St.Petersburg Cruise - September 14th - 28th 2018

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"Cities of the Baltic" by Fred Olsen

Off for a cruise on this lovely Fred Olsen ship.

The MS Braemar, photoed at Riga, Latvia

For us, the treats on this cruise were three-fold: getting into the retored Peterhof Palace outside the City; visiting Riga, the Capital of Latvia and visiting Lübeck, easily accessible by train from Travemünde. Going to the Viking Museum at Roskilde was a bonus, too.

There are two trains per hour from Waterloo to Southampton Central, where you need to take a taxi to the ship. Parking in very expensive in Southampton

The trip took us from Southampton to

Kiel Canal

& back to Southampton

Leaving Southampton on a really nice day

Friday 14th September 2018 - Boarding

We left at about 09:15 and the high-speed bus driver meant we were on time for the 10:05 train. Consequently, we had a low boarding number & were on the ship before 13:30. The luggage came almost immediately but it was lunch time, so we snacked in the Palms. The ship has been refitted and there were quite a few changes. A new Bookmark Café off the main lounge and much furniture replaced but it is 4 years since we were on it. I left Avis to unpack & went up top, then did my unpacking. Avis booked a necessary hair-do in the Atlantis Spa for tomorrow. By time we had settled in the Lounge, it was still not 3 o’clock. The 1st dinner is always a lottery. The other four may not be intellectual sophisticates at 1st contact but they certainly have senses of humour. So far so good. I felt over-fed at the end of it.

Saturday 15th September - Day at Sea

Breakfast at about 08:20. No prunes but Eggs Florentine equals spinach with a bit of bacon & mushrooms to make up the 5 handfuls. Lunch was just soup & a small tiramisu in the Palms, so limited eating doing well so far. After breakfast, I walked round the deck with an old walker called Kitty while Avis went to both talks. Then, I chatted with a joiner & his wife who live modestly in France until Avis appeared. After, I did a bit more walking, partly with a retired Essex cop who voted remain. A minimal lunch. Otherwise, I read the CDF book & made amendments to my talk. Avis had a hairdo, some of which she wrecked after, as it made her look old. It was a formal evening but no one noticed my new Euro cuff links. The show was not very good and the music too loud, about which I complained to Nick, the Cruise Director after. The Team did their best with it but they are new & a bit stiff. The hour went on tonight.

Sunday 16th September - Still at Sea

Managed to cut down the the breakfast again, although they did have prunes today, very necessary if you react to the change of water on a cruise ship. We had it with Annette, the Ramblers rep & Eileen, one of her punters.Avis went to the St. Pete’s port talk but I plodded round the deck with one Mary, who was a walker and later, with Eileen. It was dull with very light drizzle, which did not matter. Then, I worked on the CDF talk, which is getting very good, I think. There was a classical piano recital at 15:15 by a James Brown (not that one), doing dance music from Beethoven to Albeniz. The evening show was Diane Cousins, a fat old lady in a dazzling dress, who told some jokes & sang very well.

Port 1 - Copenhagen

Port 2 - Helsinki

Port 3 - St.Petersburg

Port 4 - Riga

Port 5 - Travemunde

Port 6 - Kiel Canal

Next Page - 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 1/10/2018 ©2018 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.