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Saga Cruises

The Majestic Baltic

Saga Pearl II departing Dover

from £2,293 14 2
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £98 if not required
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Ballet, the Baltic and beyond…

Unravel the diverse history of the Baltic, from Hanseatic ports and former Soviet republics to grandiose echoes of the Russian Empire. The romantic turrets and spires of Tallinn beckon before a night in St Petersburg gives you the chance to watch the world-famous Russian ballet. You’ll also discover the maritime feel of Kotka – a new port for Saga – and the unique baroque flair of Karlskrona.

Inspiring experiences to enjoy…watching the ballet in St Petersburg, appreciating the unique Swedish baroque architecture of Karlskrona, seeing ships come and go from Kiel’s waterfront.

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View Full Itinerary

Dover

Embark Saga Pearl II.

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.

Spend the day at sea.

Spend the day at sea.

Gdansk

Arrive 0800. Depart 1700.

This historic city changed hands from the Polish, the Prussians, the German Empire, the Third Reich and back to Polish, and was the home of the Solidarity Movement which helped bring an end to the Communist regime in Eastern Europe – learn more on an optional guided tour that also visits the beautiful, traffic-free old town.

Gdansk is situated at the mouth of the Motlawa River, on the southern edge of the Baltic Sea. Historically an important seaport and shipbuilding centre, Gdansk was a member of the Hanseatic League during the Middle Ages, and changed hands several times between Poland and Prussia. By the 17th century, it had become a very multi-cultural place, with sizeable German, Polish, Dutch, Flemish and Scottish populations. Gdansk was part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918, but after the First World War was granted autonomy as the Free City of Danzig, and even issued its own currency and postage stamps. Following a further period of German occupation during World War II, the city was restored to Poland under the terms of the Potsdam Agreement. During the 1980s Gdansk was the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, which, under the leadership of Lech Walesa, played a major role in bringing an end to Communist rule in Eastern Europe. Visitors should be aware that much of central Gdansk is inaccessible by motor vehicle, and many of the city's highlights can only be reached on foot: coaches often cannot park or drop passengers near places of interest.

FactFile

Population 460,000 (approximate)
Language Polish
Currency Polish Zloty
Time Difference UK-1
Climate Gdansk enjoys a temperate climate, with warm summers and a risk of rain at any time of the year.
Ship berths at Westerplatte pier
Distance from Centre 8 miles (approximate)
Distance from gangway to coach Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping There are plenty of opportunities for shopping in the Old Town, including Madison Mall shopping centre.
Shopping Opening Hours Shops in Gdansk are usually open Monday to Friday from 1100-1900 and Saturdays from 1000-1300.
Post Office The main Post Office is at Dluga 23.
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is located at Dlugi Targ 28/29. Telephone: (+48) 58 301 43 55.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services For all emergencies dial 112.
Banks There are branches of PKO Bank Polski and other banks all over the city, and ATMs are widespread.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

Gdansk is perhaps most famous to Westerners as the birthplace of Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement, and the shipyards are the most prominent feature of the city. Yet the city 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 historic district is like stepping back into the 16th century. This revealing tour starts with the Old Town, where the majority of the attractions lie and where history has left its mark. Pass through the Green Gate, a grand 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 Artus Court - a great 14th-century hall that was used as a meeting place for the city’s merchants. Wander along picturesque St Mary’s Street, which is lined with 17th-century houses and quaint shops, and visit 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. A testament to the city’s shipbuilding industry is the 15th-century Gdansk Crane, the biggest medieval crane in Europe, which was used for installing masts on ships and for handling heavy goods. Your final stop is Oliwa Cathedral. A mixture of the Gothic and Baroque styles, the cathedral is famous for its 18th-century Rococo organ. Enjoy a musical performance on the organ during your guided tour of the cathedral, before returning to your ship.

You will need to walk approximately two miles on this tour, with a total of 13 steps. In addition, you will need to remain standing for quite long periods while your guide gives a commentary. Access to the interiors of St Mary’s Church and Oliwa Cathedral may be restricted if a service is in progress. Oliwa Cathedral

This tour starts with a scenic drive to Nowy Port Lighthouse, which ranks among the most beautiful structures of its kind around the Baltic Sea. Inaugurated in 1894, it lit the entrance to the port of Gdansk for ships until 1984. From this point you will be able to see a panoramic view of Westerplatte with its monument on the opposite side of the port channel. This marks the spot where World War II broke out on September 1, 1939. 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 includes some of the ruins left over from the shelling, and a massive monument that towers above the area. Continue next to Oliwa Cathedral, for a view of this impressive structure. Situated 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. Arriving back in the city centre, you will see the Prison Tower and the Torture House, built of baked brick and dating back to medieval times. There will be a final stop for photographs along the Royal Way, where many fine examples of Gdansk’s architectural heritage can be seen, before you head back to your ship.

There is approximately 600 yards’ walking on this tour. There are five steps to negotiate at Oliwa Cathedral. Further walking in Gdansk during your free time is at your discretion. Access to the interior of Oliwa Cathedral may be restricted if a service is in progress. Neptune Fountain, Gdansk

Your tour of Gdansk 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. From here, continue 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

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. Learn about the history of 'Solidarity'

Begin this tour with a drive into the Polish countryside to the site of Stutthof Concentration Camp, which was opened on the second day of World War II as the first concentration camp outside Germany. The camp initially consisted of eight barrack blocks for the inmates and a huge building for the SS. In 1942, the SS began to build a new camp: 30 further barrack blocks were constructed, and in 1943 the Nazis added a crematorium and a gas chamber. The gas chamber had a maximum capacity of 150 people at one time. The camp was not liberated until May 9, 1945. Following your visit, return to the city of Gdansk for lunch in a local restaurant, followed by a guided tour of the Old Town. Start near the Golden Gate, a grand ornamental archway that once allowed access through the medieval city's defensive walls. Pass the Town Hall, the Long Market and the beautiful 14th-century Artus Court. Stop to visit St Mary's Church, the pride of Gdansk. Situated in the centre of the Old Town, this medieval church took 159 years to build and its deceptively plain brick exterior hides a bright, spacious interior with large windows and more than 30 beautifully decorated chapels.

This tour involves walking approximately two miles, with about 15 steps and some cobblestones. Access to the interior of St Mary’s Church may be restricted if a service is in progress. Dietary requests must be made to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Stutthof Camp

Spend the day at sea.

Tallinn

Arrive 0800. Depart 1700.

Discover the magic of Tallinn, where graceful watchtowers and spires overlook gabled red roofs and cobbled lanes. Though the spires and turrets paint a fairy-tale picture, the city’s 20th-century history is marked by Soviet occupation and you can still see echoes of this period in the remaining Communist tenement buildings, the Viru Hotel and the KGB Museum. Alternatively, test your nerves with a walk around the rim of Tallinn’s TV Tower roof!

This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a truly magical experience and has one of the most beautifully preserved medieval centres in Europe. The Upper Town is characterized by watchtowers, graceful spires and winding cobbled streets, while the Lower Town offers red gabled roofs and soaring spires. The golden era in Tallinn’s history came in the period between the early 15th and mid 16th centuries when the city attained fame and a powerful role in the Baltic Sea area through its membership of the Hanseatic League.

FactFile

Population 400,000 (approximate)
Language Estonian (a Finno-Ugric lanuage)
Currency Euro
Time Difference UK+2
Climate Mild winters and cool summers
Ship berths at Port of Tallinn
Distance from Centre 1 mile (approximate)
Distance from gangway to coach Depending on the pier – maximum 190 yards

Useful Information

Shopping The majority of the souvenir shops, art and handicraft markets are located within the Old Town walls. There is a small craft market in the cruise harbour situated at pier 24-25, normally open when cruise ships are in port
Shopping Opening Hours Most shops are open from Monday to Friday between 0930-1800 and Saturday between 1000-1700. The arts and crafts market is open on Sunday
Post Office Located at 1 Narva Street and open from Monday to Friday between 0900-1800 and Saturday between 0900-1500
Tourist Office The nearest Tourist Information Centre is located near the Town Hall Square, Niguliste 2/Kullassepa 4
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 ATM is in the Passenger Terminal located 550 yards from the cruise harbour. There are numerous banks in the Old Town open from Monday to Friday between 0900-1800

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

Drive through the heart of the city towards Cathedral Hill (Toompea), stopping at the Tall Herman Tower, one of the three remaining towers of the Knights of the Sword Castle. From nearby Cannon Tower you can admire the panoramic view of Tallinn’s Upper Town, with its numerous churches and spires. The tour continues towards Kadriorg Park and the Baroque palace designed as a summer residence for Peter the Great. As you drive through the park, pause at the Song Festival grounds, a natural amphitheatre with a capacity for 150,000 people, which makes a perfect venue for Estonia’s national song festivals. Following a drive through a scenic residential area, enjoy refreshments and folk music before continuing on to St Birgit’s Convent to see one of the best examples of local limestone architecture in Estonia. Your return journey takes you past the summer residence of Count Orlov, a Russian aristocrat, and the famous Estonian Russalka monument, which commemorates a shipwreck of 1893.

Due to traffic restrictions the coach is unable to drive through the Old Town. There is approximately 165 yards of walking on this tour, with further walking at your own discretion. The Song Festival Ground is subject to closure by the authorities without prior notice at any time. The Alexander Nevsky Church

Explore the less traditional aspects of Tallinn and visit sights which, whilst related to its history, especially recall its Soviet past. Your tour begins as you leave the harbour and drive via the city centre towards the Lasnamäe - a typical district of Soviet-era apartment complexes. Make a photo-stop at the Song Festival grounds before stopping to visit the KGB Museum, which is located on the 23rd floor of the Viru Hotel. Here the KGB would spy on foreign hotel guests and locals alike. You have the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of the KGB's activities. Continue to the Museum of Occupation, with its displays that recapture the grim reality of life during the Soviet Occupation. It was opened in 2003, and is dedicated to the period between 1940 and 1991, when Estonia was occupied first by the Soviet Union, then by Nazi Germany and then again by the USSR. During this time the country was known as the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. Exhibits include documents, photographs, prison doors, uniforms, propaganda posters and the head from one of the giant statues of Lenin that once stood in Tallinn.

Comfortable shoes and a jacket are recommended. You will need to walk approximately 500 yards during this tour, over uneven surfaces and cobblestones, with 25 steps at the KGB Museum and at the Museum of Occupation, although a lift is available. Memories of the Soviet Occupation

Leaving the harbour, head towards the Old Town of Tallinn, and admire the skyline of towers and spires. After driving around the city walls with their massive medieval bastions, stop near the Tall Hermann Tower and walk up to Palace Square to get a glimpse of the exterior of Toompea Palace, now home to the Estonian Parliament. You next visit the largest Russian Orthodox church in Estonia, which is named after Alexander Nevsky. Afterwards you travel by coach through the more modern part of Tallinn, with its theatres, concert halls and shopping centres, passing through industrial and residential suburbs before arriving at Saue Manor. This manor house, with its outbuildings, stables and coach house was completed in 1792. Take a guided tour of the manor complex and learn of its chequered past, and then enjoy refreshments followed by a classical music concert. Afterwards, you have free time to take a stroll in the delightful grounds, laid out in the English style, before returning to the ship.

There is approximately 400 yards' walking during this tour, some of which is uphill, with 15 steps at the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and an additional 18 steps at Saue Manor. Although the pace of the tour is reasonably easy, we have graded it 'Moderate' on account of the steps. Additional walking in the grounds of Saue Manor is at your discretion. This excursion does not include a walking tour of Tallinn Old Town. Historic Saue Manor

Drive through the cultural centre of Tallinn and pass alongside the medieval city walls that encircle the Old Town. Leaving your coach at Nun’s Gate, stroll past the Church of the Transfiguration and the 15th-century Blackheads Fraternity House. Your walking tour continues past Pikk Street and across the Town Hall Square, where you can view the Old Town's most important buildings and visit St Catherine’s Arts and Crafts Centre. During your tour, enjoy an Estonian folk show and refreshments. Continue by coach along the main thoroughfare towards the central park of Kadriorg, which was founded by Peter the Great and is the setting for the Baroque-style Kadriorg Palace. You visit next the Song Festival grounds, where national song festivals are held with some 30,000 singers, and pass through a beautiful residential area on your way to Pirita Marina, the venue for international regattas, which hosted some of the yachting events for the 1980 Olympic Games. You also see 15th-century St Birgit’s Convent, the Estonian Russalka Monument - commemorating an 1893 shipwreck in the Gulf of Finland - and the summer residence of Count Orlov, a Russian aristocrat.

There is a 400-yard walk over cobblestones from Nun’s Gate to the Fraternity House and a similar distance from the concert back to the coach near Viru Square. Walking at all other venues is at your discretion. Admission to Kadriorg Palace is not included. The Song Festival Ground is subject to closure by the authorities without prior notice at any time. There are 25 stone steps up to the refreshment venue, with a further 14 stone steps down to the WC facilities. The historic skyline of Tallinn

Discover the highlights of Tallinn Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on foot. Making your way into the Old Town, leave your coach in the Upper Town and see the castle, the Russian Orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky and the 13th-century Gothic Dome Church. From the terraces of the Upper Town, there are magnificent views across the gabled rooftops and soaring spires. Stroll along Long and Short Leg Streets to the 15th-century Blackheads Fraternity; continue past the Town Hall, Town Hall Square and the 15th-century pharmacy to the medieval guild houses and merchants' residences, before ending your tour at St Catherine’s Arts and Crafts Centre. During the course of your walk, stop for an Estonian folk show and refreshments.

Tallinn covers quite a large area, with distances of between 300 and 400 yards between the various sites. Although generally flat, many of the streets have cobblestones, and there are numerous steps. Altogether the tour involves approximately one-and-a-quarter miles of walking. The picturesque Old Town of Tallinn

Start with a drive through central Tallinn, passing the medieval city walls that enclose the Old Town. Admire the panorama of the Upper Town and get a glimpse of the medieval castle. Leaving your coach in the Lower Town, walk to the historic centre, passing down Pikk Street with the Guildhall and the Church of the Holy Ghost to reach the Town Hall Square. Here you see the 15th-century Gothic Town Hall and the historic apothecary’s shop. Having walked for almost an hour, you may now relax in the festival hall of the 14th-century Teachers’ House, enjoying a folk show and cup of tea or coffee and cake. Afterwards, you have a little free time at St Catherine’s Arts and Crafts Centre before re-joining your coach and heading to Kadriorg, Walk through this lovely park to Peter’s Cottage, where Peter the Great stayed when visiting Tallinn. It is furnished with items that belonged to the Tsar and other objects from the period. From here a stroll along a tree-lined alley takes you to Kadriorg Palace. A mixture of the Italian and French Baroque styles, this is home to the Estonian Art Museum’s foreign art collection. A walk through the park takes you back to your coach, and you head to the Song Festival Grounds. After a short stop here, drive to the fashionable Pirita Marina, which hosts international regattas. Returning to the port, drive past the Russalka monument, commemorating a ship that sank in 1893, and the Maarjamäe Palace, originally home to a Russian aristocrat.

This excursion involves walking about 900 yards, much of which will be over cobbled streets or uneven ground, with about 20 steps at the Teachers' House and a few steps in Peter's Cottage. There is a further flight of 40 steps in Kadriorg Palace, but a lift is available. Comfortable shoes are recommended. A late lunch will be served on your return to the ship. Kadriorg Palace and Gardens

St Petersburg

Arrive 0800 on May 28. Depart 1800 on May 29.

Peter the Great’s ‘window on the west’ is filled with ornate palaces, elegant gardens, colourful churches and the largest museum in the world. You’ll have two days here – explore the Hermitage, visit the Peter and Paul Fortress or marvel at the eye-popping opulence of Catharine Palace. You’ll also have the chance to watch the world-famous Russian ballet in the grand Alexandrinsky or Hermitage Theatres.

This relatively young city has packed a lot into its 300 years, and is brimming with historic treasures including ornate palaces, splendid gardens and world-renowned museums. You can learn about the October Revolution of 1917 and chart the periods of change faced by Russia during the 20th century as it forged a new path in the Soviet era. The city is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the North’ as it has many bridges over the River Neva, an important artery of the city. Please note that anyone joining one or more of Saga’s organised shore excursions from St Petersburg does not need to obtain a visa, as Saga arranges group visas for all participants. Group visas also cover passengers using Saga’s Bespoke Car Service. Anyone wishing to go ashore on their own must obtain an individual visa for St Petersburg before the cruise. The duration of all tours is subject to change according to traffic conditions. Many thousands of visitors come to St Petersburg in the spring and summer months, and attractions can become very crowded.

FactFile

Population 5,000,000 (approximate)
Language Russian
Currency Rouble
Time Difference UK+3
Climate Summers are mild, with a risk of rain at any time.
Ship berths at English Embankment, Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment or Marine Façade, Port of St Petersburg
Distance from Centre 3 miles (Marine Façade). English Embankment is centrally located.
Distance from gangway to coach 220 to 400 yards depending on the pier

Useful Information

Shopping The main shopping streets are Nevsky Prospect, Sadovaya Ul and Moskovsky Prospect. There are also shops at the Cruise Terminal.
Shopping Opening Hours Most shops are open from 1000-2000 daily.
Post Office Post boxes are available in the Cruise Terminal.
Tourist Office The main Tourist Office is on 14/52 Sadovaya Street. Limited tourist information is available at the Cruise Terminal.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 0044 and the full STD number, omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 112.
Banks There are banks all over the city, and ATMs at the Cruise Terminal. If you intend to use your debit card in Russia, we recommend that you inform your bank before the start of the cruise.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

Explore the magnificent halls and staterooms of the elegant Winter Palace on a guided tour. This is home to the world’s largest museum - the Hermitage. Your tour concentrates mainly on the works of European artists from the 14th to the 19th centuries. You also see other exhibits such as porcelain, pottery, silverware, furniture and antiques. It was Catherine the Great who founded the museum in 1764 as a home for her own art collection, but it was not open to the general public until 1852. The collection greatly expanded after the October Revolution in 1917, when many works of art from Imperial palaces were confiscated by the Soviet government and distributed among the country’s museums. There are now more than 3,000,000 pieces of art occupying more than 1,000 rooms. This must-see attraction is housed in four separate buildings: the spectacular Winter Palace, Little Hermitage, the Old Hermitage and the New Hermitage; two other buildings are used for storage, as only a small proportion of the exhibits can be displayed at any one time.

There is just over a mile of walking inside the Hermitage, with approximately 125 steps. The guided tour inside the museum takes 2½ hours, depending on the size and pace of the group. This tour is designed to cover a lot of ground, and you should be prepared to remain standing for long periods while your guide gives a commentary. The museum is extremely popular and can become very crowded. Coats, jackets and bottles of water may not be brought into the Hermitage: they may be left in a cloakroom, but you may need to queue when depositing and retrieving them. Rooms may be closed without prior notice, for renovation or for government meetings. The Hermitage is not air-conditioned. Please note that this tour does not include a visit to the Gold Room, or to the General Staff Building where the French Impressionist collection is on display. Explore the Hermitage

St Petersburg is very famous for its rich theatrical life. Like the city itself, the art of Russian classical ballet has incorporated foreign traditions and created its own world-renowned style. Russian rulers and the aristocracy took a great interest in ballet, encouraging and supporting the construction of theatres in St Petersburg. In days gone by, the nobility also often had their own private theatres on their estates. This wonderful tour affords you the opportunity to experience a memorable and extraordinary live ballet experience in one of the musical theatres of St Petersburg. Arriving at the theatre, you will be supplied with a programme and escorted to your seat. Russian sparkling wine will be served during the interval. Following the performance, you will be taken back directly to the ship.

The specific performance and venue will be announced on board ship. Smart casual clothing is recommended for the performance. Photography and video-taping is not permitted. You should expect to walk up to 500 yards between the coach and theatre and back again, and there are likely to be a few steps to the theatre entrance plus a flight of stairs leading to the auditorium: some venues may have a lift. All theatres have public conveniences. The actual duration of the excursion will depend on the ballet performed. Ballet: the ultimate in grace, strength and control

A wonderful evening of lively Russian folk entertainment awaits you at the Officers’ Club in the heart of St Petersburg. Made up from traditional songs and dances used during celebrations all over Russia, and combined with classical aspects of ballet and modern dance, this magnificent performance is sure to delight. During the interval you will be treated to Russian sparkling wine, vodka and snacks.

There is a flight of 81 steps, with no handrails, to reach the concert hall. Smart casual clothing is appropriate. There is a charge for photography at the show. An Evening of Russian Folklore

Drive to Tsaskoye Selo to visit the magnificent Catherine Palace, built in the 1750s by Bartolomeo Rastrelli for Empress Elizabeth. Your tour shows you the Gala Staircase and takes you through many of the sumptuous interiors including the Great Hall and the Amber Room. You have time to stroll in the gardens before boarding your coach and continuing to the old Imperial Stables, now the Carriage Museum, where 24 royal 18th- and 19th-century carriages are exhibited. Formerly used for state ceremonies, they include carriages used by Catherine the Great and the vehicle in which Emperor Alexander II was riding when he was assassinated. Head afterwards to a local restaurant for lunch before continuing to Pavlovsk. Designed by Scottish architect Charles Cameron, the interior of this 18th-century Palladian residence was fitted out in the French style by Empress Maria Feodorovna, as a showcase for fine contemporary works of art, in addition to Greek and Roman antiquities. Pavlovsk, like the Catherine Palace, was badly damaged in World War II, but fortunately many of its contents had been removed to safety. The palace was fully restored by 1977.

The guided tours of the palaces each take about one hour. There are 45 steps at the Catherine Palace, about 50 steps at Pavlovsk and a few steps at the restaurant and Carriage Museum. The coach park is approximately ¾-mile from the Catherine Palace, with a few steps along the way. Photography and filming in the Amber Room is prohibited, but is permitted elsewhere. Large bags, coats and bottles of water may not be brought into the palaces: they can be left in a cloakroom, but you may need to queue when depositing and retrieving them. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Admire the unique collection at the Carriage Museum

This excursion starts with an hour-long drive to the town of Tsaskoye Selo, to reach a masterpiece of world architecture: the Catherine Palace. This lavish building, with its Baroque façade over 1,000 feet in length, originated in 1717 as a modest summer residence for Empress Catherine I. In 1752 Empress Elizabeth asked architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli to rebuild the palace on a much grander scale, and the present magnificent Rococo structure was inaugurated four years later. More than 200 pounds of gold leaf was used to decorate the exterior and the numerous statues on the roof. When Catherine the Great came to the throne in 1762, she employed the Scottish architect James Cameron to redecorate parts of the interior. A guided tour shows you the opulent State Apartments, including the Great Hall, Green Dining Room, Blue Drawing Room and the exquisite Amber Room. Presented as a gift to Peter the Great by King Frederick William I of Prussia, the Amber Room was considered a wonder of the age. It was dismantled by the Nazis during World War II, when the palace was severely damaged, but in 1979 the Soviet authorities started to re-create it, a process that took 24 years. Following your guided tour of the palace, enjoy a walk in the beautiful landscaped gardens before returning to St Petersburg.

The guided tour takes one hour, with about 45 steps to negotiate. The coach park is approximately ¾-mile from the palace, with a few steps along the way. Photography and filming in the Amber Room is prohibited, but is permitted elsewhere. Large bags, coats and bottles of water may not be brought into the palace: they can be left in a cloakroom, but you may need to queue when depositing and retrieving them. The extravagant Catherine Palace

The tour starts with a drive along the embankment to Decembrists’ Square, dominated by the Bronze Horseman - a statue of Peter the Great. Stops for photos will be made at St Isaac’s Square, St Nicholas’ Naval Cathedral and at the Cathedral of the Spilled Blood. See a more contemporary side of the city’s life next, as you drive along the boulevard of Nevsky Prospect, the city’s main avenue, to view the impressive Kazan Cathedral. Based on St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, this was intended to become the country’s main Orthodox church. Drive past Palace Square and the Alexander Column before stopping for lunch at a Russian restaurant. After lunch, continue to Peterhof - the former summer residence of Peter the Great and his successors. A guide will escort you through the gorgeous Peterhof Gardens, which have 150 fountains, four cascades and ornamental ponds. The water is supplied by a gravity-fed system that exploits the natural slope of the ground: it uses no pumps and supplies enough water to keep the fountains and cascades working for up to ten hours a day.

This tour involves walking approximately 1½ miles on level ground and gravel paths. There are 100 steps in the gardens, although a ramp is also available. Anyone not wishing to walk around the gardens may wait at the Grand Palace Terrace, overlooking the Grand Cascade. Comfortable shoes are recommended, and you should be prepared for changeable weather. Admission to the palace interior is not included. A charge is usually made for the use of public conveniences: rouble or euro coins are normally accepted. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. St Nicholas' Naval Cathedral

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This evening’s events start with a recital of Classical music from the Hermitage Academy of Music’s Symphony Orchestra, followed by a reception with Russian sparkling wine, before heading to the Hermitage, the world’s largest museum, for an exclusive tour. This visit enables you to enjoy the beautiful collections while the museum is closed to the general public. Ascend the splendid Jordan Staircase with its golden stucco and marble statues, as your guide takes you through the elegant State Apartments and magnificent halls of the Winter Palace. Highlights include the Field Marshal’s Hall, the Small Throne Room, the Gallery of 1812 - which displays monuments to Russia’s military victories - and the Hall of St George. You also have the opportunity to see the Small Hermitage - where Catherine the Great held musical receptions for her friends and family - and the impressive Italian art collections, including works by Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, on display in the Old Hermitage, before you return to your ship.

This excursion involves walking about 1½ miles with 125 steps. The Hermitage will be closed to the general public, but the museum reserves the right to admit other small groups. This tour duplicates much of the content of ‘A Taste of the Hermitage’. Coats, jackets and water bottles may not be brought into the Hermitage: they may be left in a cloakroom, but you may need to queue when depositing and retrieving them. Rooms may be closed without prior notice, for renovation or for government meetings, and the route of the tour is decided by the curators, so we cannot guarantee which works of art will be seen on the day. Enjoy the Hermitage when the public has gone home

One of St Petersburg’s newest attractions, the Fabergé Museum opened in 2013 in the Shuvalov Palace, an elegant 18th-century neo-Classical mansion. It contains over 3,000 exhibits, including approximately 1,500 works by Peter Carl Fabergé. This renowned jeweller created the first of his famous eggs in 1885 as an Easter gift from Tsar Alexander III to his wife. This started a tradition that lasted until Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown in 1917. Although Fabergé is now best known for his eggs, his company produced a wide range of other beautiful items, ranging from silver tableware to fine jewellery. By 1900 Fabergé was the largest jewellery business in Russia, with branches in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev and London. The museum is the brainchild of Viktor Vekelsberg, one of Russia’s wealthiest men, who bought numerous Fabergé masterpieces from the private collection of Malcolm Forbes, the American publisher who died in 1990. The museum has nine of the famous Imperial eggs, including the first of them all, the Hen Egg. When opened, this reveals a ‘surprise’: a golden yolk containing a tiny gold hen. Also on display is the Imperial Coronation Egg, made in 1897 to commemorate the coronation of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. After a tour of this remarkable collection, you have time to browse in the gift shop - where replica Fabergé eggs are on sale - before returning to the ship.

You should expect to walk approximately 800 yards, with a flight of 40 steps up and down. There are 11 steps to the W.C. The museum visit lasts around 1½ hours, and you will need to remain standing for quite long periods while your guide gives a commentary. Photography is permitted. Exhibits may be removed for loan to other museums or for conservation without prior notice. The museum gift shop accepts only Roubles or credit / debit cards. The Imperial Coronation Egg

This panoramic tour starts with a drive along the embankment to Decembrists’ Square, dominated by the ‘Bronze Horseman’ monument to Peter the Great. Photo-stops will be made at St Isaac’s Square, the St Nicholas Naval Cathedral and the Cathedral of the Spilled Blood. See a more contemporary side of the city’s life next, as you drive along the boulevard of Nevsky Prospect, the city’s main avenue, to view the impressive Kazan Cathedral. Inspired by the architecture of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, this was intended to become the country’s main Orthodox church. Your drive continues past Palace Square, the Alexander Column, the Admiralty and the Hermitage - home of the largest museum in the world - before bringing you back to your ship.

All sightseeing is from the coach. Any walking at photo-stops is minimal and entirely at your discretion. The colourful Spilled Blood Cathedral

This panoramic tour starts with a short drive to the historical centre of the city. Your first photo-stop is by the Academy of Fine Arts and the 3,500-year old Sphinxes on the Neva River embankment. Continue past the St Petersburg State University and the Rostral Columns - these studded beacons flank the white colonnaded Stock Exchange and once served as navigational beacons. Stop to photograph the beautiful panorama of the Neva River and the Peter and Paul Fortress. You next stop at the pavilion that encloses the Cabin of Peter the Great. The cabin was constructed for the Tsar in 1703 and used by him while he supervised the construction of the new city and the Peter & Paul Fortress. He had it encased for its protection inside the red-brick pavilion in 1723. After a short stop for souvenir shopping, continue your tour with a photo-stop at the Smolny Convent of the Resurrection: this stunning blue-and-white church with its numerous domes and bell-towers is one of the masterpieces of the Italian architect Rastrelli, who also designed the Winter Palace, Catherine Palace and the Grand Palace in Peterhof.

All sightseeing is from the coach. Any walking at photo-stops and at the souvenir shop is minimal and entirely at your discretion. The Bronze Horseman Monument

See one of the world’s greatest jewellery collections on this excursion to the fabulous Hermitage Museum. The State Hermitage is Russia’s most famous museum, founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great. Originally her own private museum, the Hermitage has a collection of around three million works of art. Occupying the Winter Palace, which comprises the Small, Old and New Hermitages, your tour will take you to different parts of the museum including the State Apartments and the Throne Room in the Winter Palace. The highlight of this tour is a visit to the Gold Room. Assembled over two centuries, this significant collection includes jewellery dating from the period of the Scythians and Ancient Greeks up to the 19th century, together with works by renowned jewellers including the world-famous Peter Carl Fabergé.

This tour involves walking about 1¼ miles over even ground, plus about 125 steps. Cameras and camcorders are not permitted in the Gold Room. This tour follows a similar route to ‘A Taste of the Hermitage’. Large bags, coats, jackets and bottles of water may not be brought into the Hermitage: they may be left in a cloakroom, but you may need to queue when depositing and retrieving them. Rooms may be closed without prior notice, for renovation or for government meetings. Please note that the Hermitage is not air-conditioned. Discover the treasuress of the Hermitage

St Petersburg is famous for its beautiful palaces. The first to be built was that of Peter the Great’s close friend Duke Alexander Menshikov, the city’s first Governor-General . He had a large and luxurious mansion built on Vasilievsky Island, where he lived until 1727. After his death it was used as a military school, and later a hospital, but it has now been restored. Your tour shows you the original early 18th-century interiors, including the Hall, Gala Staircase and several rooms decorated in the Dutch style with tiles covering the walls and ceilings. A short drive takes you on to Yusupov Palace, which has a history of extraordinary wealth and conspiracy. The Yusupov family goes back at least as far as the Romanovs, and their wealth was legendary: Felix Yusupov once bought an entire Italian palace in order to rip out its lavish staircase and install it in his own home. Your tour will take you down this famous white marble staircase into the sumptuous Rococo-style private theatre. You will also be escorted down into the cellar where wax figures represent the tragic tea-party that led to the legendarily resilient Rasputin’s grisly murder in December 1916. Wielding extraordinary power, Felix considered the peasant Grigori Rasputin - who had gained a great deal of influence over the Tsar’s family - such a serious threat that he had him killed in this very palace.

There is over ½-mile of walking, with 90 steps in Yusupov and approximately 50 in Menshikov Palace. There are no seats or lifts available. Coats, jackets and bottles of water may not be brought into either palace: they can be left in a cloakroom, but you may need to queue when depositing and retrieving them. A charge is usually made for the use of public conveniences: rouble or euro coins are normally accepted: the wc at Yusupov is accessible only via a flight of 20 steps. There is a charge for photography in both palaces. Menshikov Palace

Travel west from St Petersburg to the small town of Schlisselburg, built where the River Neva starts flowing from Lake Ladoga, the largest freshwater lake in Europe. A 15-minute ferry journey takes you from Shlisselburg to Oreshek. Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, this island fortress and former prison is nicknamed the ‘Russian Alcatraz’. It was built in 1323, and during the course of its history changed hands many times. Finally recaptured by Peter the Great in 1702 after a period of Swedish occupation, it lost its military importance and was converted into a prison during the late 18th century: many political prisoners and nobles accused of High Treason were detained here. In World War II Oreshek became a military base again, holding out against the Germans for nearly 500 days during the Siege of Leningrad. See the former prison wards, the five restored medieval towers and the remains of the prison chapel, now a memorial to the Soviet defenders. After returning by ferry to Shlisselburg and stopping for lunch, continue to the Break of Siege Museum in the village of Maryino, which tells the story of the epic six-day offensive that led to the lifting of the Siege of Leningrad in January 1944. Learn how supplies were brought to the besieged city - and civilians evacuated - via a small suburban railway and an ice road across the frozen Lake Ladoga.

This strenuous excursion involves walking about 1½ miles, partly over uneven ground. There are 12 steps to negotiate every time you embark and disembark the ferry. There are also a few steps at the restaurant and Break of Siege Museum. You should also be prepared to remain standing for periods while your guide gives a commentary. Please be prepared for changeable weather and bring a coat or jacket. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. World War II gun and medieval towers at Oreshek

This fascinating tour begins with a drive of approximately one hour to Peterhof Gardens, stopping first at the Park of Alexandria. This was once a private possession of the Romanov family. In August 1825 the Emperor Alexander I granted the land to his brother Nicholas, who was crowned Emperor four months later and presented it to his wife Alexandra, hence the name ‘Alexandria’. During the 30-minute ride you will see the Gothic Chapel and the Gothic Well, the Farm Palace and finally the Cottage Palace, which stands in the park’s quietest and remotest corner. Members of the royal family resided here in the summer until the 1917 October Revolution. After visiting the park, join the rubber-tyred ‘road train’ for a short ride across the Lower Park. Peter the Great personally supervised the layout of this 300-acre park, and prepared instructions for the design of its spectacular fountains. Most famous is the Grand Cascade, with its gold statue of Samson prying open the jaws of a lion. Water flows down terraced steps leading from the Palace to the Lower Gardens, and spouting fountains spray streams of water over marble statues, culminating in a man-made canal that leads out to the Gulf of Finland. Enjoy a one-hour tour of the grounds, before re-joining your coach which will be waiting to take you back to the ship.

There is approximately one mile of walking over even surfaces and gravel surfaces during this tour, with 100 steps up to the Grand Palace Terrace; these steps may be avoided by using a ramp. There is one step up into the carriages of the road train. A charge is usually made for the use of public conveniences: rouble or euro coins are normally accepted. Comfortable shoes and insect repellent are recommended, and you should be prepared for changeable weather. Travel by Road Train through the gardens

Visit one of St Petersburg’s oldest structures: the Peter and Paul Fortress, located on a small island in the Neva river delta. This fortress was originally built to protect the city from Swedish attacks, but it soon became a place for imprisoning political prisoners, including Peter the Great's own son. Within its walls is the city's second-tallest structure, the Peter and Paul Cathedral, which is surmounted by a slender 404-foot spire and boasts an ornate gilded interior with 18th-century paintings. The cathedral houses the remains of almost all the Russian Emperors and Empresses from Peter the Great to Nicholas II and his family: the last of the Romanovs were finally laid to rest here in July 1998. Also buried here was Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia for 34 years. After your visit, join a boat for a fascinating one-hour cruise along the Neva, Fontanka and Moika rivers. Peter the Great intended the Neva to act as the city’s main thoroughfare, and from the river you can admire the exteriors of many of St Petersburg's beautiful buildings as you pass under numerous picturesque bridges before returning back to the pier, where the coach will be waiting to take you back to your ship.

You will need to walk approximately 750 yards, with about ten steps down to the boat from the pier. Further walking may be required. Depending on the tide, there may also be a steep gangway to negotiate, and it is sometimes necessary to walk across other boats before reaching the vessel allocated to your cruise. Participants must be able to get onto the boat unaided. The route taken by the boat may vary, depending on the water level in the canals. Comfortable shoes are recommended, and you should be prepared for changeable weather. There are very limited wc facilities on board the boat, and a charge is made for those at the fortress. Peter and Paul Cathedral

Start with a one-hour drive to the gardens of Peterhof Palace, 18 miles from St Petersburg. The former summer residence of Peter the Great, it was originally commissioned to be a 'Versailles by the Sea’, and Peter’s plan was certainly brought to fruition as it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The layout of the 300-acre park includes the Great Cascade, fed by underground springs, and accompanied by waterfalls, fountains and gilded statues. Take a stroll around the Lower Park, which contains numerous fountains, the largest of which represents Samson rending the jaws of a lion - symbolising Russia’s victorious struggle over Sweden in the Northern War. The Peterhof Fountains are considered to be the most impressive in the world. From the Lower Park, make your way to the Grand Palace Terrace, from where you get a wonderful panoramic view. Following your tour of the gardens, return to St Petersburg by coach.

There is approximately 1½ miles of walking over even surfaces and gravel surfaces, with 200 steps in the park, and a further 100 steps up to the Grand Palace Terrace; these steps may be avoided by using a ramp. The steps are equipped with handrails. Entrance to Peterhof Palace is not included. A charge is usually made for the use of public conveniences: rouble or euro coins are normally accepted. Comfortable shoes and insect repellent are recommended, and you should be prepared for changeable weather. Explore the beautiful Peterhof Gardens

Exclusively for Saga cruise passengers, this fascinating tour is a must for those with an interest in history, engineering and railways. Varshavsky Station, also known as Warsaw Station, is a former passenger terminal that has been converted into a Museum of Railway Machinery. It was formerly the terminus of a line to the Tsar’s residence in Gatchina, later extended to Warsaw. The Warsaw Express Trade Centre now occupies the main station building, with the railway exhibits on the tracks outside. The oldest exhibit dates from 1897, a 46-ton steam locomotive that could reach a top speed of 20mph. With its huge red wheels and rounded bodywork, it remained in use in Grozny until the 1980s. A more recent steam locomotive is the ‘FD’, one of over 3,200 similar engines built from 1932 to 1941 and named after the Soviet secret police chief Felix Dzerzhinsky. Like most Soviet-era locos, it has a red star on its firebox door. Other exhibits include an S-68 steam engine, the same type that transported the first Soviet government from St Petersburg to Moscow in 1918. See the world’s first successful diesel locomotive, Power Unit Ge-001, which was designed in 1924 on the order of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, and the very last passenger steam engine built by the USSR in 1956. The collection’s most unusual exhibits are a rail-mounted ballistic missile launcher and a naval gun mounted on the top of a railway wagon, which could fire shells a distance of 19 miles.

Participants may expect to walk at least 500 yards over level ground to see the highlights of the collection, with about 30 steps. Further walking is at your discretion. There are additional charges for filming or taking photographs. Please be aware that exhibits are out-of-doors and labelled only in Russian, but you will receive an English commentary through headphones. See old Soviet steam locomotives

Spend a day at beautiful Peterhof, the summer residence of the Russian tsars. Arriving via the Upper Park, a French-style formal garden, this excursion starts with a guided tour of the Grand Palace. Originally built for Peter the Great in the early 18th century, it was remodelled for Peter’s daughter, Elizabeth, between 1747 and 1756. Your tour of this glorious palace shows you the State Apartments, the dancing and audience halls together with a suite of rooms designed by Rastrelli. The White Dining Room displays a Wedgwood dinner service, and Peter the Great’s oak study has survived unaltered. Leaving the palace, descend to the Lower Gardens, with their pavilions, 150 fountains and four cascades - all overlooking the Gulf of Finland. After a stop for lunch, a short coach ride takes you to the Park of Alexandria, where you visit the Cottage Palace. Constructed between 1826 and 1829 in the English neo-Gothic style, this was the private home of Tsar Nicholas I and Tsarina Alexandra, and during their reign only select visitors were admitted. As you tour the palace you will see Alexandra’s study, the grand Drawing Room and the private Royal Apartments, before leaving this unique building for the return journey to your ship.

This tour involves walking approximately two miles, some of which is over uneven ground and cobblestones. There are 100 steps up to the Grand Palace, although a ramp is also available. There are 60 steps at the Cottage Palace. Photography is prohibited inside the palaces. Large bags, coats and bottles of water cannot be taken inside: they may be left in a cloakroom, but you may need to queue when depositing and retrieving them. Rooms may be closed without prior notice. A charge is made for the use of public conveniences: rouble or euro coins are normally accepted. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. The grandeur of the Peterhof in St Petersburg

St Petersburg is built around some 185 miles of canals and rivers, which act as mirrors in which the city’s neo-Classical mansions, golden-domed churches and palaces are reflected. Peter the Great intended the rivers and canals to form part of his whole architectural ensemble, so that, unlike those in Paris and London, most buildings have their main façades facing the waterways. A cruise along the Neva, Fontaka and the Moika rivers is therefore a highlight of any visit to St Petersburg, as from the river you will see much of the city’s magnificent architecture. The tour also visits one of Russia’s most beautiful churches - the Spilled Blood Cathedral. One of the finest examples of the Russian Revival style, this magnificent cathedral was built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated on March 1, 1881. The interior and exterior are a riot of colour, with richly-decorated onion domes on the outside and intricate mosaics within. After the October Revolution in 1917 it was closed to the public for many years, re-opening as a museum in 1997 after 25 years of restoration.

You will need to walk approximately 250 yards, with about ten steps down to the boat from the pier. Further walking may be required. Depending on the tide, there may also be a steep gangway to negotiate, and it is sometimes necessary to walk across other boats before reaching the vessel allocated to your cruise. Participants must be able to get onto the boat unaided. The route taken by the boat may vary, depending on the water level in the canals. Comfortable shoes are recommended, and you should be prepared for changeable weather. There are very limited wc facilities on board the boat, and a charge is made for those at the Spilled Blood Cathedral. You will have a short amount of time in a souvenir shop, but credit cards may not be accepted. Griboedov Canal and Spilled Blood Cathedral

Start with a short drive to the city’s historic centre, heading to Decembrists’ Square, dominated by the Bronze Horseman, a monument to Peter the Great. A photo stop at St Isaac’s Cathedral brings you to Palace Square and past the Winter Palace. Stop at the Rostral Columns to photograph the beautiful panorama of the Neva River and the Peter and Paul Fortress, where you make your next stop: this fortress and prison was home to a roll-call of revolutionaries from Dostoevsky to Trotsky, and within its walls is the Cathedral of Peter and Paul, with its tall, slender spire. See a 21st-century side of the city’s life next, as you drive along Nevsky Prospect to a restaurant in the city centre, where you enjoy lunch accompanied by Russian folk entertainment. You then spend the afternoon exploring the magnificent Hermitage Museum on a guided tour. Your tour concentrates mainly on the works of European artists from the 14th to the 19th centuries, but you will also be shown other exhibits such as porcelain, pottery, silverware and furniture.

This tour involves a lot of walking, with occasional steps throughout. Walking at the fortress is over cobbles and amounts to about 450 yards. A charge applies to use the wc. At the Hermitage there are about 125 steps. The guided tour takes 2½ hours, depending on the size and pace of the group, and involves just over a mile of walking. There is also a lot of standing as your guide will stop to give a commentary on numerous exhibits. Coats, large bags and water bottles are not permitted inside the Hermitage: these can be left in cloakrooms, and you may need to queue when depositing and retrieving them. The Hermitage has the right to close any room without prior notice. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Impressive St Isaac's Cathedral

The tour starts with a visit to the magnificent St Isaac’s Cathedral in St Isaac’s Square. Built between 1818 and 1858, the cathedral was designed by French architect August Montferrant and is named after St Isaac of Dalmatia. The vast, opulent interior covers 43,000 square feet and is filled with hundreds of impressive 19th-century works of art. At St Isaac’s Square you also see the St Petersburg Legislative Assembly, the famous Hotel Astoria and a monument to Tsar Nicholas I. Next, visit the Kazan Cathedral, constructed by Russian architect Andrei Voronkhin and an outstanding example of early 19th-century Russian architecture. The building encircles a small square with a double row of columns that form an impressive colonnade. The cathedral was named after the ‘miracle-making’ icon of Our Lady of Kazan. Inside the cathedral are 56 red granite monolithic columns and a multi-coloured Karelian marble mosaic floor. Your final visit is to the Spilled Blood Cathedral. This magnificent Russian-styled onion-domed church was built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated on March 1, 1881. For many years it was closed to the public, but after 25 years of restoration it opened again as a museum during the late 1990s.

This tour involves walking a total distance of about 400 yards, with seven big steps at the entrance to St Isaac’s, about ten steps at the Kazan Cathedral and five at the Spilled Blood Cathedral. Photography is not permitted inside the Kazan Cathedral. A charge is usually made for the use of public conveniences: rouble or euro coins are normally accepted. Conservative dress is required to enter St Isaac's and the Kazan Cathedral, and a headscarf is recommended for ladies. Inside the Spilled Blood Cathedral

St Petersburg - the ‘Venice of the North’ - is built around a network of canals and rivers, with a total length of about 185 miles. They contribute to the city’s unique atmosphere, creating a mirror in which the magnificent architecture is reflected. A canal cruise is an ideal way to appreciate the history and fine buildings of this beautiful city. Your boat will pass many of the city's attractions including St Michael's Castle, the Spilled Blood Cathedral and numerous mansions once belonging to the Russian nobility. Once on the Neva River, admire this wide natural waterway, which Peter the Great intended to make the main thoroughfare of the city. From the earliest plans the river was considered part of the whole architectural ensemble, so that, unlike in Paris and London, most buildings have their main façades facing it. Enjoy the city’s stunning waterfront: the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island with its red Rostral columns, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the stately ducal palaces on the left bank of the river, the Marble Palace and the lovely blue domes of the Great Mosque, built in 1910. Your boat also passes the Summer Palace and Summer Gardens laid out by Peter the Great. One glass of local sparkling wine or mineral water is included during the cruise.

You will need to walk approximately 600 yards, with about ten steps down to the boat from the pier. Further walking may be required. Depending on the tide, there may also be a steep gangway to negotiate, and there are a few steps between the enclosed and open sections of the boat deck. Participants must be able to get onto the boat unaided. The route taken by the boat and duration of the cruise may vary, depending on the water level in the canals. There are very limited wc facilities on board the boat. Cruise St Petersburg's Waterways

Start with a short drive to the city’s historical centre, passing the Academy of Fine Arts, the State University and the Rostral Columns, which flank the white colonnaded Stock Exchange and once served as navigational beacons. Photo-stops will be made overlooking the River Neva, at the Peter & Paul Fortress and at Peter the Great’s first home in the city. Now enclosed by a brick pavilion, this small log cabin was erected in 1703 and occupied by the Tsar while he supervised the construction of his new city. Next you continue to the Spilled Blood Cathedral. Built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881, this magnificent church was reopened as a museum in 1997 after 25 years of restoration. Its exterior is a riot of colour with its onion domes of varying heights and sizes. After lunch in one of the city’s restaurants, you have another opportunity to appreciate the splendid architecture of this beautiful city as you cruise along the Moika and Fontanka Rivers. Conclude your tour by pausing at the Smolny Convent of the Resurrection, a stunning blue-and-white church built by the Italian architect Rastrelli.

You will need to walk approximately 600 yards, with about ten steps down to the boat from the pier. Further walking may be required. Depending on the tide, there may also be a steep gangway to negotiate. Participants must be able to get onto the boat unaided. The route taken by the boat may vary, depending on the water level in the canals. Comfortable shoes are recommended, and you should be prepared for changeable weather. There are very limited wc facilities on board the boat, and a charge is made for those at the cathedral. Dietary requests must be advised to the Shore Excursion Manager on board ship at least 72 hours prior to arrival. The Old Stock Exchange and Rostral Columns

Kotka

Arrive 0830. Depart 1900.

As Finland’s only island city, Kotka has a real maritime feel to it – it was from here that the Vikings launched their expeditions into Russia. Perhaps pay a visit to the Maretarium aquarium or the Maritime Centre Vellamo, a modern complex of museums and interactive exhibitions that reveal the local heritage and natural history, or opt for a thrilling rafting trip on the River Kymijoki rapids.

Kotka is a small city on the Gulf of Finland, at the mouth of the River Kymi, about 75 miles from Helsinki. The town centre occupies the island of Kotkansaari, which is linked by bridges to the mainland. Owing to its strategic location, Kotka has had a turbulent history. In the 16th century it was a Royal Manor owned by King Gustavus Vasa of Sweden, but it was captured by Russia during a war in 1743. The Russian Empress Catherine the Great and the Swedish King Gustav III held a conference in 1783 at Hamina, about ten miles from Kotka, in a building still known as ‘Catherine’s Palace’, which is now a museum. In the 1790s the Russian General Aleksandr Suvorov constructed the Kyminlinna Fortress above the town: this remained a military base until 2005. In April 1918 it was the site of a battle between German troops and the Finnish Red Guard. Kotka today is a green and pleasant city, with attractive parks and a number of buildings designed by Alvar Aalto, the renowned Finnish modernist architect. Very popular in the summer with sailing and yachting enthusiasts, it is also a busy sea port for container ships.

FactFile

Population 54,342 (2016)
Language Finnish
Currency Euro
Time Difference UK+2
Climate Cold and temperate
Ship berths at Kantasatama City Terminal or Mussalo Terminal
Distance from Centre 500 yards (Kantasatama Terminal) or 3 miles (Mussalo Terminal)
Distance from gangway to coach 150 yards (approximate)

Useful Information

Shopping The Pasaati Shopping Centre is located on Keskuskatu. A market is held on the main square from Monday to Saturday between 0600 and 1430.
Shopping Opening Hours Most shops are open Monday to Saturday from 1000-1600.
Post Office Located at Keskuskatu 11. Open 0700-2100 on weekdays, 0800-1900 on Saturdays and 1000-1800 on Sundays.
Tourist Office Located at the pier.
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 The Kymenlaakson Osuuspankki is located at Kirkkokatu 14, and is open 1000-1630 from Monday to Friday. 24-hour ATMs are available.

Spend the day at sea.

Visby

Arrive 0800. Depart 1700.

Beginning as a Viking outpost on the island of Gotland, Visby developed into a Baltic hub for the Hanseatic League and its rich history has earned it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The beautifully preserved medieval streets are encircled by a two-mile-long wall dating from the 13th century, and they’re perfect for exploring on foot.

Situated on the island of Gotland approximately 60 miles from the Swedish mainland, Visby is a beautifully preserved medieval port which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Known as the ‘town of roses and ruins’, this unique location is one of the most important reminders of the Hanseatic League, featuring cobbled streets and architectural relics of bygone times. The imposing two-and-a-half mile city wall located here dates from the 13th century and is a monument to the great wealth accumulated here during the era of successful merchant trading.

FactFile

Population 22,000 (approximate)
Language Swedish
Currency Swedish Krona
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Cool and temperate with frequent rain. There is an average of nine hours of sunshine from May to July
Ship berths at Barkassläge 1
Distance from Centre 550 yards (approximate)
Distance from gangway to coach 150 yards (approximate)

Useful Information

Shopping Located at Adelsgatan
Shopping Opening Hours Open from Monday to Friday between 1000-1800 and on Saturday between 1000-1400. Some shops are open between 1000-1400
Post Office Located at Skeppsbron 4-6. Open for the purchase of stamps, from Monday to Friday between 0800-1700 and on Saturday between 1000-1600. If wishing to send a parcel, this service is available at Skarphällsgatan approx 1½miles from the pier
Tourist Office Located at Skeppsbron 4-6. Open seven days a week between 0800-2000
How to Phone Home To phone the UK dial 00 44 followed by the STD number, omitting the first zero
Emergency Services Dial 112
Banks Handelsbanken located at Kung Magnus väg 6. Open from Monday to Friday between 1000-1600. Closed at weekends

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

From the pier, travel southwards by coach, stopping to will visit one of the 92 medieval churches still in use on the island. Their history is as visible in the architecture as much as in their decorations. From the site of the church, continue to Stafva Farm. The farm has been in the Corswant family in five generations and is one of the largest farms on the island. With meat and milk production and its own dairy, you can taste some of their fantastic locally-produced cheese. Continue to Dalhem and the Gotland Railway Museum, where you get the opportunity to ride on a train pulled by a steam locomotive over 90 years old. The old carriages will take you through quiet pastoral scenery, passing through Tule and ending at Roma station. After the train ride, re-join your coach for the return journey to Visby, passing through varied coastal, agricultural and wooded landscapes. Back in Visby, before re-joining your ship, enjoy a short walking tour passing roses, ruins and alleyways. Behind the city walls with their 44 guard towers, this medieval town of old stone houses awaits your discovery.

Although the walking tour in Visby is only short, it includes uneven surfaces and cobbled streets with occasional steps. For this reason, we have graded this excursion as Moderate. Participants should bring a packed lunch from the ship. Your privately chartered steam train

This tour begins with a drive to Almedalen, where you can enjoy beautiful views across the old part of Visby before visiting one of the many early Gothic churches that are situated in Gotland. Continue to the fishing village of Gnisvärd where you will be able to see a burial mound dating from the Bronze Age, and then stop in Tofta Village, which will give you an interesting insight into the Viking way of life. After being welcomed by a Viking, you can visit the longhouse and see an authentic display of activities, including Viking jewellery making.

There is approximately 360 yards of walking on this excursion, some of which will be over grass, gravel and cobblestones. There is wheelchair access however passengers must be able to embark and disembark the coach. There will be five steps to negotiate, and a ramp is available at the medieval church. This tour may be operated in reverse order. Toilets are available during this tour however they are basic 'Viking toilets' basically a wooden box with a bucket underneath and a wooden cover when not in use. Visit Tofta Village with a Viking

This excursion visits just some of the many highlights of this historic port. After boarding your coach and travelling to Almedalen for a photo stop, continue to a medieval church before exploring Gnisvärd where a burial mound dating back to the Bronze Age is located. After our visit to Gnisvärd, stop for refreshments of coffee and cake before continuing to Högklint, which enjoys breathtaking panoramic views across the city and is home to wild coastal flowers and sea birds. Your excursion concludes with a guided walk around the Old Town in Visby, which is lined with cobbled streets and has a bustling atmosphere.

You should expect to walk about three-quarters-of-a-mile on this excursion, some of which will be over grass, gravel and cobblestones. There are approximately five steps at the medieval church and 60 steps in the Old Town of Visby. Please note that public conveniences are very limited. Discover the charming architecture of Visby

Your walk starts in Almedalen, the site of the former Hanseatic habour: a verdant, peaceful oasis in the centre of Visby. Here you enjoy a pleasant stroll along Standgatan, lined with beautiful medieval granaries, passing Kuttornet (the Powder Tower), the oldest building in Visby, and finally come to the lovely Botanical Gardens with their exotic plants, rich bird-life, stunning roses and magnolias. After stopping at the gardens, visit the impressive St Mary's Cathedral in Visby itself and walk along the city's picturesque cobbled streets. Following this, continue to the Gotland Museum, erected in 1776 by Royal Command to house the Royal Distillery. This four-storey warehouse has been preserved and the lower floors have remained virtually intact since the building was first constructed. The original merchant's shop is still standing. Once it was filled with wafting smells of food and drink, furs and leather, exciting perfumes and exotic spices from faraway lands. Among the wares found here in times gone by were beautiful glass goblets from Venice, patterned silk cloth from Italy and deep red woollen fabrics from Flanders.

This walking tour covers a distance of approximately one mile over mainly level ground, but with some cobblestones and a few flights of stairs at the museum. Tombstone drawings at Gotland Museum

This rewarding walk reveals the many interesting parts of Visby. From Almedalen, the previous site of the Hanseatic harbour and a peaceful oasis at the centre of Visby, continue along the pleasant Strandgatan, which is lined with medieval granaries, before passing Kruttornet, known as the Powder Tower. It was built in the 12th century to protect the harbour and is now regarded as the oldest building in Visby. A particular highlight of this excursion will be the beautiful Botanical Gardens which display a variety of exotic plants and abundant bird-life. The gardens are also home to the rare holy ginkgo tree, a species of conifer that was widespread 180 million years ago. The tree is considered to be a living fossil. After visiting the Botanical Gardens, you will re-enter Visby to see the impressive Cathedral of St Maria, before returning to your ship along the quaint cobble stoned streets.

There are approximately one-and-a-quarter miles of walking on this excursion, some of which will be over grass, gravel and cobblestones. Enjoy a walk around historic Visby

Karlskrona

 Land by launch or tender.

Arrive 0800. Depart 1700.

Karlskrona is sprawled across 30 small islands linked together by bridges and canals. Famous for its baroque architecture, unique in Sweden, Karlskrona is the country’s only naval base. Perhaps take an excursion to the Naval Museum to learn more about the city’s military history and even step aboard a submarine.

Situated in Southern Sweden on the breathtaking Baltic Coast, Karlskrona is built across 33 islands linked by a series of bridges. The port was founded by King Karl XI in 1680 and has been Sweden’s main naval base ever since, building ships and producing rope for the industry. It is also a breathtaking example of Renaissance architecture boasting many noteworthy buildings, which earned the city the honour of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998; helping to conserve its important naval history and beautiful architecture.

FactFile

Population 32,606 (approximate)
Language Swedish
Currency Swedish Krona
Time Difference GMT+2
Climate Cool and temperate with frequent rain. There is an average of nine hours of sunshine from May to July.
Ship berths at Kungsbron
Distance from Centre 220 yards (approximate)
Distance from gangway to coach 25 yards (approximate)

Useful Information

Shopping Located at Borgmästaregatan/Storgatan
Shopping Opening Hours Shops are open from Monday to Friday from 1000-1800 and Saturday from 1000-1400. Some are open from 1000-1400 on Sundays.
Post Office The Post Office is at 13 Borgmästaregatan. Opening hours are from Monday to Friday 1000-1800, Saturday 1000-1600. Closed on Sundays.
Tourist Office Located at 2 Stortorget and open from Monday to Friday 0900-2000 and 0900-2000 at weekends.
How to Phone Home To dial the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Dial 112.
Banks Swedbank at 13 Borgmästaregatan is open 1000-1800 from Monday to Friday. 24-hour ATMs are available.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

This excursion begins with a drive through Karlskrona, where you can see how a fortified naval town and base from the 17th century was planned and established. Pause at Stortorget to admire the architecture of the city, and continue to the Naval Museum, passing Admiralty Church and Bryggare Mountain along the way. The Naval Museum was created in 1752 when Adolf Frederik, the then King of Sweden, decreed that a Ship’s Model Room would be established in Karlskrona. The museum is dedicated to the collection and conservation of artefacts documenting the history of Sweden’s Navy. A particular highlight is the Naval Warfare Gallery, which illustrates the development of weaponry and naval gunnery up to the mid-19th century. You will also have the opportunity to see the wreck of an 18th-century ship from an underwater observation tunnel, before admiring the craftsmanship of eminent 18th-century sculptor, Johan Törnström, at an exhibition of ship’s figureheads.

There will be approximately three-quarters-of-a-mile of walking on this excursion, some of which will be over gravel and cobblestones. There are 15 steps at the Admiralty Church and 40 steps at the Naval Museum although there is an elevator available. The excursion is not suitable for guests with limited mobility. For details of prices and which excursions can be taken together, please refer to your booking form.

Observe the many sights of Karlskrona on this unforgettable panoramic tour which gives an overview of how fortified naval towns were planned and established in the 17th and 18th centuries. Your first stop is at Stortorget, one of Europe’s largest city squares which features two churches, the Church of the Holy Trinity and Frederik Church. Nicodemus Tessin, a 17th-century architect responsible for creating the magnificent Drottingholm Castle, designed both of these beautiful buildings. In the middle of Stortorget Square see the statue of the town’s founder, King Karl XI, before continuing to Admiralty Church, Sweden’s largest wooden church, which dates back to 1685. A wooden statue of Rosenbom the beggar, a well-known figure in Karlskrona, is located outside the church. Next witness the breathtaking panoramic view over the city from Bryggare Mountain, before travelling to Lingholmen Island to visit a naval base. The base was used to construct and repair the Navy warships, and in 1910 Sweden’s first wireless telegraph station was built on this island. Pass Vasa Shed, which dates back to 1763 and was originally known as the Great Ship Shed. It is spacious enough to construct a 70-gun warship, and its current name derives from the 60-gun warship of the Vasa line which was launched from the shed in 1778. Finally drive by the late 17th-century Rope-walk which is considered to be one of the oldest buildings in Karlskrona, and 18th-century Polhem Dry Dock, a remarkable example of engineering.

There will be approximately 135 yards of walking on this excursion, some of which will be over cobblestones and gravel. There are 15 steps at the Admiralty Church. There is wheelchair access but guests must be able to embark and disembark the coach. Please note passengers will stay on board the coach during the visit to the Naval Base. For details of prices and which excursions can be taken together, please refer to your booking form.

The excursion begins with a cruise through the unique archipelago to Kungsholm Fortress, located beside the large sea approach to Karlskrona. Together with Drottningskär Citadel, situated on the other side of the approach, the two buildings helped to defend the city. The fortress began building in the 17th century and took approximately 100 years to complete and consists of a number of structures including a three-storey dungeon with flanking towers. The north fortification was built on a redoubt from the late 17th century and the enforced walls are nearly five feet thick supporting a set of heavy iron doors. You will have the opportunity to see the round-harbour, which is enclosed within a high circular wall and dates back to the 1830s. The fort is currently used as a training establishment and has been constantly manned for over 300 years. During a tour of the fortress explore the botanical gardens which have been established here over many years. The collection comprises of plants brought back to the fortress during the Navy’s sea training cruises which carried a tradition of returning with a plant or tree after every journey. The tradition continues to this day. After your visit here, cruise back through the small group of islands and return to your ship.

There will be approximately one mile of walking on this excursion, some of which will be gravel and uphill. The excursion is not suitable for guests with limited mobility. There is no wheelchair access. For details of prices and which excursions can be taken together, please refer to your booking form.

See the many sights of Karlskrona and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the town on this invigorating walking tour. The tour will begin at Kungsbron, which is translated as The Kings Bridge and considered to be the elegant entrance to Karlskrona once used by royalty to travel ashore. From the bridge you can see the early 18th-century Bastion Aurora in the distance. From The Kings Bridge you will head to the late 17th-century Admiralty Church before continuing to Stortorget, a traditional city centre surrounded by beautiful architecture. Pause in Systrarna Lindqvist Café, Karlskrona’s most famous cafe, for brief refreshments before the walking tour continues to Björkholmen. Admire the traditional 18th-century cottages which were once home to the original craftsmen who came to work on the shipyards. As your tour draws to a conclusion you will pass Blekinge Museum, dedicated to the conservation of the local cultures, and the famous fish market of Fisketorget, before returning to the cruise ship.

There will be approximately two miles of walking on this excursion, some of which will be over gravel and cobblestones. There is no wheelchair access during this excursion and this is not suitable for guests with limited mobility. For details of prices and which excursions can be taken together, please refer to your booking form.

Kiel

Arrive 1000. Depart 1700.

Kiel is dominated by its grand harbour. Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade, perhaps pausing in a cafe to enjoy views of ships of all types and sizes. Being the eastern entry point of the Kiel Canal, the 60-mile waterway that links the North Sea to the Baltic, there’ll be plenty of ship traffic to observe.

Situated in northern Germany beside the Baltic Sea, the old port of Kiel has been the country’s main naval base since the 1860s and is the centre for German ship builders and the eastern terminus of the Kiel Canal. Established as part of the Hanseatic League in 1284, it was heavily bombed during World War II and has subsequently largely been rebuilt. However, some historic buildings survive, including Nikolai Church, which dates back to 1242. The port is known as the ‘City of Fresh Air’ and is famous for one of the biggest sailing festivals in the world, the Kieler Woche, held in June. Involving the whole city and attracting over three million visitors annually, this great sailing event includes not only races and sailing spectacles but visiting ships, too, including naval craft together with schooners, brigs and many other kinds of craft.

FactFile

Population 236,900 (approximate)
Language German
Currency Euro
Time Difference UK+1
Climate Mild, wet winters and warm summers, with temperatures between 18-25°C.
Ship berths at Bollhörnkai
Distance from Centre Approximately 600 yards
Distance from gangway to coach Coaches can pull up alongside the cruise terminal.

Useful Information

Shopping Holstenstrasse and Sophienblatt are the main shopping streets.
Shopping Opening Hours Typically open Monday to Friday from 0900 to 1800, Saturday 0900 to 1600. Closed on Sundays.
Post Office The main Post Office is at 23, Brunswiker Strasse, and is open on weekdays from 0900-1400 and 1500-1800. Closed Saturday afternoons and Sundays.
Tourist Office The Tourist Office is at 31, Andreas-Gayk-Strasse.
How to Phone Home For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero.
Emergency Services Police: 110. Fire and ambulance: 112.
Banks Most main banks have branches in and around Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse in the city centre. 24-hour ATMs are widespread.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

Start this excursion with a sightseeing tour of Kiel city centre before embarking on a scenic drive through the picturesque countryside of Schleswig, accompanied by an informative commentary from your guide. Upon arrival at Schleswig take a guided walking tour of this fascinating area. See the historic squares and buildings, including Gallberg, an 8th century half-timbered building, the Gray Cloister – a former 13th-century Franciscan monastery – together with the Town Hall and St. Peter’s Cathedral, a landmark of Schleswig. Home to the famous Bordesholmer altar by Hans Brueggemann, together with other art treasures, the Cathedral is the largest building in Schleswig. Conclude the walking tour with a visit to the ‘Holm’, a unique old fishermen’s settlement before visiting Gottorf Castle. Now the state museum, the Castle was formerly the residence of the Dukes of Schleswig Holstein and is home to extensive collections of art and historic objects from the 12th century to the present. After taking time to explore the Museum start your return journey to Kiel, stopping at the former Viking settlement of ‘Haithabu’ with its fascinating Viking museum. Here you can learn about the Vikings and observe the restoration of an early Viking ship.

There is walking on this tour of approximately 1 ½ miles with 20 steps at Gottorf Castle and 5 steps at Haithabu. For details of prices and which excursions can be taken together, please refer to your booking form. Schloss Gottorf

Start this excursion with a brief, informative sightseeing tour of Kiel city centre before travelling through the picturesque landscape of Schleswig-Holstein to Laboe and the National Naval Memorial. Built between 1929 and 1934, this 279-foot high memorial, was originally dedicated to German sailors who died at sea during World War I, but in 1954 it became a memorial for seamen of all nations. Beneath the Memorial lies an underground Hall of Remembrance where sailors from around the world are remembered, together with an historical hall with pertinent exhibitions. After visiting this moving memorial, take a walk along the beach, or visit U-995, the last surviving World War II type VII submarine which was built in 1943 and used in the Arctic. Surrendered to the Norwegians, it was later returned to Germany and in 1972 became a technical museum.

There is walking on this tour of around 500 yards from the bus to the memorial, some over uneven ground. Further walking is at your own discretion. There are approximately 25 steps to be climbed at the memorial but this is also at your discretion. For details of prices and which excursions can be taken together, please refer to your booking form. The German Naval Memorial

As you drive through the scenic countryside of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany’s most northern state, your guide will provide interesting and useful information relating to the history and background of the area. Upon arrival at Plön embark a river boat for a cruise through the Five Lakes district, which includes Lake Edeberg, Höft, Behl, Lange and Diek. With their clear waters, forests and medieval villages, and the informative commentary of your guide and Captain, discover this beautiful area before arriving at the lakeside village of Malente. Take a short journey to the glass factory for a demonstration of the art of glass blowing and manufacturing, with an opportunity to participate in the glass blowing and carving process. Well-known for their unique glass products there will be an opportunity to purchase items. End your day with a coach drive back to Kiel arriving at your ship.

There is walking of approximately 250 yards on this tour, some over uneven ground, with walking inside the glass factory at your own discretion. There are 10 steps at the boat and 7 steps at the factory. Glass Blower in Malante

Experience the thrill of sailing on board the 164-foot Dutch square-rigged tall ship Mercedes. After a short coach transfer from Saga Sapphire, the friendly crew will welcome you on board, and, after a safety briefing, you can sit back and enjoy your mini-cruise. You may even choose to help sail the vessel should you so wish. Stepping aboard the immaculate Mercedes, which today provides unashamed luxury with her comfortable lounge and bar, will enable you to enjoy first-hand the unique atmosphere of a bygone age of travel. Although she is among the youngest of today’s fleet of tall ships, her timeless design with its wealth of mahogany and teak, black leather seats and polished brass, will take you back in time to the classic sailing ships of long ago. Please feel free to ask the crew and captain about the ship and the places that you see along the way. The Firth and the Bay of Kiel are ideal sailing areas with a long history of yacht and boat racing, and you will pass the city, shipyards, the entrance of the Kiel Channel and the village of Laboe as you sail on the open water up to Kiel Lighthouse.

To avoid disappointment we recommend that you pre-book this excursion, as places are limited. This is an exclusive charter for Saga passengers only. The time spent on board the Mercedes is three hours. Soft drinks and snacks are included on board, in addition to a selection of alcoholic drinks. We regret that this excursion is not suitable for those confined to wheelchairs or with walking limitations. Although little actual walking is involved, all participants must be able to board and disembark without assistance. There are three steps to board the ship, and the wc facilities are below deck, reached by a flight of ten steps. We reserve the right to change the departure time should conditions make this necessary. Tall Ship Mercedes

Spend the day at sea.

Dover

Arrive 0800.

Disembark Saga Pearl II 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

⚓ Land by launch or tender. All excursions mentioned during the cruise 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 independently.


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