To St. Petersburg round the Baltic Cruise - September 11th to 26th 2012

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To St. Petersburg round the Baltic for Saga Holidays

This was a working trip, as Ken, a well-known lecturer on various subjects in Central London, had been hired to give five lectures (7 as it turned out) about classical music on this Saga ship, through the good offices of
P & R Agency on this link.

The ship was the
MV Saga Sapphire, shown here in a photo ripped off from
©John Ambler on the web site of Marine Traffic which is a map which shows you where ships are.

The talks agent described the ship as the 'lovely' Saga Sapphire but it still has some teething troubles after its refit (in Sicily i.e. by the Mafia), e.g. a pervasive smell of sewage, so watch the blogs if you fancy cruising in it.

The cruise took us from Dover to:-

Kalundborg (Denmark), see below
Stockholm (Sweden)
Helsinki (Finland)
St. Petersburg (Russia)
Tallinn (Estonia)
Warnemunde (Germany)
Oslo (Norway)

...and back to Dover. On the map...

K = Kalundborg; S = Stockholm:
H = Helsinki; P = St.Petersburg;
T = Tallinn; W = Warnemunde; O = Oslo

We were to pick it up at Dover Cruise Terminal at 1400, being supernumeraries, i.e. crew of a sort. There are frequent trains from London Bridge or St. Pancras to Dover Priory, but with crew discount for parking, it was far cheaper to drive & park, which we did & were in plenty time. In fact, the Harbour refunded our parking fee anyway!??

We had chummed up with the other two lecturers, Rosalind Whyte & Keith Pritchard, who turned out to be very good & with the Classical group, the Flanaghan Trio. The entertainers mustered at 6 & to my delight, two of the Show Team we knew already. However, I (Ken) came aboard with a health problem which I thought was clearing up.

I put on one of my shows, "Nielsen, Denmark's Greatest Composer", to the usual acclaim, on our way up the North Sea but the next day, it was too rough to launch the tenders at the theoretical first port of Skagen, where the artists colony used to be, so we went on to Kalundborg, me putting on my "Sibelius, the Last Romantic" show to fill in the day & Rosalind lectured on the Skagen Painters Colony. It was ok when we berthed at Kalundborg in the evening but next day, there was a howling wind (someone joked, "Please turn off the fans" i.e. the wind turbines there) & it rained a good (bad) deal in Copenhagen. On the day at sea up to Stockholm, I gave my "Tchaikovsky, Lawyer into Composer" show. The numbers attending my shows were gradually increasing from about 150 for Nielsen.

The front at Kalundborg in the evening, carefully snapped to avoid the horrible silo, which conceals the Cathedral

Port 2 - Stockholm (Sweden)

Port 3 - Helsinki (Finland)

Port 4 - St. Petersburg (Russia)

Port 5 - Tallinn (Estonia)

Port 6- Warnemunde (Germany)

Port 7 - Oslo (Norway)

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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 21/10/2012 ©2012 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.