To St. Petersburg round the Baltic Cruise - May 28th to June 11th 2011

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To St. Petersburg round the Baltic by Fred Olsen

This was a working trip, as Ken, a well-known lecturer on various subjects in Central London, had been hired to give five lectures about classical music on this lovely Fred Olsen ship, through the
P & R Agency on this link.

The ship was the MV Braemar, shown here in a photo ripped off from Fred's web site

We were to pick it up at Dover Cruise Terminal at 1100, being supernumeraries, i.e. crew of a sort.
There are frequent trains from London Bridge to Dover Priory, but with crew discount for parking, it was far cheaper to drive & park, which we did & were on time, despite a road-up on the M20. Being new to procedure, it took us a while to get aboard but having managed it, we were still in time for lunch. This was with Nederlanders who were getting off tomorow at Ijmuiden. Our cabin is rather small, 130 sq.ft. but who spends much time in their cabin? We left into crashing seas at 1530.

The trip took us from Dover to
Ijmuiden & the Kiel Canal
St. Petersburg
& back to Dover

Dover on a cold, windy, day

I had seen Anthony, the Cruise Director & consequently, my boss, at Reception, so knew the entertainers were to muster in the Starlight Lounge at 1800. We read after exploring the ship until lifeboat drill at 1645. Then, I changed, as we had a big sheet of instructions for supernumeraries which included a dress code of always smart informal if not dinner suits. Avis came to the get-together & this was fun, as we bonded with the other entertainers, especially Lydia the Classical Pianist & the 4th Dimension pop group. Anthony introduced us all. When he called me Kenneth, I said known as Ken, to which he said did I want to be known as Ken & I replied, "My Mother called me Kenneth" in a gloomy voice which raised a laugh. There was copious champagne & thanking Ivana in Russian went down well. Dinner after & I managed a load of clean, non-political & non-religious gags, so I should be all right. We briefly went to a concert but we had been allocated escort duty on coaches & mine started at 0740, so I booked a wake-up call for 6 & crashed out. We have separate bunks but we could push them together, some other time, unlike on the Marco Polo. The sea was quite rough & we have two portholes just above the water line, so the waves are the cabaret. It was very chilly outside today.

Lifeboat Drill is Serious

Lifejackets for lovers

Tomorrow-Ijmuiden's new Cruise Terminal

Port 1 - Ijmuiden & Kiel Canal

Port 2 - Stockholm

Port 3 - Tallinn

Port 4 - St. Petersburg

Port 5 - Gdynia

Port 6 - Warnemunde

Port 7 - Copenhagen

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Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
URL: Last revised 3/6/2012 ©2011-2012 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.