the Long Market and the 15th-century Palace of Artus Court, before visiting St Mary's Church, the pride of Gdansk. In the heart of the Old Town, this medieval church took 159 years to build and its plain exterior hides a bright interior with more than 30 beautifully decorated chapels.

This tour involves walking approximately two miles, with about 15 steps. Comfortable shoes and a weatherproof jacket are advisable. Although the historical interest is undeniable, some visitors may find the visit to Stutthof distressing. Admission to the church may be restricted in the unlikely event of our visit coinciding with a religious service. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursions Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Watchtower at Stutthof Camp

Your tour starts with a scenic drive to Nowy Port Lighthouse, one of the most beautiful structures of its kind around the Baltic Sea. Inaugurated in 1894, it showed ships the entrance to the port of Gdansk until decommissioned in 1984. From Nowy Port you will be able to look across the channel to glimpse a sight of Westerplatte with its tall monument marking the point where, on September 1, 1939, World War II broke out. The Polish garrison held out against the attack for seven days before surrendering to the German Nazi forces. The site is now a memorial to the defenders, and some of the ruins left from the shelling survive near the monument. Arriving in Gdansk, your guide will show you the Prison Tower and the Torture House, constructed from baked bricks, and remnants of medieval life in the city. A stop will be made for photographs along the Royal Route, where many of Gdansk’s architectural treasures can be seen. Following this, view the Solidarity Square Monument situated at the main entrance to the Gdansk Shipyard. It commemorates the deaths of shipyard workers shot by the Communist regime in December 1970. Your tour continue to Oliwa Cathedral, where you pause to view this impressive structure. Located in the grounds of an old Cistercian monastery, Oliwa Cathedral dates back to the 13th century and is a mixture of the Romanesque, Gothic and Rococo styles.

There is approximately 600 yards’ walking on this tour, with five steps at Oliwa Cathedral. Further walking during your free time is at your discretion. Admission to the Cathedral interior may be restricted in the unlikely event of our visit coinciding with a religious service. Neptune Fountain, Gdansk

Travel to Gdansk, where your tour begins with a visit to the Gothic St Mary's Church, the pride of the city and the largest brick church in the world. With its 30 decorated chapels, polyptych, ancient tombs and 15th-century astronomical clock, this medieval church can accommodate 25,000 worshippers. From St Mary’s continue on a guided tour of the old town with its gabled buildings and quaint shops. During the walk, pass the Town Hall, Long Market and the 15th-century Palace of Artus Court, before pausing at the Neptune Fountain, a symbol of the town’s Hanseatic past. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to the European Solidarity Centre. In the 1980s Gdansk’s shipyard workers, led by Lech Walesa, created the Solidarity movement that led to the first cracks in the Communist regime. Learn about the history of Solidarity in this large new complex, opened in 2014 and incorporating seven exhibition halls. Inside you can see a reconstructed Soviet-era prison cell and a typical Polish family living-room, shops of the period as well as original documents and posters. Other displays tell the story of the 1989 Round Table Agreement, and show what working conditions were like in the Lenin Shipyard when Lech Walesa worked there as an electrician. Following your visit, view the Solidarity Square Monument, dedicated to the events of December 1970, before returning to Gdynia.

You should expect to walk about two miles, with occasional steps in the Old Town. Upper levels of the European Solidarity Centre can be reached by a lift. Access to the church interior may be restricted in the unlikely event of our visit clashing with a religious service. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursions Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Learn about the history of 'Solidarity'

At sea.

Cruise the Kiel Canal.

IJmuiden

Arrive 1000. Depart 2000.

North Holland’s ‘Gate to the North Sea’, IJmuiden has four harbours: the Vissershaven, Haringhaven, IJmondhaven and the Seaport Marina - the latter used by pleasure craft. It is the largest Dutch fishing port, but is a relatively young town: it grew up in the 1870s when the North Sea Canal was opened. During World War II, the German Navy demolished much of the town and built huge fortified concrete bunkers for their torpedo boats and submarines. After 1945, the town was rebuilt by the architect Willem Marinus Dudok. He designed IJmuiden’s most impressive building, the Stadhuis van Velsen, which houses local government offices. For cruise passengers IJmuiden is the gateway to Amsterdam, the Dutch capital and one of Europe’s truly great cities, where elegant canals are lined by old brick gabled houses, and superb art galleries and museums are home to some of the world’s best-known paintings. Please note that complimentary shuttle buses operate from the port to the centre of IJmuiden, not to Amsterdam.

FactFile

Population 48,320 (2009)
Language Dutch
Currency Euro
Time Difference UK +1
Climate Temperate
Ship berths at Felison Terminal, IJmuiden
Distance from Centre 2 miles (IJmuiden), 16 miles (Amsterdam)
Distance from gangway to coach 100 yards (approximate)

Useful Information

Shopping IJmuiden's main shops are located on Lange Nieuwstraat. Amsterdam offers greater shopping opportunities.
Shopping Opening Hours Generally open Monday 1300-1800, Tuesday to Friday 1000-1800, Saturday 1000-1700 and Sunday 1200-1800.
Post Office IJmuiden Post Office is at Kennemerlaan 49. Amsterdam's main Post Office is at Singel 250. Open Monday to Friday 0900-1800, Saturday 1000-1330.
Tourist Office There is an information desk in the Passenger Terminal.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 112.
Banks There are numerous banks with 24-hour ATMs throughout IJmuiden and Amsterdam.

Excursions

With 1,000 bridges and 60 miles of canals lined with picturesque gabled houses, Amsterdam is a unique and fascinating place to explore. Start your excursion with a drive to the 17th-century Westerkerk (Western Church) where Rembrandt is reputed to be buried, and see the small statue of Anne Frank nearby before visiting the Anne Frank House. Here, this young girl and her family hid for many months during World War II. She recorded their experience in a diary, which is among the original objects on display. Visit their former hiding place, which remains in its original condition, before leaving this moving museum to embark on a one-hour tour through the Amsterdam canals on board a glass-topped canal boat. Pass under historic bridges and view narrow houses with hoists and cranes - a reminder of the city’s canal-based commercial heritage - before ending your excursion with a scenic drive around the centre of Amsterdam. Enjoy such highlights as the Baroque Royal Palace on Dam Square, the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), Mint Tower and the 15th-century Weepers' Tower before returning to your ship.

There is walking of around half-a-mile on this tour, with 100 steep steps at the Anne Frank House and approximately ten steps at your boat pontoon. Please note that your visit to the Anne Frank House is not guided, and that photography and filming inside the house is prohibited. The journey to Amsterdam takes approximately one hour each way. As this excursion operates over lunch time, we recommend that you order a packed lunch from the ship. Visit Ann Frank's House before embarking on a canal boat

This delightful tour begins with a drive through typical Dutch countryside to the small town of Zaandam, north of Amsterdam, where you visit Zaanse Schans, a quaint Dutch ‘windmill village’ that has been faithfully restored to recreate an 18th-century Zaan community. As you stroll through the quaint streets watching the craftsmen practising the trades of yesteryear, you will get a glimpse of what Dutch life once was. Once there were over 500 windmills in the Zaanstreek area, and eight have been preserved at Zaanse Schans. You will have an opportunity to witness the old Dutch craft of clog making, or simply relax in a café. Continue from here to the archetypal Dutch village of Edam. Strolling along the cobbled streets, you will notice the unique Carillon tower with its bells that play a melody every 15 minutes. You will also notice the numerous beautiful canals that crisscross the village, and the drawbridges that cross over them. Your last stop is at a cheese factory, where local cheese is still made. Here you have the opportunity to sample some of the products before returning to your ship.

There is approximately 1,000 yards' walking during this tour, over cobbled and uneven surfaces. During your free time in Edam and at the Cheese Factory, walking is at your discretion. You should be prepared for changeable weather. Windmills at Zaanse Schans

Travel by coach to Haarlem, the capital of the province of North Holland, and the province's second-largest city after Amsterdam. On a walk through the city, your guide will lead you past beautiful crow-stepped gabled houses with idyllic gardens, telling you along the way about the history of Haarlem and the Netherlands. During your guided walk, the charming architecture will be enhanced by the delightful small canals that run through the city. The highlights of this city walk are the Market Square, with the Town Hall and St Bavo’s Church. This Gothic church, with a tower 200 feet high, is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. After the guided walk, visit the Teylers Museum, the oldest museum in the Netherlands, established in 1778. This museum displays scientific instruments such as an early electric generator dating from the 18th century, as well as fossils, paintings, drawings, coins and badges. The museum has a very important collection of drawings, including 25 original sketches by Michelangelo, one of which is the draft for the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Other artists whose works are on display include Rembrandt, Raphael, Hendrik Goltzius and Claude Lorrain. Enjoy some free time in the city centre, before re-joining your coach for the return drive to your ship.

You will need to walk about 1½ miles over level ground during your walking tour of Haarlem, and much of this will be over cobbled streets. Admission to the interior of St Bavo’s Church is not included. Walking at the Teylers Museum is at your discretion, and there are escalators to the upper floors. The coach journeys to and from Amsterdam take approximately one hour each way. The art collection in Teylers Museum

Dover

Arrive 0800. Disembark Saga Sapphire after breakfast.

Known as the gateway of England, Dover welcomes millions of visitors from all over the globe each year in its role as the ferry capital of the world and the second busiest cruise port in the UK. The White Cliffs Country has a rich heritage. Within the walls of the town’s iconic castle, over 2,000 years of history waits to be explored, whilst the town’s museum is home to the Dover Bronze Age Boat, the world’s oldest known seagoing vessel. The town’s cliffs that are a welcome sight for today's cross-channel travellers also served as the control centre for the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940.

FactFile

Population 40,000
Language English
Currency British Pounds Sterling
Time Difference N/A
Climate Temperate with mild summers and cool winters, with a prevailing south-westerly wind throughout the year.
Ship berths at Dover Cruise Terminal.
Distance from Centre 1 mile
Distance from gangway to coach 400 yards, through the cruise terminal.

Useful Information

Shopping The main shops are found on Cannon Street and Biggin Street.
Shopping Opening Hours 0900 to 1730 Monday to Saturday. A few shops are open on Sundays.
Post Office The main Post Office is located inside the Costcutter store on Pencester Road.
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is located inside the Town Museum on Market Square.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial the full STD code followed by the subscriber's number.
Emergency Services Dial 999.
Banks Banks and ATMs are located on Cannon Street.

Please note

All excursions mentioned are optional, at an additional cost, and are subject to availability and change. Some of the highlights detailed may only be seen on optional excursions or by exploring indpendently.


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Saga Sapphire departing Dover

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